Thesis writing uk
The different levels of outcome, where they exist, can in many cases be described in terms of the SOLO taxonomy, or more simply as attempts either to explain, or describe, or just mention, aspects of what has been learned. Underpinning these different levels of understanding can now be seen the contrasting organizational principles described by Svensson in Chapter 4. The basic distinction is between hierarchical and sequential or associative ways of relating elements of knowledge. The hierarchical principle involves developing an interpretative framework, which can be formally logical or theoretical — or in contrast it may rely more on personal experience and so build up an idiosyncratic analysis. But this organizing principle is essentially integrative and holistic. Where the knowledge is organized sequentially or by associative principles on the I CHANGING CONCEPTIONS OF LEARNING AND RESEARCH 215 other hand, the elements of knowledge are only loosely and disparately bound to each other — and so are less likely to be remembered, unless the information is regularly repeated. But subsequently the term approach to learning was preferred as a more accurate description of the meaning of the concept. It became clear subsequent- ly that this relationship was not just empirical, it was functional, and in part logically inevitable. The decision to concentrate on the text itself carries with it an implicit decision to ignore the meaning. Thus a surface approach rules out the possibility of a deep outcome.
The reverse relationship is, however, not logically inevitable.
A deep approach is a necessary, but not sufficient, prerequisite for full understanding. Clearly previous knowledge and cognitive skills will affect the extent to which a deep intention can be converted into a deep outcome. This first experiment invited students to reflect not only on their experiences of reading the article, but also on how they tackled everyday studying. When Marton analysed these data, he treated outcome and process separately, before subsequently showing their close inter-relationship. Lennart Svensson used all three sets of descriptions in his independent analysis of the data. It is just these principles which Svensson sees as the main j defining features of the approach to learning as well. The holistic J approach represents attempts at integration, while the atomistic approach 1 relies, at best, on associative linkages. Knowledge is thesis writing uk organized by the J individual in ways which reflect the organizational principles used in J developing personal understanding. In this way a learning outcome can be seen as reflecting a 1 neurological embodiment of the interaction of previous knowledge with J each new learning task, and in this sense intention, process and outcome i are not just functionally related, they are components of an integrated ), whole. J We thus have approach to learning categorized in two different ways f which emphasize equally important contrasts in the data. In these experiments there was no time pressure: j the students could read the articles at their own speed. There thesis writing uk was also no pressure due to course requirements or formal assessment, although the J anticipation of questions afterwards created a feeling of pressure in some i students.
The surface approach to reading adopted by some of the less experienced students was presumably strongly affected by their previous experiences of education — and in , particular by the tendency at school to equate learning with the acquisition of factual knowledge. CHANGING CONCEPTIONS OF LEARNING AND RESEARCH 217 In Britain a majority of studies has concentrated on research in the natural setting, in which students are asked about their experiences of everyday studying — of attending lecturers, of writing essays, of solving problems, and of the varying effects of teaching, time-pressure and assessment on those activities.
Although the deep approach continues to be defined in terms of seeking meaning, relationships with teachers appear to mediate this way of learning. Her categories of intrinsic and extrinsic relevance seem to represent deep and surface ways of experiencing lectures — thinking about the meaning of the content compared with how the lectures will help with course requirements.
But vicarious relevance adds an additional dimension which stresses the importance of the relationship with the lecturer.
Vicarious relevance can thus be seen as a bridge towards a deeper grasp of the subject matter provided by good teaching. It is also an intermediate category between surface and deep. In characterizing essay writing he drew attention to three main elements — data, organization and interpretation, which are defined and inter-related in different ways within contrasting conceptions of essay- writing. Again two of the main categories parallel those of approaches, partly intentional and relational, but more clearly in terms of organizational principles.
The viewpoint essay represents a more personal interpretative framework, one Into which the data are, in extreme instances, almost incidentally fitted. The essay as arrangement thesis writing uk seems to rely more on the associative organizational principle within which facts and ideas follow sequentially without any clear interpretative stance. Here the surface concern with the essay as an element of assessment can also be seen in some of the comments. Of course Dai Hounsell was also describing the outcomes of learning — the essays themselves. Diana Laurillard was interested in problem-solving (Chapter 8), not. It will also be marked by a particular lecturer, and the solution should take this into account. In Chapter 9 Paul Ramsdenf described in considerable detail the effects of contrasting contexts o learning in different academic departments. The implications of hi findings on the effects of good teaching, workload and freedom i learning have been discussed in the previous chapter. Here we ar concerned with how the indicators of the differing approaches to learning varied within the contrasting learning contexts. His initial interviews werej carried out in Psychology and Engineering Departments. But the experienc of engineering students was very different. We thus have a globs concept — approach to learning — which is recognizable across a wi- range of content areas and learning contexts. The main defini features — emphasis on understanding or reproducing — are consistent but the particular indicators of these categories vary in their relatiV importance from context to context. The basic meaning remains constant but its expression is variable. He had found that when students were required to reach understanding there were still two distinguishable strategies adopted. From these strategies, and Conversation Theory, come the descriptions of two distinctive styles of learning.
These styles c an also be used at both local and global levels. Pask emphasizes that both styles of learning at the global level will be required to reach full understanding. Under controlled experiments, where under- standing had to be reached, students would initially adopt comprehension or operation learning and switch to the other way of learning only when they realized that they could not complete the task without it.