Thursday, November 29, 2012

Technology and Learning

That was one freewheeling session!  We covered a lot of ground from Bandura's self-efficacy to Vygotsky's scaffolding to Shirky's filter failure and finally to Seimen's Connectivism.
While we all would agree on the need to be life-long learners, it does not come easy.  The soccer coach who tells the wannabe soccer player to juggle the ball 100 times without letting it hit the ground risks creating a very frustrated kid.  Even the most passionate person needs to believe that s/he can achieve "mastery".  Telling the soccer player to instead count the number of attempts s/he took to reach 100 is a way to avoid that disappointment.  [Read here for a more on this story].

What has technology got to do with this?

When used appropriately technology can make the task just a little bit easier, a bit more efficient, (possibly) a bit more fun, just enough to overcome those doubts about self-efficacy.  So what do you think about using Google Reader to stay up to date with biomedical literature in your area of interest?  What about using Google+ or Twitter to create your personal learning network?
Do you see potential?  Anyone ready to bite the bullet?

What about connectivism?  How does it fit with your concepts of learning and knowledge?

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Self-Regulation, Goal Setting and Mastery

I was not at the session, but did talk with Lily afterwards.  She was really impressed with the group's grasp of the concepts.  One concept however that seemed more difficult was the difference between Mastery and Performance Goals.  For what it is worth, this is the way I make the distinction. Excuse my use of sports metaphors but it is in my DNA.  A runner with "Performance Goals" would look at the results of each race individually "a win is a win and a loss is a loss".  To a runner with "Mastery Goals" their personal time would be most important.  A win with a slower time would not be viewed as positively and a loss with a "personal best" time would be viewed more positively.  

Let's see if I can translate this into an educational example....hmm.  OK  The student with Performance Goals would receive a 92 on an exam and be happy for his/her "A".  The student with Mastery Goals receiving the same 92 would want to know what he/she missed so that she could correct mistakes and better understand.  We want to encourage a "Mastery Perspective" because this orientation should lead to a life-long learning habits so vital to the health professions.  I believe "grades" promote a "performance orientation". that is why I really like CCLCM assessment system

Performance Goals are not bad.  They are perfectly appropriate for casual interests or discreet challenges.  It would be exhausting needing to master everything!!!!  Do you know anyone like that?  

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Motivation: Can We Trigger Motivation in our Learners

I think we all had fun in class yesterday thinking about the many factors that may stimulate our learners to set a goal, extend effort even when something is difficult, and persevere in an effort to accomplish a learning goal.  We found that it is more than just the difficulty of the goal, it is also how we feel about ourselves. Do we think we can do it?  It is the goal itself; is it something we value?  What are the consequences of meeting the goal; will there be fame and fortune?  I've never understood when friends or colleagues would not try something new until this year when  a colleague of mine wanted me to try working with avatars.  You know, I just did not want to learn this.  I didn't perceive that I wanted to use the time I have to learn this new IT trick.  Maybe it is the first sign of getting old, I hope not, but this is the first time that I can remember that I was not motivated to learn something new.  Have you ever felt like that?  Is that how our students feel?  What can we do when they do?