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Tuesday, 29 January 2008
Literature Review
Mood:  rushed
Now Playing: Little Old Wine Drinker, Me (Dean Martin)
Topic: Literature Review
Right, I've been trying to get my head around my literature review and have to say it has not worked! I have no idea what I'm writing or where to start. It seems like a bunch of words with no story with nothing really ... wish literature writing were much easier and it came naturally to making a story etc. Oh well, think I'm going to give it a go again and see if I can tell it as a story - I tend to work well that way. I know it sounds a bit too narrative but I think only in that way I can feel as if I'm creating climaxes and anticlimaxes (i.e. gaps and arguments) - anyway, would see how this proceeds.

Posted by prejudice at 11:37 AM GMT
Thursday, 14 June 2007
Alternative theories
Mood:  a-ok
Now Playing: Sway (Dean Martin)
Topic: Literature Review

So, went to the OpenLearn reading group session on action research and whilst I was there whatever they were saying got me thinking about the writing of my literature review. So, I think these are some of the theories I'll have to think off when I'm writing up as alternative theories that could have been used.

First, the first thing that struck me is that when the students are learning an activity is in the method I'm doing (single user in one episode of learning), learning may not be limited to that time or episode but instead continues (the concept of action research research - I think), and this learning here can be connected to future episodes of learning, although practically thinking this will be difficult to follow - but this is the way conceptual knowledge - linking up bits of knowledge - but isn't this therefore a constructivist approach - although not necessarily a linear way as is suggested I think in earlier theories (as well as in cognitive load theory).

Also, in such an activity (as in my method) - students do not have time for reflection, they're tested then and immediately - which I can live with - but why academically I can live with it ... not sure. Is there truly any period of physical time that can be allocated for reflection. In a sense I'm hoping they would have more reflection occurring during the use of the software - perhaps an acceleration to the reflection they would normally have ... ok, probably not an acceleration - but another medium for causing reflection. I'm thinking this reflection is the self-explanations that the students come up with.

Further, there are the social learning theories that I've ignored in this study, as students do discuss and share ideas and are then able to improve their concepts or develop a 'community of learning' - this doesn't happen here as I'm looking at individual learning in a specific episode or moment. Whilst there is an agreement that there is merit in social learning or discursive types, perhaps what I'm trying to see is how a student learning in the first instance by themselves such as in distance learning or e-learning might be influenced or even in classrooms where discussion is not encouraged or where there is mostly a transmission mode. Whilst one do not want these modes of teaching (or may want it - if they're a strategic/surface learner) it occurs quite regularly and hence nothing to ignore and this may more than likely be the way things are transmitted in undergraduate classes - as innovative learning methods are not often used at this level (well I think so!).

Anyway, what I'm saying is that although social learning may have its merits there are often cases where students do learn as an individual first and it is this is which we want to measure - the first instant of their learning what is occurring and if we can perhaps improve their first instant of learning perhaps their social learning might be more meritorious? Besides, I don't think maths/ linear programming lends itself easily as a subject for discussion or to look at collaborative learning ... well, perhaps it does - but perhaps I can look at that in my future research - does collaborative learning improve the conceptual knowledge which is elicited by these boxes?

Posted by prejudice at 4:52 PM BST
Wednesday, 25 October 2006
....Back to cognitive learning :)
Mood:  a-ok
Now Playing: Slow Hand (Conway Twitty)
Topic: Literature Review
After being warned of cognitive load theory from John, I didn't want to touch it with a 10 ft barge pool, however, we (James, Doug and myself) are stuck on how to actually collect usable data for my study. However, James and Doug suggested that I return to literature on how data were collected for studies that were similar to mine and the only ones I remember were the cognitive load theory ones by Renkl and Atkinson (fading steps in problem solving ) and the papers by Sweller (prior knowledge in maths) are helping me to consider the methodology. One of the things I was considering that I could teach students linear programming in the OU and see how that works with linear programming - but not sure if there is anyone motivated to learn it!

Posted by prejudice at 11:25 AM BST
Monday, 27 February 2006
Cognitive Learning
Mood:  a-ok
Now Playing: Singin' In The Rain (Gene Kelly)
Topic: Literature Review
So, have been reading some stuff on cognitive learning lately, as that is one of the sections in my literature review. There are a lot of theories surrounding this, you have the theory of working memory that Baddeley and Hitch developed about have a central executive system which does the processing. This have two slave systems, a phonological loop (verbal and audio) and a visuospatial sketchpad (visual - like words and geographical locations with respect to things - I think) ... lately they have added something new, an episodic buffer which says that this can use data from both the phonological loop and the visuospatial sketchpad to assimilate and learn better (my interpretation :D).

Well ... after the working memory thingy we have the concept of cognitive load theory developed by Sweeney and others, in which it looks at the capacity of the working memory and how to best used it. They proposed three types of loads: intrinsic - which deals with materials that are new to the person, the germane load - this is where the information is processed and becomes learning (whether surface or deep - I have no idea, but some kind of learning occurs) and then there is extraneous load - this is material that does not contribute to learning directly but rather things in the periphery.

Mayer and his colleagues using the concept of working memory and the cognitive load theory for multimedia learning. Particularly, looks at how a person could have cognitive overload - i.e. reached the processing capacity of their working memory. They use a different approach to Sweller I think, they look at cognitive demands, i.e. the types of processing, a)essential processing - this is processing to make sense of materials and perhaps (??) allow meaningful (something like deep learning - allow the students transfer their learning to different tasks), b) incidental processing - processing materials that do no do anything towards meaningful learning (I guess this is similar to extraneous load) and c) representational processing -this is where a representation of the materials, such as an image, has to be held in the working memory for a period of time.

Posted by prejudice at 1:44 PM GMT
Updated: Wednesday, 1 March 2006 1:00 PM GMT
Wednesday, 25 May 2005
Literature Review was terrible!
Mood:  blue
Now Playing: Teri bindiya re (Abhimaan - Mohammed Rafi and Lata Mangeshkar)
Topic: Literature Review
Well ... I did a terrible literature review - Amalia and Ritchie came on the same day I was submitting - as well as I was concentrating on my U500 presentation - and hence a horrible literature review - it was terrible!!!!!!!!!!!!

I sent it to James - and the comments were horrible ... well, he didn't write it horrible - but I interpret it as horrible - he was being kind - and we are meeting tomorrow to discuss it - I am not sure what to do - I am not certain how to fix it - I've got to read it back - but I'm dreading to do it - because I know I'm going to cringe - but I have to - in order to fix it. So, I've got to build courage.

I'm not even certain what my arguments were in my literature review - I've got to face my fears and read it back!!

Posted by prejudice at 2:11 PM BST
Updated: Wednesday, 25 May 2005 2:14 PM BST
Friday, 29 April 2005
Literature Review gotta be done!
Mood:  a-ok
Now Playing: Tide is High (Atomic Kitten)
Topic: Literature Review
So, got to do my literature review - and have no clue what to write about. Got back my DTZY 840 literature review did alright in that (32/40), but that concentrated on linear programming education but now I have to do some parallel work with that of CAS - and I am not sure what to write as yet. I am trying to think of empirical work that was done and can't really think of any - there is a lot of concept papers - so, got to find the empirical papers and write on them - just remembered - I may be able to pull them up from Endnote - but can't remember if I went through and did all the keywords for those papers and entered them into my database.

I've also got to mix into the this the approaches to teaching inventory and approaches to study - I am still not sure why I have that for my study - but have to make some justification - possibly teachers different beliefs might influence the way in which they teach linear programming?? But there is a problem with the approaches to teaching as it is controversial in what I am doing as- the ATI (or was it the ASI) is usually done with regards to a programme or was it course (well something large) and I want to treat it for a particular module - I think there is only one person who has done for a particular module. I think the same principles for ATI and ASI would apply i.e. if they are used for large programme or a specific programme - so might get some flak for that. Got to find enough literature to support my view or whyI have decided to do it that way - or probably I should have developed an ATI only for linear programming so it would have been ATLPI ... oh well !!

Was reading the book Authoring a PhD by Patrick Dunleavy, and he was saying that the PhD writer should avoid making up terms, acronyms etc. since examiners hate that (oh well so much for my MPhil thesis!).

Posted by prejudice at 2:32 PM BST
Updated: Friday, 29 April 2005 2:33 PM BST
Thursday, 17 March 2005
Literature Review Assignment!
Mood:  rushed
Now Playing: Somebody like you (Keith Urban)
Topic: Literature Review
I have a DTZY 840 assignment due tomorrow on literature review ... and I haven't started so it is making me feel tense. I still not sure what to do ... you see when I re-read my initial proposal it was on software use and I was planning to do the literature review on teaching styles so then I had to go look up stuff on software and teaching. That took me awhile but I then decided to put everything into Endnote since ... I don't have a reason why - but figured I should do it since it will be easier when I was quoting ... so did that for about 60 papers!

The good thing is that some of the papers I found were actually related to linear programming and software so that was good. The only way I found it was using, since google has such as better search engine than the journal databases. I felt good though that I actually found some of these papers ... I realised I was using the wrong key words ... I should use MS/ OR rather than just linear programming. My other problem is that these papers don't look as if they come from referred journals ... some are from OR/MS Today (which is really a magazine), Interfaces and Informs Transactions on Education. I did find a paper on survey on OR/ MS in MBAs back in 1996 in US universities - so that was great.

I did see that some of the people recommended using the spreadsheets for these courses rather than specialised software such as Lindo etc. whilst others recommended the opposite. But it was mostly the business disciplines were recommending using the spreadsheet (then again most of the literature were about MBAs!) ... but Winston suggested that spreadsheets should be used by non-quantitative students such as the business and the other specialised programmes for the quantitative based students. So, I guess I can talk about that - but it has to be 2000 words!!! Don't know what I can speak about for that length!

Anyway, let me get cracking - because if I don't start it will never finish.

Posted by prejudice at 11:02 AM GMT

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