Promoting Deep Learning in College Students

Moving Students beyond Grades

Professor Terry Doyle Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning Ferris State University Doylet@Ferris.edu

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A Reminder for Us All!!!
No college recruiter or grad school admissions officer has the following as their slogan WANTED College graduates that are good notetakers and do great on multiple choice tests!

The Key to Students’ Learning

The one who does the work does the learning!

We don’t all Think Alike

Add 17 + 56 in your head!

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We don’t all Think Alike

A—In columns like on paper B—Added 10 to 56 and 7 to 66 C—Added 20 to 56 and subtracted 3 from 76 D—Other

Definition of Learning

Learning is a change in the neuron-patterns of the brain
(Ratey, 2002)

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A Teacher’s Definition of Learning
The ability to use information after significant periods of disuse and  the ability to use the information to solve problems that arise in a context different (if only slightly) from the context in which the information was originally used

Robert Bjork, UCLA, Memory and Metamemory

The Brain and Learning

The key message about the brain is this: “The neurons that fire together wire together”
(Hebb, 1949, Ratey 2002)

The Brain and Learning

Meaning the more we repeat the same actions and thoughts— the more we encourage the formation of certain connections the more fixed the neural circuits in the brain for that activity become.
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The Brain and Learning

“Use it or lose it” Is the corollary: if you don’t exercise brain circuits, the connections will not be adaptive and will slowly weaken and could be lost. (Ratey 2002,
pg.31)
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The Brain and Learning

“The brain is a pattern seeking device” It relates whole concepts to one another and looks for similarities, differences, or relationships between them.” (Ratey, 2002, pg.5)

Deep vs. Surface Learning

Deep and Surface are two approaches to study, derived from original empirical research by Marton and Säljö (1976) and since elaborated by Ramsden (1992), Biggs (1987, 1993) and Entwistle (1981), among others.

Deep vs. Surface Learning

The following slides are based on the work of :
ATHERTON J S (2004) Teaching and Learning: Deep and Surface learning [On-line] UK: Available: http://www.learningandteaching.info/learning/deepsurf.htm

Deep vs. Surface Learning

John Biggs' famous distinction between surface and deep learning has had a major impact on thinking about the need to make learners do something with the information which normally forms the basis of transactions between teachers and learners
ATHERTON J S (2004) Teaching and Learning: Deep and Surface learning [On-line] UK: Available: http://www.learningandteaching.info/learning/deepsurf.htm

Surface Learning

Put briefly, surface learning occurs where students are too busy accepting information that they have no time or motivation to process it

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Deep Learning
Deep learning, is mostly measured by the extent to which qualitative changes – rather than mere content memorization – occur in students at the end of learning.  It involves more processing, often through discussion, reflection and in response to the stimulus that problems or tasks requiring that processing

It’s not the Method of Instruction

Of course real insight into learning comes when it is realized that the particular educational form (lecture, tutorial, online reading, computer mediated discussion etc) is not the determinant of whether or not learning is surface or deep.

Learner-Centered Teaching
Rather, the way in which we conceive of the roles of students and teachers in learning –  the development of curricula and tasks on the basis of this conception, is the significant determinant.

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Grade Grabbers

There is a third approach to learning, known as the “Achieving” which can be summarized as a very well-organized form of Surface approach, and in which the motivation is to get good marks.

Grade Grabbers

For grade grabbers the exercise of learning is construed as a game, The acquisition of technique improves performance. It works as well as the analogy: however, insofar as learning is not a game, it breaks down.

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Deep Learning

Surface Learning

Focus is on “what is signified”

Focus is on the “signs” (or on the learning as a signifier of something else)

Relates previous knowledge to new knowledge

Focus on unrelated parts of the task

Relates knowledge from different courses

Information for assessment is simply memorized

(based on Ramsden, 1988)

Deep Learning

Surface Learning

Relates theoretical ideas to everyday experience Relates and distinguishes evidence and argument

Facts and concepts are associated unreflectively Principles are not distinguished from examples

(based on Ramsden, 1988)

Deep Learning

Surface Learning

Organizes and structures content into coherent whole Emphasis is internal, from within the student

Task is treated as an external imposition Emphasis is external, from demands of assessment

 

(based on Ramsden, 1988)

Surface Learners

The Surface learner is trying to “suss out” what the teacher wants and to provide it, and is likely to be motivated primarily by fear of failure.

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Surface Learners

One interesting study has suggested that efforts by teachers to convey that what they want is Deep learning only succeeds in getting Surface learners to engage in ever more complex contextualizing exercises, trying to reproduce the features of the Deep approach, from a Surface basis. (Ramsden, Beswick and Bowden, 1986)

Deep Learning

Surface Learning

Deep learning is experienced as exciting and a gratifying challenge.

Surface learning tends to be experienced as an uphill struggle, characterized by fighting against boredom

Surface Learning

There is some evidence that assessment methods can “reach back” into courses in such a way as to make Surface approaches more likely
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Surface Learning
Many current university students have been "coached" by their teachers to get the grades they need for admission: they have been trained to be surface learners, and their experience is that it "works".  Why should they take the risk of working in a different way?

Surface Learning

Surface learning seems to be more likely when learning is isolated from practice.

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Surface Learning

Surface learning is perhaps a function of the isolation of academic life from the real world where knowledge and ignorance have real consequences, rather than merely affecting assessment grades.

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Control, Choice and Deep Learning

Who make the decisions about your course? A=Faculty B=Jointly C=Students

Control and Learning

A=Faculty B=Jointly C=Students Course content Course Calendar/due dates, topic order Pace of the course/lessons/class Types of assignments given Number of evaluations/assessments used

3. 4. 5. 6. 7.

Control and Learning

A=Faculty B=Jointly C=Students

6. Grading Policy 7. Learning environment/attendance policy, late work policy , late for class food, drink in class etc. 8. Flow of communication in the classroom/when questions are asked/when discussion is held

Control and Learning

A=Faculty B=Jointly C=Students

9. What textbook will be used 10.Types of evaluations /assessments used 11.If formative student feedback will be asked for 12. When office hours will be

Control, Choice and Deep Learning

Based on the work of James Zull, 2002; William Perry, 1997 and Perry and Magnusson, 1987

The brain seeks to constantly be in control—it is an evolutionary part of its survival priority (Zull, 2002)

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Control, Choice and Deep Learning

If students perceive a loss of control, (the belief that they cannot influence or control events) that orientation strongly affects their academic performance
(Perry, 1997)
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Control, Choice and Deep Learning

The insistence on control causes humans to constantly make decisions that give them control whether they understand all of the implication or not of the decision( Zull, 2002)
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Control, Choice and Deep Learning

No outside influence can necessarily cause the brain to give up its control—it will decide for itself The brain will decide what it wants to learn and what it does not want to learn (Zull, 2002)
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Control, Choice and Deep Learning

This choice is often based on previous learning experiences—good or bad (Perry and
Magnusson, 1987)

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Control, Choice and Deep Learning

If it is seen as important to students they will choose to learn it This decision often takes time and multiple exposures to the information before it is made
(Zull, 2002)

Deep Learning and Control

Motivation—the continued use of external motivation may force the brain to give up control-“ I don’t really want to learn this but I need the grade”

Deep Learning and Control

The brain often makes one of two choices in this external motivation situation— Become a minimalist--do the least amount of work needed to -1. Get the reward (grade) 2. Avoid the punishment (failure)

 

Deep Learning and Control
 Or

try to devise a way to do no work but still get the reward or avoid the punishment Cheat

Deep Learning and Control
What gives students a sense of control in their learning?

Relevance—I can use this or see where I might use it in the future Authenticity—It is a real issue in my life or the lives of others right now

Deep Learning and Control
3. Choice—I have some say in what happens to me—I can use my learning strengths or interests to enhance my learning

4. Meaningfulness—I care about it

Deep Learning and Control
5. It connects with what is already motivating the student —It has to do with the career they want, the person they want to be, the life style they want to have 6. Challenging—Students get a sense of accomplishment from doing it, it tests their abilities

Knowing WHY Leads to Deep Learning

Teaching is in many ways no different than any other human to human interaction. If I don’t know why you want me to help you with a project or if I can’t see how taking on a certain task has some benefit to me I am hesitant to do it.

Creating Relevance for Learning Activities

1. Place learning activities in the context of current knowledge of how the human brain learns 2. Place learning activities in the context of how they aid in the preparation for careers 3. Place learning activities in the context of life long learning 4. Place learning in the context of immediate future learning—the next course, next year etc.

Example of Creating Relevance for Teaching and Learning Strategies

Reflective Activities—Journaling
1.It maximizes the opportunity for students to understand new material by examining how the material connects to previously learned material 2. It expands students’ current view of the world by considering how the new material might alter their current views of the world or themselves. 3. It increases the number of connections to other neuro networks increasing the likelihood that students will be able to recall the information in the future 4. It expands the number of cues that students can respond to in order to recall the new information

Relevance of Reflective Activities Journaling

5. It increase the number of neuro networks for the new learning by coding it through the tactile and kinesthetic senses (writing) 6. Reflection is a key element of the natural way the brain process information.( Zull p.17) 7. It can help make emotional connections for the new information enhancing recall. 8. Journaling causes students to move from receivers of knowledge to producers of knowledge (a frontal lobe activity)

Decisions about Teaching
Skills

Behaviors Methods, Assignments Evaluations

Content

Thinking

Creating Deep Learning

     

The key action is to always address the questions WHY?HOW?
Why am I telling you this?* Why is it important? How is this relevant to being a_________? Why do we need to learn this? Why is this part of the curriculum? How is this going to help me?

Creating Deep Learning
Why am I telling you this?  If the information is complex and difficult– then it should be talked/lectured about  BUT
 

If students can learn it on their own or teach each other than let them.

Creating Deep Learning

“The

one who does the talking does the learning” –Thomas
Angelo

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Creating Deep Learning

Encouraging faculty/student interaction (e.g. meet groups to plan projects, "personalize" teaching) Encouraging student/student interaction (e.g. group projects, peer tutoring) Using active and interactive teaching methods (e.g. case studies, buzz groups)
Teaching Strategies to Foster "Deep" Versus "Surface Learning Elizabeth Campbell, Centre for University Teaching Dr. Christopher Knapper, Professor of Psychology and Director of the Instructional Development Centre at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario

Creating Deep Learning

Making links with what students already know to encourage sense of structure Allowing students input into course goals and methods, being receptive and flexible Discussing teaching and learning skills explicitly Trying to link course topics to students’ lives and career aspirations
Teaching Strategies to Foster "Deep" Versus "Surface Learning Elizabeth Campbell, Centre for University Teaching Dr. Christopher Knapper, Professor of Psychology and Director of the Instructional Development Centre at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario

 

Creating Deep Learning

Define assessment goals and tasks clearly, and ensure they are congruent with learning outcomes Allow choice of assessment tasks
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Creating Deep Learning

Stress tasks that allow time for information gathering, depth, and reflection (e.g. projects vs. exams)
...

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Creating Deep Learning
 

Encourage collaborative projects Choose tasks that require integration of information from a range of sources Give full and proactive feedback on labs, assignments, and tests and require students to use the feedback to improve
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Teaching Approaches that Creating Deep Learning

Problem-based learning Students are confronted with an illstructured problem that mirrors real-world problems. Well chosen problems encourage students to define problems, identify what information is needed, and engage in solution generation and decision making.

Teaching Approaches that Creating Deep Learning

http://www.saltspring.com/capewest/pbl.htm

Samples of how to teach problem based learning

Teaching Approaches that Creating Deep Learning

Case Based learning Cases are factually-based, complex problems written to stimulate classroom discussion and collaborative analysis. Case teaching involves the interactive, studentcentered exploration of realistic and specific situations.

Teaching Approaches that Creating Deep Learning
As students consider problems from a perspective which requires analysis, they strive to resolve questions that have no single right answer.
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Teaching Approaches that Creating Deep Learning

http://www.pitt.edu/~ciddeweb/fds/lrn_cas ebased.htm Website for case based learning

Teaching Approaches that Creating Deep Learning

Performance/ Presentation The action of having to demonstrate, teach, guide, or inform, the whole class or an invited group of experts increases the likelihood for deep learning.

Teaching Approaches that Creating Deep Learning

Students’ performance is public, it is critiqued and it has a much higher risk and greater accountability. These factors motivate students to learn well what they are to present—in addition perhaps the highest form of demonstrating comprehension is the ability to teach others. (D.
Sousa, How the Brain Learns, 2001)

Teaching Approaches that Creating Deep Learning
 

Student Research Research is an active, diligent and systematic process of inquiry in order to discover, interpret or revise facts, events, behaviors, or theories, or to make practical applications with the help of such facts, laws or theories. The term "research" is also used to describe the collection of information about a particular subject.

Teaching Approaches that Creating Deep Learning
 

Academic Service Learning Service-learning is a form of public engagement and experiential learning. It is a pedagogical model which intentionally integrates academic learning with authentic community service in a credit bearing academic course.

Teaching Approaches that Creating Deep Learning
 

Service Learning Students participate in a service activity which meets needs identified by the community and critically reflect on that activity. Thus students gain a deep understanding of course content, a commitment to socially responsible citizenship, and develop skills and understandings needed to contribute to civic well-being.

Teaching the Patterns of the Subject Area can Enhance Deep Learning

James Ratey in his book The User’s Guide to the Brain offers this simple description of the human brain— “ the brain is a pattern seeking device”

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Patterns are a Key
The way in which a student organizes the new information - the degree to which she can create meaningful and familiar patterns – is a key to retaining the information. The information must be integrated into our permanent conceptual scheme

FOR EXAMPLE
Try to remember the following:

15084972637

Now try again: 1- (508) 497-2637 OR 15,084,972,637

Try to remember these letters:

LSDNBCTVFBIUSA

Now try again:

LSD NBC TV FBI USA

Recognition of Patterns

Helping students to see or discover the patterns that exist in the information that we teach is a vital part of helping them to become deep learners learners. As students discover the patterns within information it moves their learning from memorizing isolated bits of data or information to meaningful understandings of how ideas and concepts are formed or fit together.

Advanced Organizers

Advanced organizers are powerful instruments for focusing students’ attention

 Examples:

~Agree-Disagree Chart
~Helps emotions and helps illustrate concepts

Agree Disagree Faculty should get fully Faculty should pay part paid health care of their health care

Advanced Organizers

Similarities and Differences

What are the similarities and differences between the Detroit Lion and the Chicago Bears Chicago wins some games and Detroit loses most games

Advanced Organizers

Mind Maps: show relationships in various ways and levels

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References

1. 2. 3. 4.

5.

References ATHERTON J S (2004) Teaching and Learning: Deep and Surface learning [Online] UK: Available: http://www.learningandteaching.info/learning/deepsurf.htm Brooks, J. and Martin. In search of Understanding: The Case for the Constructionist Classroom, 1999 Bjork, R. A. (1994) Memory and Metamemory consideration in the training of human beings. In J. Metcalfe & A. Shimamura (Eds) Metacognition: Knowing about Knowing pp. 185-205. Cambridge, MA MIT Press. Bloom, Benjamin S. (Ed). (1956). Taxonomy of Educational Objectives: The classification of Educational Goals. Handbook I. Cognitive Domain (pp. 201207). New York: McKay. Elizabeth Campbell Teaching Strategies to Foster "Deep" Versus "Surface Learning, Centre for University Teaching( based on the work of Christopher Knapper, Professor of Psychology and Director of the Instructional Development Centre at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario

References
6. Covington, M. V. (2000) Goal , theory motivation and school achievement: An Integrated review in Annual Review of Psychology ( pp 171-200) 7. Caine, Renate; Caine, Geoffrey. Education on The Edge of Possibility. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, 1997. 8. Dweck, Carol (2000) Self Theories: Their roles in motivation, personality and development. Philadelphia, PA Psychology Press 9. Damasio, A. R. (1994). Descartes' error: Emotion, reason, and the human brain. New York, NY, Grosset/Putnam 10. Diamond, Marion. (1988). Enriching Heredity: The Impact of the Environment on the Brain. New York, NY: Free Press. 11. Damasio AR: Fundamental Feelings. Nature 413:781, 2001. 12. Damasio AR: The Feeling of What Happens: Body and Emotion in the Making of 13.Consciousness, Harcourt Brace, New York, 1999, 2000.

References
14 .D. O. Hebb,1949 monograph, The Organization of Behaviour 15. Sylwester, R. A Celebration of Neurons An Educator’s Guide to the Human Brain, ASCD:1995 16. Sprenger, M. Learning and Memory The Brain in Action by, ASCD, 1999 17.How People Learn by National Research Council editor John Bransford, National Research Council, 2000 18. Goldberg, E. The Executive Brain Frontal Lobes and the Civilized Mind ,Oxford University Press: 2001 19. Hagen, A. S. & Weinstein, C. E. (1995) Achievement goals, self-regulated learning and the role of classroom context. In P.R. Pintrich ( ed.) understanding self-regulated learning( pp. 43-55) San Francisco, CA: Jossey Bass 20. Kolb, D. A. (1981) 'Learning styles and disciplinary differences'. in A. W. Chickering (ed.) The Modern American College, San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. 21. Magnusson, J. L., & Perry, R. P. (1989). Stable and transient determinants of students' perceived control: Implications for instruction in the college classroom. Journal of Educational Psychology, 81, 362-370.

References
22. 23. 24. 25. Ratey, J. MD :A User’s Guide to the Brain, Pantheon Books: New York, 2001 Zull, James. The Art of Changing the Brain.2002, Stylus: Virginia Weimer, Maryellen. Learner-Centered Teaching. Jossey-Bass, 2002 Penny, W.G. Jr. (1981). Cognitive and ethical growth: the making of meaning. In A. Chickering (Ed.), The modern American college. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, Inc. 26. Milton, O. , Pollio, H. R.,& Eison, J. ( 1986) Making sense of college grades, San Francisco, CA: Jossey Bass 27. Perry, R. P., Magnusson, J. L. (1987). Effective instruction and students' perceptions of control in the college classroom: Multiple lectures effects. Journal of Educational Psychology, 79, 453-460. 28. Steinberg, L. (with Brown, B. B, & Dornbusch, S.M.)(1996) Beyond the classroom: Why school reform has failed and what parents need to do. New York, NY: Simon & Schuster. 29. Stevenson, H.W., & Stigler, J. W. (1992) The learning gap: Why our schools are failing and what we can learn from Japanese and Chinese education. New York, NY: Simon and Schuster. 30. Tagg, John. The Learning Paradigm College. Anker Publishing , Bolton MA 2003 31. http://www.istpp.org/enews/2002_05_30.html Alarik Arenander and Fred Travis

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