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Workshop: Experience Mining and Dialogues with a Pattern Language for Creative Learning

Takashi Iba, Faculty of Policy Management, Keio University, Japan,

Summary In recent complex society, it is essential to find problems and think of solutions from various points of view with a creative mind. People need to learn by constructing their own living knowledge based on their situation, not just by memorizing existing ideas. It is also necessary to learn how to get new ideas and how to think. Learning in that sense is of primary importance today, however few opportunities and tools to help learning how to learn. This workshop provides an opportunity for participants to reflect on their learning experience and sharing a tool for developing their way of learning. To be concrete, this tool is a pattern language for creative learning, which we call Learning Patterns. Pattern language was originally proposed as a method for describing practical knowledge of expert designers in architecture, and it became famous in the field of software development; and Learning patterns is a pattern language to share ‘knacks’ for the way of creative learning. Learning Patterns consist of 40 patterns, where each pattern is written in the same format: Pattern Name is the attractive and memorable words that can be used as a building block for thinking and a vocabulary for communication about the way of learning; Summarizing Phrase and Illustration are introductory parts that impress the meaning of this pattern lively; Quotations rephrase the essence of this pattern with notable sayings; Context is the condition for applying this pattern; Problem describes a difficulty that often occurred in the context but is not easy to overcome; Forces are unavoidable laws that make the problem hard to solve; Solution describes the way to solve the problem, which is written in an abstract way; Actions offer concrete approaches to put the solution into practice; and Related Patterns shows the connection with other patterns. The main part of the workshop consists of the following three phases: Experience Mining, Dialogues, and Reflection. In the first phase, Experience Mining, participants recall their learning experience using the context of Learning Patterns and make a list of patterns they have already experienced. In addition, they make a list of patterns they want to master in the near future. The second phase is Dialogues, and this phase is the heart of this workshop. Each participant seeks others who experienced patterns he / she wants to master, and listens to their episodes of learning. It is worthwhile to emphasize here that Learning Patterns encourage participants to talk about their experiences of learning, although people hardly talk about their experiences that concerns learning in their daily life. In the third phase, Reflection, the participants talk about discoveries concerning their learning experiences, and also discuss the advantages and pitfalls of designing “learning” with Learning Patterns. In the last part of workshop, the organizer will share the knack for facilitating this kind of workshop in order to encourage the participants to facilitate similar workshops using Learning Patterns in their own community.


Detailed description of the workshop structure, activities and goals This workshop is considered a two-hour session. It consists of the following three parts: Introductory, Main, and Concluding parts. The activities in each part will be done as follows. Introductory Part Introduction (5 minutes): Explanation of the aim and activities of the workshop Learning Patterns (20 minutes): Explanation of what Learning Patterns is, how it works, and the history of the idea of a Pattern Language.

Main Part Experience Mining (15 minutes): Participants read the catalog of Learning Patterns, making a list of patterns they have already experienced, and a list of patterns that they want to master in the near future. Dialogues (35 minutes): Each participants seeks for others who have experienced patterns that he / she wants to master, and listens to their episodes of learning. Break (10 minutes) Reflection I (10 minutes): Formation of groups that discuss about discoveries about learning experiences. Reflection II (10 minutes): Discussion of the advantage and pitfalls of designing “learning” with Learning Patterns.

Concluding Part Facilitating Workshops (15 minutes): Explanation of the knack for facilitating the workshop with Learning Patterns in your own community.

Names, contact information and backgrounds of the organizers Takashi Iba ( Associate Professor, Faculty of Policy Management, Keio University

This workshop will be carried out with the following students of Iba Lab., Keio University. Mami Sakamoto, Undergraduate student, Faculty of Environment and Information Studies, Keio University Ko Matsuzuka, Undergraduate student, Faculty of Policy Management, Keio University and some student assistants.


Maximum number of participants: 70 participants.

Anticipated A/V requirements - A projector that can be connected to a PC (MacBook Pro). - A screen for the projector. - Speakers that can be connected to an iPod.