ON READING ABOUT CONTEXTUAL LEARNING AND PERSONALIZING LEARNING

1) “What is contextual teaching and learning?” (4.5 pages) (CTL)

CTL “helps us relate subject matter content to real world situations and motivate students to make connections between knowledge and its applications to their lives as family members, citizens, and workers and engage in the hard work that learning requires” (p. 1). “According to contextual learning theory, learning occurs only when students (learners) process new information or knowledge in such a way that it makes sense to them in their own frames of reference (their own inner worlds of memory, experience, and response)” (p. 1).

CTL characteristics (p. 2):

  • Problem-based (more meaningful)
  • Using multiple contexts (school, community, workplace, family, etc.)
  • Drawing upon student diversity (different values, social mores, perspectives)
  • Supporting self-regulated learning (becoming lifelong learners)
  • Using interdependent learning groups-communities (share, discuss, peer teaching)
  • Employing authentic assessment (in real-life contexts)

“Many of these strategies are used in classrooms today. Activities such as team teaching, cooperative learning, integrated learning, work-based learning, service learning, problem-based learning, and others support CTL and are already occurring in many classrooms” (p. 2).

Techniques:

  • Location-based learning
  • Problem-based learning (example, p. 4: “learners in medical school are faced with emergent health issues in simulated patients… they must identify symptoms, run tests, diagnose, and develop treatment plans .. the ultimate outcome is a treatment plan and healthier patient”)
  • On-the job training / On-the-job-learning / Job-embedded learning (learning by doing, time efficiency is maximized and promotes immediate application; it is opposed to workshops; + it costs less); examples: “Study groups, reflective logs, action research, peer coaching, and mentoring,” reflective logs, action research (p. 5)

2) Martinez, M. (2002). Designing Learning Objects to Personalize Learning (10.5 pages)

Honestly, useless article.

Emotions, intentions, and social factors are important in learning ( + “whole-person perspective” which unites cognitive, conative, and affective aspects) = learning orientations. “learning objects are content objects meaningfully presented to accomplish specific objectives related to learning” (p. 152). Cognitivism alone cannot guarantee successful online learning (turn out to be more informational than instructional). Passive learning = no interaction with the content, no experiential feedback.

Personalization strategies: “(a) name-recognized; (b) self-described; (c) segmented; (d) cognitive-based; and (e) whole-person-based” (p. 154). Acknowledge a person’s name. Pretest to determine what a person needs to know. “Learning orientations suggest that as individuals have different learning experiences, and as they mature as learners, they gradually become more confident, sophisticated, and adept at understanding and mana.ging an increasingly complex interplay of personally relevant affective, conative, social, and cognitive learning factors. Thus, the significant contrast in how individuals approach learning, their “learning orientation,” lies in the unique, personal waythat they understand, assess,and manage learning to achieve or accomplish goals” (p. 155).

Categories of learning orientations: Transforming, Performing, Conforming, and Resistant Learners.

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