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APEC module: specification 2006-7

Applying psychology to education and computers

Stephen W. Draper,   Department of Psychology,   University of Glasgow.

Outline Lecture spec for handbook

This final plan for the level 4 APEC course replaces the handbook The lecture summaries and objectives for the APEC module.
[For each lecture I give a) the lecture summary b) the learning objectives.]

Lecture 1a:
The nature of learning in Higher Education (HE).
Learning as a problem-solving activity.
Learning as a social activity.
Learning and teaching as a social transaction.

1b: Students will be able to discuss the extent to which learning in HE is:

Lecture 2a:
Student and teacher attitudes to educational learning. Perry, W.G. (1970) "Forms of intellectual and ethical development in the college years"
Perry's developmental stage model of views of the nature of knowledge, learning and teaching: from passive reception of absolute truth to active choice between justifiable alternative views.

2b: Students will be able to:
* Describe Perry's stage model
* Discuss its problems and limitations

Lectures 3a & 4a:
The Laurillard model of the learning and teaching process. Laurillard (1993) "Rethinking University Teaching"
Mathemagenic (learning-promoting) activities.
Laurillard's 12 activity model. Its 3 underlying principles: equal focus on teachers and learners, repetition and convergence (the conversation model), the two levels of knowledge: public description and personal experience.

3b & 4b: Students will be able to:
* Describe and illustrate with examples the 12 activity model
* Describe and illustrate with examples its three generating principles
* Critique the notion of mathemagenic activity
* Critique Laurillard's 12 activity model

Lecture 5-6a:
The negotiated management of learning.
Draper (1997) "Adding (negotiated) learning management to models of teaching and learning" [WWW paper: ]
Extending the Laurillard model to describe how activities are agreed and organised by learners and teachers.

5-6b: Students will be able to:
* Describe and illustrate with examples how learning is managed by interaction between learner and teacher.

7-10a Beyond Laurillard and towards a complete model. The relationship of Laurillard to the other models of teaching and learning, and issues that may not be covered by any of them but require further theory development. These include: the management layer, peer interaction, social theories such as Tinto and Lave, Snyder and how learners self-regulate their effort, internalisation, constructivism, metacognition, the "Dr. Fox" experiments, and technoscepticism.
7-10b Students will be able to discuss the extent to which any of the theories is complete, the challenges offered by the various other issues covered, and the prospects for an eventual complete, unified theory of learning and teaching in HE.

11-12a Introduction to HCI (Human-Computer Interaction) and applying psychology to design. An introduction to the concepts of user centered design and the prototyping approach, and the contribution psychology can make.
11-12b Students will be able to discuss critically issues of how psychology may be applied to design, and to problems requiring redesign as a solution. Students should be able to discuss what user centered design may mean, and to describe the prototyping cycle.

13a Thinkaloud protocols
13b Students should be able to administer a thinkaloud protocol, and to discuss its strengths and weaknesses as in instrument.

14a Incident diaries
14b Students should be able to design and administer an incident diary, and to discuss its strengths and weaknesses as in instrument.

15a Feature checklists. How to compare different instruments related to questionnaires; and the full set of instruments.
15b Students should be able to design and administer the ramge of seven instruments, and to discuss their strengths and weaknesses.

16-18a Minimal manuals: a user-centered approach to designing computer documentation. One of the few outcomes of direct commercial value from HCI research is the minimalist technique, derived by a psychologist in the course of a long series of studies.
16-18b Students should be able both to describe the technique, and to apply it.

19a Evaluating electronic voting systems: an example of applied methods in educational technology. The main kinds of data being participant attitudes, attendance, and exam results. The relationship of technosceptical arguments to this.
19b Students should be able to describe the alternative approaches than have been used to evaluate EVS, and their comparative strengths and weaknesses.

20a Applying psychology, and the relationship of educational and HCI applications.
20b Students should be able to discuss the similarity and differences of these two areas.

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