Learning is the process of acquiring new or modifying existing knowledge, behaviors, skills, values, or preferences. This project provides information and resources on a variety of learning concepts and approaches.
There are many different views about what "learning" is and what the word means. Learning implies a mental development - new connections between the brain-cells with which we think. Visit Wikiquote: Learning to see some earlier definitions from persons great and good. Famously, an ancient Greek philosopher, some 2500 years ago, said:
- A complete formal education is far worse than no education at all!
There are two basic 'flavors' of learning:
- education where we explore and enjoy ourselves
- training where we are 'formed' - which is what mostly happens in schools
We need both if we are to understand our problems and discover their 'best' solutions.
For example: every electrician has to have training in safety and technology, but education is needed to discover how individual clients prefer their installation by exploring their needs and wants, and then fitting appropriate components that help the user enjoy the work and recommend that service to friends.
Learning styles refer to a range of competing and contested theories that aim to account for differences in individuals' learning. There are many different learning styles models, but a common theme among learning modalities is to include:
Research into preferences for a given learning modality show as much as 65% of the population being visual learners, 30% being auditory learners, and 5% being kinesthetic learners. But it must be noted that these are simply preferences, and a majority of learners do best with a combination of learning modalities. For those developing learning content, the point is not to focus on a particular learning modality, but to instead recognize that any given audience will have a preference for a variety of learning styles.
Active learning is a form of learning in which teaching strives to involve students in the learning process more directly than in other methods. Active learning examples include discussion, think-pair-share activities, group or team learning, games, and learning by teaching. In contrast to passive learning, active learning is associated with greater content mastery and learning achievement.
Contextual learning is based on a constructivist theory of teaching and learning in which subject matter is related to real-world situations, allowing students to make connections between knowledge and their own experiences.
Curriculum designed to effectively support contextual learning should include activities for the learner to:
- Absorb - inform and inspire
- Do - transform information into knowledge and skills
- Connect - build an association between knowledge, skills and students' real-world experiences
Universal Design for LearningEdit
Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is an educational framework based on research in the learning sciences, including cognitive neuroscience, that guides the development of flexible learning environments that can accommodate individual learning differences. Recognizing that the way individuals learn can be unique, the UDL framework calls for creating curriculum from the outset that provides:
- Multiple means of representation to give learners various ways of acquiring information and knowledge
- Multiple means of expression to provide learners alternatives for demonstrating what they know
- Multiple means of engagement to tap into learners' interests, challenge them appropriately, and motivate them to learn
Flipped learning is an instructional strategy and a type of blended learning that reverses the traditional learning environment by delivering instructional content, often online, outside of the classroom. It moves activities, including those that may have traditionally been considered homework, into the classroom. In a flipped classroom, students watch online lectures, collaborate in online discussions, or carry out research at home and engage in concepts in the classroom with the guidance of a mentor.
The flipped classroom intentionally shifts instruction to a learner-centered model in which class time explores topics in greater depth and creates meaningful learning opportunities, while educational technologies such as online videos are used to 'deliver content' outside of the classroom.
Augmented learning is an on-demand learning technique where the environment adapts to the learner. By providing remediation on-demand, learners can gain greater understanding of a topic while stimulating discovery and learning. Technologies incorporating rich media and interaction have demonstrated the educational potential that scholars, teachers and students are embracing. Instead of focusing on memorization, the learner experiences an adaptive learning experience based upon the current context. The augmented content can be dynamically tailored to the learner's natural environment by displaying text, images, video or even playing audio (music or speech). This additional information is commonly shown in a pop-up window for computer-based environments.
- Questions to explore and consider personally:
- What do you understand by the word learning - is it anything like the definition above?
- What is your opinion about the q:quotations of famous thinkers
- Why should anyone ever bother to learn? (hint: Aristotle thought it was human nature)
- How, when, where and why does learning happen, for you? (classroom/sportsfield/hobbies/etc.)
- Which learning styles do you prefer? (Try to rate each of them between 1-not much and 5-very much)
- how do you explain your ideas to others? (diagrams, pictures, analogy, verbal explanation etc?
- What factors effect learning or effect how a person learns? (good/bad memories, discomfort etc)
- Find out about new learning techniques, methods, processes and systems? (software, mobile apps etc)
- Challenges to consider within a learning situation:
- Are some people "learning disabled" and are there any ways to ease or overcome such problems?
- Can educators be "teaching disabled" - actually discourage their students?
- Is saying someone is "learning disabled" or "teaching disabled" morally or ethically right?
- How can Wikiversity improve learning for me and for others?
- Should there be limits to what can be learned or how on Wikiversity?
- If you are a curriculum designer, evaluate your content for:
- Active learning - learner-centered, participatory
- Contextual learning - absorb, do, connect activities
- Brain-based learning - address attention span, chunking, social interaction, and learner needs
- Universal Design for Learning - include multiple modes of representation, expression, and engagement
- Flipped learning - provide online content, activities, and interaction
- Augmented learning - consider on-demand contextual multimedia and interaction
- Wikipedia: Learning
- Wikipedia: Learning styles
- University of Alabama at Birmingham: Successfully Using Visual Aids in Your Presentation
- Wikipedia: Active learning
- Wikipedia: Contextual learning
- USC: Contextual Learning
- Contextual Learning
- Wikipedia: Universal Design for Learning
- Wikipedia: Flipped learning
- Wikipedia: Flipped learning
- Wikipedia: Augmented learning