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Rizwan Ansary

Assignment 9

1. what did you find

1.1. interesting about the article?

There is a smooth line of thought on which the author has built his arguments. I like thw way he presents the goal, problems, current practices and fianlly recommendations in that order. During my school days, there was an (over-)emphasis on understanding rather than memorizing. However, while the encouragemnent was there, I feel that there was little practical effort on the ground. The concerns of producing good grades outweighed the goal of proper learning. I also read the example of cat in the puzzle box with interest.

1.2. not interesting about the article?

In general, some of the arguments could have been better made with examples.

2. what do you consider the main message of the article?

The article aims to highlight the very basic issue of teaching and learning methods that are central to improving the education system. In order to impart a concept to a brain, it is necessary to learn how the brain learns. Due to different situations and different kinds of audiences, there is no single method of learning and teaching. Hence, it should be targetted according to the audience.

3. analyze and describe how you have learnt "Microsoft Word" (or a similar system incase you have never learnt MS-Word)

I first used MS Word in middle school where we were introduced to Windows 3.11, painting applications and word processors. My dad used Word Perfect at home so I was exposed to some features that were in that application too. From there on, I mostly learnt through preparing reports, resumes, assignments etc. I also learnt a little by asking around and seeing people do stuff. With time I have learnt that 99% of my needs can be fulfilled by MS Word, I just have to look for it.

4. speculate of all the "information/knowledge" which you have today – how you have learnt it?; give a brief description of the two most interesting episodes

I can think of only the following ways through which I think I have learnt. However, this is by no means a complete list.
  • making mistakes
  • teaching a class
  • attending school and all the homeworks, projects and tests that come with that experience.
  • newspapers, books, magazines
  • internet especially Google.
  • various jobs
  • asking questions
  • engaging in discussions
  • listening to conflicting viewpoints on a topic
  • initiative and curiosity
  • by accident

5. write in one short paragraph (a) what the following concepts means and (b) which role they have played in your learning (e.g., where you have encountered them)
5.1. learning by being told (meaning, personal relevance)
For the most part, this mode of learning requires listening to some form of a lecture that is being delivered to you. My formal educaiton and most of the technical knowledge of my vocation so far is based on this type of learning.`

5.2. self-directed learning (meaning, personal relevance)
This is the type of learning that is done as a result of personal initiative. My knowledge of politics, sports, gadgets as well as my know-how of repairing many things comes from self-directed learning.

5.3. discovery learning (meaning, personal relevance)

To put it simply, this is the learning that you did not plan and did not expect to happen. It dawned upon you as a realization that was a natural outcome of some incident or phenomena. It is hard to quantify things I have learnt from this method. I would say that my senses have been trained in part by this method.

5.4. experiental learning (meaning, personal relevance)

The things you learn through practice and experiments comes under this category. This usually entails doing something based on what I already know and as a result learning to improve my knowledge of how to do that better. When I use a new programming construct (funciton, class, API etc) for which there is not enough documentation, I do a lot of experiental learning.

5.5. informal learning (meaning, personal relevance)

The learning you achieve in a non-traditional setting (e.g. outside a classroom) is informal learning. This is something that you did not plan on to learn. e.g. things I learn from observing people is informal learning. A friend once told me that he learnt how to request stops on a bus by observing people pull the ropes next to the windows.

However, I am not sure how does this form of learning differ from discovery learning. At the very least, I consider discovery learning to be a subset of informal learning

5.6. collaborative learning (meaning, personal relevance)

Things that you learn through doing something together as a group and observing the improvements that can take place as a result of a sommon pool of knowledge of the group.

6. which media have you used for your learning?

Again, this is not a complete list.
  • Humans, through interaction
  • Books, this includes books, magazines, articles, journals, research papers etc
  • Whiteboard, this includes slideshow projectors and other similar stuff as well
  • Electronic media
  • Computers, this includes internet, encyclopedias, bulletin boards and various other applications.

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