Perceptrons

 

PERCEPTRON copy

Oh, I even love the word itself, but what are they, really? Well, it is a type of artificial neuron that takes several binary inputs and produces a single binary output.

What one needs to know are the binary inputs and their relative weight in the decision-making process (…) by varying the weights and the threshold, we can get different models of decision-making (…) a perceptron can weigh up different kinds of evidence in order to make decisions (…) another way perceptrons can be used is to compute the elementary logical functions we usually think of as underlying computation, functions such as AND, OR, and NAND.

 

References

Michael Nielsen, Neural Networks and Deep Learning, Chapter 01, full book available here

Seven Sins of Memory (2003)

seven-sins

Our self is based on memories of past experiences while the retrieval, recollection and reconstruction of the past is reciprocally influenced by the self. Memory’s imperfection is classified in this book in seven sins (intended here as in transgressions fatal to spiritual progress/ ways in which the normal, everyday operations of our mind may occasionally produce suboptimal or flawed memory experiences):

  • Forgetting: 01 transience/ 02 absent-mindedness/ 03 blocking
  • Distortion: 01 misattribution/ 02 suggestibility/ 03 bias
  • Intrusive memories: 01 persistence

seven-sins

  • Image 01 available here
  • Image o2 available here

See also; Joseph LeDoux, 2002, Synptic Self: In the absence of learning and memory processes the self would be an impoverished expression of our genetic constitution

Didactic/Reflexive Pedagogies

cope-kalatzis-graph

Cope and Kalatzis use this pair of terms to describe alternative pedagogical systems, and by using their special characteristics they demonstrate how technology in itself cannon produce change in pedagogy, it is pedagogically neutral. In fact, technology features such as flipped classroom and e-textbooks often reproduce didactic pedagogy principles. So,

Didactic Pedagogy:

  • balance of control is with the instructor
  • focus on cognition
  • focus on the individual learner
  • the learners must demonstrate that they can replicate discipline knowledge

Reflexive Pedagogy

  • the learner has considerable scope and responsibility for epistemic action (knowledge is dialogical)
  • focus is on the artifacts and knowledge representations constructed by the learner and the process of their construction
  • focus is on the social sources of knowledge
  • wider range of epistemic processes

In  their forthcoming book “e-Learning ecologies” the two authors present the reader with seven new learning affordances (see image above). They explore the way new media can be used to serve the reflexive model of education. At the moment they run the e-Learning ecologies, MOOC in the Coursera platform.

 

References

Kalatzis, M., Cope, B., 2015, “Learning and New Media“, in The SAGE Handbook of Learning, edited by David Scott and Eleanore Hargreaves, Thousand Oaks CA: Sage, Pp. 373-387

Cope, B.,Kalatzis, M., 2015,”Assessment and Pedagogy in the Era of Machine-Mediated Learning” Pp. 350-374 in Education as Social Construction: Contributions to Theory,
Research, and Practice, edited by T. Dragonas, K. J. Gergen, S. McNamee, and E.
Tseliou. Chagrin Falls OH: Worldshare Books.

Image available here

David A. Sousa’s Commentary on MBE

neuroplasticity

The notions that MBE Science has challenged so far through educational neuroscience:

  • neuroplasticity: it was reaffirmed that the human brain continually reorganizes itself on the basis of input
  • neurogenesis: neurons in the brain do regenerate, regenerating neurons enhance learning and memory, physical exercise, in part, stimulates neurogenesis
  • the multitasking became alternate tasking, the brain shifts from one to another but never engages in both tasks simultaneously
  • learning two languages simultaneously is no problem for the young brain’s language processing networks, and it helps the learners grasp the deeper structure of languages
  • good readers use different neural pathways while reading than struggling readers
  • capacity limits of working memory — that is, the number of items it can hold at any one time—is inexplicably decreasing from about seven items to about five
  • brain’s attention systems, and experiences involving emotions are much more likely to be remembered 
  • critical role of movement and exercise in learning and memory
  • the frontal lobe, or rational part of the teenage brain, takes about 22 to 24 years to fully develop, while the emotional parts of the brain develop in about 10 to 12 years
  • our ability to focus naturally wanes for 30 to 45 minutes just past the middle of the day helps to explain why teaching and learning can be more difficult during that time
  • effects of sleep deprivation and stress on learning and memory, stress causes an increase in blood levels of the hormone cortisol. This hormone reduces one’s ability to focus and impairs memory
  • intelligence and creativity are separate abilities that are not genetically fixed, and that both can be modified by the environment and schooling
  • exposure to the arts can increase one’s attention, spatial skills, and creativity
  • a school’s social and cultural climates affect teaching and learning.

 

References

Mind, Brain, and Education: Implications for Educators, (ed.) Lynn Butler-Kisber, Autumn 2011 Vol. 5 No. 1, Quebec: LEARN, full publication available here

Image available here

Outcomes-Based Education (OBE)

teaching-for-quality-learning-at-university

The third edition of Teaching for Quality Learning at University written by John Biggs and Catherine Tang and published in 2007, presented the general trends in education just one year prior to the first connectivist MOOC and the consequent outburst of xMOOCs and OERs. The authors describe the changes in teaching and learning at that time:

  • student fees covered almost 30% of university funding pressuring the schools for high quality and competitiveness
  • having paid for the course gave students the sense that they were entitled to one
  • range of ability between students in the same class had started to differ as former school leavers were now in higher education
  • many universities started funding staff development to keep up with increased teaching responsibilities.

The authors argue in favor of constructive alignment, thus immersing students in a teaching environment that requires them to use learning activities that are likely to lead to the intended outcomes.

Apparently, the authors claim that the increase in student numbers along with their need for mobility made credit transfers a reality and thus the outcomes of education became standardized. But the net effect of credit transfers homogenized offerings from very different universities in quality. And that was when Graduate Attributes were introduced: generic or embedded and when constructive alignment, became OBE:

Outcomes-based education (OBE) has been used in quite different ways:
for enhancing teaching and learning, and for furthering a managerial
agenda

OBE VERSION 01_Spady 1994, instead of teaching he set targets for each student, the system was picked up by some Australian educational departments but they designed cross-disciplinary targets that were impossible to achieve.

OBE VERSION 02_Accountability Movement USA, 2005, outcomes at institutional level based on Ewell’s template (1984), but it proved difficult for teachers to tell between institution and course outcomes and some have mistakenly exaggerated their requirements in their course designs.

OBE VERSION 03_OBTL (outcomes-based teaching and learning), Dearing Report 1997, where outcomes are defined specifically to enhance teaching and assessment. There should be outcome statements about what and how well students are able to do sth after teaching, these must be written in a  way that increases the likelihood of students to achieve the goals and finally, an assessment is needed for how well these outcomes have been achieved.

I will be back to this for more.

 

References

Biggs, J., Tang, K., 2007, Teaching for Quality Learning at University, Society for Research into Higher Education & Open University Press, McGraw-Hill House: Berkshire.

Image available here

The Tutor As:

MC LAREN_TUTORS

  • entertainer: acts as a propagandist for architectural culture through telling stories and making references to their own experiences and historical examples, however, makes little attempt to interact with the students either to ensure understanding or connect with the students’ own ideas
  • hegemonic overlords: act in a way that ensures student conformity with their particular ideological position by correcting the students’ work and directing future work, often by drawing the students’ project for them. (they are the most prevailing kind)
  • liminal servant: according to Mc Laren this is the only type:  of tutor that increases the learners’ impetus that will support resourceful learning. By enthusiastically engaging with every student ideas, they make them also enthusiastic about their own learning. Their characteristics are: enthusiasm, openness, two-way communication, mutuality, empathy and counselling, co-management

 

References

Khorshidifard, S., 2011, ‘A paradigm in architectural education: Kolb’s Model and learning styles in studio pedagogy’, in The 2011 ARCC Architectural Research Conference papers hosted by the Lawrence Technological University April 20-23, 2011, available here

McLaren, P., 1999, Schooling as a Ritualised Performance, New York: Roman and Littlefield.

Webster, H., 2004, ‘Facilitating critically reflective learning: excavating the role of the design tutor in architectural education’, in Art, Design & Communication in Higher Education 2 (3) pp. 101–111, DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1386/adch.2.3.101/0

Book and Image available here

The Keller Plan_An IRRODL overview by L. Grant and R. Spencer

KELLER_PSI

 

According to Grant and Spencer, The Keller Plan, or PSI (Personalized System of Instruction) was originally designed as “a classroom-based method of instruction with the intention of improving student achievement” and, at the same time, “replacing the long tradition of punishment in education with the use of positive consequences for learning”. PSI, they claim, has five defining features:

  • stress on the written word: content is presented in written formats. there is also a study guide describing what the students are supposed to do, an overview of the course, policies, a reading list, deadlines, tips for good performance.
  • unit mastery requirement: tests between units. in the case of fail students get to be retested at least twice. remedial opportunities remove the stigma of failure and transform the puprose of grades.
  • student self-pacing: students progress at different rates, PSI recognizes this difference
  • use of proctors: PSI uses tutors (aka proctors) to help students learn, former students or professional tutors
  • lectures and demonstrations as motivational devices: despite the stresss on the written word, there is also a place for lectures as an optional feature of teh method despite the fact that lectures haven’t been effective in boosting student performance.

The Keller plan was based on Dubin and Traveggia’s book published in 1968 entitled: “book The Teaching-Learning Paradox: A Comparative Analysis of College Teaching Methods”. The two authors claimed that student performance was independent from distinctive methods of college instruction. Keller’s model was founded on that assumption and saught to demonstrate the validity of the claim.

PSI proved to be superior to traditional methods . In the later years, however, the plan was gradually abandoned. The decline in the use of PSI is mostly attributed to:

  • the recalcitrance of the educational establishment to change
  • implementations of ineffective teaching methods people called “PSI” that did not meet the proper criteria for PSI
  • the time demanded in setting up and maintaining a PSI course
  • misunderstandings of the nature of PSI in the academic literature
  • during the 1980s there was a shift in emphasis in academics from teaching to research (Boyer, 1990), which worked against a time-intensive teaching method like PSI.

PSI the Digital World and Distant Education

PSI continues to offer the prospect of more effective instruction. Recent developments in higher education and in technology have provided the basis, at least in principle, for growth of PSI courses in distance education.

  • PSI provides considerable flexibility for students just as it does for instructors
  • Emphasis on the written word in PSI makes it possible for students to do their course work at virtually any physical location at which they can read
  • Both PSI and distance education courses share the benefits of extending the traditional medium of the printed word to computer-based and online self-instructional resources
  • potential contribution to a scholarship of teaching and learning capable of aligning the two areas, allowing distance educators to draw upon the rich PSI literature as a source of teaching applications and research ideas, while allowing PSI teacher-researchers to extend their work into distance instruction.

 

References

Grant, L.K., Spencer, R.E., 2003, ‘The Personalized System of Instruction: Review and applications to distance education’, IRRODL, Vol. 4, No 2, available here

F.S. Keller’s book and Image available here

mt_EAST

BIRINDELLI_ETH

This was an experiment conducted by Dr Giovanni Birindelli in ETH Zurich during the years 2007-2009. Its results can be seen here.

What is interesting about mt_EAST is that it relies on remote collaboration intended here as a cooperative work over distance between relatively small groups of two to three students from each participating institute. This was achieved through remote collaboration and remote seminars. In the first case students met online for 45 to 60 minutes each week and discussed their project. According to Birindelli:

The personal distance between partners enables students to present professional and constructive criticism, as well as to develop a subject-specific language

The online seminars on the other hand aimed at denoting a new type of educational forum in which “multiple students are able ot receive the support of a docent through the help of an electronic table.”

Despite the noble act to introduce remote collaboration, the high end e-table used and the related software (though Marratech is no longer available) make it difficult for other institutions to follow. Nevertheless, this was an important step in recognizing the need to incorporate technology features in a design studio and making students from different institutions work together online. If you think about it, this was never about the e-table afterall.

 

References

  • Birindelli, G., “Learning in Distances” lecture, available here
  • Birindelli, G., “mt_EAST: e_ teamwork GUIDE”, available here

Image

available at http://archiv.ethlife.ethz.ch/articles/tages/tdlehre05-nebenprogr.html

Reconsidering Boyer’s sense of scholarship through the use of new technologies

scholarship-reconsidered-priorities-of-the-pr

Boyer’s definition of Scholarship as

  • discovery: creation of new knowledge
  • integration: knowledge across disciplines
  • application: engagement with the wider world outside academia
  • teaching: tuition fees have changed students to consumers

Scholarship reconsidered by new technologies:

  • discovery as in open data: analyzing and generating unprecedented amounts of data through computing and sharing them publicly_datasets as part of academic communication
  • integration as in open publishing: when the discoveries of others are put into context and applied to wider problems in the form of journal articles, conference proceedings, monographs. Peer reviewing is also transformed as readers copy, append and comment on the content of an article through the medium of distribution.

[i.e. JOVE (journal of visualized experiments) uses videoed contributions that communicate complex experimental techniques and reduce the time taken to learn and adopt new ideas]

  • application as in opening up the boundaries: academics use new communication technologies to address a wider audience [i.e. blogs] complementary to the academic one. Key to realizing a personal brand online is an attitude of openness by sharing aspects of personal life on social network sites, blogging ideas than articles.
  • teaching as in open education: online digital technologies and open approaches to teaching and learning as sharable resources allowing access to high quality materials no longer limited by physical constraints.

‘Digital Scholarship Considered: How New Technologies Could Transform Academic Work’, Nick Pearce, Martin Weller, Eileen Scanlon and Melanie Ashleigh, The Open University available here

Image available here

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Theories for learning with emerging technologies

According to Larreamendy-Joerns and Leinhardt there are three views or visions that propel educational technology use and development. These are:

  • the presentational view_focuses on theory and practice to make disourse visualizations clearly accessible to learner (on the cognitive effect)
  • the performance-tutoring view_it derives its roots from the feedback and the theory of behavioural psychology
  • the epistemic-engagement view_this has been the most recent educational vision driving the relative technology. It focuses on the evolutionary propensity for curiosity, discovery, sharing and understanding for the skillful use of tools and it is most closely associated with social constructivist learninhg theories. Constructivism is a theory of learning and not one of teaching.

ANDERSON.gif

Terry Anderson further introduces:

  • Complexity Theory_it arises from the study of “living syetms” and evolutionary study where organisms adapt and modify complex environments_everything is understood according to context_the point where at which emergent behaviours inexplicably arise_complex systems produce spontaneous, systemic bouts_it supports the learner’s acquisition of skills to articulate learning goals_it is structured not around understanding learning but creating systems in which learning emerges rapidly_learning contexts as entities in themselves_teaching and learning theories derive from pre-Internet visions
  • Net-Aware Theories of Learning_capacity for powerful communications forms a platform upon which epistemic-engagement visions of learning are instantlated_great variety of modes of learning_information abundance and many formats_active autonomous agents_does little to teaching and learning methods
  • Heutagogy_self directed learning_it renounces the teacher dependency_it supports learners in a journey to capacity to learn in unfamiliar contexts_instructor as facilitator
  • Connectivism_the metaphor of the network whose nodes consist of learning resources_learning occurs as individuals discover and build connections through these nodes_learning expands based on the power of the network_lack of substantive role for the instructor and extensive requirements placed on the learner_criticism says that it is unable to explain significant learning phenomena.
  • Groups, Nets, and Sets_three contexts in which connectivist learning is employed: the familiar group, the netwotk and the set_familiar groups are where students aggregate, they are closed environments_networked learning activities expand connectivity beyond LMS and leadership is emergent rather than imposed_sets are created by a shared interest, they have enormous value for education

 

References

Anderson, T., 2016, ‘Theories for Learning with Emerging Technologies’, in ‘Emergence and Innovation inn Digital Learning: Foundations and Applications’, ed. George Veletsianos, Edmonton: AU Press, doi:10.15215/aupress/9781771991490.01, available here

Larreamendy-Joerns, J., & Leinhardt, G. (2006). ‘Going the distance with online education’. Review of Educational Research, 76(4), 567–605.

Image: http://cde.athabascau.ca/online_book/ch2.html

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Remembering Henri Bergson

Matter and Memory played a key role for me to the understanding of how human perception and memory, work. Back in 2012 when I was studying museum structures this book gave me an incredible insight to how we see and memorize objects.

(…) we have distinguished three processes, pure memory, memory-image and perception, of which none of them in fact, occurs apart from the others. Perception is never a mere contact of the mind with the object present; it is impregnated with memory-images which complete it as they interpret it. The memory-image, in its turn, partakes of the “pure memory”, which it begins to materialize, and of the perception in which it tends to embody itself: regarded from the latter point of view, it might be defined as nascent perception.

Bergson, H., (1991 [1908]), ‘Matter and Memory’, trans. by N. M. Paul and W. Scott Palmer, New York: Zone Books.

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Connectivism and Neurds

I am thinking that the verb “traverse” and the word “network” used by S. Downes when defining connectivism is not at all random.As he says:

Connectivism is the thesis that knowledge is distributed across a network of connections, and therefore that learning consists of the ability to construct and traverse those networks.

Studying L. Gabora’s Neurds she claims that:

the associative network (of though and memory) can be not just penetrated deeply, but traversed quickly, and there is greater potential for representations to “bleed” into one another in ways they never have before.

References

Downes, St., (2012). Connectivism and Connected Knowledge: Essays on meaning and learning networks, National Research Council Canada, Version 1.0 – May 19, 2012, ISBN: 978-1-105-77846-9, page 11.
Gabora, L. (2010). Revenge of the ‘neurds’: Characterizing creative thought in terms of
the structure and dynamics of human memory. Creativity Research Journal, 22(1), 1-13.

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