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Thursday, June 21, 2012

Dale's Cone Experience

Background:
Years  ago an educator  named Edgar Dale ,often cited as the father of modern media in education, developed from his experience in teaching and his observations of learners the "cone of experience”. The cone's utility in selecting instructional resources and activities is as practical today as when Dale created it. The Cone of Experience is a visual device to aid teachers in the selection of instructional media. The Cone is based on the movement from concrete experiences to abstract experiences
Edgar Dale’s Cone of Experience :
The Edgar Dale Cone of Experience summarizes how learners retain information.
    We Remember
        20% of what we HEAR
        30% of what we SEE
        50% of what we SEE & HEAR
        80% of what we SAY
        90% of what we SAY & DO
How the cone works?
According to Dale’s research, the least effective method at the top, involves learning from information presented through verbal symbols, i.e., listening to spoken words.  The most effective methods at the bottom, involves direct, purposeful learning experiences, such as hands-on or field experience.  Direct purposeful experiences represents reality or the closet things to real, everyday life.
When simply spoken to in a presentation we retain 30% of what is said. If this information is also presented in a visual format, our retention level of this information increases to 50%. When we also actively receive and participate in the presentation, retention increases to 70%. Finally, retention is maximized to 90% when we practice what we've learned.
   The opportunity for a learner to use a varietyor several senses (sight, smell, hearing,touching, movement) is considered in the cone. Direct experience allows us to use all senses.As you move up the cone, fewer senses areinvolved at each level.By using  action-learning techniques result in up to 90% retention.  People learn best when they use perceptual learning styles. Perceptual learning styles are sensory based.  The more sensory uses possible in interacting with a resource, the better chance that many students can learn from it. According to Dale, instructors should design instructional activities that build upon more real-life experiences.
We concluded that when students "do the real thing," "simulate" the real thing, or teach others what they have learned, the retention rate is about 90% of what was taught.

Dales’ cone of experience And ICT
Dales’ cone of experience is a tool to help instructors make decisions about resources and activities where can be supported by using ICT. The cone may help us to choose the instructional materials that are most appropriate for the particular topic we wish to teach. The Cone can help us to understand these relationships between media and the messages they convey. It suggests, in fact, that various instructional materials differ in the degree of sensory experience they are able to provide. Our selection of instructional materials, therefore, will depend on the amount of sensory experience we wish to provide for a particular topic of our lesson. And the Cone can help us "place" a teaching method; it can help us select the way of communicating most suited to the experience we wish to convey. By using ICT, teacher are able to design instructional activities. By using computer which is connected with internet, both teacher or students are able to experience learning from the abstract one (reading text, pictures) into the concrete one (video). So, ICT can be used as the media that supports in designing instructional activities either for the abstract or concrete one.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

COLLABORATIVE LEARNING

Collaborative learning is a teaching method in which students learn together while exploring a significant question or completing a significant project.  Dillenbourg      (1999) describes collaborative learning as a “situation in which particular forms of interaction among      people    are   expected   to   occur,   which    would     trigger   learning   mechanisms”. Collaborative learning (usually called cooperative learning at the elementary and secondary school levels) is a well-established group work method that provides a useful alternative to teacher-fronted classes. Its various techniques follow a certain number of set rules. Instructors who use the method believe that learning is essentially a social process, that their role is not simply to impart their own knowledge to their students, but that the acquisition of knowledge comes mostly through discussion and negotiation. The instructor's role is that of a facilitator, organizer, and occasionally of a resource person. The method also implies a belief in the democratic process: all team members are equal in their pursuit of a common goal and their contributions are all equally valuable.
The benefit of Collaborative Learning
o    Develops higher level thinking skills
o    Promotes student-faculty interaction and familiarity
o    Increases student retention and builds self esteem in students
o    Creates an environment of active, involved, exploratory learning
o    Uses a team approach to problem solving while maintaining individual accountability
o    Encourages diversity understanding and encourages student responsibility for learning
o    Stimulates critical thinking and helps students clarify ideas through discussion and debate
o    Enhances self management skills
o    Fits in well with the constructivist approach
o    Students develop responsibility for each other
o    Builds more positive heterogeneous relationships
o    Encourages alternate student assessment techniques
o    Fosters and develops interpersonal relationships
o    Modelling problem solving techniques by students' peers
o    Students are taught how to criticize ideas, not people
o    Sets high expectations for students and teachers
o    Students stay on task more and are less disruptive
o    Promotes innovation in teaching and classroom techniques
o    Classroom anxiety is significantly reduced
o    Test anxiety is significantly reduced

Collaborative Learning and ICT
   The development        of  learning    with   ICT   has   evolved    from    software supporting     students’ individual learning based on mechanical drills to more advanced micro-worlds, cognitive tools    and   learning    environments.   Especially    the   advantages     of  ICT    for  supporting students’   collaborative   learning   have   broken   through;   different   ICT   solutions   provide tools    for  collaboration     both   in  the  classroom     setting   and   on   distance    courses.   Since the end of 1960s, the ways to use ICT for supporting learning have changed along with the evolving of theories   of   learning   and   developing   technologies.   Development     has   advanced   from software supporting students’ individual learning based on mechanical drills to more developed   cognitive   tools     and   collaborative   learning   environments.   ICT   in   teaching   has   manifested   in   various   forms   from traditional computer   labs   and   presentation   technologies   to   online   learning   environments,   social  software      and    personal     learning    environments.       Also,    the   development       of   mobile technologies       has   provided     new    flexible   ways    to   use   ICT   for  supporting      learning . The advantages of ICT have especially been noted in regard of supporting   students’   collaborative   learning   activities.  Different   ICT solutions   provide tools   for   supporting collaborative   learning   in   face-to- face    teaching    situations , and   within    distance learning .  It   has   even   been   proposed   that   ICT   will   transform schools into   knowledge   building . Collaborative learning with ICT without limiting  the technologies and software used for supporting collaboration.
The   development        of   ICT   in   education   indicates   a   connection   between collaborative learning  and  ICT.  The assumption   is   that   integration   of   ICT   into   teaching   demands   teaching   and   learning methods based on constructivism and collaboration. The same   requirement   also   shows   in   online   learning   (Harasim,   2000).   According   to   SyhJong     (2006),   web-based      learning     environments       are   based    on   constructivist     and collaborative approaches to learning, for example the Moodle learning environment is designed      to “create  online  courses  with  a  focus  on  interaction  and  collaborative construction  of  contents”  (Wikipedia,  2010).  The  link  between  the  use  of  ICT  in education and collaborative learning practices has created expectations of that the use of ICT will eventually change teaching practices in schools. Dillenbourg      (1999) describes collaborative learning as a “situation in which particular forms of interaction among      people    are   expected   to   occur,   which    would     trigger   learning   mechanisms”.  
                                     
My Opinion:
The connection between collaborative learning and ICT is via  ICT-tools - such as computer supported collaborative environments (asynchronous discussion groups) and mindtools (Logo Microworlds® and Lego-Logo®) , the students learn collaboratively exchange and share knowledge. This results in output (processed information) and input (information to be processed). This input- output exchange can be influenced by the ICT-tools. The impact of collaboration in computer supported collaborative learning (CSCL) environments on study performance and the nature and quality of knowledge construction in Collaborative Learning and ICT.  The use of ICT supports the collaborative learning.

Cooperative Learning

Cooperative learning is a type of collaborative learning in which students work together on specific structured activities to learn a concept. The instructor holds each student accountable for his individual work, and the instructor also evaluates the group as a whole. According to the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga (1998), "cooperative learning is a generic term for various small group interactive instructional procedures.” This learning concept allows small groups of students to work together to help themselves and their teammates to learn. Students may also be assigned to a group to work on long-term classroom goals. These groups are called base groups. "Base groups are cooperative groups that last the entire semester or school year; they provide a means through which students can clarify assignments for one another, help one another with class notes, and provide one another with a general sense of support and belonging in the classroom" (Ormrod, 2004, p. 413). Students work together on common tasks or learning activities that are best handled through group work. These are characteristics of cooperative learning:
•     Students work together in small groups containing two to five members.   
•    Students are positively interdependent.
•    Activities are structured so that students need each other to accomplish their common tasks or learning activities.
•    Students are individually accountable or responsible for their work or learning (University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, 1998). 
     Cooperative learning groups can consist of two to five students, but groups of three to four are also effective. Classes can be divided up into several groups. The groups should contain high achievers and low achievers. These common features enhance the effectiveness of cooperative learning groups:
•    Students work in small, teacher-assigned groups.   
•    Groups have one or more common goal toward which to work.  
•    Students are given clear guidelines about how to behave.
•    Group members depend on one another for their success.
•    A structure is provided to encourage productive learning behaviors.
•     The teacher serves primarily as a resource and monitor.
•    Students are individually accountable for their achievement. 
•    Students are rewarded for group success.  
•    At the completion of an activity, each group evaluates its effectiveness (Ormrod, 2004, p. 414-15).

There are five basic elements in cooperative learning that when structured, helps positive efforts and helps the cooperative learning group achieve their goal.
1.) Positive interdependence:  This will be achieved only when all individuals of the group feel that they cannot succeed unless everyone succeeds. “If there is no       positive interdependence, there is no cooperation.”
2.) Promotive interaction:  Student’s need to do work where they help each other understand by encouraging, supporting and helping one another.
3.) Individual and group accountability:  The group should be responsible for achieving its goal and each student should be responsible for his or her share of work.
4.) Teaching students the required interpersonal and small group skills: Social skills must be taught . “ Leadership, decision-making, trust-building, communication, and conflict-management skills empower students to manage both teamwork and task work successfully”
 5.)  Group processing:  Group members can discuss between each other how well or how bad they are achieving their goals within their group.  Groups need to describe what proceedings can be changed in order to have a successful working relationship.
Importance of Cooperative Learning
    
     When activities are designed and structured appropriately, cooperative learning can be very effective. According to Ormrod (2004), “students of all ability levels show higher academic achievement; females, members of minority groups, and students at risk for academic failure are especially likely to show increased achievement” (p. 417).  This learning concept can promote advanced level of thinking skills:
•    Students essentially think aloud.
•    Students are able model various learning and problem solving strategies for one another.
•    Students are able to develop a greater meta cognitive awareness as a result.
Usage and Applications
      Cooperative learning allows the teacher to actively involve students in discovering knowledge through a new learning process. The learning process takes place through dialogue among the students. Dialogue can be achieved through formulated questions, discussions, explanations, debates, writings, and brainstorming during class (Institute for Dynamic Educational Advancement (IDEA), 2010).  Projects that require a wide range of talents and skills can be assigned to each group member,  contributing to the group’s overall success (Ormrod, 2004, p. 417). Assigning different roles to different students and providing scripts for interaction is another  application of cooperative learning.


Advantages / Disadvantages
     There are many advantages to cooperative learning. According to Ormrod (2004), "Students have a higher self-efficacy about their chances of being successful, express more intrinsic motivation to learn school subject matter, participate more actively in classroom activities, and exhibit more self-regulated learning" (p. 417).  This allows students to engage in prosocial behaviors, perspectives of others, divide task equally, resolve interpersonal conflicts, and provide encouragement and support to each other. Students will have an increased number of friendships with racial groups, ethnic groups, and persons with disabilities. Cooperative learning concepts provide an array of learning tasks and are preferred over competitive and individualized learning.  A number of schools are adopting this style of classroom learning.  Cooperative learning concept is effective and allows students to tutor each other on information being studied (North Central Regional Education Laboratory, 2004).
     Disadvantages of cooperative learning are that “students may sometimes be more interested in achieving a group reward with the least possible effort and so will focus more on getting the “right” answer than on ensuring that all group members understand the subject matter being studied” (Ormrod, 2004, p. 417). If one student does more talking and work, that student has the tendency to learn more than the others in the group. If incorrect information, strategies, or methods are suggested by one student, then the whole group is at risk.  It is important for the teacher to follow the group’s discussions and lesson plans. The teacher should provide structure and guidance to promote the utmost learning and achievement possibilities (Ormrod, 2004). Operant conditioning involves reinforcement that results in a behavioral change that is based on the consequences that follow the behavior. In cooperative learning, a student and the group learn because they are rewarded by information learned and the information they provided to the rest of the group (College of Saint Benedict Saint John’s University, 2009).
     The social cognitive theorist point of view suggests that students are able to perform tasks with greater self-efficacy when they know they are helping other group members. Cognitive learning is when mental association permanently changes due to the experiences and results in an internal change which can not be observed. Alberta Bandura evolved behaviorism and cognitive theories. Social learning emphasizes the beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors. Self-regulation is incorporated in this theory, and its ability to maintain one’s own behavior with internalized standards (College of Saint Benedict Saint John’s University, 2009). In cooperative learning, the teacher would provide the stimulus for the group to promote self- instruction, self-motivation, self-reinforcement, and self-imposed stimulus control.
    
 My opinion:
Cooperative Learning is the instructional use of small groups so that students work together to maximize their own and each other learning. Cooperative learning groups work best when they meet the following criteria:  “ Groups should be heterogeneous and, at least at the beginning, should be small, perhaps limited to two to six members” . There were more advantages than disadvantages in Cooperative learning.  Cooperative learning can be an extraordinary teaching strategy if utilized correctly.  Cooperative learning gives students motivation and interest where other teaching strategies wouldn’t.  It helps build an individual’s competition streak because the student always wants to be the facilitator instead of the follower. Students that are normally shy can overcome their shyness in a cooperative learning group.  Students can sometimes explain things better to a group of students that a teacher cannot.  A student can make it more interesting or more understandable because they would probably use words students their own age are accustomed to listening.  Motivation and group work are the key words in making cooperative learning a success in your classroom , so reach out and make your classroom a cooperative learning class.                             

The Relationship Between Learning Theories and ICT

The advances of technologies nowadays have changed the learning environments for teaching and learning and the way teacher teaches and student learns. The new paradigm of learning is described in term of the progress from old-ICTs to new ICTs in three stages of traditional e-learning, blended e-learning and contemporary virtual e-learning. The technological advancements in e-learning are linked with the theories of learning like behaviorism, cognitivism, and constructivism. The e-Learning is going through a paradigm shift wherein teachers and students have departed from passive mode to open independent learning environment.
Objectivism/behaviorism
Behaviorism is learning theory where learners learn through stimuli and response where teacher as the expert and learners as the passive reciepient. Learning occurs through the “instructor presenting the learner with the required stimuli along with the required behavioral responses within an effective reinforcement regime. The degree of learning is assessed through observable measures such as tests, assignments and examinations”. The development was based on the behaviouristic theory of learning suggesting that learning goals must be divided into smaller pieces, i.e. smaller tasks that students accomplish. Accomplishing these smaller tasks will eventually lead to achieving the original learning goal. ICT provides students with a Computer-Assisted Instruction that gives instant feedback and control over separate tasks. Typically, software has been so  called   drill-and-practice   software.  Computer-Assisted Instruction is the example of the model of computer called computer as tutee.
Cognitivism
The cognitive view of learning, like the behaviourist view, sees knowledge as given and absolute. Many of the information processing models of teaching and learning are   based   on   the   cognitive   view   of   learning. The cognitive gives priority to the cognitive powers of an individual. For example, the ‘learning-style’ of every learner indicates his/her cognitive trends. The design of computer-based learning environments has undergone a paradigm shift, moving students away from instruction that was considered to promote technical rationality grounded in objectivism, to the application of computers to create cognitive tools utilized in constructivist environments (Young, 2003). In cognitivism, ICT provides computer as tutor  referring   to   development   based   on theories     of  artificial  intelligence    (AI)  and    theories   of  information      processing.    The assumption was   that   it   is   possible to design software that emulates   the   thinking   and problem solving of domain experts. The idea was that these “intelligent” technologies can   also   work   as   skilled   teachers   or   tutors,   providing   every   student    with   personal tutors   that   follow   the   progress   of   learning   and   provide   feedback   and   support   when needed.      

Constructivism
The constructivist theories of learning dominate today and propagate that learning is achieved by the active construction of knowledge supported by various perspectives within meaningful contexts and social interactions (Oliver, 2002). These environments create engaging and content-relevant experiences by utilizing ICTs and resources to support unique learning goals and knowledge construction. The constructivists believe that there is no single version of reality, rather a multitude of realities situated within each learner. As such, learning is dependent upon the “learner’s ability to analyze, synthesize and evaluate information to create meaningful, personalized knowledge.
   
The strengths of constructivism lie in its emphasis on learning as a process of personal understanding and the development of meaning where learning is viewed as the construction of meaning rather than as the memorization of facts. Learning approaches using contemporary ICTs provide many opportunities for constructivist learning through their student centered environments based on their context. Given, that knowledge is constantly advancing; the design and development principles need to be aligned with teacher and students emerging requirements. The current trend in e-Learning is to provide cognitive tools, which can be adapted for intellectual partnerships among teachers and students and facilitate critical thinking and higher-order learning
 In contrast to traditional classrooms where teachers used a linear model and one-way communication, the modern learning is becoming more personalized, student-centric, non-linear and learner-directed .
     The development of ICT in education based on the constructivism has been described as “Computer   Supported   Collaborative   Learning   (CSCL)   Paradigm. CSCL   paradigm   places   the   mind   within   socio-cultural environment.   In  addition  to  changes   in  theories   of   learning,   also  the   development   of technologies   provided   new possibilities   for collaborative   learning   with ICT.   Probably the   best   known   example   of   new   technologies   for   supporting   students’   collaborative learning   and   knowledge   building   was   the   Computer   Supported   Intentional   Learning Environment        (CSILE)    which     provided     tools  for  supporting      students’    collaborative knowledge   building.   Later,   especially   with   the   development   of   the   Internet,   several different   online   environments   (Moodle,   FLE,   Blackboard,   Verkkosalkku)   that   can   be used  for  supporting  collaborative  learning  have  emerged.  The  aim  of  ICT  was  to support      students’     collaborative      work,    sharing     and    explicating     ideas    and    unique knowledge         structures,    to   provide     a  means      for  communication         and    inquiry     and collaborative creations of knowledge.

FROM  TRANSMITTED  TO HARVESTED  KNOWLEDGE

The journey from behaviorism to constructivism also characterizes the change in the way students acquire knowledge and skills. Objectivism transmits knowledge from teacher to student; cognitive constructivism gives negotiated knowledge, while social constructivism provides an environment where learners harvest knowledge through self-controlled learning. E-Learning encompasses a continuum of integrated educational technologies.

Transmitted  knowledge  (traditional/objectivist)

Traditional e-Learning programs are “didactic in approach - a form of transmitted knowledge with passive acceptance of well-cooked teacher’s knowledge. Transmission refers to one-way communication, teacher as the communicator and students as the passive reciepient such as, radio-transmission. Radio-listeners are on the receiving-end with the broadcaster in full control of whatever is transmitted.


Negotiated knowledge (blended learning– objectivist + cognitivism)

The research tells us that by the 1990s e-Learning began to be supplemented by new media, particularly e-Mail and discussion groups/forums. For example, the existing e-Learning models of course ware were accompanied by a discussion forum where participants could read and post messages to involve in mutual support and debate – a kind of “negotiated knowledge (Gray et al., 2003).”

Harvested  knowledge  (constructivism)

Soon after 1990s, Lemke (1993) predicted that “very soon all the libraries of the world will be one virtual library, all the databases on every subject will be available through a common interface and they will contain not just numbers and texts, but every visual and auditory form of information.” The contemporary e-Learning environments are loaded with very powerful digital models and devices particularly, the internet, which has revolutionized the way people, used to interact, exchange messages, teach and learn. The web is increasingly equipped with millions of web-pages, site-archives, portals, databases and much more for ascertaining a kind of “harvested-knowledge” where learners can learn by themselves by constructing or harvesting knowledge (Gray et al., 2003). At the moment, e-Learning is facilitated by web technologies and delivered through end-user computing, which creates interconnectivity between teachers, students and information thereby creating opportunities for social learning approaches (HvoreckĂ˝ et al., 2005).

In recent years, it has been recognized that e-Learning is not merely another medium for the transmission of knowledge but that it changes the relationship between the teacher or trainer and learner. It requires new skills, competencies and attitudes amongst those planners, managers, teachers and trainers who are going to design and develop materials and support learners online (Gray et al., 2003). Social software tools like blogs, wikis,social-bookmarking etc offer fields of knowledge to harvest according to the requirements of the users (teachers and learners) (Dalsgaard, 2006; Klamma et al., 2007). Because of the internet, learners have access to virtually unlimited information. Web-based learning is worldwide accessible, low in maintenance, secure, platform-independent, current and accommodates various learning styles because now e-Learning can be delivered to the learners easily, in an individualized manner (Manochehr, 2007).


My opinion:

Learning is bringing the shifts from linear to hypermedia learning, from instruction to construction and discovery, from teacher-centered to learner-centered education, from absorbing material to learning how to navigate and how to learn, from school to life long learning (LLL), from one-size-fits-all to customized learning, from learning as torture to learning as fun and from the teacher as transmitter to the teacher as facilitator. The implementation of current pedagogies is students will be more active and the role of the teacher will become that of a facilitator rather than a transmitter of information .The transition from objectivism to constructivism happens from transmitted to harvested knowledge, traditional e-Learning to virtual learning and old technologies to new gadgets. The transitions happen in the e-Learning applications is passing through three broader phases:

1.    Traditional e-Learning (behaviorism): Using old technologies (that is, email) to acquire transmitted knowledge through objectivist and behaviorist modes of pedagogy and learning with one-way communication from teacher to student.

2.    Blended e-Learning (cognitivism): Most of the institutions particularly in developing countries are passing through the mid-phase of blended e-Learning with a mix of both the old and new technologies (that is, chatting and discussion forums/groups). Both one-way and two-way communication becomes prevalent.

3. Virtual   learning (constructivism):   When  there  is  high level of collaboration between all the learners. There is group learning but in a highly individualized teaching and learning environments. Through personalization and integration technologies, every individual user can customize the technologies with one-to-many and many-to-many communication links, which are active and alive
 
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