Meeting with Linda

Mood:  lazy
Now Playing: I swear
Topic: Learning and Study Styles

So, I had my meeting with Linda this morning. She’s quite nice. She obviously does not like learning styles, and she has worked with it. She said that when she used about three different types that she were not able to find any distinctive different between groups – I gather this means that she were not able to to find factors (it seems that is what they are always doing in those inventory questionnaires). I am not quite sure if she used Kolb LSI.

She seems well pleased with approaches to study inventory (ASI), and have used it, and was able to find differences between groups. I had quickly read some stuff about it this morning from John’s book … at least I knew what RASI (Revised ASI) was … that was good. As it turns out there is no standardised RASI, but Linda says that John knows the guy who develop it quite well a Noel Entwhistle, so he usually contacts him to see what is the latest version.

Its a good thing that Doug gave me John’s book to read … John seems well pleased that I have it in my collection of readings (Linda and I went over to his office for a couple of minutes). Linda was planning to give it to me … so, Doug beat them to the punch. As it turns out Linda was also being considered as one of my supervisors, but she was not familiar with linear programming so I get the impression that she is glad that I was able to consult her. Well, got to thank John for that. Anyway, her husband works in the computer dept. and she is going to ask them if there is anyone working with software on LP, that should be good! Or at least CAS.

There was also something new that Linda , something called the course experience questionnaire (CEQ). Some guys called Ramsden developed it in Australia. I think he also helped developed the RASI. Anyway, I got a copy of the CEQ from John plus his latest RASI (got the feeling he was bit reluctant to part with it). Anyway, the RASI questionnaire he has, is one that he used recently for a research he is conducting. Only problem, I have no clue which questions go which heading! Linda and I tried to see if we could have wrangled that from him, instead he compromised and gave me the paper he had recently publish on that research and promise to provide me with the SPSS syntax file for grouping the questions, when the time comes … hopefully from that could determine the questions grouping. Also, was able to also extract a copy of Coffield two reviews on learning style inventories .. with Linda coercion! Nevertheless, I’ve requested those two books via its website Should we be using learning styles? – What research has to say to practice and Learning styles and pedagogy in post-16 learning . Its free! And should expect it in a couple of days time according to John. Plus I have to return John’s book in a couple days time also

It seems that Rebecca is doing some stuff on ASI for DTZY 840, so probably could discuss some stuff with her. Oh yeah, Linda gave me one of her article to read too from Educational Psychology, so got to get reading that.

Linda seems keen on ASI and CEQ she thinks those two work. Plus, she thinks LSI has too many controversies. She says that the learning styles philosophy is that these traits are inherent to a person whilst the ASI philosophy is that depending on the environment, the course and its expectations, the type of studying i.e. deep, surface or strategic may change. She has used both, and thinks ASI is superior!

She already feels that intermediate LP steps software will be better for learning than computational LP software. She has done something similar with three screens, in which, the first screen had students inputting the data, the second a visualization of what is happening, and the third screen the final output. She did this some years ago, and she said that the students found the visualization very helpful. When she said that my confidence started to ebb a bit … I was wondering if I was doing useless research … but I realize it is not as simple as that, since I still have to discover how people teach the LP courses! Because quite very well the simplex algorithm (I know big assumption that everyone uses the simplex algorithm) … is taught so thoroughly through pen and paper that there is no need to even do it on the software, and students perfectly understand what is going on … on the other hand probably they don’t! Got to investigate that … but that sounds like Ph.D stuff before that I have to get to my M.Sc!

She cautioned I should not use the grades or scores as these are dependent on the marking strategy. Plus, this may be a reflection of surface learning where people just study to get a tiny piece of the work correct, rather than get a good overview of the actual learning. She thinks using the CEQ will help understand how the course is to the student’s point of view … my only problem with that is that LP is not taught exclusively in a course but as a component … so not sure how I can use the CEQ for that piece as yet … probably might have to extract it!

Append: I think its called the course performance questionnaire (CPQ) rather than the CEQ!

Updated: Friday, 4 February 2005 1:13 PM GMT

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