Written by Department of Science Education and Centre for Digital Education

The Department of Science Education at UCPH use a five-phase model (‘the TDS model’) to describe best practice in teaching. The model applies the principle that teaching and learning is not just a question of the teacher ‘pouring’ knowledge into a group of passive students; rather it is about creating the space for participants to work independently with a given set of data within a framework that has been planned and organised by the teacher.

The model therefore has different phases, some of which are more teacher-oriented (devolution, parts of the validation phase, institutionalisation) and some of which are more participant-oriented (activation, formulation, parts of the validation phase).

TDS phase Description
Online version

The teacher introduces and presents a topic and then sets the participants an assignment on that topic. The content for the devolution phase can be presented via a screencast showing powerpoint slides or a video, but the classroom management tasks at least should be done live as far as possible: i.e. giving out instructions, putting groups together, checking everyone is present, etc.

The participants work on a particular problem in groups; the teacher leaves them to get on with it independently. Participants communicate with each other in groups, either via a given platform (e.g. breakout groups in Absalon Conference) or via a platform they have chosen themselves (Google Hangouts, Facetime, etc.). There should be a clear time limit, a clear product they need to come up with, and preferably a clear learning outcome they should focus on. It may be a good idea to give them a bit more time than you would in a face-to-face classroom context.

The participants formulate their product: e.g. an answer or hypothesis; the teacher stays in the background. The participants work together to present a product via an agreed media, e.g. Padlet or the discussion forum in Absalon, somewhere where everyone can see each other’s products. 

All participants think about the answers and discuss which one(s) are valid based on the data they have available. The discussion may then be led by the teacher. The participants see/read/study the other groups’ products in the given online forum. They given feedback on each other’s products, either individually or in groups. Optionally, groups can be ’paired up’, so group A gives feedback to group B and vice versa. This can be done using, for example, Peergrade.

The teacher contextualises the problem, which is then solved based on ’official knowledge’. The teacher takes over again, live, and as far as possible arranges the different products/answers in a common framework which links up to the established knowledge on the topic. If so desired, the activity can be rounded off with a ready-made product: a video, a homepage, an article with instructions on what to read.   

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