HOW DO WE KNOW?

D.M. Litynski

Keywords

Cognitive research, active learning, teaching, learning, technology,assessment

Abstract

Technology changes in the past two decades have changed computing power and mobility. Processing power has increased informationprocessing capability. Human interface technology has advanced with graphics evolution. Throughput has increased. Wireless/mobile technology has freed information flow geographically. Simulations enable us to witness phenomena at our own scale (nano to macro translated to real time). The result is more information available for increased amounts of time and with far greater spatial distribution. How do we know if the net increase in information leads to increased knowledge transfer and enhanced learning? There is a growing recognition that an enriched information environment is only part of the solution. We must proactively engage the mind of learners to receive, to process, to analyze, to synthesize, and to eventually generate new knowledge. Many innovations in educational pedagogy have the learner commit to the process of education under various names, including active learning, collaborative learning, or process education. How do we know if our innovations in pedagogy or technology contribute to learning? We will discuss the recent trends and innovations in educational pedagogy and technology environments and examine some aspects of what we know about "how do we know.

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