Handling Complexity in Learning Environments: Theory and Research

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Product Details
01 Jun 2006
Emerald Group Publishing Limited
328 pages - 156 x 234 x 19mm
Advances in Learning and Instruction Series


What do we mean when we say that "learning environments are increasingly complex"? What do we know about the cognitive processing that occurs during complex learning? How can we provide effective instructional support for students who must learn and apply complex knowledge? These questions, and related issues, have fascinated educators and educational researchers for many years and are they are the focus of this book. As a tribute to Joost Lowyck, professor educational technology at the K.U. Leuven, eminent scholars from around the globe have contributed to a far reaching analysis of complexity in learning environments from a cognitive perspective. The chapter authors summarize what we know now about complexity and make specific suggestions for educational practice and for future research on complexity. The different contributions in the several chapters discuss theoretical accounts and empirical findings about learning, the learner, and learning environments. Wide-ranging topics include current descriptions of our cognitive architecture, new contributions to cognitive load theory, research and evaluation design considerations, motivation to learn, the influence of prior knowledge, the use of simulations and multimedia, alternative instructional methods and interventions, studies of the classroom context for complex learning and mental model-building. This book is a tribute to Joose Lowyck, professor educational technology at the KU Leuven. International scholars provide far reaching analysis of complexity in learning environments from a cognitive perspective. It makes specific suggestions for educational practice and for future research.
Contributors. Preface. Introduction. Setting the Scene: Complexity and Learning Environments (J. Elen and R. E. Clark). How the Human Cognitive System Deals With Complexity (J. Sweller). Motivational Challenges Experienced in Highly Complex Learning Environments (R. E. Clark, K. Howard, and S. Early). Mental Models and Complex Problem Solving: Instructional Effects (N. M. Seel). The Social Complexity in Establishing and Sharing Information Resources (U. Cress and F. W. Hesse). The Culture of the Mathematics Classroom: A Complex Determinant of Students Learning (F. Depaepe, E. De Corte, and L. Verschaffel). Scaffolds for Computer Simulation Based Scientific Discovery Learning (T. de Jong). Coping With Complexity in Multimedia Learning (R. E. Mayer). Collaboration Load (P. Dillenbourg and M. Betrancourt). Balancing Support for Student Learning (J. D. Vermunt). The Use of Instructional Interventions: Lean Learning Environments as a Solution for a Design Problem (J. Elen and G. Clarebout). Performance Assessment and Learning Task Selection in Environments for Complex Learning (J. J. G. van Merrienboer, D. Sluijsmans, G. Corbalan et al.). Meeting Challenges to Researching Learning From Instruction by Increasing the Complexity of Research (P. H. Winne). System Theoretic Designs for Researching Complex Events (W. Winn). The Systemic vs. Analytic Study of Complex Learning Environments (G. Salomon). Hypothesized Performance on Complex Tasks as a Function of Scaled Instructional Strategies (M. D. Merrill). Conclusion - When Less Is More: Research and Theory Insights About Instruction for Complex Learning (R. E. Clark and J. Elen). Author Index. Subject Index.

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