Sydney School of Education and Social Work events – 2015 Archive

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Beyond carts and horses: issues in the design of advanced learning systems

26 August 2015

A Research on Learning and Education Innovation seminar with
Professor Michael Jacobson.

In this presentation, Professor Jacobson will consider three themes: what we learn with, what we learn, and how we learn. He will discuss a recently completed ARC-funded research project in which agent-based computer models were used to teach Year 9 students about the complex systems that influence climate change.

The research team, which he led, investigated the effect on learning outcomes of varying the sequencing of pedagogical structure (SPS) provided for the computer models.

The experimental condition used a low-to-high (LH) SPS sequence that was based on productive failure (Kapur & Bielaczyc, 2012), whereas the comparison condition was based on a teacher’s suggestion to employ a more traditional teaching approach – which is classified as a high-to-low (HL) SPS sequence – for the classroom activities.

Testing of both groups of students after the climate-change lessons revealed that, although all students showed a good understanding of ideas such as greenhouse gases and the carbon cycle, only the LH experimental group showed a significantly improved understanding of conceptually challenging complex-system ideas such as “self organisation” and “emergent properties”.

During this seminar, Professor Jacobson will discuss the theoretical implications of these findings for the design of advanced learning systems, including schema abstraction. In terms of practical implications, he suggests that the findings challenges many current education technology approaches such as “flipped classrooms” and massive open online courses (MOOCs), which both use HL SPS as the core of their pedagogical learning designs.

Event details

Beyond carts and horses: issues in the design of advanced learning systems


Education Building (A35)

Room 612


26 August 2015

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