Adam Torgerson
Assignment 10

1. what did you find

1.1. interesting about the article?

I found the findings section discussing
understanding and preconceptions particularly interesting. By
looking for patterns in knowledge, students often lead themselves
astray by incorrectly identifying patterns. These initial
understandings ideally should be detected and addressed by a

This strongly relates to my own experience in dealing with
preconceptions about new knowledge. I often try to relate new
knowledge to some similar kind of old knowledge. Often, I make an
incorrect relation and end up confusing myself by making
assumptions based on two objects I assumed were related, but were
really not.

1.2. not interesting about the article?

This is somewhat of a personal bias, but I really
hate when people use the "right tool for the right job" analogy. It
is a tired cliche. I would be more informed if I were given
practical instances in which each tool is right for which job, so I
could apply them properly. I hope that is what the book goes on to

Also, several pages were missing (from my copy anyway), so some
sections were hard to follow.

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

The main message of the article is that learning
needs a very dynamic approach. Different people learn the best from
different teaching techniques. Different subject matter may lend
itself to certain teaching methodologies. Different age students
will respond differntly to different teaching styles. Being an
effective teacher means learning how to balance these issues and
present students with what they need.

3. analyze and describe how you have learnt a complex systems (e.g.,“Microsoft Word” or a similar system incase you have never learnt MS-Word, Photoshop, Java, using the Web effectively, …)?

I would say there are two general ways I approach
a complex system. Common to each method, I will first quickly browse
what documentation is available, perhaps spending more time if I
find some section of it infomative. The first method, which I use
when I have very little insight into the system, is to determine how
to accomplish my goal by looking for the relevant section of the
documentation. The second general method, which I use if I have had
experience with a similar system or interface, involves a hands-on
trial based approach. I will try to design a simple solution to my
problem, and try implementing it in the system. Only if I get stuck
or have other difficulties will I resort to the documentation.

4. describe the most interesting / exciting learning episode of your life!

I suppose the time one of my high school social
sciences teachers was illustrating humans' evolutionary similarity
to apes by doing an ape walk around the classroom in front of all
the students most interesting because it comes to mind first and
was quite entertaining.

5. write in one short paragraph (a) what the following concepts mean and (b) which role they have played in your personal learning (e.g., where you have encountered them)

5.1. learning by being told

Perhaps the most traditional learning method, it
may also be the least effective. The teacher typically stands in
from of a class and lectures. Most of my classes have been like
this throughout high school and college.

5.2. self-directed learning

The student drives the learning experience. A
teacher may or may not be available. In some cases, students are
driven to self-directed learning because of a teacher's
incompatible teaching style, or incompetance. This is found in
academics as independant study; a student works in a particular
area, largely proceeding at their own pace, but using a teacher for
support and guidance.

5.3. learning on demand

Learning anything at any place at any
time. This can be associated with online education, and many
companies seem to offer learning on demand corporate training
programs. Although I have been in CAETE classes, I did not take
them as online classes.

5.4. discovery learning

Discovery learning is an inquiry based learning
style, in which students are given questions they must answer by
experimentation and creative problem solving. This kind of learning
is often seen in the physical sciences.

5.5. experiential learning

Learning based on experience; whether or not that
experience is directly contained by the teacher, or is just based
on best practices accumulated from others' experiences. The student
is also motivated to get that experience. I have not had experience
with this either.

5.6. informal learning

Informal learning is learning directed through a
teacher. A teacher notices a student is interested in a subject,
and helps them find out more about that subject. In learning about
one particular subject, a student may find another subject they are
more interested in and is encouraged to research that instead. As
a students new needs are detected, the teacher does what they can
to assist the student. I have not encountered this type of

5.7. collaborative learning

Collaborative learning is when students work
together on a larger problem. They build upon each other's
knowledge, and typically end up teaching each other something. I
have encountered this in class group projects.

6. which media support have you used and are you using for your

Besides the Internet as a general learning media,
I use the CAETE program to review previous CS lectures in classes
that support it. The classes are videotaped and the slides
annotated for distance education students, but regularly enrolled
students have access to it as well.