Redefining pedagogical approaches with the SAMR model

In our mission to deliver outstanding services and training in Further Education, we recognise technology’s transformative power. Embracing the SAMR model by Dr. Ruben Puentedura unlocks digital technology’s full potential, revolutionising education and empowering learners.

The SAMR model guides educators through four stages of technology integration: Substitution, Augmentation, Modification, and Redefinition. Each stage represents progress towards innovative pedagogical practices. Let’s explore how SAMR can reshape teaching and learning using an example from the Digital Teaching Professional Framework (DTPF).

A diagram illustrating the SAMR model, It sets out the four aspects of SAMR - which are substitution, augmentation, modifications and redefinition.  The first two are part of the 'enhancement' phase and the latter two constitute the 'transformation' phase.

In 'substitution' EdTEch acts as a direct tool substitute. In 'Augmentation' EdTech acts as a direct tool substitute with functional improvement. In 'Modifications' EdTech allows for significant redesign of activities. The 'Redefinition' phase is about the creation of new activities through EdTech that would have been previously inconcievable.

Here is an example: consider DTPF Element C: Supporting learners to develop employability skills. One component is ‘Supporting digital capabilities.’

For instance, when learners draft a CV.

C: Supporting learners to develop employability skills

Activity – The learners draft a CV.

Substitution: At this stage, learners substitute the traditional pen-and-paper approach with digital technology. They write their CV using digital tools such as Microsoft Word or Google Docs, enabling easy editing and sharing.

Augmentation: Moving beyond mere substitution, learners enhance their CV by utilising digital features. They leverage tools like thesaurus, spell-checker, and formatting options to improve content, layout, and visual appeal. Additionally, they incorporate links and even a professional photo to make their CV more dynamic and engaging.

Modification: In this stage, learners go beyond static CVs. They create multimedia CVs, integrating video evidence that showcases their competencies. By including video clips, learners can effectively demonstrate their skills and experiences, making their CVs more compelling and informative.

Redefinition: The final stage of the SAMR model enables learners to redefine the entire concept of a CV. They develop professional profiles on relevant sites, such as LinkedIn, and showcase their multimedia CVs on dedicated platforms. This not only allows for a broader reach, but also enables learners to present themselves in a more interactive and personalised manner.

Factors to consider

As we implement the SAMR model, it is essential to consider certain factors. Safeguarding learners’ privacy is paramount, particularly when sharing personal information online. Furthermore, we can further enhance the CV experience by utilising e-portfolios, such as PebblePad, to create comprehensive digital portfolios. Additionally, fostering a collaborative environment, we encourage learners to share their CVs with peers for constructive feedback, leveraging the collective wisdom of the group.

There are six other examples available on Appendix B of the DTPF (pages 44 to 47). These are:
A: Planning
Activity – The learners work in small groups to find resources for a lesson on a given topic.
B: Approaches to teaching
Activity – Provide learners with a collection of articles on the topic and discuss.
D: Subject and industry-specific teaching
Activity – Present steps in the stages of a production process (e.g. in producing a painting, a piece of music or in building a wall).
E: Assessment
Activity – Learners (in pairs) deliver a presentation on a given topic, with assessment by peers.
F: Accessibility and inclusion
Activity – Learners (in pairs) plan an event. They are then asked to identify the challenges this may present for learners with special needs and to develop strategies to overcome these challenges.
G: Self‑development
Activity – Seek to expand and enhance my repertoire of teaching practices continuously.

By aligning SAMR to the DTPF, we redefine pedagogical approaches, empowering learners to develop essential employability skills. Let’s reshape education and inspire learners to achieve new heights with digital!

Vikki Liogier
National Head of EdTech and Digital Skills
Education and Training Foundation