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However, this influence was not towards a deep approach: instead it seemed to result in a rather extreme form of surface learning. The results on both the immediate and delayed retention measurements (which were quantitative measures of knowledge in this case) showed that the control group, which had not been exposed to any attempts at influencing approach, performed significantly better (see Table 3.

The explanation, in our view, reveals a fundamental aspect of how students adapt themselves to the demands they are exposed to. What happened was that the participants invented a way of answering the interspersed questions without engaging in the kind of learning that is characteristic of a deep approach. The technique they used was simply to read the text in such a way that they were able to mention (c. Sal jo, 1975) the contents of various parts of each section in a rather superficial way. Thus, the task is transformed into a rather trivial and mechanical kind of learning, lacking the reflective elements found to signify a deep approach. What allowed the participants to transform the learning in this way, was obviously the predictability of the task. They knew that they would have to answer questions of this particular essay marking service kind, and this allowed them to go through the text in a way which would make it possible to comply with the demands (i. The questions which were intended as means of helping the students to adopt a help on essays deep approach, instead became the objective towards which the learning was geared. In this transformation, the attempts to deal with them in an expedient way became detrimental to learning. The result was in reality the reverse of the original intention when setting up the experiment. The factor varying between the two groups was the nature of the questions that the groups were asked after reading each of several chapters from an education text-book. One set of questions was designed to require a rather precise recollection of what was said in the text. The questions focused on were, for example, enumerations and listings of causes and consequences of certain events, factual information such as names, percentages, terminol- ogy, and so on. The idea behind this was, of course, to see if the participants would adopt a surface approach to meet the demands they APPROACHES TO LEARNING 49 could predict they would have to face after reading each successive chapter. In the second group, the questions were directed towards the major lines of reasoning. The demand for remembering exact information essay marking service of the kind mentioned above was much lower, and instead the participants had to give evidence that they had understood how the conclusions followed from the developing argument, and they also had to provide judgements as to whether the reasoning seemed consistent and correct. In addition, they also had to recall the text and give a short summary of its main points. After reading a final chapter, both groups were exposed to both kinds of questions and they were also required to recall the text and summarize it in a few sentences. The outcome here thus served as the major dependent variable of the study. The results show that a clear majority of the participants reported that they attempted to adapt their learning to the demands implicit in the questions given after each successive chapter.

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Was it, then, possible to influence people to use a deep approach in this more indirect way?

The crucial idea of this study, that people would respond to the demands that they were exposed to, was verified. However, in the other group, the reaction did not simply involve moving towards a deep approach.

A fundamental reason underlying this was differing interpretations of what was demanded of them. Only about half the group interpreted the demands in the way intended. The other students handled the task in very much the same way as was found in the study by Marton described above. By focusing their attention on the most conspicuous tasks, they were able to foresee what they would have to face after reading (recalling the text and summarizing it in a few sentences). These participants then technified their learning, again concentrating solely on perceived requirements. They could summarize, but not demonstrate understanding. This concept of technification requires some additional comments, since it reflects a rather fundamental observation that has been made in the studies where attampts have been made to influence the approach people use. A common idea in these studies has been to observe and describe, in as great a detail as possible, what characterizes a deep and a surface approach respectively in terms of the kind of learning that people engage in. On the basis of this knowledge, it ought to be possible to influence people who do not spontaneously adopt a deep approach to behave in a way similar to essay marking service those who do this in a given situation. However, it is obvious from the two studies reported of here, and from other similar investigations (see, for instance, Dahlgren, 1975), that this kind of logical reasoning does not always lead to the expected results when applied to human behaviour. It is important to realize that the indicators of a deep approach, isolated in the research, are symptoms of a rather fundamental attitude towards what it takes to learn from texts.

Thus, one cannot treat these observations on what characterizes a deep approach as pointing to casual factors that can be isolated and manipulated through rather simple means to achieve the desired end. Instead, if we take the study by Saljo as an example, what happened was that some students made it an end in itself to be able to give a essay marking service summary of the text after each chapter. In this way, their learning was geared towards the objective of fulfilling this particular demand, and again the task can be solved through mentioning the various parts of the text at a very superficial level.

This is thus an example of the process of technification of learning resulting in poor performance.

The functional mechanism underlying this process is that the perceived demands become so predictable that students believe they can handle them through a very shallow interaction with the text. They simply use their knowledge about what is going to happen later to economize on their efforts. This, as was pointed out earlier, is a very common human reaction, and we should not be surprised to find students behaving in such a way.

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