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A Whistestop Tour of Theories for TEL Research

Presentation to postgraduate students at the Institute of Educational Technology, The Open University, UK, 28 Feb 2017. A very brief overview of some of the theories that are often referenced in TEL research.

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A Whistestop Tour of Theories for TEL Research

  1. 1. A Whistle-stop Tour of Theories for TEL Research Doug Clow, MRes talk, 28 Feb 2018
  2. 2. ● Whistle-stop ● Tour ● Theories ● TEL Research 2Photo (CC) BY-NC-ND Ross G. Strachan https://flic.kr/p/2NUYKW
  3. 3. ● Routes to generalisability ● Big data or big theory ● Atheoretical approaches aren’t ● Show your workings 3 “All models are wrong, but some are useful.” (George Box, 1978) Photo (CC) BY-NC Chris Jones https://flic.kr/p/dTdpnQ
  4. 4. 4 What is learning?
  5. 5. Nuremberg funnel, 1902
  6. 6. Origins of behaviourism & constructivism 6
  7. 7. Behaviourism ● Ivan Pavlov (1849-1936) ● Classical conditioning (dogs) ● B. F. Skinner (1904-1990) ● Free will largely illusory ● Operant conditioning ● Stimulus-response-reinforcer ● Reinforcement learning ● Positive > negative ● Teaching machines 7 Photo: Wikimedia Commons https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:B.F._Skinner_at_Harvard_circa_1950.jpg
  8. 8. ● Not behaviourism ● Not instructivism ● Learning is an active process ● Importance of learner’s existing ideas ● Discovery learning ● Inquiry-based learning ● Social constructivism Piaget, Bruner, many many others Constructivism 8
  9. 9. Jean Piaget (1896-1980) ● ‘Genetic epistemology’ ● Children ● Stages of development ● Sensorimotor ● Preoperational (symbolic thought) ● Concrete operational (logical thought) ● Formal operational (abstract reasoning) ● Learning is active 9 Photo: Public domain https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Jean_Piaget_in_Ann_Arbor.png
  10. 10. Jerome Bruner (1915-2016) ● Cognitive psychology ● Developmental psychology ● Educational psychology ● Spiral curriculum ● Discovery learning ● Environment important ● Scaffolding 10 Photo: © British Psychological Society
  11. 11. Other classics 11
  12. 12. Forms of Intellectual and Ethical Development in the College Years: A Scheme (1970) William Perry ● 9 stages of development: ● Received knowledge ● learn the right answers ● Multiplicity ● conflicting answers, sometimes we don’t know ● Relativism ● answers depend on context ● Constructed knowledge ● commitment as ongoing process 12
  13. 13. Donald Schön (1983) The Reflective Practitioner Chris Argyris & Donald Schön (1978) Organizational Learning Reflection ● Reflection-in-action ● Reflection-on-action ● Single-loop learning ● Improvement within a framework ● Double-loop learning ● Change the goals, processes 13
  14. 14. David A. Kolb (1984/2015). Experiential Learning: experience as the source of learning and development Kolb’s learning cycle 14
  15. 15. 15 LEARNING STYLES
  16. 16. 16 Learning Styles ● Believed by up to 95% of teachers ● Contradicted by empirical research ● Trying different approaches can be good ● Learners do have preferences ● ... they’re not always right ● ... they are not stable ● One ‘style’ often best for most learners ● Too many versions ● Great idea, ruined by reality not conforming
  17. 17. Journey to Activity Theory 17
  18. 18. 18 Lev Vygotsky (1896-1934) ● Cultural-historical context ● Zone of Proximal Development ZPD dagram: Public domain https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Zone_of_proximal_development.svg Subject Object Mediating artifact
  19. 19. 19 Cultural-Historical Activity Theory Yrjö Engeström (1987) Diagram: In McAndrew, Taylor & Clow (2010), after Engeström (1987)
  20. 20. Political engagement 20
  21. 21. Paulo Freire ● Critical pedagogy ● Learning as an active process ● Education as a political act ● No such thing as neutral education Pedagogy of the Oppressed (1968/1970) 21 Photo: (CC)-BY-SA Slobodan Dmitrov https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Paulo_Freire.jpg
  22. 22. Actor-Network Theory ● Poststructuralism ● Science & Technology Studies ● Consider human and non-human actors ● Intermediaries vs mediators Michel Callon, Bruno Latour, & others 22
  23. 23. Andragogy, Heutagogy ● Andragogy – Malcolm Knowles (1913-1997) ● Adult learners ● Are different from children ● Bring experience ● Expect influence ● Should be active participants ● Want applications ● Expect action on their feedback ● Heutagogy – Stewart Hase & Chris Kenyon (2010) ● Self-determined learning 23
  24. 24. More recently 24
  25. 25. Approaches to Study Inventory ● Deep and surface learning ● Ference Marton, Roger Säljö, Noel Entwistle, Paul Ramsden, Keith Trigwell, Mike Prosser, John Richardson. ● Context-dependent ● “on this course” ● Strategic, Amotivational ● Approaches to Teaching Inventory ● Conceptual change, information transmission 25
  26. 26. 1993/2001 Rethinking University Teaching: A Conversational Framework for the Effective Use of Learning Technologies Diana Laurillard 26 Photo © UCL Institute of Education
  27. 27. 27 Jean Lave & Etienne Wenger-Trayner Communities of Practice ● Situated Learning: Legitimate Peripheral Participation (1991) ● Apprenticeship ● “Groups of people who share a concern or a passion for something they do and learn how to do it better as they interact regularly.” Quotes & photo: http://wenger-trayner.com/introduction-to-communities-of-practice/ ● “The online universe is cluttered with spaces that nobody uses. It’s also full of sites that are called a community of practice even if no-one is there!”
  28. 28. 28 Gráinne Conole, 7Cs of Learning Design, 2014 Learning Design ● Conceptualise: Vision, learners, essence, approaches? ● Capture: OER, others to develop ● Create: Learning activities? ● Communicate: Communication types? ● Collaboration: Collaboration types? ● Consider: Reflection and demonstration? ● Consolidate: How effective is it? Photo: (CC)-BY Terese Bird https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Professor_Grainne_Conole_at_Institute_of_Learning_Innovation_University_of_Leicester.jpg
  29. 29. 29 Stephen Downes & George Siemens (2005) Connectivism ● Learning theory for a digital age ● Learning occurs through / in networks ● Connections vital ● Chaos, nebulous, rapid change ● Capacity to know more ● More important than current knowledge Photos: Stephen Downes, George Siemens (via Twitter)
  30. 30. Meanwhile, in the cognitive world 30
  31. 31. Cognitive psychology Cognitivism, cognitive approaches ● Big Five Personality Traits ● extraversion, agreeableness, openness, conscientiousness, neuroticism ● Information processing ● Working memory / cognitive load ● Long term memory ● Spaced repetition ● Kahneman (2011) System 1 & System 2 ● ‘Elephant and rider’ ● … many, many more 31
  32. 32. Instructional Design Robert Gagné (1916-2002) ● Gaining attention (reception) ● Informing learners of the objective (expectancy) ● Stimulating recall of prior learning (retrieval) ● Presenting the stimulus (selective perception) ● Providing learning guidance (semantic encoding) ● Eliciting performance (responding) ● Providing feedback (reinforcement) ● Assessing performance (retrieval) ● Enhancing retention and transfer (generalization) 32
  33. 33. Intelligent Tutoring Systems 33
  34. 34. And finally … 34
  35. 35. What to take away ● Constructivism ● Activity Theory ● Communities of Practice ● Cognitive psychology ● Learning styles are a myth 35 Photo (CC) BY-ND Mike Carter https://flic.kr/p/nxxQzp

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  • ddresner

    May. 10, 2019

Presentation to postgraduate students at the Institute of Educational Technology, The Open University, UK, 28 Feb 2017. A very brief overview of some of the theories that are often referenced in TEL research.

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