Designing Practice(s) for Learning in Online Learning Contexts

Designing Practice(s) for Learning in Online Learning Contexts

Shalin Hai-Jew (Kansas State University, USA)
Copyright: © 2020 |Pages: 33
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-4516-4.ch002
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Practice is a regular part of learning, and it is used for a variety of learning objectives and outcomes. There is very little in the academic research literature about how to design assigned and formal “practice(s)-for-learning,” much less for an online learning context in higher education. This work explores the extant literature on practice design and proposes some initial approaches for defining practices-for-learning in online learning. This work provides a construct for highlighting the main levers of practices-for-learning (through interrelated paragraphs of mapping sentences). This work also asks some critical questions for the design of learning practice in online contexts.
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Review Of The Literature

A review of the literature to contextualize practice(s)-for-learning begins with a light summary of adult learners, their understood preferences and motivations for learning, and heutagogical aspects. The practices-for-learning are understood to occur experientially and reflectively, evoking the 1984 Kolb’s Experiential Learning Cycle, consisting of four steps: (1) concrete experience, (2) reflective observation, (3) abstract conceptualization, and (4) active experimentation. The power in engaging in particular practice and reflecting on that practice to advance the skills and the work. Experience is a core part of all learning (Andresen, Boud, & Cohen, 2000). Innovation itself is important in the experimentation phase especially (with a focus on improvements to prior practice and novelty). “Experiential learning” refers to human making of meaning from lived experiences, in embodied and disembodied (virtual) ways, and in serendipitous-to-designed experiences. Then, definitions of various forms of practices are described, along with learning practices. Finally, a novel approach is described for the designing of practices.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Learning: The acquisition of knowledge and skills that can have long-term effects on the learner.

Practice Testing: Taking a test as practice for the real assessment sometime in the future, going through a version of a test as a preparatory study tool.

Heutagogy: Autonomous or self-determined adult learning.

Elaborative Studying: The progression from simple to more complex learning, so that subsequent ideas fit into an understood context (as an example, concept mapping may be used to help bring together simpler ideas into a more complex form).

Practice-for-Learning: Exercises to acquire and maintain proficiency, putting ideas into action / practice for learning.

Memory Retrieval: The recall or re-accessing of prior encoded memories from storage (short-term to long-term).

Retrieval-Based Learning: Acquisition of knowledge through activities that require recalling and reconstructing prior knowledge (such as through testing in “test-enhanced learning,” such as through practice).

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