Summary: Cognitive dissonance is the negative feeling that results from conflicting beliefs and behaviors.
Originator: Leon Festinger (1919-1989), American social psychologist
Keywords: social psychology, forced compliance, decision-making, error justification
Expertise theory specifies how talent develops across specified fields or domains, focusing on cognitive task analysis (to map the domain), instruction and practice, and clearly specified learning outcomes against which one can objectively measure the development of expertise.
Anders Ericsson, a professor at Florida State University, is the leading figure in the field of expertise theory. However, many others are associated with it as well: Robert Sternberg (Cornell University), Richard Clark (University of Southern California), Benjamin Bloom (late of the University of Chicago), Herbert Simon (late of Carnegie Mellon University), and Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (Claremont Graduate University). Another notable figure is Malcolm Gladwell, whose work has served to popularize the theory.
Keywords: expertise, practice, instruction, cognitive task analysis
Summary: There exist five kinds of understanding (or cognitive tools) that individuals usually master in a particular order during the course of their development; these have important educational implications.
Originator: Kieran Egan, a Professor at Simon Fraser University, proposed his theory of cognitive tools as part of a sustained program of writing and research on the role of imagination in learning, teaching, and curriculum.
Keywords: Cognitive, Stages, Imagination, Ironic, Literacy, Memes
Summary: Self-perception theory describes the process in which people, lacking initial attitudes or emotional responses, develop them by observing their own behavior and coming to conclusions as to what attitudes must have driven that behavior.
Originators and Key Contributors: Psychologist Daryl Bem originally developed this theory of attitude formation in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s.
Keywords: identity, perception, behavior, attitude, marketing, therapy
Summary: Online collaborative learning theory, or OCL, is a form of constructivist teaching that takes the form of instructor-led group learning online. In OCL, students are encouraged to collaboratively solve problems through discourse instead of memorizing correct answers. The teacher plays a crucial role as a facilitator as well as a member of the knowledge community under study.
Originators and Key Contributors:
Linda Harasim, professor at the School of Communication at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, developed online collaborative learning theory (OCL) in 2012from a theory originally called computer-mediated communication (CMC), or networked learning.
Keywords: collaborative learning, internet, virtual classroom, e-learning, discourse, constructivism
E-learning theory consists of cognitive science principles that describe how electronic educational technology can be used and designed to promote effective learning.
The researchers started from an understanding of cognitive load theory to establish the set of principles that compose e-learning theory. Cognitive load theory refers to the amount of mental effort involved in working memory, and these amounts are categorized into three categories: germane, intrinsic, and extraneous.
Germane cognitive load describes the effort involved in understanding a task and accessing it or storing it in long-term memory (for example, seeing an essay topic and understanding what you are being asked to write about). Intrinsic cognitive load refers to effort involved in performing the task itself (actually writing the essay). Extraneous cognitive load is any effort imposed by the way that the task is delivered (having to find the correct essay topic on a page full of essay topics).
Mayer, Moreno, Sweller, and their colleagues established e-learning design principles that are focused on minimizing extraneous cognitive load and introducing germane and intrinsic loads at user-appropriate levels. These include the following empirically established principles:
Multimedia principle (also called the Multimedia Effect)
Using any two out of the combination of audio, visuals, and text promote deeper learning than using just one or all three.
Learning is more effective when visuals are accompanied by audio narration versus onscreen text. There are exceptions for when the learner is familiar with the content, is not a native speaker of the narration language, or when printed words are the only things presented on screen. Another exception to this is when the learner needs to use the material as reference and will be going back to the presentation repeatedly.
The less that learners know about the presentation content, the more they will be distracted by unrelated content. Irrelevant video, music, graphics, etc. should be cut out to reduce cognitive load that might happen through learning unnecessary content. Learners with some prior knowledge, however, might have increased motivation and interest with unrelated content.
Learning is more effective when relevant information is presented closely together. Relevant text should be placed close to graphics, and feedback and responses should come closely to any answers that the learner gives.
More effective learning happens when learning is segmented into smaller chunks. Breaking down long lessons and passages into shorter ones helps promote deeper learning.
Using arrows or circles, highlighting, and pausing in speech are all effective methods of signaling important aspects of the lesson. It is also effective to end a lesson segment after releasing important information.
Learner control principle
For most learners, being able to control the rate at which they learn helps them learn more effectively. Having just play and pause buttons can help more than having an array of controls (back, forward, play, pause). Advanced learners may benefit from having the lesson play automatically with the ability to pause when they choose.
A tone that is more informal and conversational, conveying more of a social presence, helps promote deeper learning. Beginning learners may benefit from a more polite tone of voice, while learners with prior knowledge may benefit from a more direct tone of voice. Computer characters can help reinforce content by narrating the lesson, pointing out important features, or illustrating examples for the learner.
Introducing key content concepts and vocabulary before the lesson can aid deeper learning. This principle seems to apply more to low prior knowledge learners versus high prior knowledge learners.
Having graphics explained by both audio narration and on-screen text creates redundancy. The most effective method is to use either audio narration or on-screen text to accompany visuals.
Instructional methods that are helpful to low prior knowledge learners may not be helpful at all, or may even be detrimental, to high prior knowledge learners.
Additional Resources and References
- Mayer, R. E., & Moreno, R. (2003). Nine ways to reduce cognitive load in multimedia learning. Educational psychologist, 38(1), 43-52.
- Mayer, R. E. (1997). Multimedia learning: Are we asking the right questions?.Educational psychologist, 32(1), 1-19.
- Moreno, R., & Mayer, R. (2007). Interactive multimodal learning environments. Educational Psychology Review, 19(3), 309-326.
- Low, R., & Sweller, J. (2005). The modality principle in multimedia learning.The Cambridge handbook of multimedia learning, 147, 158.
- Mayer, R. E. (2003). Elements of a science of e-learning. Journal of Educational Computing Research, 29(3), 297-313.
- Clark, R. C., & Mayer, R. E. (2016). E-learning and the science of instruction: Proven guidelines for consumers and designers of multimedia learning. John Wiley & Sons.
Summary: The online disinhibition effect describes the loosening of social restrictions and inhibitions that are normally present in face-to-face interactions that takes place in interactions on the Internet.
Originators and Key Contributors: In 2004, John Suler, professor of psychology at Rider University, published an article titled “The Online Disinhibition Effect,” which analyzed characteristics of internet interactions that contributed to this effect. The term “online disinhibition effect” was already in use at the time.
Keywords: online, internet, anonymity, invisibility, imagination, disinhibition
Summary: Social identity theory proposes that a person’s sense of who they are depends on the groups to which they belong.
Originators and Key Contributors: Social identity theory originated from British social psychologists Henri Tajfel and John Turner in 1979.
Keywords: identity, ingroup, outgroup, social comparison, categorization, intergroup
Your intelligence and other characteristics – where do they come from? Can they change?
People vary in the degree to which they attribute the causes of intelligence and other traits. Are they innate and fixed factors (“fixed” mindset) or are they variable factors that can be influenced through learning, effort, training, and practice (“growth” mindset)? A “growth” mindset is generally seen as more advantageous.
Carol S. Dweck, a psychologist on the faculty at Stanford University, proposed mindset theory as a way to understand the effects of the beliefs that individuals hold for the nature of intelligence. This in turn has implications for learning and education.
Keywords: mindset, intelligence, traits, fixed mindset, growth mindset
Summary: Systems thinking can be described as the ability to think about a system as a whole, rather than only thinking about its individual parts.
Originator and Proponents: Ludwig von Bertalanffy, Peter Checkland, Peter Senge, Donella Meadows
Keywords: systems thinking, stock and flows, interconnected relationships, interdependencies