Posted by: MandyS | May 1, 2013

Richardson…familiar ideas?

Reading Richardson brought back some familiar concepts which I have already met along this journey, but judging by what is required of this activity, I guess that is the intention.

As you read the paper, think about the ways in which similar ideas were discussed in previous weeks and refer to the relevant module materials:

The conceptions of learning bare an uncanny resemblence to the ideas that emerged about the meaning of learning in Week 3 i.e. that learning is not simply about acquiring knowledge but that it encompasses the ideal of ‘understanding’ to achieve meaning. Added to that is ‘identity change theory’ which sits neatly with the 6th conception of students studying to bring about a change in their persona.

1. Do you think the innovations described in Weeks 8/9 as ‘learning design’ would induce more desirable approaches to studying on the part of the students?

Designing learning activities which will engage students with the materials they are seeking to learn and having a base of activities which others have used with a modicum of success is certainly a way of promoting students to adopt a desirable approach to study but one can lead a horse to water…This is probably a synical view on my part but I am firmly of the belief that few students understand why they are being asked to do something in a particular way or what the purpose of the activity is. Realistically, how many students read the learning outcomes let alone assess whether they have met them?

2. Compare Marton’s idea that some students regard learning as something that just happens to them with Sfard’s account that you read in Week 3 and explored in your TMA01.

Marton envisages activity as promoting deep learning and Sfard envisages participation as converting knowing to knowledge. If learning just happens then students do not move from surface to deep or from acquisition to participation i.e. they don’t convert knowledge into knowing as envisaged by Sfard. Having said that, one can participate passively e.g. one can consolidate ones own understanding by simply reading the various forum posts, there is no real necessity to take part. In that respect, learning can just happen with little activity and no participation but I would argue that it does not preclude deep learning from being achieved.


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