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Automated feedback of Learning Styles. Is it just a horoscope?. Dr. Delia Wakelin Northumbria University Dr C Smith Dr A Porter Dr C Colbourn Dr H Dudiak R Lever. Psychology Learning & Teaching 2006 Conference. Cognitive Learning Strategies in Students.

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Automated feedback of learning styles is it just a horoscope

Automated feedback of Learning Styles. Is it just a horoscope?

Dr. Delia Wakelin

Northumbria University

Dr C Smith Dr A Porter Dr C Colbourn Dr H Dudiak R Lever

Psychology Learning & Teaching 2006 Conference


Cognitive learning strategies in students
Cognitive Learning Strategies in Students

  • Interested in flexible learners who need to cope with many ways of instruction, assessment and learning

  • How can we encourage students to explore?

  • Two stages

    • Measure student strategies (styles)

    • Encourage and enhance students


Cognitive learning strategies in students1
Cognitive Learning Strategies in Students

  • Reviewed then administered many measures

  • Students filled in the questionnaire, and we soon decided to do this on the internet.

  • Students were given feedback

  • The value of this exercise was then determined.


Learning strategies
Learning Strategies

  • Four measures were used.

    • Curriculum Questionnaire

    • LSQ (Mental/Behavioural/Self Regulation)

    • ASSIST (Deep/Strategic/Surface)

    • VARK (visual/auditory/read-write/kinaesthetic)

  • [olfactory]


Automation
Automation

  • Found a fair degree of overlap in feedback

  • Decided to try to automate the procedure by using what was essentially ‘a production system

    • Sequence of ‘IF THEN’ combinations

    • With rules relating to scores














Correlations measures and assessments
Correlations - measures and assessments

  • Lsq - poor correlations

  • Assist - only negative correlations with surface

  • Some low correlations with vark totals

  • First year marks highly correlated

  • Correlations reasonable with curriculum questionnaire


Using feedback
Using feedback

  • Can ask students to explore

    • However too much information

  • Can hope recommendations will focus

    • Not sure it will

  • Can run a guidance tutorial

    • More chance of working


Changing students
Changing students

  • We should liken change for students in the same was as in therapy

  • How can change occur in therapy?

  • Challenging beliefs

    • We have achieved first step of providing a way of externalising the beliefs about learning and assessment

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

With students


Methods for changing students
Methods for changing students

  • Make more use of CBT strategies

  • E.g black and white thinking, focussing on negative, poor beliefs about others

    • Have we got time

    • Enhancement module provides the tools, but need a better way of using it.


Cognitive consistency
Cognitive consistency

  • Some criticisms of CBT

    • Doesn’t explain why people are resistant to change

      • Students are also resistant to change

  • Leahy 2002


Cognitive consistency1
Cognitive consistency

  • Leahy 2002

    • Characteristic of depression is the apparent low motivation, low energy, indecisiveness and self-criticism that constitute a core of resistance to change

      • Characteristic of weaker students is the apparent low motivation, low energy, indecisiveness and self-criticism that constitute a core of resistance to change


Investment model
Investment model

  • Individuals make decisions about how to allocate their resources based on their estimate of present and future resources available, tolerance for risk, and probability and value of gains and losses.

  • Depressed individuals (poor strategy students) resist change, and hesitate in making decisions


Paradox
paradox

  • Some students don’t seem motivated to pursue reward

  • Decisions seem to be based on ‘expectations of future outcome and have strategies to avoid loss and inhibit risk.’

  • Strategy is not a bias but an adaptation

  • Poor learners believe to abandon learning strategy will enhance loss


How can i lose
How can I lose?

  • Cost is the default

  • Prevarication and waiting adopted

  • Under stress students will fall back on their ‘safe’ approaches

    • Need to give more opportunity to explore other methods in safe environment

    • Need more focus on these issues in course

    • Once a semester isn’t enough


Changing students1
Changing students

  • Looks as if the problem is unattainable given the constraints of time - staff and student - maintaining interest

  • The guidance program is going to be critical in relation to validity of CLaSS

  • But students do change - whatever we were doing in the course had some influence


Questions
questions

  • How should students use the resource?

  • How should guidance sessions work?

  • Do we need a protocol?

  • Do staff need to be trained?

  • Do we have to include more innovations in our syllabi?

  • Do students need to be trained?

  • Do we need to measure some motivational/emotional factors?


Thanks for contributions
Thanks for contributions

  • HEFCE

  • Dr Chris Smith - CLaSS director; Dr Helen Whiteley

  • Rachel Lever – CLaSS manager

  • Colleagues in Partner Institutions

  • Students at Northumbria University


Critique from f coffied
Critique from F. Coffied

  • Practice of identifying students learning style and tailoring teaching methods to student needs should be abandoned

  • Diagnosis of verbalisers, visualisers etc and subsequent teaching is invalid.

  • 13 methods examined only Entwistle and Vermont models of any value


Critique from f coffied 2
Critique from F. Coffied 2

  • Learning style implied fixed preference which took no account of student experiences or environment

  • Our study takes the situation from the other direction. If style doesn’t work, can students recognise it, and adapt


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