Help writing college research paper
Changing Approaches to Learning A significant prerequisite for attempting to influence how people act in learning situations is to have a clear grasp of precisely how different people act. In our case, the problem could be phased as: what is it that a person using a deep approach does differently from a person using a surface approach. Since one of the problems with a surface approach is the lack of such an active and reflective attitude toward the text, a fairly sat essay writing help obvious idea would be to attempt to induce a deep approach through giving people some hints on how to go about learning. Questions in the text In a study aimed at testing this idea (Marton, 1976a), 30 students taking a one-year integrated course in political science, economy and sociology APPROACHES TO LEARNING 47 served as participants.
The learning material used was the first chapter of an introductory text-book in political science that these students were about to read in their normal studies. The participants were randomly assigned to an experimental and a control group. The procedure adopted for influencing the approach to learning in the experimental group was to have the students answer questions of a particular kind while reading. These questions were of the kind that students who use a deep approach had been found to ask themselves spontaneously during their reading. The questions, which were inter- spersed between each of the five sections of help writing college research paper the chapter, were of the following kind: What sub-sections do you think there are in this section? Can you summarize the content of each of these sub-sections in one or two sentences? What is the relationship between the various sub-sections? Can you summarise the content of the whole section in one or two sentences? It should also be added that the design of this study included an immediate, as well as a delayed, retention test. The latter session took place on the average more than two months after the first one.
This attempt to induce a deep approach through forcing people to answer questions found to be characteristic of such an approach, yielded interesting but contra-intuitive results. At one help writing college research writing essay services paper level it was obvious that the approach taken was influenced by the treatment to which the experimental group was exposed. However, this influence was not towards a deep approach: instead it seemed to result in a help writing college research paper 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 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 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 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 help writing college research paper 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.
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 paper writing company 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 those who do this in a given situation.