In this course we
will look at several different theoretical perspectives on learning,
cognition, and cognitive development. As we'll see, no single theory
can account for all aspects of human learning. By looking at a variety
of theories, we can identify a range of tools that may be useful in
understanding learning and teaching in a variety of settings.
Our primary goals
1. To become conversant
with the basic assumptions, concepts, and principles of each theory
2. To determine
the possible implications of each theory for instructional settings
3. To be able
to compare and contrast theories and their usefulness in the various
settings of interest to you and other education professionals
4. To create and
revise our own theories of learning
Text: A textbook is required for this section.
The textbook is:
Driscoll, M. (2000).
Psychology of Learning for Instruction, 2nd Edition. New York: Allyn
Also there is a second optional text for the course:
Gredler, M. E. (2001).
Learning and Instruction: Theory into Practice, 4th Edition.
You may want to
consider obtaining this text, particularly if you have no prior experience
with studying learning theories. It can be helpful to have a second
"view" of the theories, and Gredler's book has chapters that correspond
to most of the theories we will cover in the course. On each Unit page,
I will designate the appropriate optional readings from Gredler.
are required reading for each unit and are listed on each unit's assignment
page under "additional readings". All but one of these articles
can be obtained as a full-text article through EBSCO (see instructions
on individual unit pages).
Students are expected to
have read and prepared for discussion before coming to class. Each class
period will consist of some lecture, discussion, activity, and application.
Most of my course lectures are available on this web site for reference
at any time. Any additional information will be made available as we
go along or handed out in class.
There are 3 different kinds
of required products in this course.
At the end of units 2-5, a topic for a short thought paper (3-5
pages) will be presented. You will choose to complete any 3 of the 4
unit thought paper assignments. One or two of these projects will be
completed with a group. You will choose which units you are available
to work as a member of a group during the first week of class. Unit
6's thought paper is required. A short presentation on your unit 6 project
will be required during the weeks 11/18-11/25. Each unit product will
require a short reflection. A unit product is not considered complete
or on-time until the reflection is attached. It doesn't take long -
just don't forget to do it. If you are taking your "unit off"
just send me a short e-mail on or near the due date, so I can mark it
in the grade book.
Theory: At the beginning of the course, you will turn in a draft
of a personal learning theory. You will post your theory in the appropriate
forum on oncourse. You should also
read and respond to some of your classmates' theories and try to see
what's common across the way many of you think about learning theories
initially. At the end of the course, after reading/discussing each of
the learning theories, you will submit a revised draft of your personal
Final Project: More
details will be forthcoming. This final writing product will be based
on an in-class activity and will require the application of all the
learning theories previously covered.
Each Unit thought
paper will count equally toward your final grade. The personal theory
of learning draft and final product will count together as one product.
Each product will be 1/8 of your grade (except unit 6, which
will count slightly higher). Peer evaluations constitute 15% of your
grade for each unit in which you work as a group. Course participation
will be weighted twice. See the assignments
page for details.
A grade of "A" will
be given to work which shows extraordinary high achievement, unusually
complete command of the subject matter, represents an exceptionally
high degree of originality, creativity, and synthesis/application .
A grade of "B" will
be given to work which is very good, solid, above average quality. Good
synthesis/application are expected.
A grade of "C" will
be given to work of satisfactory quality with an average level of synthesis/application.
Turning in Work:
Due dates for assignments are listed in the assignments page. Due dates are Sundays at midnight
Bloomington time. I will likely not be available to answer questions
late Sunday. As such, if you have problems, you are welcome to send
me an e-mail and then turn in your work Monday by midnight after we
have gotten a chance to correspond or see me in class Monday. Technical
glitches also arise from time to time. Although the official end of
each unit is Sunday at midnight, any work received by Monday at midnight
will not be considered late.
The easiest way
to turn in papers is to send them to me as an attachment using your
Oncourse mail account. If you do this, I will be able to read and grade
on-line. You will be able to see your grades automatically when I have
completed grading by going to "My grade report" under "Tools" in Oncourse.
As an alternative,
particularly if Oncourse is experiencing problems, you should e-mail
with your document as an attachment, preferably in WORD, although I
can open other kinds of attachments.
papers will lose 10% every two days.
A grade of "I" will be given for medical emergencies
or extreme unforseen emergencies only.
All other policies
and regulations (e.g., regarding "academic honesty and plagiarism" including
that of on-line sources) as stated in the Graduate Bulletin apply in
this course. If you are unfamiliar with these policies and regulations,
then you are required to make yourself familiar with them immediately.
Policy: I can be contacted via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I will try to respond to email within 48 hours of receiving it.
I may even be able to answer questions more promptly. However, please
don't assume I am on email 24 hours a day 7 days a week.