Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Learning Theories

Dear SLATT participants,

It should be exciting for all of us to learn (and un-learn and re-learn?) from each other. Kindly download and browse the below summary of four popular learning theories and share your thoughts.
  • Which theory are you most familiar with or which best characterises the teaching and learning you've experienced?
  • What other theories would you recommend?


Alan Le Bras said...

There's a new trend in the field of foreign languages: Project Learning / Project Teaching ("La p├ędagogie du projet" in French) recently developed in French as a Foreign/Second Language Classes. It can be mostly related to Constructivism and Connectivism. It is based on the student-centred approach. Students are supposed to work in teams on a specific project/topic for a certain amount of hours. The result of their project is visible and concrete.
For instance, within the French as a Foreign Language classroom, students would spend like 8 hours working on a project related to the restaurant/food. They would work in teams and each student would be in charge of a specific task. After these 8 hours, they would have to open a mock-restaurant within the classroom and welcome other students/lecturers, take orders, serve them and entertain them in French.
As it is summarized on edutopia; The George Lucas Educational Foundation (itunes U) : "Project learning, also known as project-based learning, is a dynamic approach to teaching in which students explore real-world problems and challenges, simultaneously developing cross-curriculum skills while working in small collaborative groups.
Because project learning is filled with active and engaged learning, it inspires students to obtain a deeper knowledge of the subjects they’re studying. Research also indicates that students are more likely to retain the knowledge gained through this approach far more readily than through traditional textbook-centered learning. In addition, students develop confidence and self-direction as they move through both team-based and independent work.”
As far as I am concerned, project learning is a theory I deem worth trying and evaluating, especially with students enrolled in the School of Hospitality, Tourism & Culinary Arts.
It could foster students' confidence with the French language and - among others - further develop their leadership skills.

Benedict said...

Hey! Kudos to Alan's analysis!!

We used to do this in the previous college I worked with in the Philippines (Asia Pacific College). All subjects are projects-based - meaning there has to be a tangible output every after semester for each subject.

In tacit knowledge, students get to learn more from experiences. The same way is the belief in the montessori way of education on which students use hands (tactile, manipulation) in learning.

In explicit knowledge, students learn from memorization, textbooks, and not on discoveries and experiences. Mostly, Asian education system is based on this. Not that I don't like memorization but I consider it as the 'lowest form of intelligence'. We all have started how to multiply through memorization. In language, we first learned English through memorization as well. But Bloom's taxonomy doesn't stop in just simple recall, there has to be progression of difficulty, on which case the manner of acquiring knowledge should also improve.

I consider tacit knowledge to be the glue that binds the explicit knowledge together.

Dr. Tan said...

Is there any chance that students will serve in a restaurant just speaking French for a day?

Am keen to see such ideas realized ; but students may have much to do “explaining matters” to customers/ guests?

Kitty Lee said...

It is possible.

Alan, pls discuss with Tham on this as our students do themes in the training restaurants.

Alwyn said...

Hi Benedict,

In fact, memorisation does appear on the 'lowest' leve of Bloom's Taxonomy.

In the forthcoming session, we'll be talking about taking our students onto higher levels of complexity.

what do you think is the connection between tacit and explicit knowledge? Does one flow from the other? Do they perhaps come 'together', etc.?

Benedict said...

Hi Alwyn,

Yes they come together and yes learning flows from explicit to tacit. It may sometimes be difficult to show tacit knowledge unless you have a full grasp of explicit knowledge. Application may sometimes be difficult to exercise unless you have a full grasp of theories and concepts that support that practice. But in some cases, learning stops in knowing. That's where the problem is.

nazaretha39 said...

In hospiltality &tourism(service-people oriented)learning is made easy through simulation method.Students will be given a situation acting as the service staff handling hotel guest/passengers.They will be trained to answer queries in an ethical manner and with the highest degree of patience for difficult customers.

PDP is indeed doing a significant role in the students preparation for industry emersion.

This may be very challenging to our local students who are so shy and lack of self confidence.But we us lecturers can greatly equip them through encouraging them to speak sensibly and express themselves through their experiences.Afterall..theres is always a room for improvement.

Lye Leng said...

In fact, all the four learning theories are applied in teaching Financial Management subjects. These subjects are very much on the understanding of accounting format, theories, terminologies, formula & calculations. The sequence of the four learning theories adopted is usually as follows:
(1) Cognitive learning - to give students some ideas/concepts on accounting/finance theories by presenting illustrations, diagrams, charts, graphs, etc. and also explaining the terminologies using the laymen's language and then relating them to the accounting/finance language.
(2) Behavioural learning - after students have understood the concepts, they are given exercises, tutorial, quiz, etc. to stimulate their learning process
(3) Constructive learning - they are given assignments/projects to construct/create new ideas with regard to what they have learned. Assignments like financial statements analysis and preparing financial statements by creating a viable business model can help students to interpret the financial status of a company and to build entrepreneurship skills respectively.
(4) Connective learning - students share knowledge with the lecturers, among themselves, or even with other people outside the college through blog, forum, e-mail, chat online, or face-to-face on theories learned and assignment/project sources.

Lim Fung Chen said...

Elicit Student Performance

As a lecturer, certainly I wish to know whether the student understand what we had cover in the class. What worried me the most is, after I had covered the syllabus, and tried my very best to use different types of methods that I know to “upload” all the information into the students’ brain and all “rejected” by the students, OR the worst is they pretended that they know everything that I covered in the class and from their face expression, it seems like my lecture was so successful.

Talking about eliciting student performance, normally the methods that I used are exercises, quiz and individual/group presentations. I like to give exercises in class, so that I know whether my student able to understand and apply the programming syntax I covered and I always like to challenge them with something that should be cover in the next lesson, this will allow my student to prepare before entering to my next class.

In my Multimedia classes, I always get student to present their homework or exercise in front of the class and correct their mistake on the sport and for those who are performing well, I will praise them or buy them gift (normally sweets from PASAR MALAM), you will notice that the student will be very happy and proud. By doing this I am able to motivate my student to practice on the programming or multimedia and at the same time I am able to identify their level of understanding.

For theory classes, student is required to memorized the points and apply the points in answering the exam question. All mine students always having the same habit is only prepare the subject one week before the exam. It is still acceptable for IT students, for business field student, it is impossible for them to remember the computer jargons and never hope that they are able to apply them correctly in the exam. Normally, I will make them to research on the topic that I had covered and they have to present it in front of the class. During the presentation, I will throw questions to them and make them answer immediately. If they failed to answer my question, they have to do it as the homework and submit it the next day. It seems like I am pushing them too much but they are able to remember what they done.

There are still many ways to elicit student performance and it is quite difficult for me to tell it here or I do not even know what to use, before I see my student.

Lastly, as a lecturer we cannot choose who to become our student, but we are allowed to adjust ourselves to suit them. Why? Because, WE ARE LECTURER.