Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Interactive Learning Patterns I
What's an interactive learning pattern? I mentioned this Friday. Maybe my keywords aren't the best, but for all the talk of how tech can save us, you'd think there's be more mention of this.

Let's take the one pattern everyone is talking about: multiple choice. It's the most common assessment because it was for years the easiest to automate. But those days are gone, so why are we doing it?

How many basic interactive learning patterns are there for conventional k-12? Let's see:
  • Class participation (without assigned reading/prep)
  • Class participation (with assigned reading/prep)
  • In-class quizz/test
  • Problem set submittal
  • Worksheet submittal (fill in the blank, 
  • Essay (research paper, poem, ...) submittal
  • Group project submittal
And the list starts to get a little thin. We can sub-divide these. Class participation may be repeating back Do-Re-Me or Bach, using the band saw with respect, doing your fifty situps, singing Carnavalito with gusto and good diction, neatly arranging the entrails of the cat you've just carved.

None of these latter can be replicated on an AMOLED display; yet all are taking place down the street as we speak. So what do computers really offer?

With class participation, hopefully the feedback is immediate and sensitive; with the written work not so much. Either way, with a real and good teacher, the feedback should be specific and contextual. "Wrong" doesn't help much.

With computer as teacher, do we get any better?

The common answer is yes, because the immediacy of the feedback leads to a default learning pattern:
  • Try and Try Again
I'm just sayin.

No comments: