16 SES 07, Tools for Supporting and Learning Online
The objective of this work is to introduce a new tool for prompting sequences in a Technology Enhances Learning Environments (TELE) and to present results of the first implementations. We developed the Online Prompting eLearning (OPeL) for Moodle 1.9 and used it twice in two different courses at two applied universities.
There are two research questions for this paper: How is OPeL accepted by the learners? Permits OPeL to transfer knowledge and skills, i.e. does OPeL enhance the performance of the learners?
OPeL includes the self-estimation of one’s performance answering questions concerning (a part of) the content of a course. It permits to build sequences of questions and answers. The standard sequence is: problem/situation, question, students-solution, sample solutions, comparison of the solutions, comments. It’s possible to combine several sequences. We used it to prompt the content of a communication course and episodes of behaviour changes.
In education prompts are learning aids to increase recall and performance. Prompts range from general questions to explicit instructions. Prompts don’t teach new things, students already have the knowledge and skills, they help to remember, they direct the attention of the students on specific aspects of the learning process (Bannert, 2009). There is direct and indirect prompting. Direct prompting demands time and resources, they train strategies, which gain use and specific gain are learned in training sessions (Friedrich & Mandl, 1997, 1992). Indirect prompting initiates and enhances specific learning and regulation activities even without the conscious awareness of the learner. They consist of learning aids integrated in the learning environment (Friedrich & Mandl, 1997, 1992). Generally, in e-learning courses indirect prompting is used. To our knowledge there is no generally accepted classification of prompts.
Bannert (2009) distinguishes thee types of prompts: 1) cognitive prompts (explanations prompts; support directly information processing of the learner), 2), meta-cognitive prompts (regulations prompts; support supervising and controlling of information processing ) and 3) motivational prompts (support the motivation of the learner). An other type is resource management prompting that optimizes the learning conditions.
Explanations prompts invite learners to explain topics to oneself, and to reason about learning strategies used (Bannert, 2006, 2007, 2009).
The discussion of learning transfer is older than a century (Barnett & Ceci, 2002). The topic of transfer was first described by the psychologists Thorndike and Woodworth (1901). However, the consensus on what is meant by transfer and to what extent it may by observed as well as what mechanisms drive it, is decidedly minimal (Barnett & Ceci, 2002). Traditionally, transfer means:
“the successful application of knowledge gained or acquired skills within the context of a demand which has never previously occurred in a situation of the acquisition of knowledge or skills” (Hasselhorn & Mähler, 2000, p. 86).
There is a growing tendency towards considering transfer to be a broadly based, productive and supportive implementation of acquired knowledge, skills and motivation, which corresponds to the present-day understanding of learning in the sense of an active and constructive process (De Corte, 2003). Therefore, there exist widely differing interpretations of the notion transfer (Hasselhorn & Mähler, 2000).
The transfer we expect to occur in a learning situation is proactive and positive. The dimension of the low- vs. high-road transfer depends on the conscious investment a person makes to learn and to apply new knowledge and skills and is therefore is connected with motivation and volition. We expect a high-road transfer. The dimension ‘proximal – distal’ transfer depends on the situations were and when the transfer will be measured. We measured proximal and distal transfer.
Bannert, M. (2006). Effects of reflection prompts when learning with hypermedia. Journal of Educational Computing Research, 4, 359–375. Bannert, M. (2007). Prompts zur Unterstützung von Lernprozessen: Diskussion der Arbeitsgruppe [Prompting to support learning: A discussion]. 11. Fachtagung Pädagogische Psychologie, Berlin. Bannert, M. (2009). Promoting self-regulated learning through prompts. Zeitschrift für Pädagogische Psychologie, 23(2), 139-145. Barnett, S.M., & Ceci. S.J. (2002). When and where do we apply what we Learn? A taxonomy for far transfer. Psychological Bulletin, 128(4), 612-637. De Corte, E. (2003). Transfer as the productive use of acquired knowledge, skills, and motivations. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 12(4), 142 - 146. Friedrich, H.F., & Mandl H. (1992). Lern- und Denkstrategien – ein Problemaufriss. In H. Mandl & H.F. Friedrich (Eds.). Lern- und Denkstrategien [Learning and thinking strategies] (pp. 3–54). Göttingen: Hogrefe. Friedrich, H.F., & Mandl, H. (1997). Analyse und Förderung selbstgesteuerten Lernens. In F.E. Weinert & H. Mandl (Eds.). Enzyklopädie der Psychologie, DII/4, Psychologie der Erwachsenenbildung [Encyclopaedia of Psychology, DII/4. Psychology of adult education] (pp. 237-293). Göttingen: Hogrefe. Hasselhorn, M., & Mähler, C. (2000). Transfer: Theorien, Technologien und empirische Erfassung. In W. Hager, J-L. Patry, & H. Brezing (Eds.). Evaluation psychologischer Interventions-massnahmen [Evaluation of psychological interventions] (pp. 41 – 85). Bern: Huber. Noldus (2010). The Observer XT. The neXT generation of observation software. Reference Manual Version 10. Wageningen: Noldus Information Technology. Thorndike, E. L., & Woodworth, R. S. (1901). The influence of improve- ment in one mental function upon the efficiency of other functions: (I). Psychological Review, 8(3), 247–261.
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