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New learning theory


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New learning theory

  1. 1. 1A discussion of the trends in learning theory and thepractical implications for instructional design.Tell me and Ill forget;show me and I may remember;involve me and Ill understand.- Chinese Proverb
  2. 2. 2OverviewTheoryConstructivismBehvaviorismCognitivismIntroductory RemarksApplications
  3. 3. 3The goal of this presentation is to stir your imagination...- to get you to challenge your assumptions about howto develop training.- to get you to reflect on the nature of learning
  4. 4. 4“The field of instructional design has enjoyedconsiderable success over the last two decades...Based largely on behavioristic premises ID isadjusting to cognitive ways of viewing the learningprocess.”but it is now facing some of the pains expected alongwith its growth.Quoted from “Cognitive approaches to InstructionalDesign”, Wilson, Jonassenand Cole
  5. 5. 5“In attempting to simplify learning in order to improveinstructional efficiency and effectiveness, InstructionalSystems Technology may be short circuiting relevantmental processing.Quoted from “Objectivism vs.. Constructivism: Do WeNeed a New Philosophical Paradigm?” , D. JonassenETR&D Vol. 39, No. 3. PP 5-14 ISNN 1042-1629Designers attempts to simplify learning risk supplantingthe complexity that is inherent in the learning process orthe task to be learned.”
  6. 6. 6The digital environment poses several problemsfor Instructional designers:- New digital technologies must be understood inorder to develop course content.- Our increasing use of e-learning requires familiaritywith new software tools.- e-learning, with its lack of personal contact, placesan additional burden on the curriculum.- Students are now knowledge workers whose tasksare difficult to define.
  7. 7. 7“Hostility toward theory usually means anopposition to other people’s theories and anoblivion to one’s own.”Terry Eagleton
  8. 8. 8- explainWe use theories to help us:- understandA theory is nothing more than a plausible explanation.- predict
  9. 9. 9Everyone carries around with them their ownpersonal theoriesWe use theories to guide our perceptions andactions.Theories are what we use to understand anotherwise impossibly confusing world.
  10. 10. 10What is theory ?Theory provides a general explanation for observationsmade over time.Theory explains and predicts behavior.Theory can never be established beyond alldoubt.Theory may be modified.Theories are seldom thrown out completelybut in some cases have been widelyaccepted for a long time and thendisproved.
  11. 11. 11“Theory places things in a causalcontext that is wider than the causalcontext provided by common sense.”Paul Feyerabend
  12. 12. 12“Theories are built on piles driven down intothe swamp; not down to any given base.Although they are really firm enough to carrythe structure.”Karl Popper
  13. 13. 13Instructional design and development must bebased on some theory of learning or cognition.Truly effective design is enabled only when thedeveloper has developed reflexive awareness ofthe theoretical basis underlying the design.Why all this talk abouttheory?
  14. 14. 14Florida State UniversityMasters in distance LearningEDP 5216 Theories of Learning and Cognition in InstructionSyracuse UniversityMaster in Instructional DesignIDE 614 Instructional Design Theory and practiceUniversity of South AlabamaMS Instructional Design & DevelopmentEPY 502 Psychological Principles of LearningBoise StateMS Instructional and performance TechnologyIPT 535 Learning Theory for Instructional DesignersUtah State UniversityMS Instructional DevelopmentInst. 6260: Instructional Design TheoryRhodes UniversityMA in Distributed LearningDL 501 Learning Theory and its Application in the Design &Development of Distributed Learning
  15. 15. 15There is said to be a qualitative change insociety in these times. It is variously labeledpost industrialism, the information age orpostmodernism.
  16. 16. 16Newtonian Physics Quantum PhysicsContinuumNewtonian Physics Quantum PhysicsRuptureThe Structure of Scientific RevolutionsThomas Kuhn 1962What followed was chaos theory, fractal theory and otherindeterminancy theories that are redefining the naturalsciences
  17. 17. 17Modernism / Postmodernism“Contemporary societies with their new technologies,novel forms of culture and striking economic, social andpolitical transformations….constitute a decisive rupture with previous forms of life,bringing to an end the modern era.”The Postmodern Turn, Best & Kellner 1997
  18. 18. 18The Postmodern Condition: A Report on KnowledgeJean Francois Lyotard 1979Unquestioning belief in Reason & RationalityEmpiricism and ObjectivismApodictic TruthPostmodernism challenges theconcept of Metanarratives:IdealismFaith in ProgressIn postmodernity, society confronts its ownrationalist and technicist myths (truth,reason, freedom, totality and representationjust as earlier society confronted thenaturalist and religious myths of feudalism.
  19. 19. 19Modernism PostmoderismQuantitative emphasisSo what’s the relevance of Postmodernism forinstructional design?Objectivism SubjectivismQualitative emphasisInstructivism Constructivism
  20. 20. 20I say Instructivism I say ConstructivismHowever, all are not in agreement.
  21. 21. 21What is the dominant learning theory underwhich most insructional design is developed
  22. 22. 22Behaviorism is the school of psychologythat seeks to explain human behaviorentirely in terms of observable andmeasurable responses to environmentalstimuli.
  23. 23. 23Learning is a gradual strengthening of thelearned relationship between cue andbehaviorThe relationship is strengthened byreinforcement.
  24. 24. 24Its theoretical goal is the prediction and control ofbehavior. Introspection forms no essential part of itsmethods,nor is the scientific value of its data dependent upon thereadiness with which they lend themselves tointerpretation in terms of consciousness.”J. B. Watson Speech, 1913Some History“Psychology as the behaviorist views it is a purelyobjective experimental branch of natural science.
  25. 25. 25Stimulus Response
  26. 26. 26Criterion Referenced Instruction is based on Behavioristtheory.• A stimulus is provided, usually in the form of ashort presentation or a reading assignment.• A response is required, often in the form of theanswer to a question.• Feedback is given as to the accuracy of theresponse.• Inaccurate responses result in either arepetition of the original stimulus or asomewhat modified and often simpler versionof it.
  27. 27. 27New learning theory is the shift in focus fromstimulus response associations to mentalrepresentations.
  28. 28. 28What are these new learningtheories?CognitivismConstructivism
  29. 29. 29“Learning, according to cognitivepsychology, is concerned not so muchwith behavioral responses but ratherwith what learners need to know they acquire it.”David Jonassen
  30. 30. 30Cognitive theories of learning focus on the mindand attempt to model how information is receivedby accommodation or assimilation, and thenrestored and recalled
  31. 31. 31Stimulus ResponseAssimilationorAccommodation
  32. 32. 32The mind has the ability to:formulatesynthesizeanalyzereceived information and stimuli,and extract from -in order to produce outputs that cannotbe directly attributed to the inputsgiven.
  33. 33. 33What does assimilation andaccommodation have to do withdeveloping curriculum?More about Assimilation & AccommodationCurriculum Content should varydepending on whether informationwill be assimilated oraccommodated
  34. 34. 34A Cognitive ModelInputResponseSensoryMemoryShort TermMemoryLong TermMemory
  35. 35. 35Constructivism builds on cognitive theoryand holds that knowledge is not passivelyreceived, but is actively built up(Constructed) by the thinking subject.Constructivism advocates Active Learning
  36. 36. 36Learning is an active process in whichlearners construct new ideas orconcepts based upon their current andpast knowledge.The learner selects and transformsinformation, constructs hypotheses,and makes decisions, relying oncognitive structures to do so.Cognitive structures which can bethought of as schemas or mentalmodels provide meaning andorganization to experiences and allowsthe individual to go beyond theinformation given.
  37. 37. 37Ideas and thoughts cannot becommunicated in the sense thatmeaning is packaged into words andimages and communicated to studentswho unpack the meaning.
  38. 38. 38InformationInformationInformationInformationEnough already!
  39. 39. 39According to constructivist learningtheory:Knowledge encoded from data bylearners themselves will be moreflexible, transferable, and useful….than knowledge encoded for them byexperts and transmitted to them by aninstructor or other delivery agent.If you don’t take anything else away from thispresentation, please reflect on and try to internalize thisand the next slide...Learners learn best when they discoveror are led to discover for themselves.
  40. 40. 40Students must be enabled to constructtheir own meanings with the aid ofcurriculum.Each student must be enabled tobuild her or his own conceptualconstructs that will enable theordering of knowledge for use inunique work situations.Learners learn best what they discoveror are led to discover for themselves.
  41. 41. 41“The idea of learner control is essential toconstructivism because constructivistlearning relies on the learner doing thework of learning”(Dershem 1996)
  42. 42. 42Learning is a social, collaborativeactivityLearners can only interpret informationin the context of their own experiences.Learning occurs most effectively incontext.
  43. 43. 43We try to design curriculum that willresult in students acquiring the discreetknowledge they need.and construct meaning relative to theirown needs backgrounds and interests.However they will interpret thecurriculum in the context of their ownexperiences and existing knowledge,
  44. 44. 44Students build on their pre-existingknowledge- to actively construct new knowledgecollaboratively,- following learning paths that suit theirown interests and needs.- in a rich contextual setting,
  45. 45. 45Too often our curriculum teachesstudents to follow rules or procedures,which they aren’t inclined to do.
  46. 46. 46Resist the temptation to be solelydriven by content that is easilydeveloped and measured.Be sensitive to subtle yet highly valuedoutcomes and effects.It may or may not be possible to reducewhat is to be learned down to facts orproceduresMany important learning outcomescan’t be easily measured.
  47. 47. 47In day to day practice knowledge workers makeinnumerable judgements of quality for whichthey cannot state adequate criteria, and theydisplay skills for which they cannot state rules orprocedures.D. A Schon The Reflective practitionerIn other words, the work of experts can’t bereduced to easily taught processes or tasks,and training based only on objective analysiscannot make experts.
  48. 48. 48Knowledge workers need:- conceptual understanding- non-procedural problem solving skills.
  49. 49. 49“The only remedy is to design richlearning experiences and interactions.The best analysis almost always fallsshort of the mark.Then learners can pick up, on theirown, that which would be missed byletting content be driven strictly byanalysis.”Brent Wilson , The PostmodernParadigm
  50. 50. 50• but must be given the opportunity toaccommodate certain information.• will build cognitive structures or mentalmodels as they learn.• will interpret information in the context oftheir own experience.• can make the sum of the curriculumequal to more than the parts• But only If given the opportunity by the curriculumGiven the chance with the right curriculum, students:• can assimilate much new information into theirexiting structures.
  51. 51. 51Cognitivist & Constructivist TechniquesUse progressive disclosure through hints to encouragestudent to think before giving them the answers.Provide reflection exercises as learning devices.Have students look back over their efforts tocomplete a task and analyze their own performance.Use Metaphors or analogies to help studentsmake connections with their existing knowledge.Use modeling – Show how a process unfolds andtell how and why it happens that way.Provide coaching : anticipate questions, defineterms, define concepts.
  52. 52. 52Cognitivist & Constructivist TechniquesUse scaffolding – Support learners with parts ofthe task and gradually provide less support (fading).Use guided discovery techniques.Provide multiple representations of content anddifferent perspectives.Provide multiple paths to learning elements to givestudents choices of ways to learn.Use concept maps to show relationships.Acknowledge complexities – don’t over-simplify by reducing work to tasks.
  53. 53. 53Cognitivist & Constructivist TechniquesUse case studies and stories.Employ Socratic Dialogue by asking leadingquestions.Provide role-playing exercises.Have students articulate, i.e, think about and givereasons for their decisions and strategies.Focus on how work actually gets done ratherthan on tasks.Revisit the same material at different times fromdifferent conceptual perspectives.
  54. 54. 54Cognitivist & Constructivist TechniquesMake students aware of the knowledge building process.Give students the opportunity to explore for solutions,to try out different strategies and hypotheses.Provide exploration opportunities.Ask questions that create cognitive dissonance andthat require thought rather than recall.Provide exercises so that students generate their ownmeaning.Make use of cognitive task analysis.Use evaluation techniques other than just acriterion test.