Current Trends in eLearning Based on Knowledge Space Theory and Cognitive Psychology

Article excerpt

Current trends in eLearning based on knowledge space theory and cognitive psychology*

Summary, Zusammenfassung

The importance of knowledge space theory and cognitive psychology for research and development in eLearning is focused on. Especially, it is shown that research on adaptivity and course development directly contributes to the components of eLearning systems, i.e. knowledge base, student model, teaching model, and interactive human computer interface. The main aspects with respect to adaptivity concern the directions and objectives, the objects, and the level of individualisation of adaptivity. Regarding the development of courses, we concentrate on competencies, learning and teaching strategies, as well as knowledge assessment and structuring knowledge domains. Furthermore, it is argued that psychological methodology is wellprepared for improving el-earning systems. In sum, psychology in co-operation with other disciplines has the chance to shape the eLearning systems of the future.

Key words: knowledge space theory, applied cognitive psychology, competencies, adaptivity, eLearning

Aktuelle Entwicklungen im eLearning auf der Grundlage von Wissenraumtheorie und kognitiver Psychologie

Wissensraumtheorie and kognitive Psychologie stellen wichtige Komponenten in Forschung and Entwicklung von eLearning-Systemen dar. Insbesondere wird gezeigt, welche Beitrage die Forschungen zu Adaptivitat and der Entwicklung von Kursen fur die Komponenten von eLearning-Systemen leisten, d.h. fur ihre Wissensbasis, Lernermodell, Lehrmodell and interaktive Mensch-Maschine-Schnittstelle. Bezuglich der Adaptivitat von eLearning-Systemen werden vor allem die Ziele, Objekte and Individualisierungsgrade betrachtet, wahrend fur die Entwicklung von eLearning-Kursen die Bereiche Kompetenz, Lem- and Lehrstrategien, Bowie Wissensdiagnose and die Strukturierung von Wissensgebieten im Vordergrund stehen. Weiters wird beispielhaft darauf hingewiesen, wie die psychologische Methodik geeignet ist, eLearningSysteme zu verbessern. Insgesamt gesehen hat die Psychologie die Chance, in Zusammenarbeit mit anderen Disziplinen die eLearning-Systeme der Zukunft zu gestalten.

Schlusselworter: Wissensraumtheorie, angewandte kognitive Psychologie, Kompetenzen, Adaptivitat, eLearning

Introduction

In 1966, Patrick Suppes, author of the first adaptive Computer Assisted Learning (CAL) programme, predicted that computer based learning and teaching would "change the face of education in a very short time". Currently, still strong activities and efforts are made for facilitating electronic-based learning and teaching (eLearning). This development is primarily motivated by economical reasons and mainly driven by technological measures. However, recently the officials for promoting research and development (R&D) noticed that developing new educational systems has to take into account the results of educational and learning sciences. In this contribution, we focus on interdisciplinary approaches to eLearning R&D from a cognitive psychologist's point of view.

A psychological structure of eLearning systems

Depending on the perspective towards eLearning systems, the focus on the components may differ (e.g. Albert & Mori, 2001). From a psychological point of view, the following components of a computer based learning and teaching system are mentioned.

* The Knowledge Base contains the structured expert knowledge about the knowledge domain.

* The Student Model represents the hypothetical knowledge state and other attributes of the student; the student model is the basis for adaptive pedagogical interventions, it has to be adapted to the learning progress, it may capture, e.g. the students knowledge, misconceptions, and general skills.

* The Teaching Model decides about the pedagogical interventions taking into account the knowledge base and the student model. …