23 Sept 2008 ............... Length about 700 words (5,000 bytes).
This is a WWW document maintained by
Steve Draper, installed at http://www.psy.gla.ac.uk/~steve/courses/apec.html.
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This is the entry page for web pages related to my level 4 course "APEC" or
"Applying psychology to education and computers".
Besides these references, or those of them in the library, are the
to read (see earlier section of this document).
I particularly recommend "thinking work" for the topic of
the education lectures, for two reasons. Firstly, further library reading is
not very extensive or convenient. Secondly, these ideas are not
universally accepted, and their relationships not fully worked out.
They need thinking about and questioning more than they need more
facts, and that would be better evidence of real learning in this
area. Perhaps a combination is best. Certainly I myself have read and
re-read the Laurillard book and the Marton et al. book, finding it slow
going because they provoke so much thought: are they right? where do
their ideas break down and encounter exceptions?
But the best further work are the questions below, and more basically (and
importantly): think of examples of your own for each thing: for each
Laurillard activity, for what is deep and what shallow in each of several
Here is a list of questions designed to
prompt you to do on the subject of these lectures some of the linking
advocated above. The advantage is: firstly, each question hopefully
will require you to reprocess the material, and a rule of thumb is that
the more processing the more learning and retention; and secondly, the
more links made, the "deeper" the understanding and the more ways the
same material could be re-used.
- One reason that theories of learning in HE need to be so
different from most psychology learning theories is time
scale. The time scale of a typical unit in HE is at least that
of a lecture, perhaps that of tens of hours of student work
i.e. one exam question's worth. What is the time scale of the
learning typically studied in psychology e.g. to see a face
such that it will affect later recognition? What time scales
(for learning items) are typical of each of the kinds of
learning you have studied? Would you seriously expect a theory
for one time scale to be adequate for another?
- Argue for and against learning as a) involuntary mental function b)
problem-solving c) social transaction.
- What are all the reasons, from completely different areas in
psychology, that could justify doing more interactive exercises
in class? E.g. physiology, multi-modal cues, processing forced
by having to act, ..... Could you also amass potential reasons
why such exercises are a bad idea, that waste time or inhibit
learning? (E.g. social pressures to agree without considering
your real beliefs).
- What important features of your experience of learning in HE do
not seem to be described by any of these theories i.e. are
evidence of their incompleteness?
- Are there other activities that seem (to you) to be
mathemagenic (learning-promoting), but which seem to be missing
from the Laurillard model?
- What is a critical question of your own?. Being able to
generate them is also an exercise forcing you to re-process the
material, and of course peculiarly relevant to this topic.