ERIC Number: ED492037
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2006-Jul-11
Handling Complexity in Learning Environments: Theory and Research. Advances in Learning and Instruction
Elen, Jan, Ed.; Clark, Richard, Ed.
What is meant when people say that "learning environments are increasingly complex"? What is known about the cognitive processing that occurs during complex learning? How can educators provide effective instructional support for students who must learn and apply complex knowledge? These questions, and related issues, have fascinated educators and educational researchers for many years and are they are the focus of this book. As a tribute to Joost Lowyck, professor educational technology at the K.U.Leuven, eminent scholars from around the globe have contributed to a far reaching analysis of complexity in learning environments from a cognitive perspective. Authors summarize what is known now about complexity and make specific suggestions for educational practice and for future research on complexity. The different contributions in the several chapters discuss theoretical accounts and empirical findings about learning, the learner, and learning environments. Wide-ranging topics include current descriptions of cognitive architecture, new contributions to cognitive load theory, research and evaluation design considerations, motivation to learn, the influence of prior knowledge, the use of simulations and multimedia, alternative instructional methods and interventions, studies of the classroom context for complex learning and mental model-building. Following a preface and an introduction, this book contains the following seventeen chapters: (1) Setting the Scene: Complexity and Learning Environments (J. Elen and R. E. Clark); (2) How the Human Cognitive System Deals with Complexity (J. Sweller); (3) Motivational Challenges Experienced in Highly Complex Learning Environments (R. E. Clark, K. Howard, and S. Early); (4) Mental Models and Complex Problem Solving: Instructional Effects (N. M. Seel); (5) The Social Complexity in Establishing and Sharing Information Resources (U. Cress and F. W. Hesse); (6) The Culture of the Mathematics Classroom: A Complex Determinant of Students' Learning (F. Depaepe, E. De Corte, and L. Verschaffel); (7) Scaffolds for Computer Simulating Based Scientific Discovery Learning (T. de Jong); (8) Coping with Complexity in Multimedia Learning (R. E. Mayer); (9) Collaboration Load (P. Dillenbourg and M. Betrancourt); (10) Balancing Support for Student Learning (J. D. Vermunt); (11) The Use of Instructional Interventions: Lean Learning Environments as a Solution for a Design Problem (J. Elen and G. Clarebout); (12) Performance Assessment and Learning Task Selection in Environments for Complex Learning (J. J. G. van Merrienboer, D. Sluijsmans, G. Corbalan et al.); (13) Meeting Challenges to Researching Learning from Instruction by Increasing the Complexity of Research (P. H. Winne); (14) System Theoretic Designs for Research Complex Events (W. Winn); (15) The Systemic vs Analytic Study of Complex Learning Environments (G. Salomon); (16) Hypothesized Performance on Complex Tasks as a Function of Scaled Instructional Strategies (M. D. Merrill); and (17) Conclusion--When Less Is More: Research and Theory Insights about Instruction for Complex Learning (R. E. Clark and J. Elen). An author index; and subject index are also included.
Descriptors: Learning, Educational Environment, Learning Theories, Prior Learning, Cognitive Processes, Learning Motivation, Problem Solving, Teaching Methods, Mathematics Instruction, Scaffolding (Teaching Technique), Computer Simulation, Multimedia Instruction, Cooperation, Performance Based Assessment, Educational Research, Educational Strategies
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Publication Type: Books; Collected Works - General
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