ERIC Number: ED185066
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1979-Mar
Reference Count: N/A
A Study of Complex Learning: Theories and Methodologies. Report No. 7901.
Bott, Ross A.
An analysis and model of the cognitive processes underlying complex learning situations are presented. A theory is proposed that attempts to specify particular internal knowledge structures generated and modified during instruction, and to use them to explain specific difficulties that the learner experiences and also the overall progress being made. The theory states that (1) the underlying process reflects largely the prior knowledge structures of the student interacting with the information implied by the instruction; (2) the learning mechanisms involved are mostly simple and automatic; (3) the key information within the knowledge structures which allows complex learning to occur is the similarity between higher-order structures. This theory was applied to novices learning to use a computer text editor by reading a basic instruction manual and completing some exercises. After each sentence of instruction, they were asked to describe their current understanding, any difficulties they were aware of, and their expectations about what would follow. Their protocols were analyzed for evidence of underlying cognitive processes. These learning processes and the associated knowledge structures on which they operate were then modeled in terms of the theory at several levels of detail. (Author/GDC)
Descriptors: Analogy, Computer Science Education, Concept Formation, Difficulty Level, Higher Education, Knowledge Level, Learning, Learning Processes, Learning Theories, Prior Learning, Research Methodology, Study Guides
National Technical Information Service, Springfield, VA 22161 (AD-A068 323/5ST, MF $3.50, HC $8.00).
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Advanced Research Projects Agency (DOD), Washington, DC.; Office of Naval Research, Arlington, VA. Personnel and Training Research Programs Office.; National Inst. of Mental Health (DHEW), Rockville, MD.
Authoring Institution: California Univ., San Diego. Center for Human Information Processing.