ERIC Number: EJ1065373
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 36
Still to Learn from Vicarious Learning
Mayes, J. T.
E-Learning and Digital Media, v12 n3-4 p361-371 May-Jul 2015
The term "vicarious learning" was introduced in the 1960s by Bandura, who demonstrated how learning can occur through observing the behaviour of others. Such social learning is effective without the need for the observer to experience feedback directly. More than twenty years later a series of studies on vicarious learning was undertaken in the context of technology-enhanced learning in mass higher education. These studies employed the idea in a rather narrower sense, defining it as learning through observing others in the "act of learning," focusing in particular on the kind of conceptual learning that is typical in higher education and is best observed in tutorial settings. The key proposal was that multimedia recorded versions of tutorial dialogues could be chosen for their effectiveness in revealing the way concepts are grasped, questions posed and problems solved, from the perspective of real learners rather than from that imagined by teachers. These recorded dialogues could be linked to the primary subject matter and, it was hoped, would constitute a powerful resource for new students who would otherwise not have the opportunity to benefit from a teaching method which, if restricted to the original participants, simply does not scale. This paper reviews the subsequent research that has continued to explore this idea. Overall, the potential importance of vicarious learning in various kinds of subject matter has been confirmed. Research on vicarious learning continues to resonate with fundamental issues of the design of higher education in a digital world.
Descriptors: Observational Learning, Informal Education, Socialization, Higher Education, Tutoring, Dialogs (Language), Multimedia Materials, Electronic Equipment, Technology Uses in Education, Concept Formation, Teaching Methods, Educational Benefits, Educational Research
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Information Analyses; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
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