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Problems With Multiple Choice Tests - BrainX - Lewolt - 2008

Problems With Multiple Choice Tests - BrainX - Lewolt - 2008

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Published by Dennis Ashendorf
From a neuroscience perspective, alternatives must be found to the use of multiple-choice questions used in many online learning courses. Multiple choice is useful in summative testins (eg SAT), but not in teaching for long-term learning.

Many reports are cited.
From a neuroscience perspective, alternatives must be found to the use of multiple-choice questions used in many online learning courses. Multiple choice is useful in summative testins (eg SAT), but not in teaching for long-term learning.

Many reports are cited.

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Published by: Dennis Ashendorf on Feb 17, 2009
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06/14/2009

 
 
Integrating Neuroscience andEducation to Produce a New Framework for Achieving Mastery in Online Learning Environments
By Bruce Lewolt
Overview 
This paper examines how neuroscience research, when combined with educationresearch, can provide a useful framework for understanding how students learninformation to the level of mastery. For the purpose of this paper mastery isdefined as the long term ability to effectively use information to produce adesired result.
Copyright 2005- 2008 Bruce C. Lewolt All Rights Reserved1
 
Introduction
Based on interviews with 455 top educators, the Grunwald research organizationconcluded that the biggest opportunity for computers to add value to theeducation process is to provide personalized instruction that meets the individualneeds of every learner (Grunwald 2004). In so doing, the computer can providethe benefits of a one-to-one model of instruction coupled with research basedmastery learning strategies.
Models of Instruction
The public school classroom and most online learning systems employ a one-to-many model of instruction. All students hear the same lecture or are presented with the same online learning content at the same pace, regardless of their priorknowledge of the subject matter or leaning ability. Research demonstrates that aone-to-one model of instruction, often referred to as individualized instruction, issuperior to the one-to-many model. For example:1. By using individual instruction learners can increase their learning speed anddecrease the time it takes them to complete a course of instruction. In many casesstudents can complete classes three to seven times faster if they receiveindividualized instruction versus group classroom instruction (Gettinger 1984).2. Questions are one of the most powerful learning tools, yet in most classroomsthe average student only asks 0.1 questions per hour (Grasser & Person 1994).
Copyright 2005- 2008 Bruce C. Lewolt All Rights Reserved2
 
Individualized instruction gives each learner the opportunity to ask or respond toas many questions as are necessary to facilitate the learning objective. The resultis that in individualized instruction environments learners end up asking oranswering as many as 120 questions in an hour.3. Students in individualized tutoring environments may exceed the performanceof students taught in a classroom by up to two standard deviations (Bloom 1984).
Problems with Instructor-Based IndividualizedInstruction:
Unfortunately, funding makes it impractical to provide individualized instructionin a public school. In addition, the effort required to properly implement the bestone-to-one strategies put a huge burden on a teacher. For example, properimplementation of spaced memory reactivation requires extensive, ongoing dataanalysis of each student’s records. This analysis will determine the ideal day forthe next study session and the best content for the student to study in each study session.Computers are capable of providing a true one-to-one environment andimplementing labor intensive strategies like spaced memory reactivation.However, the effectiveness of computer based learning is dependent on goodsoftware designers who are careful to incorporate all of the research proven
Copyright 2005- 2008 Bruce C. Lewolt All Rights Reserved3

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