Cognitive load theory is built upon two commonly accepted ideas. The first is that there is a limit to how much new information the human brain can process at one time. The second is that there are no known limits to how much stored information can be processed at one time. The aim of cognitive load research is therefore to develop instructional techniques and recommendations that fit within the characteristics of working memory, in order to maximise learning.
Explicit instruction involves teachers clearly showing students what to do and how to do it, rather than having students discover or construct information for themselves
how working memory and long-term memory process and store information
Working memory is the memory system where small amounts of information are stored for a very short duration (RAM). Long-term memory is the memory system where large amounts of information are stored semi-permanently (hard drive)
Cognitive load theory assumes that knowledge is stored in long- term memory in the form of ‘schemas’ 2 . A schema organises elements of information according to how they will be used. According to schema theory, skilled performance is developed through building ever greater numbers of increasingly complex schemas by combining elements of lower level schemas into higher level schemas. There is no limit to how complex schemas can become. An important process in schema construction is automation, whereby information can be processed automatically with minimal conscious effort. Automaticity occurs after extensive practice
Schemas provide a number of important functions that are relevant to learning. First, they provide a system for organising and storing knowledge. Second, and crucially for cognitive load theory, they reduce working memory load. This is because, although there are a limited number of elements that can be held in working memory at one time, a schema constitutes only a single element in working memory. In this way, a high level schema – with potentially infinite informational complexity – can effectively bypass the limits of working memory
Types of cognitive load
Cognitive load theory identifies three different types of cognitive load: intrinsic, extraneous and germane load
Intrinsic cognitive load relates to the inherent difficulty of the subject matter being learnt.
subject matter that is difficult for a novice may be very easy for an expert.
Extraneous cognitive load relates to how the subject matter is taught.
extraneous load is the ‘bad’ type of cognitive load, because it does not directly contribute to learning. Cognitive load theorists consider that instructional design will be most effective when it minimises extraneous load in order to free up the capacity of working memory
Germane cognitive load refers to the load imposed on the working memory by the process of learning – that is, the process of transferring information into the long-term memory through schema construction
the approach of decreasing extraneous cognitive load while increasing germane cognitive load will only be effective if the total cognitive load remains within the limits of working memory
More data doesn’t automatically lead to better decisions. A shortage of skilled data scientists has hindered progress towards translation of information into actionable business insights. In addition, traditionally dense spreadsheets and linear slideshows are ineffective to present discoveries when dealing with Big Data’s dynamic nature. We need to evolve how we capture, analyze and communicate data.
Large-scale visualization platforms have several advantages over traditional presentation methods. They blur the line between the presenter and audience to increase the level of interactivity and collaboration. They also offer simultaneous views of both macro and micro perspectives, multi-user collaboration and real-time data interaction, and a limitless number of visualization possibilities – critical capabilities for rapidly understanding today’s large data sets.
Visualization walls enable presenters to target people’s preferred learning methods, thus creating a more effective communication tool. The human brain has an amazing ability to quickly glean insights from patterns – and great visualizations make for more efficient storytellers.
Grant: Visualizing Digital Scholarship in Libraries and Learning Spaces
Award amount: $40,000
Funder: Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
Lead institution: North Carolina State University Libraries
Due date: 13 August 2017
Notification date: 15 September 2017
NC State University, funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, invites proposals from institutions interested in participating in a new project for Visualizing Digital Scholarship in Libraries and Learning Spaces. The grant aims to 1) build a community of practice of scholars and librarians who work in large-scale multimedia to help visually immersive scholarly work enter the research lifecycle; and 2) overcome technical and resource barriers that limit the number of scholars and libraries who may produce digital scholarship for visualization environments and the impact of generated knowledge. Libraries and museums have made significant strides in pioneering the use of large-scale visualization technologies for research and learning. However, the utilization, scale, and impact of visualization environments and the scholarship created within them have not reached their fullest potential. A logical next step in the provision of technology-rich, visual academic spaces is to develop best practices and collaborative frameworks that can benefit individual institutions by building economies of scale among collaborators.
The project contains four major elements:
An initial meeting and priority setting workshop that brings together librarians, scholars, and technologists working in large-scale, library and museum-based visualization environments.
Scholars-in-residence at NC State over a multi-year period who pursue open source creative projects, working in collaboration with our librarians and faculty, with the potential to address the articulated limitations.
Funding for modest, competitive block grants to other institutions working on similar challenges for creating, disseminating, validating, and preserving digital scholarship created in and for large-scale visual environments.
A culminating symposium that brings together representatives from the scholars-in-residence and block grant recipient institutions to share and assess results, organize ways of preserving and disseminating digital products produced, and build on the methods, templates, and tools developed for future projects.
This call solicits proposals for block grants from library or museum systems that have visualization installations. Block grant recipients can utilize funds for ideas ranging from creating open source scholarly content for visualization environments to developing tools and templates to enhance sharing of visualization work. An advisory panel will select four institutions to receive awards of up to $40,000. Block grant recipients will also participate in the initial priority setting workshop and the culminating symposium. Participating in a block grant proposal does not disqualify an individual from later applying for one of the grant-supported scholar-in-residence appointments.
Applicants will provide a statement of work that describes the contributions that their organization will make toward the goals of the grant. Applicants will also provide a budget and budget justification.
Activities that can be funded through block grants include, but are not limited to:
Commissioning work by a visualization expert
Hosting a visiting scholar, artist, or technologist residency
Software development or adaptation
Development of templates and methodologies for sharing and scaling content utilizing open source software
Student or staff labor for content or software development or adaptation
Curricula and reusable learning objects for digital scholarship and visualization courses
Travel (if necessary) to the initial project meeting and culminating workshop
User research on universal design for visualization spaces
Funding for operational expenditures, such as equipment, is not allowed for any grant participant.
Send an application to email@example.com by the end of the day on 13 August 2017 that includes the following:
Statement of work (no more than 1000 words) of the project idea your organization plans to develop, its relationship to the overall goals of the grant, and the challenges to be addressed.
List the names and contact information for each of the participants in the funded project, including a brief description of their current role, background, expertise, interests, and what they can contribute.
Budget table with projected expenditures.
Budget narrative detailing the proposed expenditures
Selection and Notification Process
An advisory panel made up of scholars, librarians, and technologists with experience and expertise in large-scale visualization and/or visual scholarship will review and rank proposals. The project leaders are especially keen to receive proposals that develop best practices and collaborative frameworks that can benefit individual institutions by building a community of practice and economies of scale among collaborators.
Awardees will be selected based on:
the ability of their proposal to successfully address one or both of the identified problems;
the creativity of the proposed activities;
relevant demonstrated experience partnering with scholars or students on visualization projects;
whether the proposal is extensible;
feasibility of the work within the proposed time-frame and budget;
whether the project work improves or expands access to large-scale visual environments for users; and
the participant’s ability to expand content development and sharing among the network of institutions with large-scale visual environments.
Awardees will be required to send a representative to an initial meeting of the project cohort in Fall 2017.
Critical thinking scholars also agree that questions are central to students acquiring critical thinking skills. We must ask students challenging, open-ended questions that demand genuine inquiry, analysis, or assessment—questions like these:
What is your interpretation/analysis of this passage/data/argument?
What are your reasons for favoring that interpretation/analysis? What is your evidence?
How well does your interpretation/analysis handle the complexities of the passage/data/argument?
What is another interpretation/analysis of the passage/data/argument? Any others?
What are the implications of each interpretation/analysis?
Let’s look at all the interpretations/analyses and evaluate them. How strong is the evidence for each one?
How honestly and impartially are you representing the other interpretations/analyses? Do you have a vested interest in one interpretation/analysis over another?
What additional information would help us to narrow down our interpretations/analyses?
Some teaching methods naturally promote inquiry, analysis, and assessment, and all of them are student-active (Abrami et al., 2008). Class discussion may be the strongest, and it includes the debriefings of complex cases, simulations, and role plays. However, debates, structured controversy, targeted journaling, inquiry-guided labs, and POGIL-type worksheets (https://pogil.org/) are also effective.
Want to be smarter? Heredity is not the barrier you might think it is, says University of Michigan social psychologist Richard E. Nisbett, PhD. After analyzing decades of intelligence research, Nisbett maintains that past studies give too much credit to heritability’s role in intelligence. Culture, social class and education, he argues, matter more, and explain racial gaps in IQ.
It’s a nice idea, but it also appears to be wrong. Over and over, researchers have failed to find any substantive evidence for the notion of learning styles, to the point where it’s been designated a “neuromyth” by some education and psychology experts.
the fundamental problem is that learning management systems are ultimately about serving the needs of institutions, not individual students.
Inhis manifesto on Connectivism, George Siemens writes that in Connectivist learning environments, the “pipes” of a course are more important than what flows through those pipes. The networks that students build are durable structures of lifelong learning, and they are more important
by having students own their learning spaces and democratize the means of production. Rather than forcing students to log in to an institutional LMS, I asked them to create their own websites, blogs, Twitter accounts and spaces on the open Web. In these spaces, students could curate links and connections and share their evolving ideas. Whatever they create is owned and maintained by them, not by me or by Harvard. They can keep their content for three months, three years, or the rest of their lives, so long as they continue to curate and move their published content as platforms change.
so, it is back what i claimed at the turn of the century: LMS were claimed to be invented to make the instructor’s life “easier”: instead of learning HTML, use LMS. My argument was that by the time one learns the interface of WebCT, one can learn HTML and HTML will be remain for the rest of their professional life, whereas WebCT got replaced by D2L and D2L will be replaced by another interface. I was labeled as “D2L hater” for such an opinion.
Now to the argument that LMS was a waste of instructors’ time, is added the new argument that it is also a waste of students’ time.
The way that Connected Courses deal with this challenge is byaggregation, sometimes also called syndication. All of the content produced on student blogs, websites, Twitter accounts and other social media accounts is syndicated to a single website. On theFlowpage, every piece of content created by students, myself and teaching staff was aggregated into one place. We also hadBlogandTwitter Hubsthat displayed only long-form writing from blogs or microposts from Twitter. A Spotlight page highlighted some of the best writings from students.
This online learning environment had three important advantages. First, students owned their means of production. They weren’t writing in discussion forums in order to get 2 points for posting to the weekly prompt. They wrote to communicate with audiences within the class and beyond. Second, everyone’s thinking could be found in the same place, by looking at hashtags and our syndication engines ont509massive.org. Finally, this design allows our learning to be permeable to the outside world. Students could write for audiences they cared about: fellow librarians or English teachers or education technologists working in developing countries. And as our networks grew, colleagues form outside our classroom could share with us, by posting links or thoughts to the #t509massive hashtag.
Eales-Reynolds, L., Gillham, D., Grech, C., Clarke, C., & Cornell, J. (2012). A study of the development of critical thinking skills using an innovative web 2.0 tool. Nurse Education Today, 32(7), 752-756. doi:10.1016/j.nedt.2012.05.017
finding ways to capture meaningful informal learning experiences by explicitly linking these to formal structures, and providing frameworks within which informal learning can then be validated and accredited (Cedefop Report 2007).
Education is clearly a social process but it is probably much closer to an ongoing discussion or debate than an extended celebration with an ever-expanding network of friends (p. 179, Ravenscroft et al.)
the community of inquiry (COI) model developed by Garrison and Anderson (2003) and social network analysis (SNA). European Commission-funded integrated
project called MATURE (Continuous Social Learning in Knowledge Networks), which is investigating how technology-mediated informal learning leads to improved knowledge practices in the digital workplace
Key to using socialmedia is the ability to stand back and evaluate the credibility of a source of information, apart from the actual content. While developing this critical attitude toward traditional media is important, the attitude is even more crucial in the context of using socialmedia because information didn’t go through the vetting process of formal publication. Can the student corroborate the information from multiple sources? How recent is this information? Are the author’s credentials appropriate? In other words, the ability to step back, to become aware of the metatext or metacontext is more important than ever.
Coad, D. T. (2013). Developing Critical Literacy and Critical Thinking through Facebook. Kairos: A Journal Of Rhetoric, Technology, And Pedagogy, 18(1).
Many instructors believe that writing on social networking sites undermines the rhetorical skills students learn in class because of the slang and abbreviations often used on these sites; such instructors may believe that social networks are the end of students’ critical awareness when they communicate. Johndan Johnson-Eilola and Stuart A. Selber (2009) contended that electronic writing forms actually require “sophisticated skills of understanding concrete rhetorical situations, analyzing audiences (and their goals and inclinations), and constructing concise, information-laden texts, as a part of a dynamic, unfolding, social process” (p. 18). It is this dynamic process that makes social networking a perfect match for the composition classroom and for teaching rhetorical skills: It helps students see how communication works in real, live rhetorical situations. Many students do not believe that communication in these media requires any kind of valuable literacy skills because they buy into the myth of how the news media portray social networks as valueless forms of communication that are decaying young people’s minds. This is why I introduced students to the passage from Invisible Man: to get them thinking about what kinds of skills they learn on Facebook. I found the text useful for helping them acknowledge the skills they are building in these writing spaces.
Stuart A. Selber (2004) in Multiliteracies for a Digital Age criticized so-called computer literacy classes for having “focused primarily on data representations, numbering systems, operating systems, file formats, and hardware and software components” rather than on the task of teaching students to be “informed questioners of technology” (p. 74). In a time when, as Sheelah M. Sweeny (2010) noted, “the ability to stay connected with others is constant,” it is increasingly important to engage composition students in critical thinking about the spaces they write in (p. 121). It is becoming clearer, as technology giants such as Google® and Apple® introduce new technologies, that critical literacy and critical thinking about technology are necessary for our students’ futures.
Valentini, C. (2015). Is using social media “good” for the public relations profession? A critical reflection. Public Relations Review, 41(2), 170-177. doi:10.1016/j.pubrev.2014.11.009
p. 172 there is no doubt that digital technologies and social media have contributed to a major alteration in people’s interpersonal communications and relational practices. Inter- personal communications have substantially altered, at least in Western and developed countries, as a result of the culture of increased connectivity that has emerged from social media’s engineering sociality ( van Dijck, 2013 ), which allows anyone to be online and to connect to others. Physical presence is no longer a precondition for interpersonal communication.
(Jiping) The Pew Research Center ( Smith & Duggan, 2013 , October 21) indicates that one in every ten American adults has used an online dating site or mobile dating app to seek a partner, and that in the last eight years the proportion of Americans who say that they met their current partner online has doubled. Another study conducted by the same organization ( Lenhart & Duggan, 2014 , February 11) shows that 25% of married or partnered adults who text, have texted their partner while they were both home together, that 21% of cell-phone owners or internet users in a committed relationship have felt closer to their spouse or partner because of exchanges they had online or via text message. Another 9% of adults have resolved online or by text message an argument with their partner that they were having difficulty resolving person to person ( Lenhart & Duggan, 2014 , February 11). These results indicate that digital technologies are not simply tools that facilitate communications: they have a substantial impact on the way humans interact and relate to one another. In other words, they affect the dynamics of interpersonal relations
The answer requires us to think about power. If you look hard at the structure of academia, you will see a lot of teachers who, in one way or another, lack power: adjuncts and term hires (a large population, and growing); untenured faculty (especially in universities like mine); faculty, even tenured faculty, in schools where budget cuts loom; graduate students, always and everywhere. You might see evaluations as instruments by which students, or administrators, exercise power over those vulnerable employees. But if you are a student, and especially if you are a student who cares what grades you get or who needs recommendations, then teachers, for you—even adjuncts and graduate teaching assistants—hold power.
Chairmen and deans also need to know when classroom teaching fails: when a professor makes catastrophically wrong assumptions as to what students already know, for example, or when students find a professor incomprehensible thanks to her thick Scottish accent. My note: indeed, when chairmen and deans KNOW what they are doing and are NOT using evaluations for their own power.
Philip Stark is the chairman of the statistics department at the University of California, Berkeley. “I’ve been teaching at Berkeley since 1988, and the reliance on teaching evaluations has always bothered me,” he says.
Michele Pellizzari, an economics professor at the University of Geneva in Switzerland, has a more serious claim: that course evaluations may in fact measure, and thus motivate, the opposite of good teaching. Here’s what he found. The better the professors were, as measured by their students’ grades in later classes, the lower their ratings from students.
“Show me your stuff,” Stark says. “Syllabi, handouts, exams, video recordings of class, samples of students’ work. Let me know how your students do when they graduate. That seems like a much more holistic appraisal than simply asking students what they think.”