Unformatted text preview: eved when it is needed. As a teacher, therefore, you will want to create learning
environments that help your students be successful at their encoding, compilation, and
Encoding, Compilation and Retrieval: General Guidelines.
Information-processing theory provides three general guidelines that are useful
for thinking about maximizing your students’ encoding and retrieval processes. These
guidelines are: • Active learning enhances encoding and compilation.
• Aligning learning activities with the conditions under which knowledge is to
be used enhances retrieval processes. • Providing repeated opportunities to review and practice newly acquired
knowledge reduces the chances that it will be forgotten.
Active Learning. Students are more likely to be successful at encoding,
compilation and retrieval if they are active in their own learning. An active learner is one
who engages in thought processes that will result in a meaningful understanding of what
is intended to be being learned (Simons, 1996). Active learning, therefore, is seeking
meaning from experience. Active learners pursue understanding rather than waiting for
understanding to be given to them by someone else. It is important to note that the Manuscript 9/28/03 29 activity we are referring to is mental activity and not necessarily physical activity.
Teachers are often advised to provide “hands-on” learning experiences. The cognitive
view of active learning would suggest that teachers should strive instead to provide
“minds-on” activities (Schame & Ayres, 1992). Teachers can engage students in active
learning by designing thought provoking activities that encourage students to reason
about the knowledge they are learning. Consider how the following teachers encourage
there students to engage in minds-on learning:
⇒ As a prelude to a science lesson on air pressure an elementary teacher
provides demonstration in which an inverted test-tube is floating in a large jar
of water. A rubber membrane stretched over the mouth of the jar. When the
teacher presses on the membrane, the test-tube sinks.
⇒ As a final activity to a unit on graphing, Mr. Collins challenges his prealgebra students to each write a word problem that can be solved using
Providing the students with an unexpected situation, as exemplified by the
floating and sinking test-tube is likely to stir the students curiosity. Hopefully they will
then engage in the rest of the lesson with the goal of solving this mystery. In the second
example the teacher intends to influence the students to set appropriate goals by
challenging with a novel and difficult task. Both cases illustrate the importance of the
learners’ intentions and motivation to active learning. Cognitive learning theories, such as
information processing recognize the importance of motivation in learning and provide
ways to think about what types of motivation might result in the most effective learning.
We will discus...
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- Spring '08
- Cognitive Psychology, declarative knowledge, Declarative and Procedural Knowledge