Basic and Applied Memory Research: Practical Applications - Vol. 2

By Douglas J. Herrmann; Cathy McEvoy et al. | Go to book overview

Automated Instructional Systems and Ecological Notions of Memory

Theodore M. Shlechter U.S. Army Research Institute Fort Knox, KY

Over 15 years ago, Ulric Neisser ( 1978) challenged cognitive psychologists to find out more about the practical uses of memory. This challenge has led to the ecological movement in memory research with the objective of exploring human cognition vis-à-vis naturalistic reference situations ( Herrmann & Gruneberg, 1993; Hoffmann & Deffenbacher, 1993). The ecological memory movement has also been concerned with testing the usefulness of basic theories on memory processes, which were derived from laboratory research, for naturalistic settings ( Herrmann & Gruneberg, 1993).

Instructional technologists have also become interested in similar issues. This literature has recently burgeoned with works on the relationships among emerging instructional technologies and memory phenomena for real-life events (e.g., Hooper & Hannafin, 1991; Kozma, 1991). Hooper and Hannafin, for example, suggested that theoretical concepts regarding cognitive processes can help guide the development of an emerging generation of instructional systems.

This chapter thus explores the relationships among the theoretical notions of ecologically oriented cognitive scientists and automated instructional systems (AIS). AIS are defined as any instructional system that uses computer technology to either deliver or manage the instructional program. Also discussed is the usefulness of basic research findings on cognitive processes for helping instructional technologists to develop AIS.

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