Learning Behavior Analysis of a Ubiquitous Situated Reflective Learning System with Application to Life Science and Technology Teaching

By Hwang, Wu-Yuin; Chen, Hong-Ren et al. | Educational Technology & Society, April 2018 | Go to article overview

Learning Behavior Analysis of a Ubiquitous Situated Reflective Learning System with Application to Life Science and Technology Teaching


Hwang, Wu-Yuin, Chen, Hong-Ren, Chen, Nian-Shing, Lin, Li-Kai, Chen, Jin-Wen, Educational Technology & Society


Introduction

Situated learning is a theory of learning that stresses the role of context. According to this approach, learning includes the situational context in which it occurs (Brown, Collins, & Duguid, 1989; Hou, 2011). Indeed, knowledge is embedded in its situational context as well as in the learning activities (Kim & Hannafin, 2011). Situated learning emphasizes the non-official or incidental learning that occurs outside the classroom; it views actions during real interactions as ways to acquire knowledge and capabilities (Zurita, Baloian, & Frez, 2014). Situated learning includes not only the cognitive process of knowledge acquisition but also the learning that occurs during social interactions (Saigal, 2012; Hwang, Chen, Shadiev, Huang, & Chen, 2012). It uses real environments to encourage independent and autonomous thinking as well as to apply active methods to acquire knowledge, thus emphasizing that learning should be based on real-life situations (Arnseth, 2008). Based on learning situations in which different academic subjects are taught, situated learning can include apprenticeships, collaborative learning, multiple opportunities for practice, and the articulation of what has been learned, all of which have been proven to enhance learning achievement (Compton, 2013; Woolf & Quinn, 2009).

Reflection on learning can train students to gather information from their everyday lives and to apply it to solving problems by using their own knowledge to solve life technology-based problems and by relying on scientific evidence to explain the outcomes (Greiff, Holt, & Funke, 2013). Reflection has an important role in the learning process (Hung, Yang, Fang, Hwang, & Chen, 2014; Koong, Yang, Wu, Li, & Tseng, 2014). When learners are able to reflect on the instructional materials provided during the learning process, they are able to gain a better understanding of their effects (Aleven, McLaren, Sewall, & Koedinger, 2009; Chen, Kinshuk, Wei, & Liu, 2011). Studies have shown that learners who encounter real situations while reflecting on their learning show improved learning effects (Kim, 2011; Russell, 2008).

During the implementation stage of the sciences and technology curriculum guidelines, fifth-grade students cultivate their abilities to observe and classify knowledge (Hsu & Kuan, 2013). Verbal instruction employed in traditional classrooms does not provide real-life situations for students to experience and explore. Facilitating elementary school students to engage in thinking activities that involve reflective learning can improve their observation and classification abilities through applying their classroom knowledge. This study proposes a learning strategy based on a situated reflective learning model and system. This system provides learners with time to reflect on and to share the knowledge they gain in their daily lives in response to real-life situations. This study focused on the science and technology curriculum of fifth-grade students; the instructional design was based on the learning cycle of a situated, reflective learning model (Collins, 1994; Zimmerman & Schunk, 1989) to elucidate its educational benefits and to analyze differences in the learning behaviors of high-achieving and low-achieving students. Therefore, the research questions of this study are as follow. (1) The study analysis the learning effectiveness differences for the USRL teaching and traditional oral teaching. (2) The present study explored learning behavioral differences between the HLA group and the LLA group in self-reflective learning and in peer-reflective learning. (3) The study also investigated the correlation between learning achievements and reflective learning behaviors of the HLA group and the LLA group.

Literature review

Situated learning

Many positive research outcomes have been associated with the introduction of situated learning theory, which has been most widely applied in the natural sciences. …

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