Au Psy492 M7 A2 Jones J
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Au Psy492 M7 A2 Jones J

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A powerpoint presentation of my research paper for Advanced General Psychology on "The Application of Technology to Improve Learning and Retention."

A powerpoint presentation of my research paper for Advanced General Psychology on "The Application of Technology to Improve Learning and Retention."

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Au Psy492 M7 A2 Jones J Au Psy492 M7 A2 Jones J Presentation Transcript

  • The Application of Technology to Improve Learning and Retention Jessica P. Jones Argosy University PSY492XC August 14th, 2011
  • The Hypothesis
    • In my final course at Argosy University Online, we were challenged with the task of gathering research to help solve a societal problem. The hypothesis that evolved from my research was that if we apply the learning elements inherent in video games and spaced-repetition systems (SRS), we can improve learning and retention for employees.
  • Why is this important?
    • Concerns over America’s low literary and education rates (TakePart LLC, 2011).
    • The struggle to train employees and create a sense of corporate identity amongst employees.
    • It is time to change the way we think about education and training.
  • First, what do we need to know about learning and memory?
    • We need to understand working memory , otherwise known as temporary memory which is used during a particular task. Working memory can be converted into long-term memory , through various types of encoding. Long-term memory is able to be retrieved long after a task is completed.
    • We need to understand rehearsal , or the ways we train our brains to be able to store data in long-term memory and retrieve it effectively.
  • Working Memory
    • Working memory represents a temporary storage for memory while we are thinking about a particular topic, and its capacity is limited (Baddeley, 2000; Copeland & Radvansky, 2001; Jefferies, Lambdon, & Baddeley, 2004).
  • Working Memory and Encoding
    • Related to working memory is the research of the phonological loop.
    • The model for the phonological loop demonstrates that similar-sounding words are harder to remember accurately, shorter words and phrases are easier to recall, and also that being prevented from rehearsing what is heard greatly deteriorates recall.
    • Nevah-Benjamin, Craik, Guez, and Dori (1998, p. 2) also found that “the division of attention during the encoding phase of the memory task markedly reduced performance in free recall, cued recall, and recognition memory.”
  • The Struggles of Working Memory
    • Since we rely on working memory for temporary recall which leads into long-term memory, how we use it is critical.
    • Not being able to rehearse data brought into working memory means that it will probably be lost.
    • We need methods to turn working memory from an event into long-term memory!
  • Long Meetings & Lectures are not Effective Because . . .
    • It is more data than what the mind can contain, and an employee rarely has the time to rehearse the data that they do recall in order to apply it to long-term memory.
    • The sessions are so long that all of the material gone over will be in competition with each other; while we are trying to retain the information already given to us, we are already moving on to try and encode even more!
    • The workplace is full of distractions that interrupt encoding data from working memory.
  • Spaced-Repetition System (SRS)
    • Kapricke & Roediger (2007) did research on the efficiency of spaced-repetition systems (SRS). SRS is a form of rehearsal where rather than merely repetitively reviewing an article of data all of the time, the repetitions are spaced out to train the mind to extend long-term recall of the data. In fact, Kapricke & Roediger (2007) found that SRS was more efficient than repetition alone; while there was no difference in working memory, there was significant improvement in long-term memory retrieval for those using SRS.
  • Spaced-Repetition System (SRS)
    • As an additional benefit, Altmann and Schunn (2002) found that continued use of SRS over time can also help prevent decay of memory. SRS are often available for free, such as the Anki program which performs SRS with a flash card-like system (Elmes, n.d.). One teacher can create a virtual deck and provide the key to an unlimited number of students for study without ever spending a penny. The Decks in Anki can be made with pictures of employees for recall, sounds for second-language acquisition, or pretty much any type of data which can be entered into a computer.
  • SRS and Employees
    • While this type of rehearsal may seem particularly applicable to students, employees have a wealth of data which they are expected to internalize which can be difficult when they are not exposed to the data at the right frequencies.
    • Employees can be argued to be at higher risk of having to struggle with fanning, and they often face conflicts of learning from observing social behavior over time; other employees will demonstrate different and acceptable (but less desirable) behavior from what was actually trained.
    • As Parsons (2001, p. 85) explains, “ The assumptions which serve as the base for the development and maintenance of a system’s culture form the unquestioned, non-debatable truths and reality of people within the system. These develop when a solution or procedure works repeatedly. As a result, those involved begin to take it for granted to the point where what was once only a hunch or possibility starts to get viewed and treated as a reality.” Therefore, integrating the use of SRS will help stave off the accidental creation of undesired work flows.
  • The Generation Effect
    • There is even more that can be done to enhance recall and to even increase the enjoyment of the learning process for employees. The first is the application of the generation effect, which was studied by Bertsch, Pesta, Wiscott, and McDaniel (2007). In this study, it was revealed that humans recall data better when we play a role in their creation.
  • The Generation Effect
    • This is more than a hands-on approach to learning, which only allows an individual to walk through the steps. Generation of data means playing a part in actually creating what you learn. For example, a person who creates their own Deck in Anki for study, as mentioned earlier, may have better recall than someone who just downloaded a Deck created by someone else. This is similar to what has been found with the episodic buffer (Ashcraft & Radvansky, 2010), which is a memory buffer created by stories we experience, or episodic chunking. The question this research leaves behind is how to accomplish getting employees involved in the generation of the data which they are learning.
  • Solution: Video Games
    • As for the generation effect, video games directly stimulate the player, allowing them to play the lead (or at the very least, an important supporting character) in a usually epic tale which then becomes a part of their experience.
    • The accomplishments made in the game, although virtual, are often experienced at a very real level. Without the gamer playing the game, the story can not go on, effectively creating an experience where the player must take part in generating the story or it simply ends unfinished.
  • Solution: Video Games
    • According to Chatfield (2010), video games are the masters of SRS. The games calculate how often stimuli should present itself in order to challenge the player as well as keep them stimulated. So, not only do video games take advantage of the generation effect by providing an immersive environment (Barab, Gresalfi, & Arici, 2009), but they also grant players measurable goals with very real rewards.
  • Solution: Video Games
    • Schrader and McCreery (2008) found that the immersive environments found in video games, especially Massively Multiplayer Online (MMO) games, are also conducive to improved teamwork between players, a goal very important in the workplace. Chatfield (2010) has already discussed the amazing potential for using video game elements to enhance the educational experience as a moral-boosting way to measure progress and make learners feel encouraged about each goal that they complete; if time can just be set aside for employees and employers to use custom game-based systems, there could be a vast improvement in morale as well as retention of personal values and data.
  • Need for Further Research
    • Despite the multitude of ways the research I have cited here could be used to enhance education and training processes, the critical weakness is that very little of the research has actually been applied to work settings.
    • Because the data retrieved is very general information, there is no current demonstration of how well these methods could work as I have suggested them.
    • It is my hope that future research will be generated on these topics so that employers can be provided with conclusive data specific to their needs.
  • Conclusions
    • Current education and information distribution methods for employees rely too heavily on the notion that learning is a self-directed process despite the fact that we acknowledge that the learner must be engaged to encode material (Marković, Petrovic, Kittl, Edegger, 2007).
    • Games can be technological tools which put individuals more in control of their education process, provide them with instant gratification, provide measurable goals in the form of quests, and use SRS so that critical data is maintained for the long-term.
    • Games can provide these benefits with higher efficacy than lectures, meetings, or regular rehearsal alone.
    • Devising MMO-like game prototypes for universities and companies would be a great research investment as MMOs are acknowledged as one of the most immersive environments in which players acquire skills and learn to work in teams (Schrader & McCreery, 2008)
  • References
    • Altmann, E. M. & Schunn, C. D. (2002). Integrating decay and interference: A new look at an old Interaction. Proceedings of the 24th annual meeting of the Cognitive Science Society 65-70. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.
    • Article Myriad (2011). Weaknesses and problems in the American educational system. Retrieved from http://www.articlemyriad.com/32.htm .
    • Ashcraft, M. H., & Radvansky, G. A. (2010).  Cognition (5th ed.).  Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education, Inc.
    • Baddeley, A. D. (2000). The episodic buffer: A new component of working memory? Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 4 , 417–423.
    • Barab, S., Gresalfi, M., & Arici, A. (2009). Why educators should care about games. Educational Leadership , 67 (1), 76-80.
    • Bertsch, S., Pesta, B. J., Wiscott, R., & McDaniel, M. A. (2007). The generation effect: A meta-analytic review. Memory & Cognition, 35 , 201–210.
  • References
    • Chatfield, T. (2010, November 1). Tom Chatfield: 7 ways video games engage the brain [video file]. Retrieved from http:// www.youtube.com/watch?v =KyamsZXXF2w .
    • Copeland, D. E., & Radvansky, G. A. (2001). Phonological similarity in working memory. Memory & Cognition, 29 , 774–776.
    • Elmes, D. (n.d.). Anki . Retrieved from http:// www.ankisrs.net / .
    • Gerrig, R. J., & Zimbardo, P. G. (2009). An overview of psychology: its past & present, your future. Boston, MA: Pearson Education, Inc.
    • Jefferies, E., Lambdon Ralph, M. A., & Baddeley, A. D. (2004). Automatic and controlled processing in sentence recall: The role of long-term and working memory. Journal of Memory and Language, 51 , 623–643.
    • Kapricke, J. D. & Roediger, H. L. (2007). Expanding retrieval practices promotes short-term retention, but equally spaced retrieval enhances long-term retention. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition 2007, Vol. 33, No. 4, 704–719.
  • References
    • Marković, F., Petrovic, O., Kittl, C., & Edegger, B. (2007). Pervasive learning games: A comparative study. New Review of Hypermedia & Multimedia , 13 (2), 93-116. doi:10.1080/13614560701712873.
    • Naveh-Benjamin, M., Craik, F. I. M., Guez, J., & Dori, H. (1998). Effects of divided attention on encoding and retrieval processes in human memory: further support for an asymmetry. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, Vol. 24, (5), 1091-1104.
    • Peele, S. (2009). Addiction in society: A problem America won’t solve in our lifetime: Education. Retrieved from http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/addiction-in-society/200902/problem-america-wont-solve-in-our-lifetime-education .
    • Schrader, P., & McCreery, M. (2008). The acquisition of skill and expertise in massively multiplayer online games. Educational Technology Research & Development , 56 (5/6), 557-574. doi:10.1007/s11423-007-9055-4.
    • TakePart LLC (2011). Our mission . Retrieved from http:// www.waitingforsuperman.com /action/mission .