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


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