Week 5 – Situated Learning, and Generative Learning

Write a reflection about the advanced instructional designs that were presented in class. Which ones made sense? Which would you use? Why? Which did you have problems with and what problems? 

Situated Learning:

The first presentation was Situated Learning.  Sounds like another catch phrase for another design model.  So here is the definition that was presented.

The theory of situated cognition…claims that every human thought is adapted to the environment, that is, situated, because what people perceive, how they conceive of their activity, and what they physically do develop together.  It has been positioned as a way to gain specific knowledge and has been deployed in technology based instruction.  The basis for this approach is that it must be authentic (very practical to what is being studied, so not a some level of high abstraction) and it involves social interaction and collaboration too.  Apparently what is learned is a result of the learning environment or situation it is actually learned.  This makes sense.  If you were teaching someone how to install a telecom switch, they would most likely learn better in a real world environment by being involved in that particular situation.

The key concepts for Situated Learning can be described as a function of the activity, not something that is abstract or out of context, involving a lot in interaction with others who are trying to learn.  You get more engaged as you learn more.  I can see moving from the sidelines into the game, once you start to understand the situation better.  Jared had a very good presentation and felt very comfortable with the subject matter.  He teaches technology and STEM so it is probable a natural and comfortable experience for him.

Generative Learning

So this model came across as another thought leader that wanted to coin or market a new method of learning called Generative Learning.  So starting with the founders definition, we can began to better understand what this really is and how it is different from the other models.  Generative Learning was defined by Wittrock as a process where the “learners should become accountable and responsible in learning and mentally active in constructing relationships between what they know and what they are learning.”  I personally can’t imagine where learners would not be accountable and responsible in learning and mentally active in constructing relationships between what they know and don’t know.  If I were learning how to extract square roots and did not know how to do it, it would make sense that I would build on my prior knowledge of multiplication and division to help me figure it out more easily.

I can see how it closely resembles constructivism and that the strategy is similar to cooperative learning.  It has you explore the perspective and context of what you are trying to learn and requires you to build upon your prior knowledge.  For me personally, I would have a tough time realizing that I was specifically using a Generative Learning approach.

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