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Learning about Learning Joseph Jay WilliamsJoseph_williams@berkeley.edu Overview of research (link)
Goal• In the opinion of X, what’s the best way to learn or teach a topic? – (X is you, a student, a teacher, instructional/curriculum designer, a businessperson)• How would X’s answer change based on being exposed to research from cognitive science & education?
Overview• Framework: Encourage Transfer Appropriate Processing• Retrieval Practice & Testing Effects• Problem-based learning & case-based reasoning• Analogy & Comparison• Explanation• Research on “behavior change” may be relevant (BJ Fogg’s Behavior Change Model, CBT, habit formation)• Using technology to expand what learners “know”
Some analogies for how people might think learning works• Bucket model of the • Integrating a webpage mind into the internet• Instructionism • Need to think actively about your learning
What are the goals for student learning?• Transfer Appropriate Processing• What knowledge do you want students to acquire? – Memory, Understanding, Ability to make predictions & solve problems? – Facts, Procedures, Concepts, Relations between Concepts, Explanations, Causal Relationships?• In what situations will students use the knowledge?• How will the knowledge be integrated with knowledge the students already have?• How will adding this knowledge cause students to have different future thoughts, actions, and behaviors?
(Retrieval) practice makes perfect• Use what you want them to learn in the contexts you want them to use it in (Karpicke & Blunt, 2011)• Retrieve it and apply it to the context you wanted to: reason about situations & make attributions as well as ponder, recall and apply rather than reread, explain to another person as well as think about it
Where will they use knowledge?• Problem Based Learning (Hmelo-Silver, 2006)• Case based reasoning (Kolodner, 1997
How does it relate to what they already know?• What is it that they already “know”?• What would be concrete, powerful analogies? (Gentner, 2010)• Comparison of old & new ideas (Gentner et al, 2003)
How will the new knowledge change learners’ thoughts & behavior?• Not just giving, but soliciting explanations (Chi, 2000; Siegler, 2005; Wellman & Liu, 2006; Chouinard, 2008)• Kinds of explanations? E.g. Asking questions vs. Understanding vs. Explaining why• Explain to a friend• Explain why a fact• Explain why a learning strategy is helpful/unhelpful• Explain how what was learned applies to specific cases• Explain how what was learned could be used in future situations
Synergy between learning and behavior change• Need to link responses and knowledge to specific and distinct cues & situations• In addition to having knowledge, the habit of using that knowledge at the right moment• Environmental support• Technological support: – Daily logging – Text messaging – Interactive programs – Games
Use technology to expand what learners’“know”: what they can readily access & apply• “Knowing” by being skilled at finding information – Google, Wikipedia, WikiHow, Lifehacker, Google Scholar• “Knowing” by being aware of who to ask• “Remembering” by storing, organizing, and regularly accessing a personal knowledge base or “electronic brain” – (Google Docs, Evernote, Mendeley)• “Remembering” steps for learning/problem- solving by creating & regularly using apps, checklists and step-by-step guides