Academic journal article Educational Technology & Society

Self-Observation Model Employing an Instinctive Interface for Classroom Active Learning

Academic journal article Educational Technology & Society

Self-Observation Model Employing an Instinctive Interface for Classroom Active Learning

Article excerpt


Active learning involves two things for learners: the learners are actively involved in the learning process--they learn by doing, actively participating in constructing knowledge, resulting in deeper and more persistent knowledge--and are being engaged in learning (Prince, 2004). These are two core elements of active learning, i.e., activity and the promotion of engagement. John Dewey coined the phrase, "learning is doing," and later scholars identified, "knowing is doing" (Mishra, Worthington, Girod, Packard, & Thomas, 2001). More specifically, active learning may include collaborative, cooperative, and problem-based learning (Prince, 2004). Mayer (2009, pp. 2124) categorizes active learning into two types: cognitively and physically (behaviorally) active learning. He primarily stresses utility in cognitively active learning, and this view is generally accepted in cognitivist learning theory. Indeed majority notion of active learning with technology has been of cognitive type. One example is BeyondShare (Kao, Lin, & Sun, 2008), which is an Internet-based learning environment designed to promote active learning that involved cognitive activities such as reflection, synthesis, and meaningful learning, and employed a concept map. However, when body movement is considered as an integral part of the cognition process, as it is according to the embodied cognition view, properly designed physically active learning experiences should contribute to cognition and learning. For this to occur, the learning environments need to explicitly support physical activities, and current technologies have provided diverse possibilities for achieving physically active learning.

In a typical classroom setting, students can learn by passively sitting on their chairs and using minimal body movement. However, implementing body movements, rather than simply sitting for extended periods benefits learning, facilitating effective memory, fun, and activity (Jensen, 2000). Here he focuses the discussion on physically rather than cognitively active learning. James et al. (2002) provided evidence that actively manipulating objects in a virtual reality environment improved object recognition. These indicate that a learning environment must be designed to support physically active learning that comprises body movements.

In this study, we propose a self-observation model that comprises an instinctive interface for active learning, facilitating engagement, collaboration, and physical activity.

Related work

Active learning with technology

Instead of applying passive teaching and learning practices in the classroom, contemporary educators have increasingly focused on active teaching and learning. However in traditional classrooms, students learned information, blindly followed guidelines, and learned a mass of disconnected facts, but were provided no clues or context by their teachers, who authoritatively delivered knowledge (Sawyer, 2006). This practice is called instructionism, and eventually, "scientists discovered that instructionism was deeply flawed" (Sawyer, 2006, p. 2). In the early era of computer use in classrooms, their use was based on instructionism or behaviorism. However, "the computer should take on a more facilitating role, helping learners have the kind of experiences that lead to deep learning" (Sawyer, 2006, p. 8). For example, in the electronic textbook designed as an instructivist learning tool, although it possessed certain advantages compared with traditional lectures, Herrington and Standen (2000) found it boring because students experienced difficulty to apply the knowledge in real life. According to Herrington and Oliver (2000), the tool lacks authentic contexts and activities.

Harasim (2011, p. 14) noted that epistemologically, behaviorism is in one group with cognitivism. They are of objectivism perspective assuming absoluteness of knowledge based on reality; hence, learning is acquiring knowledge. …

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