We live today in a social and economic context which is always under the influence of global economic forces and technological innovation. In a very dynamic labour market, jobs which do not exist now will be created and existing jobs will require new skills.
According with Professor Steven Schwartz, from Macquarie University in Sidney, Australia, all employees will be subject to the demands of new systems and technologies and they will need to adapt quickly along with an aptitude for continuous learning. Graduates should pick up new skills and apply them in different contexts. In his opinion, graduates must to be especially life-long learners and able to learn from their experiences (Wisdom). Schwartz (2012)
Several decades ago Alvin Toffler (1971) anticipated that:
"The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn"
Toffler (1971) Power shift: Knowledge, Wealth, and Power at
the Edge of the 21st Century. Online at: http://www.goodreads.com/author/quotes/3030.Alvin_Toffler
3.1.1What learning is?
According with psychology.about.com, the concept of learning:
"â€¦ is often defined as a relatively lasting change in behaviour that is the result of experience. Learning became a major focus of study in psychology during the early part of the twentieth century as behaviorismÂ rose to become a major school of thought. Today, learning remains an important concept in numerous areas of psychology, including cognitive, educational, social, and developmental psychology."
We all are a sum of personal experiences and knowledge and in today environment, more than never, learning become one of the most important conceptual skill, because is ability to understand, interpret situations and respond effectively in different, even new contexts.
Cameron (2002) states that concept of learning is an active and continuous process including also an accumulative dimension:
"Learning is purposeful activity aimed at acquisition of skills, knowledge and ways of thinking that improve effectiveness in future situation"
Cameron (2002) Business Student Handbook, p.52
There are many schools of thought in philosophy and psychology that addressed the concept of learning from different perspectives, from ancient to modern times. But most learning theories fall into three major schools of thought in psychology: Wyman, P. (2012) cited by selfgrowth.com
Behaviourism which focuses on objective aspects of the learning process. In this context learning is seen to be an acquisition of new behaviour trough conditioning;
Cognitivism. Cognitive theories look beyond behaviour to explain brain-based learning. According with this, theorists consider how human memory works to promote learning;
Constructivism views learning as a process in which the learner actively constructs or builds new ideas or concepts based upon current and past knowledge. Constructivism promote the idea that subject can explore the environment in a given framework or structure.
3.1.2 The process of learning.
There are many different learning types and approaches to learning, but Kolb's experiential learning theory, based on four-stage cyclical theory of learning is a holistic perspective that combines experience, perception, cognition, and behaviour. Kolb's Learning Cycle is really appreciated the academic world and widely used within training environments. Having developed the model over many years prior, American professor David Kolb published his learning styles model in 1984. Kolb et al., (1984) cited by Cameron (2002)
Kolb states that learning is an active process and his model represents a learning cycle or spiral where experiencing, reflecting, thinking, and acting are the critical points in the learning cycle. If parts of process are missing, learning will not take place. Cameron (2002)
Concrete experiences lead to observations and reflections. These reflections are then translated into abstract concepts with implications for action, which the person can actively test and experiment with. By going round the loop again and again, having new experiences, the subject can continue to develop the understanding. Cameron (2002)
3.1.3 Definition of learning styles and benefits of students identifying their
own preferred learning styles
Becoming more aware of how to learn, students can become a more efficient and effective learners. There is no one single method of learning; there are many, and what works best depends on the task, the context, preferences and students' personality.
Honey and Mumford (1986) suggested that based on Kolb's Learning Cycle there are four different learning styles according with students' preferences and personalities. There are strengths and weaknesses for each style which helps us to understand better human nature from theory perspective. Cameron (2002)
The four different learning styles are:
ACTIVISTS - learn by doing
REFLECTORS - learn by observing and thinking about what happened
THEORISTS - learn by analyse and synthesise
PRAGMATISTS - learn by trying things out
See Appendices 1
Honey and Mumford suggested that there is an association between the learning cycle and learning styles and all the stages in the loop are necessary for learning. Cameron (2002) and Rosewell, J. (2012)
To learn effectively, students need to keep moving around the cycle and is important to complete each stage. Because of that the learning it will be improving in the next stage. Teaching and learning activities can be designed and implemented to take principles of learning into account. Students can become more effective learners by developing their strengths points. Also, it is interesting to think about individual differences among learners and to work towards including specific activities for all the learners in educational programs.
3.2 How note taking and mind mapping can aid learning?
3.2.1 As Cameron (2002) states, note taking is an important study skill and many students need help with. Taking notes is an active process which generates a high level of involvement. For this reason the teaching of basic note taking and study skills seems to be extremely important.
In Cameron's (2002) opinion, note taking is important for at least two reasons:
Help to remember something afterwards
Is a way to extend the memory
Other reasons to be taking into account are:
Help to structure of what author is saying
Assess your own progress as you study
Improve the understanding and concentration
Help in reference and revision.
Cottrell (2008) suggests that there are two types of note-making: linear notes and Pattern (Visual) notes. Linear notes but especially visual notes can help you to work out the interconnections between key points and ideas.
See Appendices 2
3.3 Definition and explanation of e-learning
E-learning could be defined as:
"a term for all electronically supported learning which includes an array of teaching and learning tools that use electronic media including phone bridging audio and videotape, video teleconferencing, and satellite broadcast. In recent years, the term has been delimited to Web-based or online courses that make use of electronic mail; video conferencing, discussion boards, chat rooms, and electronic whiteboards on the Internet."
1st National Conference on E-Learning, Manila, August 1-2, 2002 cited by http://www.cognitivedesignsolutions.com/ELearning/E-Learning1.htm
Cottrell (2008) concentrates definition deciding that e-learning is:
"â€¦learning that makes use of electronic tools and information"
Cottrell (2008) The Study Skills Handbook, Third Edition, p.146
That means the electronic technologies started to be incorporate into the modern academic environment and e-learning occupies an increasingly important role. Education and training are being transformed from the foundations of communication, instructional method and use of media.
Cognitive Design Solutions.com launched the idea that in the current context the definition of E-Learning should be viewed from a broader perspective by adding new elements: technology, methodology, and social context.
Students must have skills to operate the computer and to be familiar with the electronic environment in order to write essays, make research and other tasks related to academic study and to submit their finished work by email. Usually the study programme is based on some of the following components: Cottrell (2008)
3.3.1 E-learning resources:
Virtual learning environment;
A programme website or web pages;
Electronic copies of lecture notes.
3.3.2 Simulation and interactive materials
Online practice in technical skills;
Simulated case studies.
3.3.3 Computer-assisted assessment
Part of study programme could be assessed online or computer based
3.3.4 E-communications is very useful in many ways such as:
Writing to people;
Talking with people;
3.3.5 E-survey and polls
Students may be asked to express their view, take part in a poll and give feedback trough:
Computerised surveys and polls;
Web-based chat rooms;
Text polls on your.
According with Cottrell (2008) to be successful in e-learning process, students need to acquire a range of conditions, attitudes and skills. These include:
The right resources for activity;
Willingness to keep updating the knowledge and skills;
Try new approaches and resources;
Knowing when e-resources could add value or not.
3.4 Unfair Practice and Plagiarism
According with Pears and Shields (2010) plagiarism is:
"a specific form of cheating and is generally defined as presenting someone else work as your own"
Pears, R. and Shields, G. (2010) Cite Them Right, p.1
Plagiarism appears by taking other people's words and ideas, using them, and then pretending that those words/ideas belong to you, rather than giving credit to the person who thought of them.
As Pears and Shields (2010) states, the forms of plagiarism include:
Using another people's words and/or ideas without citing the original source;
Handing in an essay that you didn't write;
Citing sources you did not use;
Giving incorrect information about the source of a quotation;
Copying sentence structure but changing words around, without cite the source;
3.4.1 How to avoid plagiarism?
To find out how and why plagiarism is occurring is the most efficient way to avoid plagiarism and in that context Pears and Shields (2010) take into consideration the following points:
Acknowledge others' work by providing citation
Is very important to make references at the time you are using it
Manage the time and plan the work
Save the notes, printouts until receiving the final mark or grade for your assessment
Use your own ideas and words
Use quotation marks when use another person's words
Avoid using another person's idea making only cosmetic changes
Don't depend too much on other people's words/ideas. Even if you cite them right, to be original you also need to give your own words and ideas.
4.1 In a very dynamic labour market, jobs which do not exist now will be created and existing jobs will require new skills
4.2 All graduates will be subject to the demands of new systems and technologies and they will need to adapt quickly along with an aptitude for continuous learning. Graduates should pick up new skills and apply them in different contexts. (Schwartz, 2012)
4.3 Learning is a life-long active process that requires from students engagement, commitment and motivation. Learning to learn become very important and useful
4.5 There is no one single method of learning; there are many, and what works best depends on the task, the context, preferences and students' personality. There are strengths and weaknesses for each style which helps us to understand better human nature from theory perspective. Cameron (2002)
4.6 Students must have skills to operate the computer and to be familiar with the electronic environment
4.7 Plagiarism appears by taking other people's words and ideas, using them, and then pretending that those words/ideas belong to you, rather than giving credit to the person who thought of them. Pears and Shields (2010)
4.8 To find out how and why plagiarism is occurring is the most efficient way to avoid plagiarism Pears and Shields (2010)
Note: This report contains 2184 words
LEARNING STYLES - Honey and Mumford (1986)
Learn better when they are:
Learn least when they are:
learn by doing
involved in new experiences, problems and opportunities;
thrown in at the deep end;
working with others in problem solving, games, role-playing exercises;
able to lead a group.
listening to lectures or reading long explanations;
reading, writing and thinking on their own
analysing and interpreting lots of data;
following precise instructions.
learn by observing and thinking about what happened
able to stand back and observe first;
given time to think and investigate before commenting or acting;
given an opportunity to review what has happened;
doing tasks without tight deadlines.
forced to take a lead in a group;
doing things without preparation;
rushed by deadlines.
learn by analyse and
an activity is backed up by ideas and concepts that form a model, system or theory;
in a structured situation with a clear purpose;
they have the chance to question and probe;
required to understand a complex situation.
in situations that emphasise emotions and feelings;
when activities are unstructured or ambiguous;
when asked to act without knowing the principles or concepts involved.
learn by trying things out
there is an obvious link between the topic and a current need;
hey are shown techniques with clear practical advantages;
they can try things out with feedback from an expert;
they can copy an example, or emulate a role model.
there is no immediate practical benefit;
there are no clear guidelines on how to do it.
Based on Cameron S. (2002) and Rosewell, J. (2012)