In this blog, I will be reviewing published works on the following topics:
- Problem-solving methods during learning
- Information processing theory
- The brain & learning.
The review of these topics will be done by referencing two to three publications.
As early as 1983, just before the advent of fMRI (Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging)- about 1990, Dr. Norman Frederiksen published his work on cognitive theory and instructional problem solving. (Frederiksen, 1983). His article explored two pathways of application:
1) How problem-solving skills may be taught
2) The acquisition process: problem-solving skills.
His article further discusses a need for the generation of practice materials, how they may be structured, and finally considers opportunities for further study. Referencing the previous 25 years, Frederiksen claimed that Cognitive Scientists tried to define the psychological basis of problem-solving in chess, math etc. Concluding that this was the genesis of an information processing theory. However, he goes on to suggest the practical applications of this theory to teaching and learning.
According to Dr. Jeanne Ormrod, Professor Emerita of Psychological Sciences, University of Northern Colorado, there are three processes involved in learner problem solving.
- Encode the problem in a language that clearly defines the problem.
- Learning and being able to retrieve what is learned
- Metacognition: thinking about how one is thinking or learning.
Dr. Ormrod further suggests that these strategies can best be taught in an online setting where the bonus is that the learners learn how to learn.
Superimposing the pathways of application suggested by Frederiksen with the Metacognitive skills proposed by Ormrod, we have an incentive for an intelligence-stimulating Instructional design.
Another published work under review in this blog is one by Dalgarno, Kennedy & Bennett (2010) titled
Can Functional Brain Imaging Be Used to Explore Interactivity and Cognition in Multimedia Learning Environments?
The writers refer to a further level of cognitive analysis by neuroscience. Utilizing fMRI to compare brain activity mapping between individuals with syndromes such as autism to the scans of individuals without any comparative handicaps. This will help create a database of indices that may help the design of learning for the handicapped or groups with mixed populations.
According to Richard Mayer, of the University of California, Santa Barbara, the cognitive processes in humans have best been studied in comparison to Lab rats as standards. (Mayer,1996). Advocating research in real world settings, Meyer suggests cognitive psychology studies of humans as information processors. Since the human population is varied and undergoing globalization as well, we may be looking at a globalized study with set control points based on regional or local variations. The incentives for designing the framework could be cross-interpretation of languages or cultural differences.
All-in-all, it seems that the fields of Cognitive psychology and neuroscientific research are going to open some sluice gates on the practice of Instructional design before the turn of the next century. Will this match or herald a new level of Intelligent Instructional Design?
Dalgarno, B., Kennedy, G., & Bennett, S. (2010). Can functional brain imaging be used to explore interactivity and cognition in multimedia learning environments? Journal of Interactive Learning Research, 21(3), 317-342. (Accessed at LearnTechLib via Walden Library)
Frederiksen, N. (1983). Implications of cognitive theory for instruction in problem-solving. ETS Research Report Series, 1983(1), 363-407.
Mayer, R. E. (1996). Learners as information processors: Legacies and limitations of educational psychology’s second metaphor. Educational psychologist, 31(3-4), 151-161. (Accessed in Walden Library through Google Scholar).
Ormrod, J., Schunk, D., & Gredler, M. (2009). Learning theories and instruction (Laureate custom edition). New York, NY: Pearson.