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Topic: Analytical Frameworks
Well, during the CALRG conference I was trying to put together the theories I'm using and how they relate to my research. So, just going to type up my ramblings on this.
First thing is that although I'm looking at individual learning there is no negation of the fact that social learning does help students to learn as well, however, initially particularly in a distance and e-learning context, a student will initially interact with materials/computers and this is the individual learning. Further in a information transmission mode of most lecture halls of universities the same may also occur.
Question: Which theories help to measure/ describe individual learning?
Well ... not certain about but got some stuff here that students who do individual particularly in an e-learning context will tend to interrogate their material (perhaps!) and have some sort of interaction. I have a note here saying that is perhaps co-construction - but for the life of me I can't think why? Could be that I think through the interaction of the software and they self-explain to themselves can start make meaning of what they're doing and whilst this is not collaborative with a person it is collaborative with the computer.
So, I've been looking up individual learning theories on the internet as well and I came across these two websites: Theories of learning and Individual theories. I think those two web-sites might be useful.
Looking through the first website, the Sensory Stimulation Theory (Laird, 1985) seems to be linked to the computer-interaction learning and I'm guessing one of the basis for multimedia learning theory as effective learning occurs when the senses are stimulated. I can't think of the boxes doing any effective sensory stimulation as there is mostly text and this is mostly visual. There is no hearing stimulation unless wants to count me prompting the student to do something. But I think whilst in the visual there is text, there can also be animation. Whilst the boxes don't have high levels of animation or not one might consider animation, there is a sort of interactivity animation. I can see the glass-box being a full animation, the open-box a mixture of animation and interactivity and the the black-box with no animation or interactivity.
The second theory that strikes me is the adult learning (andragogy) (Knowles, 1990) in that adult learners need to see applications to new learning - I'm not quite sure if I'm interpreting this right but I'm thinking that adult learners need to make connections to real world applications. As I'm using undergraduate students is this something will be likely to exist - are they really adult learners? But I did notice in my pilot studies the more mature students liked to connect stuff to real world. But perhaps this comes from the social-constructivist theories that each learner is unique and has unique backgrounds and probably more likely to connect to things that are specifically related to them and this shapes what they find important or what knowledge they connect.
There is also the cognitive gestalt which I'm more keen in exploring and I quote from the first website:
"The emphasis here is on the importance of experience, meaning, problem-solving and the development of insights (Burns 1995, p.112). Burns notes that this theory has developed the concept that individuals have different needs and concerns at different times, and that they have subjective interpretations in different contexts"
This seem to incorporate my feelings on adult-learning and social-constructivism as this recognises that individuals have different needs and have different subjective interpretations and it is not beyond belief that everyone will have this based on their social culture. Also, that the development of insights or problem-solving and finding of meaning can also be influenced in the way that the information is produced to the student - hence the reason for multimedia learning theory perhaps using cognitive load theory.
So, for me definitely cognitive theory is the way to go now don't know how to make the jump to cognitive load theory but structured problems such as maths have been explained using cognitive load theory ... so just going to skip to that and find out the connection later.
Well, there are several parts of CLT that may apply to my work and I think the two parts (which Sweller(2005) refers to as instructional consequences) that has the most influence are:
- Self-explanation - unfortunately don't know which loads it affect - I think when a student self-explain the germane load perhaps increases? Got to check this
- Reversal-expertise effect - can't remember which load this affects either but I think students using the open-box are more likely to experience this if they were able to figure out early what was going on - but not likely to happen if they still haven't found out the rule for application - i think in this case initially the germane load increases but as their expertises increase their extraneous load increase and thereby decreasing germane load.
Right ... so, I think those are the two things most likely to influence my research why I am not dealing with the rest don't know ... hmm ... let's list the rest based on Sweller (2005) paper from the Multimedia Learning Handbook:
- Worked example effect: students do better if there is a worked example provided. Works by reducing extraneous load
- Split-attention effect: attention split between multiple visual sources. Increases extraneous load
- Modality effect: similar to split-attention except this is reduced by incorporating verbal (said aloud) rather than as text. Decreases extraneous load
- Redundancy effect: Having several sources of the same information e.g. diagram with text rather than having to integrate mentally the diagram and then a textual explanation. Reduces extraneous load by removing the redundancy
- Expertise reversal effect: multiple/ dual sources of information lose their advantage as the learner because more of an expert. Guessing it increases extraneous load but not explicitly stated.
Alright, so that somewhat covers my cognitive load theory ... how do I incorporate the multimedia learning theory? Sure we know that animation and text affects the way that students learn ... that comes from the modality effect in cognitive load theory but what about interactivity. Can't recall if Mayer did any work in that. I think that is perhaps where self-explanations come into it - with prompts? Is interactivity a prompt perhaps? Hmm ... too lazy to look ... was looking through the multimedia learning handbook and didn't find anything so not going to go hunting at the moment.
We also have the problem-solving phenomenon of backward fading and forward-fading by Renkl and Atkinson but this is obviously linked to the worked example effect. There is no fading as far as I can see in the boxes ... perhaps although in some way one can in a stretch propose that the open-box is acting as a forward fading problem - nah perhaps, if we were going from the black-box, glass-box to the open-box then one might claim that is a sort of backward fading but don't think it would fit as well in this context.
Posted by prejudice
at 12:01 PM BST
Updated: Thursday, 28 June 2007 3:29 PM BST