Presentation on theme: "How Students learn Mike Cook. Learning Outcomes Upon completion of this workshop, participants should be able to :- Outline some key theories on how students."— Presentation transcript:
How Students learn Mike Cook
Learning Outcomes Upon completion of this workshop, participants should be able to :- Outline some key theories on how students learn and discuss how these influence how we should teach. Describe some teaching methods that encourage active learning.
Some Theories on Learning Approaches to learning Conceptions of learning Experiential learning Learning styles
Conceptions of Learning Saljo (1979) identified five conceptions of learning. Learning as 1. a quantitative increase in knowledge. 2. memorising. 3. acquiring facts, skills and methods (for later use) 4. making sense or abstracting meaning. 5. interpreting and understanding reality. It has been argued that 1, 2 and 3 are views which underpin surface learning strategies, while 4 and 5 relate to deep learning (Atherton, 2005)
Approaches to Learning Students approach to a task (intention) determines the extent to which they engage with their subject. (Martin and Saljo, 1976) Deep approach:transforming Surface approach: reproducing Strategic approach:organising Following slides from Entwistle (1997)
Deep Approach Intention – to understand ideas for yourself by Relating ideas to previous knowledge and experience Looking for patterns and underlying principles Checking evidence and relating it to conclusions Examining logic and argument cautiously and critically Becoming actively interested in the course content
Surface Approach Intention – to cope with course requirements by Studying without reflection on either purpose or strategy Treating the course as unrelated bits of knowledge Memorising factors and procedures routinely Finding difficulty in making sense of new ideas presented Feeling undue pressure and worry about work
Strategic Approach Intention – to achieve the highest possible grades by Putting consistent effort into studying Finding the right conditions and materials for studying Managing time and effort effectively Being alert to assessment requirements and criteria Gearing work to the perceived preference of lecturers
Learning Styles This theory suggests that learners have particular preferences for stages of the learning cycle. Learning styles are generally considered to be preferences not fixed traits. Kolb (1984) argues that learners need to be able to do all four aspects. There are various categorisations of learning styles.
Honey and Mumford (1982) Activist Reflector Theorist Pragmatist
Activists Strengths Flexible and open-minded Happy to have a go Enjoy new situations Optimistic about change Weaknesses May take action without thinking Take unnecessary risks Do too much and hog limelight Get bored with implementation
Reflectors Strengths Careful, don't jump to conclusions Thorough and methodical Thoughtful Good at listening to other Weaknesses May hold back from participation Slow to make up their mind Too cautious Not assertive or forthcoming
Theorists Strengths Logical 'vertical' thinkers Rational and objective Good at asking probing questions Disciplined approach Weaknesses Restricted in lateral thinking Unhappy with uncertainty & ambiguity Intolerant of subjectivity and intuition Full of "should" and "must's"
Pragmatists Strengths Keen to test things out in practice Practical down to earth, realistic Businesslike - gets to the point Technique oriented Weaknesses Reject things that lack application Not interested in basic principles May seize the first expedient solution Task rather than people oriented
Caution A recent study (Coffield et al., 2004) has cast some questions over the use of learning styles and approaches. In particular: validity and reliability of the inventories used different claims about the degree of stability of learning styles.
Summary Learners approach their learning in different ways. Teachers need to consider the needs of the learners when planning sessions. Active learning techniques can help encourage a deep approach to learning.