The Problem –solving Method in Education

Dr. V.K.Maheshwari, M.A (Socio, Phil) B.Sc. M. Ed, Ph.D.

Former Principal, K.L.D.A.V. (P.G) College, Roorkee, India


Science subject is one of the important subjects in school education. However, really the traditional teaching methods are challenged for their inability to foster critical thinking, holistic learning environment among children. The science subject must develop science process skills where children, observe, measure, classify, process information, interpret think on solving problems, analyze, synthesize, formulate conclusions, etc. but, it should be kept in mind that, creativity in an essential element of science.

Problem-solving is, and should be, a very real part of the curriculum. It presupposes that students can take on some of the responsibility for their own learning and can take personal action to solve problems, resolve conflicts, discuss alternatives, and focus on thinking as a vital element of the curriculum. It provides students with opportunities to use their newly acquired knowledge in meaningful, real-life activities and assists them in working at higher levels of thinking

Meaning and Definition of Problem solving method

In a problem solving method, children learn by working on problems. This enables the students to learn new knowledge by facing the problems to be solved. The students are expected to observe, understand, analyze, interpret find solutions, and perform applications that lead to a holistic understanding of the concept. This method develops scientific process skills. This method helps in developing brainstorming approach to learning concepts.

The students thinking on problem and their understanding of the science behind it is based on common sense. It does not start from textual knowledge. Rather it proceeds from experiencing to gradually forming concepts through books at later stage. It is a process from practice to theory not vice versa. Knowledge here is not a goal but a natural out came of working on tasks. Students live in the real world and like to deal with concrete things where they can touch, feel manipulate things then the method is useful in igniting the process of science learning

A problem is a task for which Problem–solving may be a purely mental difficulty or it may be physical and involve manipulation of data.  , the person confronting it wants or needs to find a solution because the person has no readily available procedure for finding the solution.  The person must make an attempt to find a solution. Problem solving is the act of defining a problem; determining the cause of the problem; identifying, prioritizing and selecting alternatives for a solution; and implementing a solution.

Problem-solving method aims at presenting the knowledge to be learnt in the form of a problem. It begins with a problematic situation and consists of continuous, meaningful, well-integrated activity. The problems are test to the students in a natural way and it is ensured that the students are genuinely interested to solve them.

Problem–solving may be a purely mental difficulty or it may be physical and involve manipulation of data. Problem-solving is the ability to identify and solve problems by applying appropriate skills systematically.

Problem-solving is a process—an ongoing activity in which we take what we know to discover what we don’t know. It involves overcoming obstacles by generating hypo-theses, testing those predictions, and arriving at satisfactory solutions.

Objectives of Problem-Solving: The specific objectives of problem solving in science are :

  • Willingness to try problems and improve their perseverance when solving problems.
  • Improve pupils’ self-concepts with respect to the abilities to solve problems.
  • Make pupils aware of the problem-solving strategies.
  • Make pupils aware of the value of approaching problems in a systematic manner.
  • Make pupils aware that many problems can be solved in more than one way.
  • Improve pupils’ abilities to select appropriate solution strategies.
  • Improve pupils’ abilities to implement solution strategies accurately.
  • Improve pupils’ abilities to get more correct answers to problems
  • The appreciation of the existence of a problems and a desire to solve it
  • The accumulation of the facts and data which are pertinent to the problem.
  • Logical interpretation of the data supported by adequate valid experience.

Tips for effective use of Problem solving method

  • Ask questions and make suggestions. Ask students to predict “what would happen if …” or explain why something happened. This will help them to develop analytical and deductive thinking skills. . Do this by providing positive reinforcement to let students know when they have mastered a new concept or skill.
  • Don’t fear group work.Students can frequently help each other, and talking about a problem helps them think more critically about the steps needed to solve the problem.
  • Help students understand the problem. In order to solve problems, students need to define the end goal. If you succeed at helping students answer the questions “what?” and “why?”, finding the answer to “how?” will be easier. Have students identify specific problems, difficulties, or confusions. Don’t waste time working through problems that students already understand?
  • If students are unable to articulate their concerns, determine where they are having trouble. Identify the specific concepts or principles associated with the problem. Make students articulate their problem solving process. In a one-on-one tutoring session, ask the student to work his/her problem out loud. This slows down the thinking process, making it more accurate and allowing you to access understanding.
  • Link errors to misconceptions. Use errors as evidence of misconceptions, not carelessness or random guessing. Make an effort to isolate the misconception and correct it, then teach students to do this by themselves. We can all learn from mistakes. Try to communicate that the process is more important than the answer so that the student learns that it is OK to not have an instant solution.
  • Model the problem solving process rather than just giving students the answer. As you work through the problem, consider how a novice might struggle with the concepts and make your thinking clear .Provide only minimal assistance and only when needed to overcome obstacles.
  • Take enough time. Budget enough time for: understanding the problem and defining the goal, both individually and as a class; dealing with questions from you and your students; making, finding, and fixing mistakes; and solving entire problems in a single session.
  • Teach within a specific context. Teach problem-solving skills in the context in which they will be used .Use real-life problems in explanations, examples, and exams. Do not teach problem solving as an independent, abstract skill.
  • Work as a facilitator. Teacher must keep in mind that if in a child-directed learning not teacher-directed. He must be alert and active to arouse interest among students. Must provide democratic atmosphere. Teacher must provide situation for all students to come formed and contribute towards the success of the activity.

Procedural steps of Problem solving method

Problem-based learning is a method of educating adult learners that combines theoretical knowledge with practical  activities. The process engages participants in considering complex and challenging issues and encourages them towards finding an appropriate solution. The expectation is that participants will have the motivation to learn because the problem scenarios are based on real-life situations found in the workplace. The expectation is that participants will have the motivation to learn because the problem scenarios are based on real-life situations.

The procedural steps can be devided in two phases

a-       Pre-active /Planning phase

b-      Active / Execution phase

c-       Post-active/Evaluation phase

The Pre-active / planning phase includes:

Defining the problem:

    • The system. Have students identify the system under study  by interpreting the information provided in the problem statement. Drawing a diagram is a great way to do this.
    • Known(s) and concepts. List what is known about the problem, and identify the knowledge needed to understand (and eventually) solve it.
    • Unknown(s). identifying the unknown(s) becomes simpler. One unknown is generally the answer to the problem, but there may be other unknowns. Be sure that students understand what they are expected to find.
    • Units and symbols. Select, interpret, and use units and symbols. Emphasize the use of units whenever applicable. Develop a habit of using appropriate units and symbols yourself at all times.
    • Constraints. Teach students to look for the words only, must, neglect, or assume to help identify the constraints.

Active / Execution phase

The following are the general procedural steps in Execution phase:

Step one

Selection of the Problem  and Presentation of the Problem :A number of problems are confronted by the students in the class or outside. They are made to select a problem as per their capacity and interest.

Each student is made to feel responsible for presenting the problem in front of the teacher and class as per his insight. The students are free to give their suggestions on the problem. Diagnose the situation so that your focus is on the problem .

Step two

Generation of alternative solutions: All the facts related to problem are collected either by a students or group. As a number of facts will be collected, it will help the students to keep the most pertinent facts and discard rest.

Step three

Generate alternative solutions: Postpone the selection of one solution until several alternatives have been proposed. Having a standard with which to compare the characteristics of the final solution is not the same as defining the desired outcome. Considering multiple alternatives can significantly enhance the value of  final solution. Many alternative solutions should be generated before evaluating any of them. A common mistake in problem solving is that alternatives are evaluated as they are proposed, so the first desired solution is chosen, even if it’s not the best fit.

Step four

Evaluate and select an alternative: Skilled problem solvers use a series of considerations when selecting the best alternative. They consider the extent to which:

  • A particular alternative will solve the problem without causing other unanticipated problems.
  • All the individuals involved will accept the alternative.
  • Implementation of the alternative is likely.
  • The alternative fits within the organizational constraints.

Step five

Implement and follow up on the solution: This is most important phase as a proper outline at this stage will lead to purposeful activity. The teacher will guide students to draw exact plan and follow it properly so that the solution to problem is reached. It is more or less like planning stage, where in a clear indication of outline leads to better result. Feedback channels must be built into the implementation of the solution, to produce continuous monitoring and testing of actual events against expectations. Problem solving, and the techniques used to derive elucidation, can only be effective in an organization if the solution remains in place and is updated to respond to future changes.

Post-active/Evaluation phase .

The following steps comes under this phase;

Reaching  the Inferences and conclusions : The tentative solutions which are offered by students are properly noted down. A good number of arrangements, discussion, brainstorming results in reaching a satisfactory conclusion. The teacher has to be very careful at this stage as, if may lead to wrong conclusions. The discussions must be healthy and conducive atmosphere must be provided in the classroom for it.

The students review the entire process and find out each and every stage where in they have made any mistakes. Self-criticism and Self-realization will give training of self confidence. The teacher must see that objective have been achieved.

Writing the Report:

  1. A complete report should  be written by the students. This will include, how they planned, what discussions were held, how duties were assigned, how satisfactory conclusion was reached  etc. It’s vitally important that students have multiple opportunities to assess their own problem-solving skills and the solutions they generate from using those skills. Frequently, students are overly dependent upon teachers to evaluate their performance in the classroom. The process of self-assessment is not easy, however. It involves risk-taking, self-assurance, and a certain level of independence. But it can be effectively promoted by asking students questions such as “How do you feel about your progress so far?” “Are you satisfied with the results you obtained?” and “Why do you believe this is an appropriate response to the problem?

Limitations of the problem-solving method.

Difficult to teach all topics of curriculum- Difficult to organise e- contents of syllabus according to this method. All topics and areas cannot be covered by this method. There is a lack of suitable books and references for the students. This is not suitable for all level students. Method does not suit students of lower classes.Mental activity dominates this method. Hence there is neglect of physical and practical experiences.

Can encourage dirty competition- Most people working in a group unconsciously perceive the situation as competitive. This generates behaviour which is destructive and drains the creative energy of the group. The natural reaction is to regain self-esteem, often by trying to sabotage the ideas of those who disagreed with us. Instead of looking for ways to improve on their ideas we choose to destroy them. These types of behaviour create an atmosphere which is incompatible with effective problem solving.

Possible lack of effective direction- Sometimes there is no effective teacher to give direction to the discussion, with the result that it wanders aimlessly. There is short of talented teachers to practice this method. There is always a doubt of drawing wrong conclusions.

Time and resource constraints- Problem solving is a relatively slow process. It is not economical from time and money point of view. Time consuming method.

Merits of Problem solving method

Knowledge Retention- Problem-based learning is practical and it requires participants to  use their reasoning and problem-solving skills to resolve the scenarios they are presented with. As a result, the learning process is more effective because participants are not trying to memorize large volumes of information .

Develops Competencies- This method follows the principle of learning by doing. Problem-based learning is a collaborative method that fosters teamwork, diversity and mutual respect, which are invaluable competencies in the workplace. Participants also develop their abilities to think strategically.

Context Specific-   In schools the problem-based learning may be limited in its effectiveness because it is highly context specific. During the learning process, participants are given a specific problem that is based on a foreseeable work scenario. They learn to use old facts in new references.

Method is scientific in nature-  Develops good study habits and reasoning power. Helps to improve and apply knowledge and experiences. Stimulates thinking of the child. Develops desirable study habits in the students.

Develops qualities of initiative and self-dependence in the students- Students learn virtues such as patience, cooperation, and self-confidence.  Learning becomes more interesting and purposeful. Develops qualities of initiative and self-dependence in the students, as they  have to face similar problematic situations in real life too. Shared responsibility makes individuals more willing to take risks. The discussion of different points of view also helps the group to be more realistic in assessing the risks associated with particular courses of action.

Reduced bias- The shared responsibility of a group in arriving at decisions can. encourage individuals to explore seemingly unrealistic ideas and to challenge accepted ways of doing things. Individual biases and prejudices can be challenged by the ,group, forcing the individual to recognise them. Group pressure can also encourage individuals to accept that change is needed.

Better solutions- Groups of individuals can bring a broad range of ideas, knowledge and skills to bear on a problem. This creates a stimulating interaction of diverse ideas which results in a wider range and better quality of solutions. . They become capable to generalize. Students learn to find solution to their problem. When people who are affected by a problem or who will be involved in implementation are involved in finding a solution, they will know how and why that particular solution was chosen. Also, people with knowledge relevant to the problem can communicate that knowledge directly if they participate in solving the problem.

“There are many problems throughout the world, some that are very simplistic while others are very complicated with many details.  In order to be an effective problem solver, a person has to have the ability to use prior problem solving skills on problems in the existing future”

(Ormrod, 2008).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Heuristic Strategy

Dr. V.K.Maheshwari, M.A (Socio, Phil) B.Sc. M. Ed, Ph.D.

Former Principal, K.L.D.A.V. (P.G) College, Roorkee, India


The word ‘Heuristic’ has been derived from the Greek word ‘Heurisco’ which means ‘I find’ or ‘I discover’ . This method implies that the attitude of students shall be that of the discoveries and not of passive recipients of knowledge

As an adjective, heuristic (pronounced hyu-RIS-tik and from the Greek “heuriskein” meaning “to discover”) pertains to the process of gaining knowledge or some desired result by intelligent guesswork rather than by following some pre-established formula.

Heuristic method of teaching science was proposed by H. E. Armstrong (1888-1928) . In words of Professor Armstrong, “Heuristic methods of teaching are methods which involve our placing students as far as possible in the altitude of the discoverer – methods which involve their finding out instead of being merely told about things”.  According to him, the real spirit of heuristic method is placing the student in the position of original investigator which means involving his ‘finding out instead of being merely told about things’.

Armstrong originally introduced this method for learning of science. Through this method the pupils are made to learn . This method of teaching is of a very recent origin. First it was used in Science and its success led it to be adopted in the teaching of all subjects in the School Curriculum.

In Heuristic method  the student be put in the place of an independent discoverer. Thus no help or guidance is provided by the teacher in this method. In this method the teacher sets a problem for the students and then stands aside while they discover the answer.

The aim of this method is to develop the scientific attitude and spirit in pupils. The spirit of enquiry prompts the pupils to learn. This method insists on truth, whose foundation is based on reason and personal experiences. As a matter of fact there is no spoon-feeding or more acceptances of facts which are given by the teacher.

The object of the heuristic method is “to make pupils more exact, more truthful, observant and thoughtful to lay this solid foundation for future self-education and to encourage this growth of spirit of enquiry and research.”

In this method, the teacher creates such an environment that a problem arises before the pupil. All the pupils think about the problem, observe and in the end they conclude some result. In this way, all the pupils find out truth by their own way.

The application of heuristic knowledge

The application of heuristic knowledge to a problem is sometimes known as heuristics. The term seems to have two usages:

1) Describing an approach to learning by trying without necessarily having an organized hypothesis or way of proving that the results proved or disproved the hypothesis. That is, “trial-by-error” learning.

2) Pertaining to the use of the general knowledge gained by experience, sometimes expressed as “using a rule of-thumb.”

Objectives of Heuristic Strategy

The following are the main objectives of Heuristic strategy:

To develop among students the ability of self-learning.

To develop among students the ability of critical thinking.

To develop among students the attitude of logical thinking.

To develop among students the attitude of accepting truth only after verification.

To develop among students the attitude of not accepting things based on blind faith.

To develop among students the scientific thinking.

Principles underlying Heuristic method

1. The principle of activity

2. The principle of logical thinking

3. The principle of proceeding from the known to the unknown.

4. The principle of purposeful experience

5. The principle of self thinking and self study

Procedural steps in Heuristic Strategy

Under this method, it is believed that every  lesson should be presented in the form of an enquiry in front of students. The main feature of scientific work is that it springs from a desire to know from our own knowledge some definite thing concerning which curiosity has come to an end.

Here is a sequence of logical steps for planning and conducting research

Introduction and Theoretical Rationale

In an introduction, the teacher, create  interest in the topic, lay the broad foundation for the problem that leads to the study, The objective is to test or verify theory.  The theory becomes a framework for the entire study.

Selection of the Topic.

This step is self-explanatory and usually not a problem. The step simply involves identifying a general area that is of personal interest and then narrowing the focus to a problem

Statement of the Topic

A good problem statement begins by introducing the broad area in which  present learning is centred and then gradually leads  to the more narrow questions  .

A problem statement should be presented within a context, and that context should be provided and briefly explained, including a discussion of the conceptual or theoretical framework in which it is embedded.

The problem should be stated in such a way that it would lead to analytical thinking on the part of the student with the aim of possibly concluding solutions to the stated problem.

The Title

The topic to be studied title should demarcate the following:

  • the WHO or/and WHAT is learned;
  • the WHERE;
  • the WHEN;
  • the HOW; and
  • an indication of the ENVISAGED SOLUTION

Definitions of  Terminology/Concepts and terms used

The success of any method depends on unambiguity and clarity on each inherent aspect. The terms used must be related with the study in question. To make the things clear, the teacher  must define the terms in clear terms. Avoid meaningless words.

Exploration of the Purpose of learning the topic

The student should indicate and defend why it is necessary to undertake for learning. The benefits that will result from the subject matter and to whom it will be beneficial should be indicated.

Four general purposes for conducting learning through heuristic method are to explore, describe, predict, or explain the relation between two or more educational variables.

  • Explore – an attempt to generate ideas about educational phenomenon
  • Describe – an attempt to describe the characteristics of educational phenomenon
  • Predict – an attempt to forecast an educational phenomenon
  • Explain – an attempt to show why and how an educational  phenomenon operates

The identification  of purpose of  study will help in determining  the methodical design  should follow.   Three methodical designs are mixed, qualitative, and quantitative

  • Identify the specific method of inquiry to be used.
  • Identify the unit of analysis in the study.

Formulating Hypotheses

A hypothesis is a tentative statement, that implies a proposed answer to a problem, setting accountability and responsibility of effective learning procedure as high priority. Hypotheses are thus tentative statements that should either be acknowledged or rejected by means of findings. The hypothesis is a simple statement that defines what you think the outcome of your experiment will be.

Prediction

The hypothesis is your general statement of how you think the scientific phenomenon in question works.

Your prediction lets you get specific — how will you demonstrate that your hypothesis is true? The experiment that you will design is done to test the prediction.

An important thing to remember during this stage of the scientific method is that once you develop a hypothesis and a prediction, you shouldn’t change it, even if the results of your experiment show that you were wrong.

An incorrect prediction does NOT mean that you “failed.” It just means that the experiment brought some new facts to light that maybe you hadn’t thought about before.

Propose appropriate Procedures

The methods or procedures section is really the heart of the heuristic method . The activities should be described with as much detail as possible, and the continuity between them should be apparent

Indicate the methodological steps you will take to answer every question or to test every hypothesis illustrated in the hypotheses section.

v  Decide on the method, techniques and tools to use

v  Explain the rationale of each vis-à-vis the statement of the problems

v  Describe the tool development process or use of existing one

v  Describe how you will gather data for the topic.

v  Explain the statistical methods to be used with rationale

Determine Methods.

Next consider materials and instrumentation. When the needed resources are not obvious, a good strategy is to construct a listing of data collection instruments, for this the first step should be to conduct a thorough search of existing instruments to determine if any can be used in their original form or adapted to present needs.

Data Collection

Data gathering includes consideration about what variables to investigate, Outline the general plan for collecting the data. Provide a general outline of the time schedule you expect to follow.

When Heuristic method is being used by the teacher, then each student is provided a sheet of instructions and they are required to perform the experimental works which are related to the problem provided to them. By following the instructions provided in the written form, students perform the experiment.

Teacher keeps on guiding the students for conducting the experiment properly from time to time. Whatever students do, they keep note of them in their note books. After making experiment, they also derive conclusion from experiments and suggest the methods by which problem can be sort out.

Testing of Hypothesis.

In this step, the pupils collect facts by experiments in favor of or against the hypothesis. In other words, they test the hypothesis by considering many false facts as the basis.

Drawing Conclusion.

The final step in the scientific method is the conclusion. This is a summary of the experiment’s results, and how those results match up to your hypothesis.

In this step, the pupil accepts only true hypothesis and leaves the false one. This conclusion is known as their discovered knowledge according to which the principles and laws are formulated.

Hence, the heuristic method is a method which can give adequate training for discovery and experimentation or research. This method prefers the discovery and practice than knowing the concepts.

Common Mistakes in Applying the Heuristic Method

As stated earlier, the scientific method attempts to minimize the influence of the student’s bias on the outcome of an experiment. That is, when testing an hypothesis or a theory, the students may have a preference for one outcome or another, and it is important that this preference not bias the results or their interpretation. Sometimes “common sense” and “logic” tempt us into believing that no test is needed.

Another common mistake is to ignore or rule out data which do not support the hypothesis. Ideally, the experimenter is open to the possibility that the hypothesis is correct or incorrect. Sometimes, however, a scientist may have a strong belief that the hypothesis is true (or false), or feels internal or external pressure to get a specific result.

In a field where there is active experimentation and open communication among members of the education community, the biases of individuals or groups may cancel out, because experimental tests are repeated by different students who may have different biases. In addition, different types of experimental setups have different sources of systematic errors.

Role of Teacher

In short, in this method the teacher—

Creates problem before his pupils, presents suitable material in order to solve the problem, and as the need arises, provides necessary guidance so that they may search out new knowledge by solving the problem as a result of making use of books, devices and other resources of his choice.

One of the most important aspects of the problem solving approach to children’s development in critical thinking is the teacher’s attitude.  The acceptance of and the quest for unique solutions for the problem that the class is investigating should be a guiding principle in the teacher’s approach to his programme of science. Teachers must develop sensitiveness to children and to the meanings of their behavior.

Teachers should be ready to accept any suggestion for the solution of problems regardless of how irrelevant it may seem to him, for this is really the true spirit of scientific problem solving.

In this method teacher should avoid the temptation to tell the right answer to save time. The teacher should be convinced that road to scientific thinking takes time.

Children should never be exposed to ridicule for their suggestions of possible answers otherwise they will show a strong tendency to stop suggestions.

For success of this method a teacher should act like a guide and should provide only that much guidance as is rightly needed by the student. He should be sympathetic and courteous and should be capable enough to plan and devise problems for investigation by pupils. He should be capable of good supervision and be able to train the pupils in a way that he himself becomes dispensable.

Merits of Heurism or Heuristic Method

The following are some merits of heuristic method—

1. In this method, pupils realize the problem, think about it, observe it, test it and conclude about it. This creates scientific attitude in pupils. Hence, this method is a scientific method of teaching.

2. This is a psychological method as the student learns by self-practice.The maxim learning by doing is involved. Students learn by doing themselves

3. In heuristic method, in addition to the mental and reasoning powers, development of self-confidence and intellectual inter-dependence etc. also occurs gradually. This prepares them to solve any problem likely to arise in future life.

4. In heuristic method, the entire task is completed in school. This solves the problems of home work automatically.

5. This method motivates pupils for doing more difficult tasks. This also avoids the hindrance of individual differences in learning.

6. In this method, pupils work themselves and consult themselves. This coordinates their physical and mental powers. It develops in the student a habit of diligence.

7. This method does not allow the pupils for cramming of ready-made knowledge. The knowledge is gained by self- activity and hence it is retained for a longer time.

8. Power of observation and reasoning and drawing inference are developed.  It creates clear understanding.

9.  It is a meaningful learning The student learns by doing so there is a little scope of forgetting. It develops self-confidence, self-discipline in the students.  The students acquire command of the subject. He has clear understanding about notions of the subject.

10.  It gives the student a sense of achievement. The methods make them exact and bring them closer to truth. It develops scientific attitudes among students by making them truthful and honest for they learn how to arrive at decisions by actual experimentations.

11.  It inculcates in the student the interest for the subject and also develops willingness in them. It develops the habit of enquiry and investigation among students .It develops habit of self- learning and self- direction.

12. It provides scope for individual attention to be paid by the establishing cordial relations between the teacher and the taught.

Demerits of Heurism or Heuristic Method

The following are the few demerits of heuristic method—

1. Heuristic method is useful only for the pupils of higher classes and not for lower-class pupils. This method cannot be used in nursery and primary classes.  It is not suitable for lower classes as they are not independent thinkers. Discovery of a thing needs hard work, patience, concentration, reasoning and thinking powers and creative abilities.

2. The modern culture and civilization has become so much complicated that every pupil acquire knowledge by doing research himself. The teacher has to provide its knowledge directly.

3 The knowledge of all the subjects of a curriculum cannot be imparted to the pupils for examinations by heuristic method. Hence, this method is not appropriate.

4.  It is a very long and slow process and a hence a prescribed course cannot be covered within a specific period. In searching out the knowledge by this method much time is consumed. It is a long and time consuming method and so it becomes difficult to cover the prescribed syllabus in time Hence, it is impossible to search out the knowledge as a result of pupils’ self-efforts for a period of thirty or forty minutes according to the school time-table.

5. While using this method, the teacher prepares everything before-hand which deprives the pupils of the opportunities of self-thinking. This also deprives them of the training of self-discussion.

6. It is very costly because well equipped laboratories are required for the purpose. This method is successful if well-equipped libraries, laboratories and good textbook written in heuristic lines are available. . For this method, special books, devices and trained teachers are needed.

7.  It pre-supposes a very small class and a gifted teacher and the method is too technical and scientific to be handled by an average teacher. It suits only hard working and original thinking teachers.  The method expects of the teacher a great efficiency and hard, experience and training. Presently enough teachers are not available for implementing learning by heuristic method

8.  In this method too much stress is placed on practical work which may lead a student to form a wrong idea of the nature of science as a whole. They grow up in the belief that science is some thing to be done in the laboratory, forgetting that laboratories were made for science and not science for laboratories.

9. Evaluation of learning through heuristic method can be quite tedious. The gradation of problems is a difficult task which requires sufficient skill and training.

10. Learning by this method, pupils leave school with little or no scientific appreciation of their physical environment. The students are immature and it is difficult for them to draw conclusions. The students have to spend a lot of time to find out minor results. The romance of modern scientific discovery and invention remains out of picture for them and the humanizing influence of the subject has been kept away from them.

Conclusion

This method cannot be successfully applied in primary classes but this method can be given a trial in secondary classes particularly in higher secondary classes.

It may be suggested that at least a heuristic approach prevails for teaching of science in our schools. By heuristic approach we mean that students be not spoon fed or be given a dictation rather they be given opportunities to investigate, to think and work independently along with traditional way of teaching

In the absence of gifted teachers, well equipped laboratories and libraries and other limitations this method has not been given a trial in our schools. Even if these limitations are removed this method may not prove much useful under the existing circumstances and prevailing rules and regulations

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Multi-sensory teaching-Meaning and importance

Dr. V.K.Maheshwari, M.A (Socio, Phil) B.Sc. M. Ed, Ph.D.

Former Principal, K.L.D.A.V. (P.G) College, Roorkee, India

A multi-sensory approach, “also known as VAKT (visual-auditory-kinesthetictactile) implies that students learn best when information is presented in different modalities (Mercer & Mercer, 1993)”. The belief is that students learn a new concept best when it is taught using the four modalities. A multi-sensory approach is one that integrates sensory activities. The students see, hear, and touch.

“Activities such as tracing, hearing, writing, and seeing represent the four modalities” Murphy.

As a literal definition, multi-sensory, comes from two pieces. The two pieces are “multi” and “sensory.” “Multi” means “more than one.” “Sensory” “involves or is derived from the senses.”

That means Multi-sensory “involves more than one of the bodily senses at a time.”

This process occurs naturally, starting even before birth. Babies learn about the world by observing, listening, and putting everything within reach into their mouths. Toddlers try to touch or grab everything they see, and preschoolers ask what sometimes seems like millions of questions. All of these children are learning in a very natural way; we rarely have to teach them how to do these things.

Multisensory learning is learning that involves two or more of the senses within the same activity. Like adults, children take in information about their world in a variety of ways:

Auditory (  hearing and speaking  through their ears)

Visual (  seeing and perceiving through their eyes)

Tactile (through touch )

Kinesthetic (movement, and doing through body movements)

This way multi-sensory learning :

 Involves the use of our senses. It focuses primarily on using visual, auditory, and kinesthetic-tactile elements.

 Is taught incorporating all senses into the learning process to activate different parts of the brain simultaneously, enhancing memory and the learning of written language.

  Helps learners discover what learning style fits them best.

  Provides more ways for understanding new information, more ways to remember it and more ways to recall it later.

Thus multi-sensory can be  defines as: ‘using visual, auditory and kinesthetic modalities, sometimes at the same time’. Kinesthetic refers to perceiving through touch and an awareness of body movements.

The idea that learning experienced through all the senses is helpful in reinforcing memory has a long history in pedagogy. From the earliest teaching guides, educators have embraced a range of multi-sensory techniques in order to make learning richer and more motivating for learners. The term is used to refer to any learning activity that combines two or more sensory strategies to take in or express information.

Multi-sensory approaches have been particularly valuable in literacy and language learning, for example, in relationships between sound and symbol, word recognition, and the use of tactile methods such as tracing on rough or soft surfaces.

Teachers  ( Here treat ‘teaching and learning’ and ‘teacher’ as generic terms to include: • teaching, training and learning• teachers, tutors, trainers, lecturers and instructors in the further education system.) working with dyslexic learners have found multi-sensory approaches particularly valuable, as they help learners to make sense of information in a range of ways. Activities that harness all the senses are also an excellent way to include learners with disabilities.

Multi-sensory teaching is one important aspect of instruction for dyslexic students that is used by clinically trained teachers. Effective instruction for students with dyslexia is also explicit, direct, cumulative, intensive, and focused on the structure of language. Multi-sensory learning involves the use of  visual, auditory, tactile (feeling) and kinesthetic (awareness of motion) to enhance memory and learning of written language. The teacher uses these senses to fully engage different parts of the students brain while learning fluency in spelling, reading and handwriting all at the same time.

Multi-sensory teaching is one important aspect of instruction for dyslexic students that is used by clinically trained teachers. Effective instruction for students with dyslexia is also explicit, direct, cumulative, intensive, and focused on the structure of language. Multisensory learning involves the use of visual, auditory, and kinesthetic-tactile pathways simultaneously to enhance memory and learning of written language. Links are consistently made between the visual (language we see), auditory (language we hear), and kinesthetic-tactile (language symbols we feel) pathways in learning to read and spell.

Quick Facts about Multi-sensory Learning

•             Integrates visual, auditory, tactile (touch) and kinesthetic (movement) learning elements

•             Different teaching methods activate different parts of the brain

•             Helps learners discover their learning style and the techniques best for them

•             Effective for all learners but particularly effective for dyslexic students

•             Can be used in any subject from reading to math to science and drama

•             Allows for more individualized lesson planning

•             Enabled more and more by assistive technolog See, hear, touch and move your way to understanding.

Rationale for the use of multi-sensory teaching

Students with dyslexia often exhibit weaknesses in underlying language skills involving speech sound (phonological) and print (orthographic) processing and in building brain pathways that connect speech with print. The brain pathways used for reading and spelling must develop to connect many brain areas and must transmit information with sufficient speed and accuracy.

Most students with dyslexia have weak phonemic awareness, meaning they are unaware of the role sounds play in words. These students may also have difficulty rhyming words, blending sounds to make words, or segmenting words into sounds. Because of their trouble establishing associations between sounds and symbols, they also have trouble learning to recognise words automatically (“by sight”) or fast enough to allow comprehension. If they are not accurate with sounds or symbols, they will have trouble forming memories for common words, even the “little” words in students’ books.

Dyslexic children and teens need specialised instruction to master the alphabetic code and to form those memories.This multi-sensory part of the Orton Gillingham system remains one of the most reliable method for a dyslexic mind to learn to spell, read and write because it fully engages the each part of the brain. Another positive about this method is that it also works for teaching mathematics as well!

Beneficiaries from multi-sensory learning

All kids can benefit from multi-sensory lessons, including kids who don’t have learning and attention issues. If a student learns something using more than one sense, the information is more likely to stay with him.

People with learning disabilities Students with dyslexia have trouble with language skills involving speech sound (phonological) and print (orthographic) processing and in building pathways that connect speech with print.

People with sensory integration challenges Children with sensory integration challenges sense information normally but have difficulty perceiving and processing that information because it is analyzed in their brains in a different way.

Multi-sensory learning can be particularly helpful for kids with learning and attention issues. For example, these kids may have trouble with visual or auditory processing. That can make it hard for them to learn information through only reading or listening. Multi-sensory instruction can help kids learn information more effectively. All kids can benefit from multi-sensory instruction.

The Different Teaching and Learning Techniques:

Visual techniques: Visual learning methods includes diagrams, modelling, photos and video. Anything that will display something to the student is considered visual. Mind maps are a great way for a visual learner to write and organise ideas down.

Auditory techniques: Auditory learning methods includes dialogue, clapping, rhymes or anything that can be heard. Teachers use clapping or tapping as a means of auditory aid. (Audio books are really effective for students (or anyone!) who is an auditory learner, or if they struggle with reading.)

Tactile Techniques: Tactile learning includes feel and touch. Teachers use anything textured or raised to help with tactile learning such as coins, sand, dice and clay. This learning techniques often engages fine motor skills so it may challenge children who struggle with this.

Kinaesthetic techniques: Kinaesthetic learning methods include movement and doing things (i.e. writing and anything physical). This type of learning method engages the gross motor skills. Teachers will often use ‘air writing’ as a method for kinaesthetic learning; where the children have to write a word in the air while sounding it out. Children with dyspraxia typically have weak kinaesthetic skills.

Learning Types and Activities

Visual-spatial-A visual learner learns best by using their eyes to see information. They learn by seeing words in printed form or by using graphics and pictures, observing real life, and other visual aid.

Activities focused on visual learning

Printable books: Students read short books emphasizing sight words, word families, and short/long vowels. Students underlined with marker the focus words such as all the short “a” words, etc.

Hidden sight word coloring/sight word mosaic: This is similar to color by number. Students begin to visualize the sight word with the color. Printable sight word coloring sheets can be found on www.pinterest.com. A sight word mosaic is an abstract design that is colored by sight word. Students make squiggles, lines and shapes. Sight words are written in between the shapes.

Flashcards with identifying pictures: Children learn with repetition. Flashcards provide repetition. That being said, flashcards don’t have to be boring.

If children cannot create or form mental pictures while reading, they are forced to memorize the words they see. (visual). Flashcards with pictures associated with letters provide a visual cue.

Other visual letter recognition strategies:

 Letter sorts: Have students sort letters by categories. This can be done on paper or with manipulative (letters with tails vs. no tails, circles vs. no circles, dots vs. no dots.

 Have students watch what they look like when saying letters in the mirror. What letters make an “O” shape of their mouths? What do their tongues do when then make a “sh” or a “th” sound? This makes them laugh. Especially if you do it with them.

Auditory Learners- An auditory learner is someone who learns best by listening and talking. They learn reading by listening to someone present information orally and by being allowed to discuss and ask questions.

Activities focused on auditory learning

Rhyming/making up words with word families: Using a white board or a word building kit students take a word family sound such as “at” and make a list of real and silly words. (cat, bat, dat, jat) Students like to make silly words and they still learn the same concepts.

Read Alouds: “Literacy does not depend upon reading text in books. This point just can’t be emphasized enough with dyslexic learners, so here it is again: Literacy does not depend upon reading text in books.”.

Phonemic awareness: Phonemic awareness is verbal and auditory, not written, and prepares children for reading print. Segmenting and blending sounds to make words can be played around with in many ways. I had students bounce or throw a ball for each letter sound, jump or clap. They liked the ball best.

Chanting: A teacher I worked with in the past always chanted a word several times after a student learned it

Tactile Learners: Tactile learners learn best through their sense of touch, such as using their hands and fingers. They learn best by writing, drawing, and using hands-on manipulatives.

Activities focused on Tactile Learning

Playdough: Students create sight words or letters with play dough. For younger students a play dough mat with letters already outlined

Word building kits: This can either be with magneticletters or scrabble pieces. The kids liked the colorful letters is  recommend.

Read it, Write it, Build it: Used this technique with a student with a learning disability in particular. However, it can be used with anyone. It is a good multisensory technique. It is exactly as it says. Works well with sight words.

Similar concept as play dough:

Sandpaper letters: These are tracing letters made of sandpaper. Students use their finger to trace the letters. The students retain a tactile memory of the feel of the letters. This  is a well-established Montessori technique.

Writing letters and sight words in the:

 Sand

 Shaving cream

 Air (learning disability teaching technique)

 Salt

Hidden sight word painting: Prior to meeting with students write sight words in white crayon on white paper. Students paint over words with watercolor. As they paint the sight words appear the  students can  have a contest to see who could paint over all the sight words and read them all first.

Kinesthetic learners: Kinesthetic learners learn best through movement of their large or gross motor muscles. They take in information best while moving and doing, being involved in projects, role playing, learning while standing up and engaging in real life activities.

Activities involving Kinesthetic Learning

Sight word jump: Write sight words on post it notes and put them up high on the wall. Students jump for the word when it is called out. Students jump for the word when it is called out.

Race Car blending: Phonemic awareness activity using a toy car to drive across the letters written spaced across a racetrack to make a word. Students sound out the letters as they drive across it. When students drive slowly they sound out the letters very slowly and segment them. When they zoom by they say the word clearly, loudly and quickly.

Sight word towers: Write sight words on red solo cups. Ask students to read the words on the cup. If they read it correctly they can add it to their tower. If they miss the word, they have to put the cup to the side. This was a favorite of students

Letter sound blending puzzles: These are three letter word segmented puzzles students put together. Each piece was a separate letter sound. When put together, it made the word and corresponding picture.

Activities involving taste and smell: Most multisensory activities do not involve these senses. However, all senses activate different memories and create more opportunities for learning.

Taste

Using alphabet cheese it’s to spell words in place of letters in word building kit. If students read the words correctly they can eat the word.

 Find foods that start with particular letters of the alphabet you’re working. For example: p is for pineapple, pumpkins, pepperoni pizza, or pancakes

Smell

Writing letters with a mixer of glue and dry jello mix.

 Find smells that start with particular letters of the alphabet

Activities involving proprioception

Proprioception is about knowing where your body is in space and knowing how to get around your environment safety. The proprioceptive system is developed and strengthened in children by having them do large and small physical movements, especially movements where they experience pressure, using their fingers, hands, arms, trunks, legs, and feet. Any activity that helps children move in this way is incorporating this sense.

Children with learning disabilities often struggle with this. Proprioception has to do with spatial orientation. Some children have difficulties imprinting and remembering the correct spatial orientations of letters and numbers.

Mayer concludes that there is growing evidence that well designed multimedia resources lead to deeper learning than traditional verbal-only messages.  He offers the following guidance on what constitutes good design:

• Words and pictures work better than words alone.

• Words and pictures need to be integrated, so that they work together.

• An informal style works better than a formal style.

• Extraneous material should be removed.

• Care should be taken not to overload learners’ visual channel, for example, with rapidly changing graphics.

Tips for creating a multi-sensory classroom.

Some ideas take just a little effort but can bring about big changes.The following are few tips for creating a multi-sensory classroom.

Writing homework assignments on the board. Teachers can use different colors for each subject and notations if books will be needed. For example, use yellow for math homework, red for spelling and green for history, writing a “+” sign next to the subjects students need books or other materials. The different colors allow students to know at a glance which subjects have homework and what books to bring home.

Use different colors to signify different parts of the classroom. For example, use bright colors in the main area of the classroom to help motivate children and promote creativity. Use shades of green, which help increase concentration and feelings of emotional well-being, in reading areas and computer stations.

Use music in the classroom. Set math facts, spelling words or grammar rules to music, much as we use to teach children the alphabet. Use soothing music during reading time or when students are required to work quietly at their desks.

Apply Aromatherapy to the classroom. Use scents in the classroom to convey different feelings. According to the article “Do scents affect people’s moods or work performance. “People who worked in the presence of a pleasant smelling air freshener also reported higher self-efficacy, set higher goals and were more likely to employ efficient work strategies than participants who worked in a no-odor condition.”

Start with a picture or object. Usually, students are asked to write a story and then illustrate it, write a report, and find pictures to go with it, or draw a picture to represent a math problem. Instead, start with the picture or object. Ask students to write a story about a picture they found in a magazine or break the class into small groups and give each group a different piece of fruit, asking the group to write descriptive words or a paragraph about the fruit.

Make stories come to life. Have students create skits or puppet shows to act out a story the class is reading. Have students work in small groups to act out one part of the story for the class.

Use different colored paper. Instead of using plain white paper, copy hand-outs on different color paper to make the lesson more interesting. Use green paper one day, pink the next and yellow the day after.

Encourage discussion. Break the class into small groups and have each group answer a different question about a story that was read. Or, have each group come up with a different ending to the story. Small groups offer each student a chance to participate in the discussion, including students with dyslexia or other learning disabilities who may be reluctant to raise their hand or speak up during class.

Use different types of media to present lessons. Incorporate different ways of teaching, like films, slide shows, over-head sheets, power-point presentations. Pass pictures or manipulative around the classroom to allow students to touch and see the information up close. Making each lesson unique and interactive helps keep student’s interest and helps them retain the information learned.

Create games to review material. Create a version of Trivial Pursuit to help review facts in science or social studies. Making reviews fun and exciting will help students remember the information.

Learning Styles:

There are twelve ways of learning.  Although most students can learn in some capacity using all twelve learning styles, when students’ unique profiles or preferences are accommodated, they often experience joy in the learning process and celebrate remarkable gains.

Below, the learning styles are defined with teaching suggestions are made for each.

1) Visual Teaching: This method allows students to learn by seeing.

• Seeing a diagram

• Seeing an image

• Seeing a movie

2) Auditory Teaching: This method allows students to learn by listening.

• Listening to a lecture

• Listening to a debate

• Listening to a story

3) Tactile Teaching: This method allows students to learn by touching.

• Touching and manipulating an artifact

• Conducting a hands-on experiment

• Copying or tracing diagrams or tables

• Dioramas

4) Kinesthetic Teaching: This method allows students to learn while moving.

• Role playing scenarios or doing skits

• Participating on field trips

• Conducting interactive experiments

5) Sequential Teaching: This method allows students to learn material in a specific order or series of steps.

• Breaking down information into a series of steps

• Making flow charts

• Placing events in sequence on a timeline

6) Simultaneous Teaching: Allows students to learn “how the information is interrelated.

• Producing summaries

• Explaining the overall meaning

• Creating concept maps or webs

• Looking at a timeline to gleam the overall relationship

7) Reflective/Logical Teaching: This method allows students to solve problems and ponder complex issues.

• Brainstorming solutions to problems

• Asking students to analyze material

• Offering reflective writing opportunities

8) Verbal Teaching: This method allows students to learn information by talking about it.

• Breaking students into discussion groups

• Encouraging students to verbally rehearse their understanding of information

• Asking students to think aloud

9) Interactive Teaching: This method allows students to learn information in the company of others .

• Organizing a group debate

• Breaking into small group activities

• Conducting a question-answer session

10) Direct Experience Teaching: Allows students to learn through experience.

• Conducting experiments

• Going on field trips

• Taking part in an apprenticeship program

11) Indirect Experience Teaching: This method allows students to learn from the experiences of others.

• Telling about your own experiences of learning from peers

• Reading a biography

• Watching demonstrations

12) Rhythmic/Melodic Teaching: Allows students to see patterns or pair melodies and rhythm.

• Suggesting patterns/themes across course content

• Pointing out songs that address the course themes

• Bringing in a musical piece that reflects a time period and creates a mood

Conclusion

Teaching and learning in this way is an exciting journey of discovery. It is a fast paced and creative process where learning is fun since each small step is mastered and the learner is aware of what they have gained. Everyone now can call themself a success. Confidence is built through growing mastery of written language. The students can see themselves as successful learners and this helps each individual learner gain independence and a great “can do” attitude.

Lessons taught using multisensory teaching methods use two or more of the teaching modes simultaneously to teach child. When teachers teach in two or more ways, their teaching becomes more interesting to the kids. When students can express their learning in a variety of ways, they can choose their best skills to show what they know. This is multisensory learning and teaching at its best!

Multisensory teaching is ideal for kids of any learning style. Multisensory learning gives the best learning progress when teaching includes activities that use your child’s strongest learning style(s). This is one reason kids who are homeschooled learn at a faster rate than kids in traditional school. They benefit from MORE multisensory learning that is geared to their own needs.

Multisensory learning provides more ways for understanding new information, more ways to remember it and more ways to recall it later. Dyslexic children typically have difficulty absorbing new information, especially if it is abstract or involves memorizing sequences or steps. Multisensory teaching techniques help break down these barriers to learning by making the abstract more concrete, turning lists or sequences into movements, sights and sounds.

The best part of all is the multisensory learning is more fun and works well for every learner. It should be part of every teacher’s tool box

“Albert Einstein said, ‘Learning is experiencing. Everything else is just information.’” We must use our senses while we’re teaching and learning. We have a need to see, touch, taste, feel, and hear the things around us. We use our senses to study the new objects so we can understand them better. (Wesson, 2002, paraphrased). Using your child’s senses for multisensory learning just makes sense!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Approaches of Educational Technology

Dr. V.K.Maheshwari, M.A (Socio, Phil) B.Sc. M. Ed, Ph.D.

Former Principal, K.L.D.A.V. (P.G) College, Roorkee, India

The scientific investigations of technological developments have influenced every walk of human life. The educational process does not remain untouched by these advances. There is rapid mechanization in field of education.  It has resulted the introduction of technology in field of education.

Many different approaches of technology can be used to support and enhance learning. Various approaches of Educational technology deliver different kinds of content and serve different purposes in the classroom. Each approach of technology is likely to play a different role in students’ learning .

There are several educational approaches in technologies and there is great overlap among them. The educational process does not remain untouched by these advances. It has necessitated introduction of  these approaches in technology in the field of education.

Hardware Approach of Educational Technology

The hardware approach   refers to the use of machines and other mechanical devices in the process of education. Its origin lies in the application of “physical science” to education and training system. The process of teaching-learning has been gradually mechanized through the use of teaching machines, radio, television, tape recorder, video-tape, projectors etc. The teacher can deal with a larger group of students at the same time by his discourse through these machines.

The hardware approach is based on the application of engineering principles for developing electro-mechanical equipment for instructional purposes. Motion pictures, tape recorders, television, teaching machines, computers are called educational hardware.

Hardware approach mechanises the process of teaching so that teachers would be able to deal with more students with less expenditures in educating them.

Human knowledge has three aspects:

            Preservation,

            Transmission and

            Development.

The history of preservation of the knowledge is believed to exist since the printing machines started. The knowledge is preserved with these machines in the form of books which are shelved in the libraries, tape recorders and films.

The second aspect of human knowledge is its transmission. A teacher can impart knowledge himself to his pupils. Now a days, transmission of the knowledge is supported by machine like mike, radio and television. With these, thousands of pupils can  enjoy this home-delivery of such benefits.

The third aspect of human knowledge is its development. For this aspect, provisions are made for research work. In the research programmes, the main function is the collection and analysis of data. For this purpose, presently the researcher uses the electronic machines and computers.

Hence, all the three aspects of knowledge allow the use of machines. In short, the teaching process has been mechanized. The mechanization of teaching process is termed as the Hardware Approach.

Basis of Hardware Approach

            Hardware Approach has physical science and applied engineering  as  its basis.

            Hardware Approach has mechanised the whole teaching-learning process.

            Hardware Approach adopts a Product-oriented Approach.

            Hardware Approach has the potential to hand over the educational benefits to the mass with greater ease and economy.

Characteristics of Hardware Approach

• Silverman , called this type of educational technology ‘Relative Technology’. Based on physical science and applied engineering field approach. The concept of hardware approach is derived from the application of “physical science” to education.

• The new mechanism of teaching-learning with improved technology as its basis. Suggesting innumerable new ways of doing things to the class-room teachers

• The job and the duties of the teacher are likely to have multifaceted changes as they are to deal with many new gadgets for teaching and learning .

•  Engineering principles are used for the development of these types of technical equipments. The teacher can deal with larger group of students with the help of these ‘Mechanical device’ or ‘Machines’.

•     The teacher can deal with larger group of students with the help of these ‘Mechanical device’ or ‘Machines’ , resulting in less cost and economy in finances .

Software Approach of Educational Technology

The pioneering work in software approach was done by Skinner and other behaviourists. The programmes which such a technology produces are often called software. Software Approach is also termed as Instructional Technology or Teaching Technology or Behavioural Technology.

It originates from behavioural sciences and their applied aspects concerning psychology of learning. The software approach used the principles of psychology for building in the learners a complex repertory of knowledge or modifying his behaviour . Psychology of learning provides solid technology for bringing desirable behavioural changes in the pupils and  serves the cause of education of laying down definite instructional procedure, teaching behaviour and behaviour modification devices.

Newspapers, books, magazines, educational games, flash cards may also form part of software. Software approach is characterised by task analysis, writing precise objectives, selection of appropriate learning strategies, immediate reinforcement of responses and constant evaluation.

Software approach refers to the application of teaching- learning principles to the direct & deliberate shaping of behavior. Its origin lies in the application of “behavior science” to the problems of learning & motivation.

Educational technology is closely associated with the modern principles & theories of teaching. Models of teaching, theory of instruction, theory of teacher- behavior & principles of programmed learning. It is characterized by task analysis, writing, objectives in behavioral terms, selection of the appropriate teaching strategies, reinforcement for correct responses & continuous evaluation.

Software Approach is concerned with teaching objectives in behavioural terms, principles of teaching, methods of teaching, reinforcement of instructional system, feedback, reviews and evaluation. Software approach tries to develop all the three basic components of technology, i.e. Input, Process and Output.

Basis of Software Approach

• In software approach, the basis of all thinking and working is behavioural science and psychology of learning.

• Software approach uses the principles of psychology for the purpose of behaviour modification.

• A teacher with added knowledge of software approach can use the films, flashcards, tapes etc., for various purposes.

• A teacher can plan better teaching which results into better learning. There is not end to his thinking.

Characteristics of Software Approach

  • This view of educational technology is closely associated with the modern principles of programmed learning and is characterised by task analysis, writing precise objectives, selection of appropriate learning strategies, reinforcement of correct responses and constant education.
  • Silverman  termed this educational technology as ‘constructive educational technology.’ Also known as ‘Management Technology’.
  • A modern approach in educational administration and organisation. It has brought to educational management a scientific approach for solving educational administrative problems.
  • Origin of software approach lies in the application of ‘behavioural science’ to the education.     It refers to the application of teaching- learning principles in the shaping of behaviour.
  • Its application while writing objectives in behavioral terms, selection of appropriate teaching, strategies, reinforcement for correct response etc

Characteristics of Software Approach

  • This view of educational technology is closely associated with the modern principles of programmed learning and is characterised by task analysis, writing precise objectives, selection of appropriate learning strategies, reinforcement of correct responses and constant education.
  • A modern approach in educational administration and organisation. It has brought to educational management a scientific approach for solving educational administrative problems.
  • Origin of software approach lies in the application of ‘behavioural science’ to the education.     It refers to the application of teaching- learning principles in the shaping of behavior.
  • We can views its application while writing objectives in behavioural terms, selection of appropriate teaching, strategies, reinforcement for correct response etc.

Software Tools

Word processing, database, spreadsheet, telecommunications, presentation, authoring, graphic paint programs. Teachers need to know how to use them, how to teach them to students, and how and why to use them in the classroom.

Software Types

Drill and practice, tutorials or computer-based instruction, and simulations. Teachers need to know what these are as well as why, when, and how to incorporate them into their teaching.

Software Review and Evaluation

How to select appropriate software for specific grade levels and content areas, how to evaluate the effectiveness of this software, and what types of software are available. Teachers need to be thoroughly familiar with many of the software options available and understand when and how to use them in the classroom.

Comparison of  Hardware and Software Approach

 

Hardware Technology Software Technology
1. Has its origin in physical sciences and applied engineering. 1.  Has its origin in behavioural sciences and their applied aspects concerning psychology of learning
2. More concerned with the production and utilization of audio visual aid material and sophisticated instruments and mass media for helping teacher and learners in their task. 2.  Try to make use of psychology of learning for the production and utilization of software techniques and materials in terms of learning material, teaching-learning strategies and other devices for smoothening the task of teaching learning.
3.  Tries to adopt product-oriented approach, in the shape of teaching-learning material and strategy  through thein  utilization of  the hardware instruments and gadgets for effective teaching learning. 3.  Tries to adopt a process-oriented technique or approach for the production of teaching-learning material and strategies. The material produced here is made available for being used by the hardware application.
4. Based on the concept of service meaning hereby that it provides services in the field of education. 4. It helps in the production of software material being used by the hardware applications and gadgets for delivering their service to the users i.e. teachers and learners.
5. As examples of the appliances and gadgets being used in hardware technology service we can name radio, television, tape recorder, video, slides and film projectors, teaching machines and computer etc. 5. As examples of the material produced through software technology we can name, programmed learning material, in the shape of charts, pictures, models, slides filmstrips, audio and video cassettes, software packages etc.
6.  Needs the services of software technology for its use and functioning. It can’t go without the aid of software technology e.g. computer hardware in the shape of a machine like device is of no use if it does not make use of software services both for its operation as a machine and its multi-dimensional utilities. The use of application and utility software is in fact must for taking any service from the hardware technology of the computer. 6.  Most useful and productive in the case if it is assisted and made into use by the hardware applications and gadgets. However, it can go alone for delivering its services to the users without calling aid from the hardware technology i.e. you can make use of programmed learning material a graph a text, etc. directly for the individualized as well as group instructions.
7. Has its mass appeal and utilization. It can contribute a lot in handing over the educational benefits to masses with greater case and economy. 7.  Has no such wide application and appeal to masses as found in the case of hardware appliances like radio, telephone, computer application, etc.
8.  Has resulted in improving the efficiency of educational, means and reducing the cost of education. A teacher may handle a big class with the help of hardware appliances like microphone, slide and film projectors etc. 8.  Works for increasing the efficiency of the teachers as well as learning. However, it lags behind in the task of improving efficiency and reducing the cost of education.

Though  there is difference in the aspects being stressed the hardware & software approaches, in educational technology they  are functionally related to each other.  Both software and hardware approaches are so interlinked that they cannot be separated from each other. One without the other is incomplete.

Role of hardware and software technologies in modern educational practices

1.  Making the task of teaching-learning interest, purposeful and productive:

  • Suggesting suitable teaching-learning methods, devices and strategies based on psychology of teaching-learning.
  • Suggesting suitable maxims and principle of teaching-learning based on the theory and practice of technology of teaching-learning.
  • Putting various types of audio-visual aid and materials and equipment at the disposal of teachers and learners.
  • Providing a variety of instructional and self-learning material suiting the varying needs of teaching-learning situations and individuality of the teacher and learners.

2.   Use the multimedia and multi-sensory approach to teaching-learning: Hardware and software technologies help the teacher as well as the learners for making a proper and judicious use of multimedia and multi-sensory aid material, equipment and principles of   teaching-learning, derived from psychology and technology of teaching.

  • All the sensory organs sense the sight, hearing, touch, smell and taste for the acquisition of the desired teaching-learning experiences.
  • Multimedia, material and appliance involving hardware and software technologies for sharing desirable teaching-learning technologies.
  • All the relevant and needed teaching-learning method, devices, and strategies, well-accompanied and aided by hardware and software technologies.

3.   Management of the affairs of educational practices in an efficient and productive way: Educational and professional responsibilities

  • Planning o teaching-learning.
  • Organization of teaching-learning.
  • Leading teaching-learning.
  • Controlling teaching-learning.

4.   Providing proper input and process for the best possible outcomes (products): in    the true spirit of the system engineering, use of hardware and software technologies can help the educational and instruction system to make all possible efforts for providing adequate and the needed process organizations to arrive at the best possible outcomes.

5.  Fulfilling the expectation of distances and correspondence education:the demands of today’s education and modern education practices are putting increase emphasis on the extension of distance education and correspondence and online education facilities to the increasing number of learners.

6Individualization of instruction: Individualization of instruction is a major trend in the modern educational practices and is the demand of the hour. In brief, we can highlight the role of hardware and software technologies on this account by stating some of the materials and equipment as follows:

  • Programmed instruction, programmed books, and programmed learning modules.
  • Teaching machines, computer assisted instruction and computer managed learning.
  • Video and audio recorded learning and instructional material.
  • Email, internet, teleconferencing and other online educational facilities.
  • Special aid material, equipment and appliances used for special education and adjustment measure of for the disabled.
  • Special provisions and facilities for the creative and gifted to nature and develop their individual capacities according to their pace and interest.

 

 

 

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Educational Technology- A General Introduction

Dr. V.K.Maheshwari, M.A (Socio, Phil) B.Sc. M. Ed, Ph.D.

Former Principal, K.L.D.A.V. (P.G) College, Roorkee, India

Educational Technology is concerned with the development, application, and evaluation of system, techniques and aids to improve the process of human  learning. It could be conceived as a science of techniques, methods and media by which educational goals could be realised.

Earlier the Concept of Educational Technology was used as a synonym to audio-visual aids like pictures, charts, maps, and models meant for direct  teaching-learning .

Then came the age of mass media which led to massive communication revolution for instructional purposes with the advent of programmed instruction , a new dimension of educational technology came into existence it has individualized the process of education and introduced a system of self-learning in the form of self- instructional material and teaching machine.

This way one aspect of Educational Technology related to the use of specific techniques such as ‘educational television, radio, programmed learning and other audio-visual aids.

Educational technology is seen both as a means as well as service to effect and facilitate better and more productive learning systems. It may be  defined as a separate field in the theory of education dealing with the development and application of the use of educational resources.

Educational Technology should not be confused with teaching or instruction or education or learning or engineering but it should be taken as a sum  total of all such aspects which go a long way in shaping the personality of the learner in a meaningful context.

It is neither technology in education nor technology of education but both and all pervasive which pervades the whole teaching-learning process to  make it meaningful for the teacher who teaches and the learner who learns and modifies his behaviour for his own betterment.

There are a lot of misconceptions as regards the meaning of educational technology. For many, it is a discipline associated with the use of audio-visual media in education. Some use the term software and hardware as synonyms of educational technology. Whereas, some people are comfortable with the term teaching machines as the meaning of educational technology. The truth of the matter is that none of the above could actually be taken as correct interpretation of the meaning of educational technology concept.

A Short Historical Retrospect

In the early period of human history, when writing was unknown, the method of verbal presentation on the part of the teachers and citation and memorization on the part of the students was a common practice in almost all the civilization of the world. Socrates’ teacher-pupil oral dialogue system prevalent in the west and oral teaching tradition maintained by the ancient sages in the Gurukuls of our country may be cited as a testimony of the use of relevant technology on the field of teaching-learning at a particular age in the progress of human civilization.

With the advent of writings as the means and materials of communication, like writing on the leaves and tree-trunks, engraving on metals and rocks, and then the use of the some type of paper and ink material provided the next breakthrough in the use of writing technology for teaching and learning. In the time to come, it provide a great impetuses  in the field of teaching and learning which witnessed the use of the subject matter available in the form of printing materials and textbooks, a great scientific and technological advancement.

The use of writing and printing technology then took its next leap in helping the cause of teaching and learning by utilized in the production and use of the instructional materials like chalkboard, pictures, chart, models, maps, diagrams and other graphic material.

Educational technology in a  way could be traced back to the emergence of very early tools, e.g., paintings on cave walls. But usually its history is made to start with educational film (1900′s) or Sidney Pressey’s mechanical teaching machines in the 1920′.

Today, presentation-based technology, based on the idea that people can learn contents trough aural and visual reception, exists in many forms, e.g., streaming audio and video, PowerPoint presentations + voice-over.

The 1950′s led to two major still popular designs. Skinners work led to “programmed instruction” focusing on the formulation of behavioral objectives, breaking instructional content into small units and rewarding correct responses early and often. Advocating a mastery approach to learning based on his taxonomy of intellectual behaviors, Bloom endorsed instructional techniques that varied both instruction and time according to learner requirements.

The 1980′s and 1990′s produced a variety of schools that can be put under the umbrella of the l Computer dominated instruction.

Digitized communication and networking in education started in the mid 80s and became popular by the mid-90′s, in particular through the World-Wide Web, email and Forums.  In addition, modern ICT provides education with tools for sustaining learning communities and associated knowledge management tasks. It also provides tools for student and curriculum management.

In addition to classroom enhancement, learning technologies also play a major role in full-time distance teaching. While most quality offers still rely on paper, videos and occasional CBT/CBL materials, there is increased use of e-tutoring through forums, instant messaging, video-conferencing etc. Courses addressed to smaller groups frequently use  hybrid designs that mix presence courses with distance activities and use various pedagogical styles .

From 2000′s onword emergence of multiple mobile and ubiquitous technologies gave a new impulse to situated learning theories favouring learning-in-context scenarios. Some literature uses the concept of integrated learning to describe blended learning scenarios that integrate both school and authentic  settings.

Meaning  and Definition of Educational Technology

Educational technology is comprised of two words education and technology. When we apply the science of learning and communication to teaching we evolve a technology

Before understanding the meaning of educational technology it is essential to know the meaning of the term” technology”. The word ‘technology‘ has been taken  from the Greek word (techniques) which means an art and which is related with skill and dexterity.

The term ‘technology’ implies the application of science to art. Generally the term “Technology” denotes the systematic application of the knowledge of science to practical tasks in industry.

Educational technology is a discipline that is difficult to define. Its meaning can be derived from the two components of technology in education and technology of education. It is an eclectic discipline that borrows from such educational fields like psychology, sociology and philosophy.

The universally accepted definition of ET involves processes, methods and techniques, products, resources and technologies organized into workable systems. The recognition of the need for a multilevel organisation of a classroom, for instance, along with the designing of an appropriate programme and its implementation, become as much an exercise in ET as the use of audio-visual aids or the information superhighway.

  • E.E. Hadden “Educational Technology is that branch of educational theory and practice concerned primarily with the design and use of messages which control the learning process.”
  • G.O. Leith “Educational Technology is the application of scientific knowledge and learning and the conditions of learning to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of teaching and training.”
  • John P. Dececco “Educational Technology is the form of detailed application of psychology of learning to practical teaching problems”
  • Richmond “Educational Technology is concerned to provide appropriately designed learning situations which, holding in view of objectives of the Teaching of Training, being to bear the best means of instruction.”
  • Robert M. Gange defined Educational Technology as “The Development of asset of systematic techniques and accompanying practical knowledge for designing, testing and operating schools as educational systems.
  • S.K. Mitra “Educational Technology can be conceived as a science of techniques and methods by which educational goals could be realized.”
  • S.S. Kulkarni “Educational Technology may be defined as the application of the laws as well as recent discoveries of science and technology to the process of education.”

Hence, “Educational   Technology” may be roughly defined as the systematic application of the knowledge of sciences to practical tasks in Education. It was widely accepted as the application of systematic design of a learning system to bring about improvement in   teaching-learning evaluation process.

Literary Interpretation of Educational Technology

“Education” is another elusive term that means many things to many people. According to Oxford English Dictionary (2000), the term means “a process of teaching, training and learning, especially in schools or colleges to improve knowledge and develop skills”. There seems to be a consensus among definers of the term education. Education is regarded as “that which is given to an individual to make him develop socially, morally, and intellectually as to allow for his/her personal overall development and the development of the community in which he/she finds himself/herself”. By implication, education, whether formal or informal, is goal-oriented. It is to be functional, qualitative and socio-personal driven. It is because of the role attributed to education by the society that account for its being defined as “transmission and renewal of culture from one generation to another”.

“Technology” on the other hand, is simply defined by the Oxford English Dictionary as “a body of knowledge which when used / applied helps in solving problems”. One can then infer, from the literal point of view, that educational technology means “application of a body of knowledge (technology) to solving educational problems. “the contributions of technology to education constitute or mean educational technology.”

Subtle aspects of educational technology

During the last two decades, many significant developments have taken place in the discipline of education Educational technology has become a very major and useful area of knowledge relevant for more efficient and effective functions of teaching-learning system.

There are two subtle aspects of educational technology— Technology in Education and Technology of Education.

Concept of Technology IN Education

By the term “technology in education” is meant application of machines, gadgets or equipment to improve the quality of education. This aspect is described as the “hardware” approach to educational technology. It involves the use of pieces of instructional materials (media) such as audio media, visual media, projected media, graphics, computers and other teaching machines. It is important to note that hardware/machines are means through which information are extracted from their corresponding software. Technology in Education covers every possible means by which knowledge or information can be presented interestingly. It is concerned with various equipments such as projectors, overhead projectors, television, computers etc., used for education and training.

Concept of Technology OF Education

The term “technology of education” refers to application of theories and laws/rules in education and  related disciplines for the purpose of improving the quality of education. Such relateddisciplines include: sociology/sociology of education, philosophy/philosophy of education, psychology/psychology of education, communication, technology, etc. Technology of education is a component of educational technology that is involved in the use of systems approach to promote high quality education. Furthermore, this aspect of educational technology is concerned with the use of systematic and scientific procedures in educational practice. Simply put, technology of education refers to the application of the systems approach to educational enterprise. Its main concerns include issues bothering on identification of educational problem, analysing the problem, setting objectives, suggesting solution strategies, synthesizing the processes, embarking on evaluation and providing feedback. Technology of Education is concerned with the better understanding of the learners and learning processes and how best the available resources can be used optimally for producing learning in the minimum time possible.

At this junction, it is to be noted that a combination of the meaning of technology in education and technology of education will provide a fairly acceptable/description of educational technology.

Nature of Educational Technology

Some people assume that educational technology will replace the teacher which will make the teacher unemployed one day. It is their mistake. Educational technology can never replace the teacher. It is because of these aspects of educational technology.

  • Audio-visual aids cannot be termed as educational technology. It is because its concern is only with the process-aspect of educational technology and not with the input and output aspects. But if these A.V. aids are used to achieve educational objectives, then it can be put in the category of Educational technology.
  • Educational Technology accepts schools as a system. In this system, the school-building, furniture and teachers act as input while various methods, techniques, strategies and the teaching and examination with the help of audio-visual aids function in the form of a process. Lastly, the output is in of form of ability of the pupils.
  • Educational Technology cannot solve each and every problem of education. It can be used successfully in teaching and instructional system only.
  • Educational Technology is a continuous dynamic, progressive and effect-producing method.
  • Educational Technology studies the effect of science and technology upon education. In other words, science and technology are used under educational technology. Hence, it is the practical aspect of science.
  • Engineering Technology is not the educational technology because the engineering technology has manufactured radio, tape- recorder, video-tape and T.V., etc., which are used in teaching as audio-visual aids, but still engineering technology is different from educational technology. In education, it is accepted as hardware approach only.
  • New conceptions are possible only due to educational technology such as programmed learning, micro-teaching, simulated teaching, interaction analysis, video-tape, tape-recorder, projector and computer, etc.
  • Programmed Instruction is also different from Educational Technology. Its main cause is that the student learns himself during the programmed instructions. It does not allow interaction between pupil and teacher. Hence, it can be used only for limited objectives and limited subject-matter. Therefore, programmed instruction is merely a part of educational technology.
  • The basis of educational technology is science.

Characteristics of Educational Technology

  • Characteristics of Educational Technology are as follows:
  • It is a fast growing modern discipline.
  • It is bound to improve the teacher, the learner and the teaching learning process.
  • It brings pupils, teachers and technical means together in an effective way.
  • It is based on scientific and technological advancements.
  • It is more a practical discipline and less a theoretical one.
  • It makes use of the research findings of psychology, sociology, engineering, sciences and social psychology etc., and applies the same to the field of education.
  • It is the science of techniques and methods. It locates the problems in the field of education, remedies them and ultimately aims at improving the education system.

Goals of Educational Technology

ET could be defined in simple terms as the efficient organisation of any learning system, adapting or adopting methods, processes, and products to serve identified educational goals. This would involve:

• Appreciation of the role of ET as an agent of change in the classroom, influencing the teacher and the teaching-learning process, and its role in systemic issues like reach, equity, and quality. (This appreciation should not be limited to educators alone, but should extend to planners and administrators as well, since systems both at micro and macro levels will be necessary to meet the current challenges of education.)

• Designing, providing for, and enabling appropriate teaching-learning systems that could realise the identified goals.

• Developing a range of support systems and training, creating the enabling systemic conditions/materials, reaching these to the school system, and training teachers and students to use them.

• Recognition of not only the immediate needs of children but also their future needs in relation to the society for which we are preparing them.

• Recognition of the diversity of learners’ needs, the contexts in which learning will take place, and the range of provisions needed for them.

• Research into existing and new techniques, strategies and technologies for solving problems of education, enabling judicious and appropriate application of technology.

• Systematic identification of the goals of education, taking into account nationwide needs (higher scalability, for instance), the system capabilities, and the learners’ needs and potential.

Objectives of Educational Technology

Educational technology, in the capacity of technology of educational, provides valuable help in the total teaching-learning process for achieving the possible results in an economic way through the available human and non-human resources. In the respect, the major objectives of education technology can be summarized as follows:

Objectives at the Macro Level

In view of the broad educational goals, i.e. the macro level, the objectives of educational technology can be listed in the following way

  1. To identify educational needs aspiration of the community.
  2. To determine the aims of education, broad strategies and structure of education.
  3. To develop a sustainable curriculum with interaction with science, art and human values.
  4. To identify man-material resources and strategies for achieving the stipulated aims of education.
  5. To develop certain models leading to improvement of the process of teaching and learning.
  6. To develop the appropriate aids and equipment to meet the educational purposes.
  7. To identify the major constraints in the environment and the ways and means to tackle those.
  8. To help in extending educational opportunities to the masses especially the neglected section of the community.
  9. To manage the whole educational system covering planning, implementation and the evaluation phases.

Objectives at the Micro Level

In view of specific classroom teaching, i.e. the micro level, the objectives of educational technology are as follows:

To identify and analyze the characteristics and educational needs of the pupils.

  1. To determine the specific classroom objectives and state them in behavioral terms.
  2. To analyze the contents of instruction and organize it in proper sequence.
  3. To identify the available teaching-learning materials and resources.
  4. To identify the nature of the interaction of the sub-systems like students, teachers, teaching-learning materials, content of instruction and methodologies.
  5. To plan the teaching strategies and utilize the man-material resources for achieving specific classroom objectives.
  6. To plan the teaching strategies and utilize the man-material resources for achieving specific classroom objectives.
  7. To plan the teaching strategies and utilize the man-material resources for achieving specific classroom objectives.

Functions of Educational Technology

The main functions of educational technology are as follows:

(i)                  To convert behavioural objectives into the learningconditions in the context of educational objectives.

(ii)                  To analyse the characteristics of the learners.

(iii)                 To organize the contents.

(iv)                To formulate or construct the media of presenting the contents.

(v)                To evaluate the performance of the pupils with reference to the achievement of educational objectives

(vi)               To provide reinforcement and feedback in order tomodify the behaviour of the pupils.

Importance and Need of Educational Technology

There are three major factors that emphasize the linking of education with technology.

(i) Explosion of population.

(ii) Explosion of new knowledge.

(iii) Explosion of scientific and technological development

Educational Technology enjoys special importance in all the countries of the world, as it:

Increasing the Effectiveness on Teaching-Learning Process-Educational technology brings desired improvement in teaching-learning process by making it effective. It develops to the maximum the cognitive, affective and psychomotor aspect of the pupil.

Maximising the Output—Educational technology has maximised the learning facilities. It is because it uses the principles indoctrinated by Psychology, Sociology, Mathematics, Engineering and other social and scientific subjects. Their input maximises their output in the form of their competency by this technology.

Optimum Use of Resources—The developing countries possess very limited resources. They lack experts, machinery or tools, school building, stationary and time. Educational technology emphasizes the maximum use of available resources in the learning situations, which may benefit all the pupil of the nation from those limited resources which are available for teaching work.

Components of Educational Technology:-

The following are the major components of Educational Technology:-

(i) Methods: It is concerned with the devices such as Programmed Learning Team Teaching, Micro Teaching, Personalized System of Instruction in Teaching Learning situations.

(ii) Materials: Instructional materials such as Programmed Text book the material of this type may be handwritten or printed.

(iii) Media: The media used here are audio, or visual or audio­visual. A few examples are radio, tape recorder, charts, films, educational television etc.

(iv) Man Power: Man power controls educational technology in every way. Educational Technology without man is zero.

Dimensions of Educational Technology

Attempts to further provide fuller description of educational technology has led to the emergence of three dimensions of educational technologies).

A- Educational Technology I (ET I)

This dimension of educational technology focuses more on physical media that are designed and developed to improve the quality of teaching-learning process. This refers to the use of instructional materials of all categories to facilitate learning . It can also be called the hardware approach to teaching and learning.

B- Educational Technology II (ET II)

The meaning of this dimension of educational technology is closely refers to all strategies, techniques and means through which instructions are designed, planned, implemented and evaluated. It does not exclude integration of laws and rules especially in the field of education for proper integration and utilisation of media for better results.

C- Educational Technology III

This aspect of educational technology is usually attributed to philosophical  orientation based on the concept of problem analysis and goal achievement.  It has its roots on the systems theories and applications. This aspect attempts at putting man and machine efforts together to improve the quality of instruction.

Perspectives of Educational Technology

If educational technology is viewed as both processes and tools, it is important to begin by examining four different historical perspectives on these processes and tools, all of which have helped shape current practices in the field. These influences come to us from four groups of education professionals. Because each of these groups emerged from a different area of education and/or society, each has a unique outlook on what educational technology is, and each defines it in a slightly different way.

Perspective 1: Educational technology as media and audio-visual communications — This perspective grew out of the audio-visual  movement in the 1930s, when higher education instructors proposed  It is observed that media such as slides and films delivered information in more concrete, and therefore more effective, ways than lectures and books did. This movement produced audio-visual communications or the “branch of educational theory and practice concerned primarily with the design and use of messages that control the learning process” .The view of educational technology as media to deliver information continues to dominate areas of education even today.

Perspective 2: Educational technology as instructional systems and instructional design— This view  is based on efficiency studies and learning theories from educational psychology, they advocated using more planned, systematic approaches to developing uniform, effective materials and training procedures. Their view was based on the belief that both human (teachers) and nonhuman (media) resources could be part of an efficient system for addressing any instructional need. Therefore, they equated “educational technology” with “educational problem solutions.”

Perspective 3: Educational technology as vocational training — Also known as technology education, this perspective originated with vocational educators in the 1980s. They believed  that an important function of school learning is to prepare students for the world of work in which they will use technology and  that vocational training can be a practical means of teaching all content areas .

Perspective 4: Educational technology as computer systems (a.k.a. educational computing and instructional computing) — This view began in the 1950s with the advent of computers and gained momentum when they began to be used instructionally in the 1960s. Teachers began to see that computers also had the potential to aid instruction. At first, programmers and systems analysts created all applications. But by the 1970s, many of the same educators involved with media, AV communications, and instructional systems also were researching and developing computer applications. By the 1990s, educators began to see computers as part of a combination of technology resources, including media, instructional systems, and computer-based support systems.

Domains of Educational Technology

Educational technology has three domains of use:

1-Technology as a tutor (computer gives instructions and guides the user),

2-Technology as a teaching tool and

3-Technology as a learning tool.

Today’s children use modern technical equipment from an early age so that their coming in with new educational technologies at school will not be a problem find out that more students use modern technical equipment.

When using educational technology we should be primarily focused on the educational value of the tools and applications we use, how adequate they are in the acquisition of knowledge, whether there is an interaction between users and tools, and if we have positive effects in using them. A number of authors suggest that we should focus on five areas of software programs that have the potential to strongly influence children’s learning experience:

1. The educational value of the program,

2. Its ability to engage children in learning,

3. Ease of use,

4. Interactivity between the child and programs,

5. The possibility that a software program monitors the progress of the child.

Scope of Educational Technology

Educational Technology is as wide as Education itself. Educational Technology implies the use of all educational resources – Men, Materials, Methods and Techniques, Means and Media in an integrated and systematic manner for optimized learning. The below mentioned technologies are included in it.

Behavioural Technology: Behavioural technology is the important component of Educational Technology. It puts emphasis on the use of psychological principles in learning and teaching so that the behaviour of the teacher and pupils may be modified in accordance of the teaching objectives.

Instructional Technology: Instructional Technology means a network of techniques or devices employed to accomplish certain defined set of learning objectives. Instructional technology implies the application of psychological, sociological and scientific principles and knowledge to instruction for achieving the specific objectives of learning.

Teaching Technology: Teaching is the social and professional activity. It is a process of development teaching is system of actions which induce learning through interpersonal relationship. Teaching technology is the application of philosophical, sociological and scientific knowledge to teaching.

Instructional Design: In order to bring desired changes in the pupils’ behaviour, the teaching situations, working tools and new approaches were considered important in addition to the learning principles. The composite form of all these is instructional design.

Training Psychology: Training psychology is an important method of teaching and learning. Its development resulted out of the research work carried out on the complicated training problems and situations.

Training psychology emphasizes that the whole training task should be divided into three parts. These are preparing outline of the task, task analysis andPutting the task in sequence. The main role of training psychology is in Teacher Education.

Cybernetic Psychology: It’s a part of training psychology. Cybernetic psychology accepts human beings as machine. Cybernetic psychology emphasizes the fact that all the methods of feedback bring the desired changes by controlling the behaviour of the pupil.

System Analysis: System Analysis is a problem solving process in which the needs of the management are diagnosed and by using an appropriate method for solving the problem, evaluation is carried out.

Working areas of Educational Technology

The working areas of Educational Technology includes the following:

  • Audio-Visual materials,
  • Curriculum Construction,
  • Determining Educational Objectives,
  • Feedback, Hardware and Software
  • Teaching-Learning Strategies,
  • Training the teachers,

In short, the scope of Educational Technology extends to all resources (human and non-human) for the augmentation and development of education. Thus Educational Technology has a wide scope.

Students’ Involvement with Educational Technology

One of the most important issues is to understand the process of students‘familiarization with technology. Teachers have to deal with this issue and to take into consideration not only students‘ adoption rates in terms of the utilization of technology in the classroom.

As technology activities are a valuable vehicle for all types of learning have found that there are three different formulations regarding educational technology that can be identified as stages of learning with technology:

Stage 1: Awareness of Technology: Adoption to Innovation

Rogers  developed a generalized theory concerning the way that innovation is adopted. He defined innovation as ―an idea or object that is perceived as new by an individual or other unit of adoption and that creates uncertainty and resistance in those affected by it‖. Rogers states that ―newness in reference to an innovation does not refer to new knowledge, but to an idea, practice or object about which the person has not yet developed favourite or non-favourite attitudes, not adopted nor rejected‖ . This is a very important part if we consider that students are not predisposed neither in favour nor against educational technology as a teaching method.

Stage 2 : Competence of Technology

One of the most important concepts of the learning process at this stage is task grasp‖, that is the task that actually is regulating a learner‘s behavior. There are various factors that influence how this ―task grasp‖ can be achieved through educational technology. Students learn best by beginning with concrete experience and then move progressively to reflection and abstract understanding‖.

Another factor that influences students‘ learning is students‘ capabilities at a particular age.The learning task should be tailored to the students‘ capabilities rather than the students having to fit in the software designer‘s generalized understanding of how learning should take place.

Stage 3 : Capabilities of Technology

At this stage, students as they have initiative for their actions, start finding out the most efficient way to achieve their goals.  This is a very important stage as research has shown that moving towards student-cantered classrooms can be very effective, as this method of teaching ―takes advantage of multiple human abilities  recognizes the social basis of learning  and values learning in context.

Use and Significance of Educational Technology (in the Indian context)

In India, before the 1960’s the term educational technology was almost unknown to the educational system. It was used as synonym to audio-visual teaching aids. The role of educational technologist in India, today, is not merely that of an audio-visual aid master, hardware expert, media expert or programmed text writer, but of one who is concerned with the information of an overall design to carry out an evaluation of the total process of education in terms of specific objectives.

Educational technology, as we find it today, has a meaningful present and promising future in our country. Some of the significant development in this direction may be summarized as follows:

There has been a wider and more effective utilization of radio for broadcasting educational programs throughout the country. These well planned programs are now broadcast throughout the country for both in-school and out-of-school groups.

  1. Another significant development in the use of educational technology is concerned with the development of television programs.
  2. The third important area where educational technology has been useful is the problem of -training and re-training a large number of school teachers in an effective way.
  3. Another application of educational technology in our country is known as distance education.
  4. Another major area where educational technology is being used in our country relates to language instruction.
  5. Another field of operation of educational technology in our country is concerned with the correspondence education,
  6. Another use for which educational technology is being put in our country is concerned with preparation, development and utilization of audio-visual material, and handling as well as maintenance of the hardware appliances and sophisticated gadgets.
  7. In the latest trend, educational technology is providing its worth by utilizing the services of computers and advanced form of ICT technology in the field of education.

Thus, educational technology has been providing its worth in our country by guiding, planning, implementing and evaluating various programmes of formal as well as non-formal education.

 

Conclusion

The presence of educational technology is growing in the classroom. The new generation of kids come ready to work with these new technologies, which play an important role in children’s learning and acquiring various cognitive knowledge so that educational technology must be incorporated into future curricula.

The application of educational technology enhances skills and cognitive characteristics. With the help of new technology comes an explosion of learning and receiving new information, especially on mobile devices.

Teachers have been using new technologies in the classroom. However, the development and application of new technologies grows as a measure that is the question of whether teachers are trained to keep up with them. Here we have two problems. Are the teachers have the ability to use educational technology and whether the school is sufficiently equipped with all modern technical means? Numerous studies were carried out, some are still ongoing, but we have to find the right strategies to apply educational technology in teaching.

 

 

 

 

 

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THE CONCEPT OF SMART CLASSROOM

Dr. V.K.Maheshwari, M.A (Socio, Phil) B.Sc. M. Ed, Ph.D.

Former Principal, K.L.D.A.V. (P.G) College, Roorkee, India

Quality education is an essential requisite in todays competitive environment. Technology has affected us in every aspect. The smart classes is a modernized method of education in Indian education scenario which provides quality education to students by helping them in better concept formation, concept elaboration, improvement in reading skills and academic achievement.

The traditional approach of lecture and note taking has lost its effectiveness as the modern day around education grows. In efforts to grow academically it must be considered that differentiated modalities of teaching and learning are necessary to implement deeper levels of growth and conceptual development. Since every student is not interested in all subject matters. However, it is the responsibility of the education system to employ a variety of opportunities for the students to gain interests, orchestrating academic growth and progression throughout childhood and adolescence. ICT has turned from being a technology of communication and information to a curriculum creation and delivery system for teachers and learners.

Learning is not how much one can cramp up. It’s rather the knowledge that remains after one forgets what he/she learned in schools. Thus we emphasize on learning the concepts with the help visuals and activities. To keep such view the smart learning was introduced.

Technology benefited us in every aspect of our life right from communication to education. New methods of teaching have been introduced which is known as smart class. It uses instructional material, 3D animated modules and videos, and all the renowned schools are using this concept. Now the students are thrilled at this concept of innovation and interactive learning process. The concept of  smart classroom has not only made education interesting but a chance to students to enhance their performance.

The Smart Learning approach provides learners of all ages and walks of life with a framework and a host of Smart Thinking Tools that motivate higher levels of understanding. Through the process learners activate and build background knowledge, process information, transform their learning into a product that shows what they know, and reflect on their learning. Structured talk and assessment as and for learning are carefully woven into the process to build a thoughtful context for learning and to advance the thinking of all learners. Smart Learning realizes the goals of inclusivity and differentiation.

It is a new vision in education. The use of Education technology can bring a huge change in education. Internet and e learning devices can make class room environment extremely amazing. Teaching through computer, internet and multimedia devices will be a common thing in future. Now a day’s different multimedia lessons are available. By using these multimedia lessons teachers may teach the students very easily.

These days, if it’s not showing up on a screen, kids aren’t interested in it. While some adults tried to get adolescents to move away from this behavior, many are now adopting a ‘if you can’t beat them, join them’ attitude. This is especially the case in schools, where administrators and teachers are realizing that new high-tech gadgets can not only hold students’ attention for longer but can actually improve their ability to learn. So many school districts are deploying educational technology.

In these day Smart class and smart schools are very interesting dreams for students, teachers and the students. Students are very interested about the smart school and smart class. Several institutes are making their classroom smart and modern. They are working on “Smart School Project”.

In modern e learning and online education based system, the smart class and smart school are not an unknown thing, because in a smart class there will be computer enabled education system. Smart class provides a platform for online e class. We can say it “White Board e Evolution” in education. The question is that what is smart school and what is smart class and what is smart class education. There is a question also “What is smart school management system?”

“Smart school and smart class” is an innovative concept in education. Now a day’s we are living in the age of internet, so our education system is also going to be online. In this environment e learning and online education is the need of this time. Use of internet in schools and education is not only a dream, but it is the necessity of the time.

In a smart class there will be computers, projectors, internet connectivity and other multimedia devices such as home theater etc.  The role of a teacher may be modified in such new environment. In a smart class students may use internet and this activity can change the old thinking about the students and the learning theory. In beginning, it should be launched as a pilot project in a few schools. The experience and result of these schools leads the future planning.

India has made considerable progress in school education since independence with reference to overall literacy, infrastructure and universal access and enrolment in schools. Two major developments in the recent years form the background to the present reform in teacher education – the political recognition of Universalization of Elementary Education (UEE) as a legitimate demand and the state commitment towards UEE in the form of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009. This would increase the demand manifold for qualified elementary school teachers. The country has to address the need of supplying well qualified and professionally trained teachers in larger numbers in the coming years. At the same time, the demand for quality education is steadily increasing and the need for addressing the professional education of teachers acquires great importance, manner and maintain pace with the modern education.

Importance of Smart Classes

E-learning and smart classroom aims at developing the students learning ability as the entire chapters become more interesting to study and hence improve the results of the students. The smart classrooms are the new generation educational product which helps students gain more marks and is a step to the future of education. E-learning is a revolutionary product in the field of education.

The Smart classroom learning approach provides learners of all ages and walks of life with a nine-step framework and a host of Smart Thinking Tools that motivate higher levels of understanding. Through the process learners activate and build background knowledge, process information, transform their learning into a product that shows what they know, and reflect on their learning. Structured talk and assessment as and for learning are carefully woven into the process to build a thoughtful context for learning and to advance the thinking of all learners.

A smart classroom can be considered as a virtual classroom. A Smart Classroom duplicates the capabilities found in a real classroom.

A Smart classroom provides:

• Students and teachers use their computers to go to a virtual meeting place instead of a classroom.

• A list of students is recorded.

Lecture:

Teachers can choose from a variety of synchronous technologies including:

• Slide presentation

• Audio and video conferencing

• Application sharing

• Shared whiteboard

Interaction with students: Students can indicate when they want to speak by virtually raising their hand. Teachers can let students speak through audio and video conferencing. Teachers and students can use instant messaging and chat Teachers can present questions to students. Students can work together in groups.

Usage:

• Using e-class is as simple as operating your Television from a remote. As with e-class you get an e-box which needs to be attached with the TV and with the e-box remote you can navigate through the study material loaded on e-class.

• The students have access to the study material with them, so they can plan their studies at their convenience. Revision would never had been so fun earlier as all the have to do is switch on to e-class and sit back and learn using the Audio Video learning.

• With e-class you can study at your own pace, devote more time to your weak points. Studying and revising can be done at once own pace

Characteristics of a Smart Classrooms:

Adaptive learning: Any classroom will always have students of different types of learning abilities in it which often makes it difficult for teachers to make sure that all of them understand the concepts. The modern approach of adaptive learning gives students the freedom to learn at their own pace and in the way they are most comfortable with.

Collaborative learning: Learning through collaboration is one of the most effective forms of learning. Teaching and learning in isolation are very restrictive and hinder progress. Learning in groups enhances the scope of learning and develops critical thinking. Collaborative learning activities include collaborative writing, group projects, joint problem solving, debates and more. Collaborative learning redefines traditional student-teacher relationship in the classroom.

Computing devices: Computers are readily available in modern classrooms, since they are essential tools for 21st century students and replace the utilities of pen and paper. They give teachers the opportunity to enhance their lessons and assist them.

Mutual respect: Teachers and students should always have respect for each other. As now the role of teachers is no longer to be the sage on the stage, students should not forget their value as they will always receive guidance from them. Also, teachers should encourage students to speak with confidence and value their opinions.

Performance-based assessments: Regular performance-based assessments are carried out by teachers through various methods which are not restricted to tests. These can be by conducting quizzes and polls.

Student-centric: In Smart classrooms, teachers play the role of facilitators. They help students think critically. Students discover and master new concepts. Student-centric classroom environments put students’ interests first and are focused on each student’s needs, abilities and learning styles.

Students take responsibility of their learning: As students are encouraged to actively participate in their own learning, they become responsible for their learning.

Students understand and follow the rules and procedures: The learning environment is carefully planned and well-organized. Class rules, procedures, and notices of upcoming activities are posted in convenient places to help students stay on track. Students are constantly encouraged to remind them of their goals and responsibilities. They follow class routines and understand what they are expected to achieve each day and how they are to go about it.

There is innovative working system for teachers and in school management:

An attractive classroom environment is needed for such type smart and innovative activities. Smart school class will be more attractive, innovative, student friendly, healthy and more interesting class. In a smart class it may possible there to arrange “online classes” by internet. Smart class is a platform for e smart class and online IT class.

There is fully multimedia enabled audio-visual classrooms :

Smart Class is a Smart concept for Smart Educators of Smart Schools. “Smart Class” includes Smart Learning Techniques, Smart classroom management, Smart Learning environment and Smart Learning Materials. Internet, projector and other multimedia devices are the main parts of smart classrooms. Smart class is a class of modern age. There is fully multimedia enabled audio-visual classrooms in a smart classroom. It will be quite different than traditional class. In a smart classroom the teacher works as a facilitator in learning.

The upgraded kind of education:

This upgraded kind of education is very interesting for children! it is an innovative idea to change our boring system into a smart and innovative system of teaching-learning activities. Smart School: Smart class is a more fascinating model in the world. In a smart school teachers have to develop the skill of learning from experiences.

Objective of Smart Class Room

The following are some objectives for a Smart Class Room application:

  • To help teachers to meet new challenges and developing students’ abilities and performance.
  • To enables teachers to access multimedia content and information that can be used for teaching students more effectively.  Pedagogically sound and visually rich curriculum resources.
  • To enables teachers to express their views and ensures that every child is understanding the undertaken concept which ultimately affects his achievement.
  • To make possible for the concepts to be understood clearly. To makes abstract concept real.
  • To have interactive and live teaching to elaborate and compare different objects and perceptions towards the particular concepts
  • To designed a module of smart class  which allows a student to visualize the concept much better than static images. Visuals and animations that students will never forget.
  • To move a step towards development where students’ achievement is highlighted.
  • To makes learning an enjoyable experience for students. Activities and games to make learning process easy.
  • To make effective blending of technology with the classroom, and to Inform the teachers of classroom events
  • To instruct simultaneously remote and local students.
  • To improve creative thinking in learning process to visualize the concepts and practices with model and demonstrations.
  • To optimize the use of e-resources wise e-books, e-journals, protocols, lecture notes, documentaries and so on.
  • To customized content as per the school’s scheme of work and to provide facility to update the content.

Principles inherent in Smart class room

The following are the principles for smart classrooms in terms of arrangement and pedagogical configuration which we have established as widely generalizable and which should be considered in order to transform any formal learning space in smart classroom .

Principle of  Adaptability

From the idea that every teacher and every class is different, and that space can be adapted to their needs, the concept of smart classrooms includes the principle of adaptability to the type and needs of teacher and of each student.

Principle of  Connectivity

The concept of connectivity has a twofold character. On one hand it is required that the learning space has a good network connectivity, both local and global, to use to the most the potential of mobile devices. Connectivity should be wireless, and this is fundamental to maximize physical mobility around the space and comfort in using technology. On the other hand, beyond digital connectivity there exists social and informational connectivity. Through networks, students live connected to teachers, friends, family, professionals and to a large number of information sources, both in their immediate surrounding and from distant places.

Principle of Comfort

Under this principle, elements which enable this well-being should be included in the learning space for the various tasks to be done for learning, such as couches, pillows, rugs and carpets, comfortable chairs. A smart classroom is a place arranged to comfortably do various activities –reading, watching videos, playing, listening to music and audios, writing, talking, debating, experimentation, and so on.

Principle of Flexibility of physical arrangement

The arrangement of a smart classroom and its elements is such that it allows agile and easy variations in activities, that is, make it possible to change student grouping, the type of resources being used, use of various types of resources at the same time, ICT and non-ICT, for different students to carry out different tasks, e.g. searching information, discussing, watching a video, etc. The classrooms is supplied with varied furniture elements to achieve flexibility of space arrangement.

Principle of  Multiplicity

This principle refers to smart classrooms having features which enable the use of various types of resources and stimuli. While teaching and learning, the arrangement  enable possibilities for creativity, reasoning, logical thinking, etc., and  be adapted as close as possible to learners’ various needs and learning styles.

Principle of  Order / Organization

This is an important principle, even though it is not easy to design, and attain, sustainable placing, storing, arrangement and rules of use of spaces and resources available. For this reason teachers  carefully consider the order and arrangement of spaces and resources so that these are the most adequate for the learning activities that will take place in their smart classroom.

Principle of  Openness

This principle relates to the false and rooted belief that learning takes place only in the formal space in the traditional classroom, where the teacher presents information and gives a lesson in a transmissive way . Learning takes place beyond the classroom space, both physically and virtually, and therefore activities put forward for smart classrooms should consider these extended learning places and learning times in order to learn beyond the classroom and the class times traditionally assigned.

Principle of Personalization

Smart classrooms allows students and teachers to personalize their environment according to their likes and needs. A space which progressively teacher and students should make their own, personalizing it by means of activities which support and reinforce learning.

Principle of  Safety / Security

Smart classrooms have an arrangement which prevents users from having physical accidents and will also be safe in terms of access to information and communication on the Internet from the classroom. Therefore security systems will be taken into account when conceptualizing and designing smart classrooms.

In sum, the arrangement, structure, methodologies and principles of smart classrooms intend that learning experience be as likely as people’s learning ways, preferences and styles, in a natural way and in a personal space; all this through active participation, experimentation, collaboration, solidarity, rapport, creativity, leadership, and so on.

Main themes in the Smart Classroom concept

Smart Classroom aims at combining entrepreneurial pedagogy, collaborative teaching and the latest technological teaching tools to create a modern and effective education service environment in education setting. There are three main themes in the SMART Classroom concept:

  1. Smart Pedagogy,
  2. Smart Teaching Solutions.
  3. 3.Smart Learning Space

SMART Pedagogy is based on entrepreneurial pedagogy and methodologies. Smart Classroom project aims at fostering the application of these methodologies in institution setting and hereby provide more interactive alternatives to traditional  teaching. This theme of the project results a handbook for teachers on applying fresh teaching methods into practise, tools for teachers’ self-reflection and evaluation and training programme for  teachers.

The second theme of the Smart Classroom concept is called Smart Teaching Solutions and it deals with variety of practical teaching tools and materials for  teachers including teaching games and simulations. Smart Teaching Materials include for example exercises and examples that teachers can apply to their courses.

Smart Teaching Spaces cover both physical and virtual teaching spaces  spaces in the institution setting. The Smart Teaching Spaces concept defines the essential furniture and technical specifications of ideal physical classrooms and the most important features of virtual learning platforms. Also facilities and fuctions for lecture halls and collaborative teaching spaces will be defined in this package. The Smart Teaching Spaces as a whole brings flexibility to learning and makes the learning ubiquitous.

The Layout of Smart Classroom

The Smart Classroom is physically built in a separate room of Pervasive Computing Lab   in which several video cameras, microphone arrays are installed in it to sense human’s gesture, motion and utterance. According to the characteristic of invisibility in pervasive computing environment, it deliberately removed all the computers out of sight. Two wall-sized projector displays are mounted on two vertically crossed walls. According to their purposes, they are called “Media Board” and “Student Board” separately. The Media Board is used for lecturer’s use as a blackboard, on which prepared electronic courseware and lecturers’ annotation are displayed. The Student Board is used for displaying the status and information of remote students, who are part of the class via Internet.

The classroom is divided into two areas, complying with the real world classroom’s model. One is the teaching area, where is close to the two boards and usually dominated by lecturer. The other is the audience area, where is the place for local students. Complying with the philosophy of Natural and Augmented. Natural means obeying real-world model of classroom as much as possible to provide lecturer and students the feeling of reality and familiarity, which leads to the existence of local students. Augmented means trying to extend is the reason for remote student.

Suggested features for Smart Class Room

Smart Class Room must have some of the following features:

• Redecorated interiors

• Enhanced lighting controls

• A gyro wireless mouse to control the computer and projector from anywhere in the classroom

• Switching controls to easily change projector output between the PC, laptop,

document camera, and DVD/VCR

• New projectors

• Laptop plugs so you can bring your own computer and hook it up instantly

• A document camera to show transparencies, papers, or small objects on the projector and even take

Snap shots of them

• A SMART Sympodium that allows you to make electronic notes and images appear

• The Classroom Performance System(CPS) to get real-time answers from your students in class by means of wireless multiple-choice response devices.

Components of Smart Class Room

• Smart Board (6X4)

• Smart LED TV High (Panasonic 42”, 2 USB, Viera connect)

• Short throw Projector (Panasonic PT-VX400)

• Video Conferencing Equipments

• Laptop with Internet connection (with public IP)

• Document Camera/ Visulaizer (12 time optical Zoom and 8 time Digital Zoom)

• Podium (ITC 6236B, 60W amplifier inbulit)

• Video Conferencing – High Definition (Lifesize Express 220) and Screen

Architecture of Smart Classroom at  Library

Affordable Components of technology for Smart class Room

With so much new education technology being created at such a rapid pace, teachers can have a hard time deciding what will be beneficial in their classrooms. Even after a specific device or program has been chosen, cost can often be prohibitive in a school environment, making it difficult for smaller districts to access the same advantages of larger ones. To help sort through all of the noise and find the best tools at the lowest price, we look into four of the most budget-friendly pieces of technology that can benefit classrooms:

1) Document cameras

A budget-friendly device that can help to more actively engage students, document cameras allow teachers to display worksheets on a screen or to individual devices much like an old-school lamination projector. Group exercises and quizzes can be displayed with the camera instead of on individual sheets of paper, helping classrooms become more environmentally friendly as well as technologically savvy.

2) SMART boards

Interactive whiteboards, or SMART boards, offer a benefit similar to that of a document camera, but taken up a notch. Presentations are made more robust and given more depth. When a picture or document is displayed on the board, teachers can write on them with an Internet-connected stylus that provides a trove of additional information to the lesson, such as definitions, extra images or accompanying video. Instructors are also able to archive and share any lesson that has used the board, and past lessons can be revisited to reinforce new topics being covered.

3) Cloud-based communication systems

One of the most beneficial aspects of adding technology into a classroom environment is its ability to broaden the scope of what students are exposed to on a daily basis. With Internet communication services like voice-over-IP and Web conferencing, teachers can arrange for virtual field trips to places they wouldn’t be able to take their classes otherwise. Experts in specific topics can give a talk through Skype and students can collaborate with one another on projects online.

4) Tablets and eBooks

Like laptops and smartphones, tablets and e-readers are becoming increasingly popular with students outside of school. Harnessing familiar technology inside the classroom can help to engage students and help them feel more comfortable with the material since it is being presented in a format they are used to. Providing electronic copies of textbooks also allows students to go into the lesson more in depth, as links to additional material can be provided inside the text. Key concept summaries can also be provided at the end of a section, as well as digital flashcards that cover the lesson plan.

All of these devices can help teachers and schools greatly improve learning experiences for their students, but all of the benefits offered by the technology would be for nothing if it can’t be managed effectively and kept secure.

Functionality of Smart Classroom Applications

In this section, we will describe how our Smart Classroom application suite facilitates collaborative learning applications. Our Smart Classroom application suite facilitates different collaborative learning activities of a student, an instructor, and a teaching assistant. The suite also provides different functionalities for communication between the students, the teacher, and the teaching assistant

The functionalities of Smart Classroom Applications are listed below:

i) For a single student

a) The application suite reminds the student of his/her homework and class schedule based on current time and current location.

b) The application module will synchronize the lecture notes between a student’s smart phone and desktop computer before and after class.

ii) For instructor/Teaching Assistant

a) The application suite synchronizes the lecture notes between instructor or teaching assistant smart phone and desktop computer before and after class, since desktop computers have the original lecture notes.

iii) For student-to-student communication

a) The application suite enables students to exchange and share their documents in drawing.

b) It also enables students synchronize drawing document among their smart phone.

iv) For instructor/ Teaching Assistant-to-students communication

a) The application suite distributes teaching material (lecture notes/survey forms/grade sheet/course schedule) from instructor or teaching assistant to all students at proper situations.

b) The instructor can create exams for students and groups by using the application suite.

The instructor can also send exams to the students and groups and collect answers; grade

and send the grade back to the students by using the application suite.

v) For student-to-instructor/Teaching Assistant communication

a) The application suite facilitates students to store their questions or concerns in text format in their smart phone. When the instructor is available (in classroom), the questions are automatically transferred to the instructor smart phone.

b) Students submit their progress report in a similar way by using the application suite. At the end of a class, their reports are submitted to the instructor automatically.

c) Students make appointments with the instructor using their smart phone to send the request to the instructor’s smart phone and get a confirmation using the application suite.

d) Students write answers of the exams and send answers to the instructor using the application suite.

e) Students run and display their homework on the smart phone and project it on the screen with the help of the application suite.

A typical User Experience Scenario in Smart Classroom

The following is a typical user-experience scenario happened within the Smart Classroom. Multiple persons enter the room through the door. At the door, there is an audiovisual identification module identifying the entering person’s identity through facial and voice identification. If the person is identified as lecturer, he is granted the control right of the Smart Classroom. Besides, he takes a badge embedded with location sensor. The visual motion-track module tracks the lecturer’s motion in the room. Once he steps into the teaching area, he will be able to use gesture and voice command to exploit the Smart Classroom to give lessons.

Persons in the Smart Classroom other than lecturer are deemed as local students. When the lecturer is in the teaching area, he can start the class by just saying, “Now let’s start our class.”

The Smart Classroom starts Microphone Array Agent to capture and recognize his voice command, and then launches necessary modules such as Virtual Mouse agent, Same View agent. Lecturer loads prepared electronic courseware by utterance like, “Go to Chapter 1 of Multimedia course”. In the meanwhile, The Smart Cameraman Agent was activated to focus on the lecturer Location Receiver Microphone.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Smart class room

Bringing technology in classrooms has been a topic of debate for the last couple of decades. While many parents, teachers, academicians and policy makers are in favour of the same, others think it is a total disaster. Let’s look into the matter and discuss some of the positives and negatives of bringing technology inside classrooms.

Advantages of Smart class  room

Access to online information: Technology tools allow learners to easily access a rich database of online resources. Teachers can use the wide variety of online information sources such as knowledge databases, online video and news items to reinforce their lessons. Learners can also quickly access the wide range of powerful tools and resources to conduct.

Allow for connectivity in different location: Interactive technology tools allow for connectivity in different locations; making ideal collaboration and distance learning environments. When using technology tools, student show to increase student-to-student collaboration and increase overall participation in the lesson.

Better understanding: It shifts the classroom experience from the sage-on-a-stage approach to a more collaborative environment. With classrooms turning into smart classrooms, students are also getting smarter! Big chunks of paragraphs are being replaced with pie charts, bar graphs and images and the theory “A picture is worth a thousand words” is coming to life.

Bridge the urban/rural divide: The smart classroom creates another opportunity to bridge the urban/rural divide by exposing students to technology in a classroom setting. Also, this classroom may be used in conjunction with our proposal for pre college outreach to allow children and teenagers to experience technology that they may not otherwise be exposed to in a rural, small town setting.

Countless resources for making learning more fun and effective: From apps to organizational platforms to e-textbooks and more, there are many amazing tools that can help .Tools  will help both students and professors alike collaborate, share ideas, stay organized, and more to get the most out of learning.

Can automate a lot of teaches tedious task: There are engagement tools like that can automate grading for you and keep track of student performance. Similarly, tools  can help him streamline grading for writing assignments, discussions, and participation, and answering common student questions, which otherwise can seem daunting due to their objective nature.The class has instant access to information that can supplement their learning experience.

Change the way of imparting knowledge: Overall, incorporating   technology tools   to the classroom environment is likely to change the way teachers impart knowledge to students and at the same time simplify the learning process for students. Students will find it easy to engage with lessons and gain a better understanding of the overall subject concept. It is an ideal tool for any classroom setting. The education field needs technology like this for students, learners, and educators to continue to grow in their field.

Environmentally friendly: Interactive technology tools     are also environmentally friendly. They offer teachers an entirely different way of presenting information to students, which eliminates the need for writing, printing or photocopying. Which, contribute to eliminate wastage from over-utilization of paper and ink.

Enhanced teaching/learning experience: Technology tools provide new ways for teachers to teach, and for student to learn. These tools support a wide variety of learning styles. For instance, visual learners can watch as their tutors use the technology tools   to project visual elements, whereas audio learners can listen and have discussions. On the other hand, the Boards come with touch screen capabilities that allow tactile learners to touch and interact with the board.

Increased exposure and wider access to information: With internet access, students are provided with great exposure as they are given a chance to think and feel outside their bubble. They come in terms with what is happening in the world and perhaps even try to change the wrong.

Technology nowadays is not only widely available but also affordable. From apps to e-textbooks to Wikipedia, no matter how far you go, all you need is the internet and information will be available to you and all other potential readers and learners.

Improved student engagement: Students who hardly raise their hands in class or the back benchers who are usually sleeping, now look forward to learning something new as these modern age tools are more relatable to them. By fostering discussions and surfacing new and out of the box ideas, technology also helps improve the student- teacher bond.

Interact and share: The interactive nature of technology tools   offers learners an opportunity to share and participate in the instructional process. Interactivity provides a platform for students to demonstrate their grasp of the subject through touching, drawing, and writing. Every learner has an opportunity to participate or contribute to the presentation and discussion .

Low-Maintenance: Technology tools are neat and easy to use. There are no hassles cleaning or maintaining whiteboards. The data on the screen can be modified using a specialized highlighting tool or pen. There is no need for using unhygienic chalk or marker pens.

Provide rapid assessment: In addition, the technology tools   provide for rapid assessment whereby learners can receive immediate feedback. Teachers and students are able to identify individual strengths and weaknesses in various subject areas and isolate areas/topics that need more focus or review. Thus smart board helps to increase the involvement of the students in learning.

Provides Flexibility: Interactive technology tools allow many different forms of media – including photos, illustrations, maps, graphs, games, and video, to be displayed. These tools help to expand the nature of content that can be used in learning. In addition,  technology tools makes learning to be more dynamic as the different forms of presenting information are readily available.

Students can learn life skills through technology: Creating presentations, learning to differentiate reliable from unreliable sources on the Internet, maintaining proper online etiquette, and writing emails; these are all vital skills that your students can learn in the classroom and master before graduation.

Technology Integration: Technology tools allows for integration of various technologies in order to improve the learning experience. For instance, it is possible to attach tools such as microscopes, document cameras, cameras or video cameras to a whiteboard to aid in instruction. It is also possible to integrate the interactive learning tools with a wide range of software applications.

Teachers can do more experiment in pedagogy: As an academic professional, teaches learn more about how to effectively design and execute a class guided with technology. Whether it’s a dramatic change such as teaching with a flipped-classroom, or just adopting a single tool for a specific project or term, he will learn something new in modern academia! Being well-versed in technology can also help build his credibility with students, and even with fellow colleagues.

Disadvantages of Smart class room  Technology In Education

A Disconnected Youth

This harmful effect of technology has already come to light in today’s world. People are attached to their screens almost 24/7, which is causing an entirely new set of social issues to pop up. This translates into the school system in a bit of a different way, however. More and more students are experiencing social anxieties when it comes to face to face interactions, but are perfectly fine socializing online.

Can foster more cheating in class and on assignments:

This will happen if the teacher give up hope on adjusting his students’ attitudes and only give them subjective assignments that require no thought or perspective.

Inevitable Cheating

While have an easy access to information may seem like a great thing, it can become a real problem in a test taking environment. Cell phones have made cheating easier than ever. You no longer have to figure out how to write all of the answers down, you can just look them up!

Inappropriate data:

With internet connectivity available 24X7, students are exposed to some sites and links which are inappropriate for them. While colleges can limit the availability of these websites on their network, they cannot control what the student is searching for.t is a bit of expensive job to set up the smart classroom environment. The biggest concern when it comes to the use of technology in schools is how easy pornographic, violent, and other inappropriate materials can be accessed and viewed. This could cause big problems if the material is shared with other students while in the classroom.

Lack of face to face interaction:

With social media platforms, students might have come closer to each other by using various apps and sites but, at the same time, they have gone far from each other when it comes to face to face interaction which is apparently affecting their real life social skills.

Lesson planning can become more labor intensive:

It can seem overwhelming to adapt technology into the classroom. In many ways though, using technology can become as natural to as any daily activity. Allow  time to learn how to use something. Chances are that students will learn it even faster than you since they’ve grown up surrounded by technology.

Possible disconnection of social interaction:

Many people are skeptical of technology and what it does to students’  ability to verbally communicate. If the teacher create assignments in class that use both technological tools as well as oral presentations and collaboration, this will teach students to be dynamic in how they learn and interact with others.

Students do not have equal access to technological resources:

There may be students who do not have iPads or cameras or even the textbooks for class. It will be up to the teacher  to point them in the direction of the library or community resources, or to create assignments that allow them to work in groups and share resources.

The Cyberbullying Trap:

Giving students access to anonymous accounts and endless contact avenues can only lead to trouble. Cyber bullying has become a real and in our face problem among young people today. This harassment has no end, which includes the class room. There is also no way to monitor or discipline students who are involved.

Technology can be a distraction:

One of the major drawbacks of having technology in classrooms is the distraction which comes complimentary with it. With so many tempting social media platforms like snap chat, Instagram, facebook, twitter and tumblr, it’s not hard for the students to divert from what is happening in the class and misuse the opportunity given to them. Attentiveness drops drastically in the classroom when students have their cell phones or other technologies out. The focus shifts from their teacher and education, to whatever they are looking at, playing, or doing on their phones.

The quality of sources  may not be top-notch:

The internet is both a blessing and a curse. The students may need some guidance on identifying proper sources and unreliable sources. Many campuses have writing centers that can help with this.

However, the need of the hour is setting up of guidelines and rules in place, teaching students about online safety and helping them understand what the good sources of information are. Apart from that, trying to restrain personal usage of internet to as less as possible in the classrooms should also be taken care of.

Conclusions:

The structure and arrangement of traditional classroom space does not go with changes happened in educational agents, methodology and social context. Smart classrooms rethink learning space and learners’ expectations about what this space, along with resources and methodologies, should be like.

The Smart classroom  is a one-stop resource for students needing research, technology, or writing help. The usage of this new technology must be encouraged in the current education system. The Smart classroom provide the students as well as teacher to learn through a new techniques and too in a different and interesting manner.

It is fair to say that both students and adults have become more and more technologically inclined. Students adapt quickly to new technologies, just as they will be expected to in the professional world. Cameras, remotes, and wireless devices are all common technologies that result in more engaged learning for students and adaptation to a variety of learning styles. In the near future, classrooms will too have to adapt accordingly and upgrade themselves. There is no stopping that.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Open Educational Resources (OER)

 

Dr. V.K.Maheshwari, M.A (Socio, Phil) B.Sc. M. Ed, Ph.D.

Former Principal, K.L.D.A.V. (P.G) College, Roorkee, India

Open Educational Resources (OER) are teaching and learning materialsthat are freely available online for everyone to use, whether you are an instructor, student or self-learner. Examples of OER include: full courses, course modules, syllabi, lectures, homework assignments, quizzes, lab and classroom activities, pedagogical materials, games, simulations, and many more resources contained in digital media collections from around the world.

The term Open Educational Resources (OER) was first introduced at a conference hosted by UNESCO in 2000 and was promoted in the context of providing free access to educational resources on a global scale.

The Open Movement

A range of ‘Open’ philosophies and models have emerged during the 20th Century as a result of several different drivers and motivations – including sharing freely, preventing duplication, avoiding restrictive  (Copyright) practices, promoting economic efficiencies and improving access to wide groups of stakeholders. Many of these have been driven by and created by communities that recognise the benefits to themselves, and sometimes to wider groups. Some of these are listed below:

•             Open source (relating to business and technology)

•             Open source software

•             Open source hardware

•             Open standards

•             Open access (research)

•             Open design

•             Open knowledge

•             Open data

•             Open content

•             Open courseware

•             Open educational resources

•             Open educational practice

Several of these ‘movements’ or ‘philosophies’ have been significant within the education community both in terms of research and learning & teaching (particularly educational technology), it is widely expected that sharing and openness would bring benefits to some stakeholders in the educational community.

Whilst the terms ‘Open content’ are sometimes used to mean the wide range of resources to support learning and teaching. We have chosen to use the term Open Educational Resources (OER) as this relates to resources that are specifically licensed to be used and re-used in an educational context.

“At the heart of the open educational resources movement is the simple and powerful idea that the world’s knowledge is a public good and that technology in general and the World Wide Web in particular provide an extraordinary opportunity for everyone to share, use, and reuse that knowledge” (Smith & Casserly, 2006, p. 10).

Rather than try to define the entire term open educational resources, some researchers split the term up in order to define its components separately.  Hylén (2006) problematizes each of the three concepts in the name, questioning what is meant by “open,” “educational,” and “resources,” as do Mulder (2007) and OECD (2007).

Wiley (2010) assumes common understanding of the term educational resources, and argues that open is a matter of (1) cost and (2) copyright licensing and related permissions. For Wiley, open means that a resource is available free of cost and that four permissions (called the “4Rs”) are also made available free of cost. These permissions include:

Reuse: the right to reuse the content in its unaltered/verbatim form (e.g., make a backup copy of the content)

Revise: the right to adapt, adjust, modify, or alter the content itself (e.g., translate the content into an- other language)

Remix: the right to combine the original or revised content with other content to create something new (e.g., incorporate the content into a mashup)

Redistribute: the right to share copies of the original content, the revisions, or the remixes with others (e.g., give a copy of the content to a friend)

Wenk (2010) repeats the definition put forth by Freedom. Defined openness:

  • The freedom to use the work and enjoy the benefits of using it.
  • The freedom to study the work and to apply knowledge acquired from it.
  • The freedom to make and redistribute copies, in whole or in part, of the information or expression.
  • The freedom to make changes and improvements, and to distribute derivative works .

Tuomi (2006) takes another approach to defining openness, though one still focused on permissions. Tuomi describes OER as “sources of services” that:

(a) Provide non-discriminatory access to information and knowledge about the resource

(b) The services of which can be enjoyed by anyone with sufficient non-discriminatory capabilities .

(c) Can be contributed.

The following definition of OER has been proposed by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation:  OER are teaching, learning, and research resources that reside in the public domain or have been released under an intellectual property license that permits their free use or re-purposing by others. Open educational resources include full courses, course materials, modules, textbooks, streaming videos, tests, software, and any other tools, materials, or techniques used to support access to knowledge.

Open educational resources O.E.R are teaching, learning, and research resources that reside in the public domain or creative common area and are freely available to anyone over the Web. They are an important element of an infrastructure for learning and range from podcasts to digital libraries to textbooks and games.

Thus open educational resources (OER) are teaching, learning, and research resources that reside in the public domain or have been released under a copyright license that permits anyone to freely use and repurpose them. Open educational resources include full courses, course materials, modules, textbooks, streaming videos, tests, journal articles, and any other tools or materials used to support learning.

Open educational resources (OER) are any resources available at little or no cost that can be used for teaching, learning, or research. The term can include textbooks, course readings, and other learning content; simulations, games, and other learning applications; syllabi, quizzes, and assessment tools; and virtually any other material that can be used for educational purposes. OER typically refers to electronic resources, including those in multimedia formats, and such materials are generally released under a Creative Commons or similar license that supports open or nearly open use of the content. OER can originate from colleges and universities, libraries, archival organizations, government agencies, commercial organizations such as publishers, or faculty or other individuals who develop educational resources they are willing to share.

The Open Educational Resources (OER)

In its simplest form, the concept of Open Educational Resources (OER) describes any educational resources (including curriculum maps, course materials, textbooks, streaming videos, multimedia applications, podcasts, and any other materials that have been designed for use in teaching and learning) that are openly available for use by educators and students, without an accompanying need to pay royalties or license fees.

OER has emerged as a concept with great potential to support educational transformation. While its educational value lies in the idea of using resources as an integral method of communication of curriculum in educational courses, its transformative power lies in the ease with which such resources, when digitized, can be shared via the Internet.

Importantly, there is only one key differentiator between an OER and any other educational resource: its license. Thus, an OER is simply an educational resource that incorporates a license that facilitates reuse, and potentially adaptation, without first requesting permission from the copyright holder.

Difference between OER and open access publishing

Open access publishing is an important concept, which is clearly related to – but distinct from – that of OER.

Wikipedia notes that the term ‘open access’ is applied to many concepts, but usually refers either to:

• ‘Open access (publishing)’; or

• ‘Access to material (mainly scholarly publications) via the Internet in such a way that the material is free for all to read, and to use (or reuse) to various extents’; or

• ‘Open access journal, journals that give open access to all .

Open access publishing is typically referring to research publications of some kind released under an open license. OER refers to teaching and learning materials released under such a licence. Clearly, especially in higher education, there is an overlap, as research publications typically form an important part of the overall set of materials that students need to access to complete their studies successfully, particularly at postgraduate level.

Nevertheless, the distinction seems worth applying because it allows more nuanced discussion and planning about which kinds of open licences would be most appropriate for different types of resources.

OER verses e-learning

OER is not synonymous with online learning or e-learning, although many educaters make the mistake of using the terms interchangeably.

Openly licensed content can be produced in any medium: paper-based text, video, audio or computer-based multimedia. A lot of e-learning courses may harness OER, but this does not mean that OER are necessarily e-learning. Indeed, many open resources being produced currently – while shareable in a digital format – are also printable. Given the bandwidth and connectivity challenges common in some developing countries, it would be expected that a high percentage of resources of relevance to higher education in such countries are shared as printable resources, rather than being designed for use in e-learning.

OER verses open learning/open education

Although use of OER can support open learning/open education, the two are not the same. Making ‘open education’ or ‘open learning’ a priority has significantly bigger implications than only committing to releasing resources as open or using OER in educational programmes. It requires systematic analysis of assessment and accreditation systems, student support, curriculum frameworks, mechanisms to recognize prior learning, and so on, in order to determine the extent to which they enhance or impede openness.

Open learning is an approach to education that seeks to remove all unnecessary barriers to learning, while aiming to provide students with a reasonable chance of success in an education and training system centred on their specific needs and located in multiple arenas of learning.

While effective use of OER might give practical expression to some similarities, the two terms are distinct in both scope and meaning.

OER and concept of resource based learning

The resource-based learning mean, in essence is moving away from the traditional notion of the ‘talking teacher’ to communicate curriculum; a significant but varying proportion of communication between students and educators is not face to face but rather takes place through the use of different media as necessary.

The use of resource-based learning does not of course imply any intrinsic improvements in quality of learning experience. The extent to which shifting the communication of curriculum to instructionally designed resources leads improves the quality of education depends entirely on the quality of the resources developed.

To summarize:

• There is no direct relationship between OER and resource-based learning.

• Many OER available online have not explicitly been designed as part of a deliberate strategy to shift to resource-based learning.

• Likewise, most practice in resource-based learning currently uses fully copyrighted materials rather than OER.

Nevertheless, linking OER and resource-based learning provides an opportunity to leverage both most effectively.

Benefits of sharing content under an open license:

A key concern for educators and senior managers of educational institutions about the concept of OER relates to ‘giving away’ intellectual property, with potential loss of commercial gain that might come from it. This is often combined with a related anxiety that others will take unfair advantage of their intellectual property, benefitting by selling it, plagiarizing it (i.e. passing it off as their own work), or otherwise exploiting it. These concerns are completely understandable.

While a small percentage of teaching and learning materials can – and will continue to – generate revenue through direct sales, the reality has always been that the percentage of teaching and learning materials that have commercial resale value is minimal; it is also declining further as more and more educational material is made freely accessible on the Internet. Much of the content that was previously saleable will lose its economic value while the niches for sale of generic educational content will likely become more specialized.

Given this, it is important for copyright holders of educational materials to consider carefully what commercial benefits they might find in sharing their materials openly. Of course, the primary benefits of harnessing OER should be educational (see ‘How can education benefit by harnessing OER?’ below), but the issue of sharing content openly may also be considered a strategy to protect oneself commercially.

The following benefits can accrue from sharing content under an open license:

  • As digitized content can so easily be shared between students and institutions, sharing it publicly under an open license is the safest way to protect the author’s IPR and copyright; the license can ensure that, when content is shared, it remains attributed to the original author. Open sharing of content can more rapidly expose plagiarism, by making the original materials easy to access. In addition, releasing materials under an open license also reduces the incentive for others to lie about the source of materials because they have permission to use them.
  • For individual educators, proper commercial incentives for sharing content openly are most likely to flow when institutions have policies to reward such activity properly.
  • Guiding students effectively through educational resources (via well-designed teaching and learning pathways);
  • Offering effective student support (such as practical sessions, tutorials, individual counselling sessions or online); and
  • Open licenses maximize the likelihood of content-sharing taking place in a transparent way that protects the moral rights of content authors. Furthermore, people who seek to ring-fence, protect, and hide their educational content and research will likely place limits on their educational careers.
  • Providing intelligent assessment and critical feedback to students on their performance (ultimately leading to some form of accreditation).
  • Sharing of materials provides institutions opportunities to market their services. Educational institutions that succeed economically in an environment where content has been digitized and is increasingly easy to access online are likely to do so because they understand that their real potential educational value lies not in content itself, but in offering related services valued by their students. These might include:
  • They will also increasingly be excluded from opportunities to improve their teaching practice and domain-specific knowledge by sharing and collaborating with growing networks of educators around the world. Those who share materials openly already have significant opportunities to build their individual reputations through these online vehicles .
  • Within this environment, the more other institutions make use of their materials, the more this will serve to market the originating institution’s services and thereby attract new students.

Education benefit by harnessing OER

The most important reason for harnessing OER is that openly licensed educational materials have tremendous potential to contribute to improving the quality and effectiveness of education. The challenges of growing access, combined with the ongoing roll out of ICT infrastructure into educational institutions, indicates that it is becoming increasingly important for them to support, in a planned and deliberate manner, the development and improvement of curricula, ongoing programme and course design, planning of contact sessions with students, development of quality teaching and learning materials, and design of effective assessment – activities all aimed at improving the teaching and learning environment while managing the cost of this through increased use of resource based learning.

Given this, the trans formative educational potential of OER revolves around three linked possibilities:

1. The principle of allowing adaptation of materials provides one mechanism amongst many for constructing roles for students as active participants in educational processes, who learn best by doing and creating, not by passively reading and absorbing. Content licences that encourage activity and creation by students through re-use and adaptation of that content can make a significant contribution to creating more effective learning environments.

2. Increased availability of high quality, relevant learning materials can contribute to more productive students and educators. Because OER removes restrictions around copying resources, it can reduce the cost of accessing educational materials. In many systems, royalty payments for text books and other educational materials constitute a significant proportion of the overall cost, while processes of procuring permission to use copyrighted material can also be very time-consuming and expensive.

3. OER has potential to build capacity by providing institutions and educators access, at low or no cost, to the means of production to develop their competence in producing educational materials and carrying out the necessary instructional design to integrate such materials into high quality programmes of learning.

Deliberate openness thus acknowledges that:

• Investment in designing effective educational environments is critically important to good education.

• A key to productive systems is to build on common intellectual capital, rather than duplicating similar efforts.

• All things being equal, collaboration will improve quality.

• As education is a contextualized practice, it is important to make it easy to adapt materials imported from different settings where this is required, and this should be encouraged rather than restricted

Principles of OER use

It incorporates several key principles:

Principle of learning opportunity: Learning opportunity should be lifelong and should encompass both education and training;

Principle of independent and critical thinking: The learning process should encourage independent and critical thinking. It should be Lerner centered

Principle of flexibility: Learning provision should be flexible so that learners can increasingly choose, where, when, what and how they learn, as well as the pace at which they will learn;

Principle of prior learning: Prior learning, prior experience and demonstrated competencies should be recognized so that learners are not unnecessarily barred from educational opportunities by lack of appropriate qualifications;

Principle of credit accumulation: Learners should be able to accumulate credits from different learning contexts;

•Principle of appropriate conditions: Providers should create the conditions for a fair chance of learner success.

Types of educational resources?

Whilst purely informational content has a significant role in learning and teaching, it is helpful to consider learning resources by their levels of granularity and to focus on the degree to which information content is embedded within a learning activity:

•             Digital assets – normally a single file (e.g. an image, video or audio clip), sometimes called a ‘raw media asset’;

•             Information objects – a structured aggregation of digital assets, designed purely to present information;

•             Learning objects – an aggregation of one or more digital assets which represents an educationally meaningful stand-alone unit;

•             Learning activities – tasks involving interactions with information to attain a specific learning outcome;

•             Learning design – structured sequences of information and activities to promote learning.

Contents in OER

OER can be separated, by content type, into four groups:

1.            Text led,

2.            Video led,

3.            Animation led and

4.            Multiple media.

OER may be freely and openly available static resources, dynamic resources which change over time in the course of having knowledge seekers interacting with and updating them, or a course or module with a combination of these resources.

Types of open educational resources include:

            course materials,

            full courses,

            learning objects,

            materials, or techniques used to support access to knowledge.

            modules,

            open textbooks,

            openly licensed (often streamed) videos,

            software, and other tools,

            tests,

Effective use of OER

In most instances, a user has enormous latitude to adapt OER to suit contextual needs where the licence allows adaptation.

The vast majority of published OER welcome users to adapt the original resource. Common ways in which OER can be changed include the following:

• Mixing: A number of OER are mixed together and additional content is added to create an altogether new resource. This is common when course designers need to develop materials and resources to match a local curriculum or programme. A common concern is that it is rare to find existing OER that fit perfectly ‘as is’.

• Adaption: This occurs when one OER is used and multiple adaptations are developed to suit multiple contexts. It could be that the language is translated into others but usually adaptation requires local case studies/ examples to be added to make the materials relevant to students in a particular context.

Asset extraction: It is also possible to extract only some of the assets of a resource or course and use them in a completely different context. This is especially true of media elements such as photos, illustrations, and graphs, as developers often lack the skills or resources to develop their own versions of commonly used visual aids. In many ways, the fact that changes may be made to the original is what makes OER – compared with other forms of copyrighted materials – especially useful to programme developers.

Skills Requirements for Open Educational Resources

Below is a list of the core skills that institutions will need to develop in order to make most effective use of Open Educational Resources:

Expertise in managing networks/consortia of people and institutions to work cooperatively on various teaching and learning improvement projects (including an ability to adapt to challenging environments – for example, power outages, physical discomfort, difficult personalities, institutional politics – and remain focused on the task at hand).

Monitoring and evaluation expertise to design and conduct formative evaluation processes, as well as longer-term summative evaluation and/or impact assessment activities that determine the extent to which use of open licensing has led to improvements in quality of teaching and learning, greater productivity, enhanced cost-effectiveness, and so on.

Expertise in curating and sharing OER effectively. This includes:

  • Ability to generate relevant and meaningful meta-data for OER;
  • Communication and research skills to be able to share information about OER, in the form of web updates, newsletters, brochures, case studies, research reports, and so on. This will include the full spectrum of skills required for such communication activities, from researching and documenting best practices, core concepts to graphic design and layout expertise.
  • Knowledge of and the skills to deploy standardized global taxonomies for describing resources in different disciplines and domains;
  • Technical skills to develop and maintain web platforms to host OER online, as well as to share the content and meta-data with other web platforms;
  • Website design and management skills to create online environments in which content can be easily discovered and downloaded.

Modification of OER for some specific purpose

In most instances, a user has enormous latitude to adapt OER to suit contextual needs where the licence allows adaptation. If, however, the license restricts adaptation (as, for example, the Creative Commons license with a ‘No Derivatives’ restriction does), others may not alter the resource in any way. It has to be used ‘as is’. This right is not reserved often in OER.

The vast majority of published OER welcome users to adapt the original resource.

Common ways in which OER can be changed include the following:

• Mixing: A number of OER are mixed together and additional content is added to create an altogether new resource. This is common when course designers need to develop materials and resources to match a local curriculum or programme. A common concern is that it is rare to find existing OER that fit perfectly ‘as is’.

Adaption: This occurs when one OER is used and multiple adaptations are developed to suit multiple contexts. It could be that the language is translated into others but usually adaptation requires local case studies/examples to be added to make the materials relevant to students in a particular context.

Asset extraction: It is also possible to extract only some of the assets of a resource or course and use them in a completely different context. This is especially true of media elements such as photos, illustrations, and graphs, as developers often lack the skills or resources to develop their own versions of commonly used visual aids.

In many ways, the fact that changes may be made to the original is what makes OER – compared with other forms of copyrighted materials – especially useful to programme developers.

Conclusion

Online communities have demonstrated the now indisputable power and value of lots of people working collaboratively towards a common cause. And doing this in education has the potential to re-focus educational systems, restoring the core values of building and sharing knowledge that underpin good education, and systematically encouraging us to work with and learn from one another.

OER encapsulates a potential vision for educational systems globally wherein individual educators, and then increasingly entire departments and institutions, come together in common online spaces  to start sharing the materials they have produced, in an effort ultimately to ensure that all the material which students need to complete their studies successfully can be accessed – legally – without any costs of licensing. There are vast quantities of such material already available across the world, from which no-one is generating any meaningful commercial return – and many more being produced every week. These represent a common intellectual capital that should be unlocked to drive and support education rather than being kept locked away.

The potential of OER includes bringing transparency to educational processes, facilitating collaborations between educators and students at different institutions, and establishing a new economic model for procuring and publishing learning materials. Ultimately, a key to its success will be to demonstrate that, in the medium to long term, OER will help over-stretched educators to manage their work more effectively, rather than adding new work requirements to their job description.

However, successful OER initiatives will be those that can work immediately and add educational value within the existing ICT infrastructure constraints of any participating institutions . Proving the potential of a concept that will only have an impact when  these infrastructural constraints are removed is of little value to higher educational institutions in the short to medium term.

Thus, the value of OER projects and initiatives should be measured, in practical terms, against the extent to which they advance core educational objectives; and the principles of operation that govern OER communities should be driven by this imperative. Education is a social investment, and should be protected as such if it is truly to fulfil its potential in creating a more equal world. This makes it critical to find practical ways to build business models that will ensure the success of the online educational commons. Critically, we would do well to accept that – until this new model is established – it is likely that we will need to retain open minds and a spirit of compromise in engaging the interests of different parties seeking to open access to educational content.

At its most effective, creating and sharing OER is essentially about working together towards a common cause, whether this be within a single faculty or across a global network. Sharing materials that others can adapt and use recognizes the value inherent in team work and the improvements in thinking that will emerge from such collaboration. Doing this openly, using the already proven innovations of the Internet to facilitate sharing of content, presents a practical way to use cooperation to find simple solutions to pressing problems we face in education.

If educators start doing this in large numbers, the values of the systems for which they work will catch up, as all systems ultimately are simply a codification of how people have agreed to work and interact with one another. Consequently, rewards and incentives will shift to reflect appreciation for sharing and communal building at the expense of individualism and unhealthy competition. Conversely, if we wait for systemic policies to change before we start collaborating, then we have only ourselves to blame if the system’s values are never shifted.

 

 

 

 

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LANGUAGE LABORATORY

 

Dr. V.K.Maheshwari, M.A (Socio, Phil) B.Sc. M. Ed, Ph.D.

Former Principal, K.L.D.A.V. (P.G) College, Roorkee, India

Good communication skills are indispensable for the success of any professional. If one wants to reach out to people, he or she has to speak their language. The English language, in particular, has become essential in the lives of young people who aspire to advance their careers anywhere in the world. English language learning has therefore become a must for any Indian student today.

It is required of any learner to have a good command of the language for communication purposes, with clarity and accuracy being vital for effective and efficient communication. What helps one to acquire such proficiency in a language is the process and the method of learning that language.

Language learning is quite different from learning any other subject. It is not limited to writing an examination paper and getting marks or award. The four skills: listening, speaking, reading, writing have to be put into practice since having the ability to communicate well is the central purpose in learning any language. Communication entails the student’s capability to listen attentively to the exact meaning and to respond with appropriate words and with clear pronunciation.

We can, however, describe what language is, language is a medium of communication. Communication implies carrying of message or receiving of message. The importance of English is not because of its more users but what it is used for. In the present century English has gained a position. It is commonly used in many fields. English language makes the people to know what is happening around the world.

There are several components necessary to master a language. It is not just about being able to read and understand certain words. It also entails mastery of the spoken language. There are language learners who learn how to read and write fast. However, if they are asked to talk, they could barely pronounce the words right. This is true especially in learning the English language. This is the reason why  language laboratories are essential.

The curriculum of the present educational system in India does not have a laboratory session for arts subjects. Only those who study science subjects have practical work, which is undertaken in a laboratory. Hence, a laboratory for language learning is something new to Indian students, whereas it is very common in Western countries to train children in the laboratory to enrich their language learning experiences.

In the current digital age, we are all connected regardless of the geographic distance. Advancement in technology has metaphorically brought the world into our living room in the form of TV or internet which allow us to watch events happening in other countries or talk to friends and family living in another continents via internet. As a result, we are exposed to different languages, cultures and traditions of people from all over the world. As we live in multilingual and multicultural world, language lab can greatly help students to learn language of their choice, as it will allow students to learn at their own pace. They can record and assess their performance to make sure that they are paying attention to all aspects of phonetics.

In today’s e world the basic but the most expensive skill required is to handle the English Language efficiently. It silently reveals the caliber of the individual in their profession which in turn contributes to career growth.

The language lab provides access to native-speakers via audio-video aids so that they learn correctly. Given large number of students pursue higher studies outside their home country; language lab would help them in studying the language of the country where they are planning to pursue their higher education.. As strong communication skills are essential in almost all of the professional careers, language lab can help in acquiring this important skill.

Language Laboratory

Laboratories in schools might only be associated with science subjects. This serves as their workplace to experiment on specific subjects. However, this is also necessary for language learning. This provides an avenue for the students to improve the way they pronounce the words and be corrected by the teacher whenever necessary. Generally laboratories were used in India for the science subjects. With technological advancement and exposure to western models of teaching and learning, there has been a spurt in the growth of language laboratories in colleges.

The language laboratory is an audio or audio-visual installation used as an aid in modern language teaching. They can be found, amongst other places, in schools, universities and academies. Perhaps the first lab was at the University of Grenoble. (Ruby,W.B. 2004) In the 1950s up until the 1990s, they were tape based systems using reel to reel or (latterly) cassette. Current installations are generally multimedia PCs. The original language labs are now very outdated. They allowed a teacher to listen to and manage student audio via a hard-wired analogue tape deck based systems with ‘sound booths’ in fixed locations.

According to American Heritage Dictionary 4, language laboratory is: “A room designed for learning foreign languages and equipped with tape recorders, videocassette recorders, or computers connected to monitoring devices enabling the instructor to listen and speak to the students individually or as a group”.

The Webster’s New World College Dictionary definition of the language laboratory is: “A classroom in which students learning a foreign language can practice sound and word patterns individually or under supervision with the aid of audio equipment, etc”(Language

Lab in Webster’s New World College Dictionary). Cesar (2006) defined language laboratory as: “…a teaching tool requiring the implementation of well-constructed tasks based on the students ‘needs”. Beder (2008) in defining language laboratory stated:“A Language Laboratory is a room in a school, college, training institute, university or academy that contains special equipment to help students learn foreign languages by listening to tapes or CDs, watching videos, recording themselves, etc.”.

Mambo(2004) affirmed that:

“language laboratories are environments designed to enhance foreign language learners’ skills. Generally equipped with analog and digital hardware, and software (tape recorders, videocassette recorders, or computers), they provide practices in listening comprehension, speaking (listen and repeat), with the goal to reinforce the grammar, vocabulary and functions (grammatical structures) presented in class. “

Characteristics of a good Language Laboratory

There are different features of language lab, which make the students to have interactive session. Few are summarized here.

Attention : Attention on subject is increased resulting in better retention of the concepts. As the language lab allows the student to listen to the program stimulus individually, each individual student’s attention is focused on the program material being studied, ultimately increasing the attention span of the student and teaching the student to listen and analyze the content of the lesson.

Acoustics : It provides equal opportunity to all the students to hear the instructor irrespective of place where they are seated. There will be less miscommunication because of direct nature of the sound transmission. The language lab provides all students no matter where they are seated in the room with equal opportunity to hear the instructor and to be heard by the instructor. None of the lesson material is misheard due to the direct nature of the sound transmission   Each student can listen to the lesson material at a level set by themselves for their own comfort.

Building Student Experience : Students can build on their existing experiences and gain further knowledge of computers while learning in the computer language lab. Practicing with systems, software and new applications enhances exportable skills. The more experience students have with computer technology, the more successful they will be in the “real world”.

Developing  Listening skills : Listening skills are an essential element in becoming linguistically fluent. The language lab helps students develop good listening skills and aids the process of communication.. Furthermore, it develops the listening and communication skills, since they hear correct pronunciation through their headphones.

Excitement : Students become excited when using learning lab systems. The student’s attention is heightened and the boredom of repetitive learning is lifted. Learner will show more enthusiasm and excitement in learning lesson because of learning lab system.

Efficiency: The teacher can monitor individual students (and talk to them) much more efficiently than in a regular classroom. Usually in a regular classroom all other students stop speaking when the teacher communicates with an individual student. In a lab they will continue working without interruption.

Appropriate use of time: The language lab makes most efficient use of time, improving the teacher/student time ratio and allowing the instructor to maximize the use of time in a given lesson. Efficient use of time and learning efficiency is much more than usual classroom learning.

Improve discipline : The instructor can improve the discipline of the class by privately conversing with individual students who are being objectionable. By utilizing a system of seat management, any equipment faults or acts of minor vandalism can be reported by the next student entering the booth. If not reported by the student, they become the target of the investigation when the next student enters the booth. Students have great difficulty talking to each other when wearing headsets.

Individualization: Labs provide the capability for dividing the class into several groups. These groups can be listening to different programs on varying subject matter and at different levels of interactivity. This set up fosters more interactive session between students and teacher.

Internet access: The new generation of multimedia systems allows the students to be connected to the World Wide Web and to be able to access information on a global basis. This allows instantaneous access to information worldwide and communication in the following ways:

v  Access to foreign literature and museums for research and study.

v  Direct communication with other students from their country and culture of study.

v  Person-to-person communication through email, chat rooms, internet phone, etc.

v  Student-to-student video conferencing with local and foreign classes.

v  Viewing English and target language web sites.

v  Watching live TV broadcasts and listening to foreign radio broadcasts.

Native speaker/ Different voice: The lab provides the students with a variety of model voices rather than just the voice of the teacher (who is often not a native speaker). All modern systems have a Model Voice feature allowing a native speaker to converse and be used as a model voice subject for the rest of the class.

Overcoming shyness: Lab systems tend to make students more anonymous. Language labs motivate students to talk freely and lose the shyness when talking in front of their friends.

Oral testing: Oral test features allow instructors to test students with a question or stimulus and only record the student’s answer. Instructors can then play back the recorded answers at a later time for grading, without having to listen to the questions.

Privacy : It also provides the privacy that encourages the shy students to speak without any hesitation. In addition instructor can speak to individual or group of students in privacy without interrupting rest of class.The headset/microphone provides students with a psychological privacy that promotes their speaking ability. It reduces the inhibitions felt in normal classroom situations.

Provide feedback  : The instructor can easily generate records of attendance, grading and oral responses to true/false or multiple choice taped tests. An automated record keeping process can save much time. . The student’s progress can also be monitored regularly so that teacher can provide feedback based on individual pace and ability.

Record/Comparing: The students have the ability to record their own voices along with the master stimulus. Each student can be working interactively on different segments within the same program or be working with completely different program material.

Role playing exercises: Using the random pairing/random grouping feature that all advanced modern learning systems incorporate, instructors can generate a variety of exercises structured around role-playing. Students can be paired or grouped together in small numbers and hold conversational practice with each other. Due to the random selection of student partners the students interest level is always high in anticipation of who their paired partner is likely to be. The instructor can also allow the students to listen to a stimulus from the console allowing the students to practice with each other while responding to the master stimulus.

Self-pacing: The students may work through the lesson material at a pace suited to their ability. The lab is for them a personal tutor. Thus allowing the classroom as student-centered approach. The students can access digitally stored programs, exercises and tests that can be completed at their own pace and at a time they decide is appropriate.

Teacher monitoring: Since the teacher is not concentrating on producing the next question or drill, he/she can concentrate more on the student responses. The instructor has more time to produce materials and oversee class activities due to the automatically, rather than manually, controlled instructor console features. Teacher can look after each student, which is not possible in case of the regular classroom. In a lab instructor can communicate with many students by pressing a mouse key in order to talk with students

Varity: The language lab provides variety from regular classroom situations. The teacher’s role is changed and the students are more active for longer periods of time. The use of visual stimulus coupled with selective audio materials increases the attention span of the students. The language lab brings variety in teaching learning process instead of boring verbal centered teaching.

The Basic aims of the language Laboratory

Many of you may have already used a language lab as a student or perhaps as a teacher however you will see that the language lab has changed for the better. The opportunities and learning potential that a new Language lab can offer is vast however you may be pleased to hear that some things stay the same.

The basic aims of the language lab are the same as they ever were and they are;

To improve listening skills – classroom and individual with high quality audio

To improve speaking skills – individual, paired, groups

To present and demonstrate language skills – both screen and voice in seconds

To monitor and guide students – discrete monitoring and intervention as required

Empirical evidence from users over many years has shown that language labs help to;

Increase the number of students taking languages

Attract more boys to study languages

Significantly improve the Speaking Test results obtained

Encourage peer-assessment and parental involvement

The general Layout of Language Laboratory

We live in a multilingual as well as in a multicultural world, which is getting smaller to the size of a village as a result of the expansion of science and technology. The language laboratory was established to help one to use technology efficiently to communicate. It has a considerable role in improving listening skill by obtaining a sensibility to the sounds and rhythm of a language

Wilson and Thayalan (2007) highlighted some of the features language laboratory are given below:

  • A tool designed for teaching any language.
  • Effective communicative training programmes for the general public, private and corporate sectors, junior and senior level officers can be given through the lab.
  • Efficient teaching programs of communication for the students.
  • Experts are able to use the language laboratory for creating and editing technical resources for teaching language.
  • General documentation, software documentation and all forms of technical documentation can be done.
  • It helps students to be familiar with the different aspects of the language like pronunciation, accent, stress and all other aspects of the phonetics of a language.
  • Online lessons and oral examinations can be carried out through the language laboratory .
  • Web-content creation, the setting up of in-house news magazines, corporate publicity and identity, and teaching materials can be generated through the language laboratory.

Considering the above referred features the general lay-out must provide the following:

The layout of language laboratories formed from a teacher’s console and students’ booths. The teacher’s console has the managing functions and the student booth equipped with facilities that permit him/her to receive the recorded lessons and to listen to them. The focal features of a language lab are the following:

Evaluate :Students can listen to their pronunciation and do a review evaluation to measure their advancement as well as evaluate their language with that of the teacher.

Listen: Absorbing language skills faultlessly by listening to the normal pronunciation.

Monitor & Guide :The teacher can supervise each student separately without disturbing other students and direct him/her directly.

Record : Through a direct comparison of the learners’ voice with the teacher’s one, all ambiguous aspects of the spoken language can be picked up easily.

Respond : Repeating the lessons and having them evaluated by the teacher.

The Features of a Teacher’s Console

A console is the desk like part of an organ that contains the keyboard, stops, and a central control panel for a mechanical, electrical, or electronic system, in other words, a console is a keyboard or a panel for keys of an electronic or mechanical equipment.

Teacher’s console is a desk like part in the language laboratory which is endowed with a broadcasting system that is utilized to control the teacher and students’ talks, it makes the communication between the teacher and a precise student, individually possible with just a button blow, in addition to a headphone, and a microphone. In some laboratories the teacher’s console is provided with a computer which can be used for supervising students’ work and activities.

The teacher console acts as a control board enables the teacher to:

 

ü  Enables the teacher to interact with students in private without disturbing others.

ü  Encourage the students separately, as well.

ü  Gives the role of the moderator of the group discussions.

ü  Giving instructions to individual student with personalized attention

ü  Listen to the student’s voice independently.

ü  Permits the teacher to include a wide range of language learning materials and activities

ü  Prevent actions at a selected student’s booth for giving instructions.

ü  Provide options for listening to the native speakers

ü  Supervise the activities of students while they practice the lessons.

Features of Student’s Booth (console)

Booths are small semi-private enclosed spaces where learners seat to receive and listen to the lesson directed by the teacher. In general, there are ten to twenty booths in a language laboratory. In a language laboratory each student has: earphone ,a microphone, a booth and a tape recorder. Students’ booths enables the student to:

  • Allows the students to speak and being corrected at the same time in the language lab’s time session.
  • Enables them to self – evaluate themselves.
  • Listen to pre-recorded material spoken by native voices,
  • Listen to the native speaker’s records and pronunciations.
  • Permits to recite simultaneously and receive correction in the laboratory period”
  • Ready to play back the recording of his own repetition in alternation with the native model
  • Repeat the lesson determined by the teacher, record, and replay, can be part of a group discussion .
  • Repeats what he hears in pauses,
  • Transport or carry pre-recorded lessons from the teacher’s console

From the above descriptions we can summarize the features of the students’ booth in this points:

v  All the contemporary activities in the student console could be paused if the teacher tries to communicate with students, and could be sustained after teacher finishes the communication.

v  Private Interaction would be possible because every students is connected to the teacher separately.

v  Self-evaluating, a student could assess his/her pronunciation by recording his/her voice and comparing it with that of the natives (Language Lab Software).

v  Students can listen, repeat and compare the repeated lessons any number of times using student console.

v  Students can look for the help of teacher by sending him a call using the call teacher facility.

v  Students can receive and listen to the determined lesson.

Language Lab Design

Procedure of the Use of Language Laboratories

A language laboratory can be utilized for teaching or learning through a teacher’s console. The functions of a teacher’s console are staying in control, reinforcing learning, teaching with software that is approachable, and ensuring the best learning results.

a. Staying in Control:

Staying in control includes various activities, like monitoring students’ work and activities; locking cursors and keyboards to focus attention on a given task; shutting down, logging off, or restarting student computer sets; etc.

b. Reinforcing Learning:

Teachers can use communication tools that are familiar for their students, such as text messaging or chatting. They can also communicate with them in an engaging way by creating more opportunities to interact in the target language. Learners can reinforce their language in various activities. They can revise pronunciation, grammar, vocabulary, sentence structures, and conversations.

c. Teaching with Software that is approachable:

Approachable software is one with which teachers will be perfectly at ease in their teaching activities. It is used as the interfaces which are easy to use and activity-driven. No specialized Instructional technology skills are needed for this interface.

d. Ensuring the Best Learning Result:

The best learning result can be reinforced by the existence of language learning software. The language learning software gives learners access to resources for independent or supplemental learning and study. This unique learning-on-demand feature creates additional learning opportunities and reinforces classroom activities. It is possible to carry out tests, practice tests, and get results in individualized manners.

Steps for Improving Listening in The Language Laboratory

Madhavi(2009) suggested six stages that can be done to improve students’ listening skills in the language   laboratory. They are understanding the setting, pre-teaching unfamiliar English words, focusing on listening, comprehending, analyzing, and giving graded listening tasks.

a. Understanding the Setting : After the first listening, students should be able to understand the location of the recording. Thinking about the setting encourages students to go on to guess about the contents of what the speakers are intending to say or will say.

b. Pre-teaching Unfamiliar  Words: Teachers may choose to introduce the setting before the students listen. This provides an opportunity to introduce and explain the sort of language that might be heard in that setting. This language is listed on the board and students listen and mark what they actually hear.

c. Focusing on Listening: the teacher should line up a number of Listening tasks before the students listen so it gives them a reason for listening and focus their attention on.

d. Comprehending: Each student has a different level of comprehension from another student. The teacher gives students a number of questions equally to groups of students after listening, students share their answers for comprehension.

e. Analyzing: After students have understood the general idea and some important details of a recording, they can analyze it in more details and examine the way in which the speakers have expressed their ideas.

f. Giving Graded Listening Tasks: Teachers often teach listening by ranking comprehension from understanding generally to identifying specific information. They   can also grade the listening tasks from easy to more difficult by the forms of the questions. They use and evaluate them based on the kind of production by the learners in the form of writing or speaking.

Model of the Language Laboratory Lesson Suggested by Dwyer, T. P

In his book Teaching and Learning Dwyer(2010) stated: Lessons in the laboratory must be planned in such a way that the overall objective of the lesson is to bring about a transfer of any mechanical skill taught in the laboratory to a functional context reflecting the way the student has to use that skill outside the classroom in real life.

From the perspective of Dwyer what language laboratory lessons must do, is to stress from the beginning on putting the language in its context (the communicative setting) and functional use of the skill to be learnt(listening in our case),in other words, there should be a purposeful use of the skill in the learning process, then provide practice of the skill itself. For listening, listening to a tape recorder and dialogues performed by native speakers, and lastly provide practice in transferring the skill to a practical situation.

To make it real, students could record their voices and check pronunciation. He also stated: “These three activities are elements of the one lesson with the major objective being ensuring the student’s ability to use the skill in a communicative setting”

According to him the model lesson proposed can be drawn up in this way:

a. Input: teacher’s demonstration of the skill to be learnt in a communicative situation (done away from the laboratory booths).

b. Practice: modeling practice of the specific skill(listening in our case), Self- practice by the students, following a given model, Performance monitored by the teacher (done in the laboratory booths)

c. Application: students’ demonstration in a communicative situation of the skill learnt (listening in our case), open dialogues, group work, role play. The teacher acts as adviser, offering encouragement.

Kinds of Language Laboratories

The language laboratory assists educators in delivering foreign language instruction, and has been through many developmental stages over the years.

Few kinds of laboratories are being focused on here

Traditional/Conventional laboratory.

This is the earliest form of language laboratory developed. It makes use of a recorder and cassette tapes to help language learners. The tape usually contains texts or stories read aloud by a native language speaker. There are also listening and speaking exercises that follow in each chapter. . The teacher plays back the tape and the learners listen to it and learn the material

Here, the teacher’s console is located in front of the array of booths, Distribution switches enable the teacher to determine which students will hear which source.

Lingua Phone Laboratory

A lingua-phone laboratory is like conventional laboratory, with a little modernization . The students are given a headphones to listen to the audiocassettes that are played back. As regards to the conventional laboratory, the distractions in this laboratory are less so there is certain amount of clarity in listening There is also a modernized lingua phone laboratory available today, which uses an electronic device that works as a cassette player with all the features of a normal cassette player on the left side, and as a repeater on the right side that helps one to record one’s voice and replay it for comparison.

Computer Assisted Language Laboratory (CALL)

There are two brands of this laboratory: Computer Assisted Language Laboratory (CALL) and Web Assisted Language Laboratory (WALL).

The first one that is CALL uses the computer to teach language. Computer Assisted Language Laboratory. This is one of the most modern speech laboratories available today. The entire course module is already stored in the computer.  The language course resources are already downloaded on the computer and are presented to students according to the features available in the system.

The development of CALL has been gradual, and this development has been categorized into three distinct phases: Behavioristic CALL, Communicative CALL and Integrative CALL . They can also practice different types of exercises to avoid boredom. Most of all, they can listen to different speakers when practicing the language. In fact, they can also learn grammar and other language skills with this modern laboratory. Though the development of CALL has been gradual, its acceptance has come slowly and unevenly.

Compared with CALL, WALL is almost the same as CALL with one difference that is, in WALL system, computers are connected to the internet. In WALL, the teacher as well as students can browse any resources from the internet during the teaching learning process. (Wilson, & Thayalan, 2007). There are many and different other kinds of language laboratories like The Dial Access Lab, Mobile Lab, Wireless Lab…etc.

Mobile Lab:

This is basically a console on wheels with storage spaces for headsets. It is best used within a single building where it can be moved from one room to another.While the advantage of the mobile lab is that any classroom may be turned into a lab, the drawback is that the equipment is heavy and hampers free movement. It requires time and energy to set up.

The Dial Access Lab:

needs more spaces than the Conventional Lab. It also needs more technicians at any given time. It is basically a broadcast operation. Depending on the size of operation, any number of students can access a particular tape at any given time. Usually, a number of rooms are used to provide space for the different programs mounted; video and /or computer interface may be added again, depending on the size of the operation, The student needs a minimum of equipment, namely, an activated headset, a dial or touch-tone selector, and controls for a remote selector.

Wireless Lab:

The wires connecting the sources to student headsets are replaced by radio transmission in a wireless laboratory. The console contains a small transmitter that serves this purpose. Monitoring and intercom are NOT possible with this lab. It combines well with the Mobile Lab, though the important functions of monitoring and intercom are forfeited.

Remote Controlled Lab

This arrangement enables students to control specific tape decks located elsewhere at remote locations. The actual equipment installation is similar to that of a conventional laboratory room. The electronics are relatively more complex, though. Here, the student can; start, stop, backtrack, and rewind at will, without actually including combinations e.g. Listen,Respond, and Record.

Both library operations are available. The student is freed from handling tapes. Maintenance problems are reduced as students cannot damage tape decks. Semi-automatic operation of the lab, without much supervision, is possible. Remote decks may be permanently loaded with the current tape enabling students to go to certain booths and immediately work in library mode.

Advantages of Language Lab

Using a language lab has many benefits:

Gets into deeper side of language

This application gets into deeper side of language rather than covering its outer layer, which are mostly seen in the year old teaching practices. The practical sessions provide the chance for understanding the clear concept regarding right pronunciation, different accent and other aspects of language learning too.

The language lab is available in many standards

The language lab is available in many standards which can be used for teaching the people in different sectors. Some of the training programmes are included at junior, senior school level, private, public and also for the people at corporate sectors. The language lab does provide additional assistance like producing documents, editing, creating documents for teaching, students’ reference etc.

Language labs allow for diversity in the classroom

Language laboratories provide teacher attention to students, especially in the case of schools with different levels because as interactive courses, language labs are tailored to the individual needs of students. On the other hand, thanks to monitoring and evaluation in real time, the teacher knows exactly what course objectives pose major difficulties for the student time and can reinforce the class accordingly.

A language lab is  practical

Language labs provide practice in an entertaining and interactive way to acquire the 4 main language skills: listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Students learn more comprehensively through a language lab.

Students learn much faster in the language lab

Language labs’ interactive courses help students learn much faster than in a regular classroom setting. The methodology of the classroom language network uses a progressive model to promote natural learning, where students learn the different concepts of language in an intuitive way.

The teacher takes on a more important role in the language lab

The language lab  it provides supplementary materials that only facilitate the role of the instructor rather than compete with it. The teacher can then focus on the important parts of the course rather than waste time explaining everything. The structure of the language lab courses also facilitate the work teacher puts in when preparing lessons and allows them to prepare them in less time and with a greater volume of interactive resources.

Labs foster communication in the classroom

Language labs also encourage communication student-teacher as well as student-student with activities and exercises essential to oral communication and the understanding of the language. The labs include tools for creating groups, host conversations via chat, promote messages on the board, access to a community of students who are also studying the same language, etc. Since language learning in laboratories can be done privately and at their own pace, students who are shy or quite slow in learning the language, become more confident.

Learning the language without a time constraint.

It gives different and rare experience for the user to hear the English Language distinctly and precisely. While using the language lab the students get the advantage of listening and learning the language without a time constraint.

Assess and improve the speech in English through the self help features.

Another advantage of the language lab is that it helps one to assess and improve the speech in English through the self help features. These features include model pronunciation of words, also the students can use it in record and playback mode that counterpart the user in self assessment. The best part of the laboratory is that it gives the users the freedom to learn the language according to their convenience without an instructor.

Allows learners to pronounce certain words correctly

It allows learners to pronounce certain words correctly. Small details like accent, stress and blending of words can also be corrected. Kids and adults suffering from speech disorders can also use the laboratory to minimize the problems. Not only primary students can learn from this laboratory. It is also designed for junior and senior executives who wish to improve their speaking proficiency.

Auditory Oriented:

The direct sound transmission gives step by step guidance from the teacher to the heads of the students with crystal clear clarity.  The Lab software is more attention enthralling for the students, where they are engaged with individual systems.

Comprehensive quickly:

The Lab increases the pace of comprehension as students coaching is purely based on the level of study. The Lab regulates the language through the different thoughts created in the mind of the students.

Effective learning, Focus Veracity: By using text, audio and video can easily be integrated with  actuality in every day situations. The lab provides to learn the foreign language practice in a focused setting that eliminates the feelings of self-consciousness.

Have the self evaluation:

The students can do a periodical self evaluation to measure the progress as well as evaluate his/her language with that of the expert. The students can record their own voice and play back the recordings, interact with the each other and the teacher, and store the results. The automated learning environment removes one’s fear and creates a happy learning situation. Learn the need: The lab fulfills the need of the learner that is learning the language skills in an effective way .

Listening skills are primary in becoming fluent.

Even Level II language labs (the simplest type of system) help develop listening skills, allowing the students to focus on the spoken word and therefore enhancing their ability to repeat and understand the spoken language.

Provide Individualistic Learning

The ability of each student to speak at the same time and yet be audibly isolated from each other allows efficient use of time and a higher degree of practice and learning. All of the students can practice simultaneously (rather than one at a time) thus increasing the student’s actual practice and fluency.

Disadvantages of Language Laboratory

Although of the various advantages of the language laboratory, it has also a few disadvantages or let us say difficulties, which are related to the high cost, it needs skilled instructors, and it makes unsuccessful instruction in some cases.

  • The language lab requires a high cost to be built in the university and to be kept on going. It is very expensive to set up the language lab and country like India there is no lab syllabus and usually language classes are conducted as theory.  Furthermore, it needs more money for resource management.
  • The language lab would not let the English teaching-learning process be effective if there are some troubles with the technology of it. Worse even, it becomes useless when the electricity is off.
  • The language laboratory needs an qualified teacher to be able to activate all the technology provided in it. Universities, or more precisely, faculties of
  • English has to employ technicians who would keep the equipment in the language laboratory always in a high-quality conditions.
  • These days student does not have enough patience to listen to pronunciation and practice them so the recording of pronunciation is useless.
  • As the teacher listens to students randomly the response can be unorganized and ineffective as there are many students to attend to.
  • The teacher should be well trained in executing the language lab effectively. Given the nature of teaching, a language teacher may need an assistant in taking care of the technological part while teacher attends to the instructional components.
  • As technology changes rapidly, there should be a provision for upgrade in the medium of instructions, which can be burden for school in terms of finances.

Conclusion

The language laboratory is a very helpful tool for practicing and assessing one’s speech in any language. It provides a facility which allows the student to listen to model pronunciation, repeat and record the same, listen to their performance and compare with the model, and do self-assessment. Since the language laboratory gives every learner of any language freedom to learn at their own pace, it is flexible and does not necessarily require a teacher all the time. At the same time, it is possible for teachers to provide assistance individually and collectively. The language laboratory allows every participant his or her privacy to speak and listen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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SIMULATION TEACHING SKILL

 

Dr. V.K.Maheshwari, M.A (Socio, Phil) B.Sc. M. Ed, Ph.D.

Former Principal, K.L.D.A.V. (P.G) College, Roorkee, India

Since a long time ago, simulation has been used by human and even by animasl to train their young ones for adaptation with their environment .For example At first, chess was assumed as the original form of the war game, later on it developed into more serious and sophisticated military game to train new soldiers. The simulation technique has been applied successfully in the last decade in education .The advantages of the technique has been appreciated all over the world by educationist. The national games council was established in 1961 in USA. The International “simulation and games Association “was formed in Germany in1970. It is the evidence of the importance of simulation technique.

The use of role-plays and simulations within higher education is not a new development. Examples can be found stretching back over fifty years across a variety of disciplines including law, psychology, business and politics . Both methods fall into a larger body of teaching strategies often-labeled ‘active learning techniques’. This form of teaching also includes group discussions, debates, collaborative projects and internships. In essence this can include any method that asks students to help develop and apply their own knowledge (Shaw 2010).

Meaning and Definitions of Simulation technique/ Skill

The word ‘Simulation’ means to imitate exactly. Interest is aroused in the students through, Roe LE-PLAYING, while teaching. This skill is used by teachers and students in the class room by playing some role without any preliminary training i.e. without any rehearsal. This way simulation is a form of Role Playing where in student teachers display this skill spontaneously.

What is defined as a role-play and/or a simulation is not immediately clear from the teaching literature. For the terms are often used interchangeably or confused with similar methods such as ‘games’ and ‘gaming’ (Shaw 2010). However, there seems to be a convergence on the correct terminology. As Krain and Shadle (2006) have suggested simulations are best considered as those cases in which students are placed ‘within a reasonable representation of a real environment within which political or social interactions occur”.

Simulation in teaching has recently entered the field of education. It is used at different level of instruction. The teacher is trained practically and also imparted theoretical learning. The student teacher needs to be trained in simulated situations before sending him to schools for practice teaching. In this way he will be able to teach in good manner.

Alternatively role-play exercises typically provide fewer set instructions regarding the roles the students are asked to play, and instead students are asked to determine how they would respond in a certain context (Shaw 2010). In this sense the student should “inhabit the issue (making it more real and immediate) and think beyond their own perspectives” . Both role-plays and simulations can take place in either the classroom or within an online/virtual environment. Games are something different, a context with clearly defined rules regarding how players can win the exercise .

Simulation refers to the imitation of real-world activities and processes in a safe environment. Simulations aim to provide an experience as close to the ‘real thing’ as possible; however, a simulated activity has the advantage of allowing learners to ‘reset’ the scenario and try alternative strategies and approaches. This allows learners to develop experience of specific situations by applying their wider learning and knowledge.

The approach is frequently used in disciplines where students need to develop skills and experience but safety issues or cost considerations prevent this happening in the real-world.

Simulations are instructional scenarios where the learner is placed in a “world” defined by the teacher. They represent a reality within which students interact. The teacher controls the parameters of this “world” and uses it to achieve the desired instructional results. Students experience the reality of the scenario and gather meaning from it. A simulation is a form of experiential learning. It is a strategy that fits well with the principles of  constructivist learning and teaching.

Simulations take a number of forms. They may contain elements of:

  • a game
  • a role-play, or
  • an activity that acts as a metaphor.

Simulations are characterized by their non-linear nature and by then controlled ambiguity within which students must make decisions. The inventiveness and commitment of the participants usually determines the success of a simulation.

Definition of Simulation method

Simulation is an old word with a new application. For a time it meant “deception” or “misrepresentation”, or more bluntly, lying. It now applies to a variety of technical (or pseudo-technical) activities in which models of, or analogs to, real situations are created for the purpose of testing or teaching, and is based on the philosophy of “let’s try it out and see what happens”

Simulation and Gaming refers to a series of instructional designs that use elements from simulation and gaming. Simulation and Gaming can be done with board games, computer assisted board games, or fully computerized environments.

According to Fink, “Simulation is the controlled representation of reality”.

According to Tansey. “Simulation is in the all-inclusive term which contains those activities which produce artificial environment for the partcipants in  the activity. It is reproduction of reality”.

According to Hall (2011), “”Total enterprise” simulations or management or business games.

The Simulation & Gaming journal defines Simulation/gaming in its broadest meaning, “to encompass such areas as simulation, computerized simulation, internet simulation, gaming, simulation/gaming, serious games, educational games, training games, e-games, internet games, video games, policy exercises, day-in-the-life simulations, planning exercises, debriefing, analytic discussion, post-experience analysis, modeling, virtual reality, game theory, role-play, role-playing, play, active learning, experiential learning, learning from experience, toys, augmented reality, playthings, structured exercises, education games, alternative purpose games, edutainment, digital game-based learning, immersive learning, brain games, social impact games, games for change, games for good, synthetic learning environments, synthetic task environments.” D Schneider believes that Role Play Simulations belong to the same category

According to Dumlekar (2004) “ A simulation is a replica of reality. As a training program, it enables adult participants to learn through interactive experiences. Simulations contain elements of experiential learning and adult learning [...] Simulations would therefore be useful to learn about complex situations (where data is incomplete, unreliable or unavailable), where the problems are unfamiliar, and where the cost of errors in making decisions is likely to be high. Therefore, simulations offer many benefits. They accelerate and compress time to offer a foresight of a hazy future. They are experimental, experiential, and rigorous. They promote creativity amongst the participants, who develop a shared view of their learning and behaviors. Above all, making decisions have no real-life cost implications.”.

Characteristics of Simulation Teaching

Simulated experience is a naturally occurring activity in children in all cultures. Left to themselves, children spontaneously simulate (or pretend) aspects of their present or future life experience.

As a tool in training, simulation has four principal characteristics:

1. It starts with an analogous situation.- The first characteristic, that of analogous circumstances, provides a setting in which a learner can function. This setting is equivalent to the assumptions in a scientific investigation; the “given” in a mathematical model; the equipment and the rules in a game; the definition of conflict and personal characteristics in role playing; and the independent variable in an experiment. In education for decision making it represents the “real” environment in which the learner is to function, and is assumed to have enough of the characteristics of the real environment to provide practice in meeting contingencies which could occur in the learner’s life.

2. It provides for low risk input.- The second characteristic of simulation in training is the provision for tentative or low risk input. The learner can make a response without irrevocable commitment and without destroying the circumstances which are the basis of the simulation exercise. This allows the student to make disastrous mistakes, to “live another day”, and to test alternative actions.

3. It feeds back consequences symbolically. Low risk input leads to the third characteristic of simulation as discussed here: symbolic consequences. The simulation system informs the learner what would have happened had he responded  in the simulated situation.

4. It is replicable-.It delivers a message without modifying the physical or psychological learning climate.

With low risk response and symbolic consequence, the whole simulation exercise is replicable. Replicability provides an opportunity for iterative procedures in arriving at best solutions.

5. Implies teaching aid for learner.- Simulated teaching implies an analysis of teaching act and of the teaching situation from the point of view of the learner.

6. Different Disciplines have Different Simulations.- Every discipline treats the conceptual structure of the simulation differently. To economists, the conceptual structure is typically mathematical. To sociologists, the conceptual structure is typically sets of social interactions. To political scientists, the conceptual structure is often institutional.

7.-Simulations Vary in Style and Complexity.- Simulations may use computer programs that require only a portion of a single class period .Simulations range from attempts to duplicate complex social processes, such as a legislature, to very simple social interactions, such as making eye contact. These simulations may be conducted with computers, pencil-and-paper, or physical models of some natural phenomenon. Some work only with small classes. Some work with all class sizes.

8.-Deep Learning.- Instructional simulations have the potential to engage students in “deep learning” that empowers understanding as opposed to “surface learning” that requires only memorization.

9-. Awareness of the unique circumstances .-  In a simulation, guided by a set of parameters, students undertake to solve problems, adapt to issues arising from their scenario and gain an awareness of the unique circumstances that exist within the confines of the simulation.

Objectives of Simulation method

1-      To modify Teacher behavior  by the use of feedback devices.

2-      To modify   social-communication skills of teacher behavior which are essential for effective teaching.

3-      To develop psychological appreciation of the class room problems

4-       To develop in the student-teacher a basis for handling the problem in the class.

5-      To develop Teacher behavior taxonomy by using simulated teaching technique.

Arts of Simulation in teaching

Simulation on techniques for all their artificiality can often be preferable to putting students in classroom to learn their own or lecturing them in classroom. This is eminently sensible. Simulation removes the risk from the first steps of a new type and enable him to come to terms with demands of a complex skill learning without the stress of the real situation. At the same time it is to be preferred to merely ‘telling’ the student teachers how to teach when he find himself actually in the school.

Simulation in teaching plays a great role, instead of telling the student-teacher ‘does and don’ts ‘he should be put to simulation so that he could prove to be a successful teacher

Following are the arts of simulation in teaching:

  • Bodily expression
  • Development of all aspects
  • Development of expression
  • Emotional organization
  • Mimic
  • Solo-acting

The Benefits of Simulation Method

Much of the early literature centered upon these more active methods of teaching, in particular simulations, was generally focused upon preaching the benefits of this method.

Create an environment where the onus is on the teacher to teach and the student to listen,

For it was suggested that simulations offered a means through which students could engage with complex social processes in a manner not encouraged by merely reading books or listening to lecturers (Shellman 2001: 827). Thus rather than create an environment where the onus is on the teacher to teach and the student to listen, role-plays/simulations force students to apply themselves to a particular situation.

More active method

It difficult for students to become passive during the simulation. Students must submit timely input and not rely on classmates to play for them. This more active method is believed to be better than more passive methods at developing deep learning, and facilitating the development of more innovative and creative thinkers.

Create complex, dynamic processes in the classroom,

For as Smith and Boyer (1996: 690) have suggested, ‘Simulations have the power to recreate complex, dynamic processes in the classroom, allowing students to examine the motivations, behavioral constraints, resources and interactions among institutional actors”.

Fully immersed within real decision-making processes

In this sense it is argued that students can become fully immersed within real decision-making processes, allowing the content of the course to become more relevant as the applicability of certain ideas and concepts become apparent. This deeper immersion is meant to bring about a deeper understanding. Moreover when students become engaged within simulations based upon real world situations, they become immersed in practical examples of abstract theoretical constructs.

Develop Cognitive and Conative powers

Building on this notion a number of scholars have suggested that this form of teaching improves both knowledge retention and long-term student learning. For by engaging students on a more emotional level, this form of teaching creates more enduring and easily recalled memories.

Promote the use of critical and evaluative thinking. Because they are ambiguous or open-ended, they encourage students to contemplate the implications of a scenario. The situation feels real and thus leads to more engaging interaction by learners.

Student Engagement

The second broad group of benefits ascribed to simulations within the literature relates to positive effect that the method produces in terms of student engagement. For the more enjoyable and practical nature of roleplays lead many to suggest that simulations generate greater student participation and satisfaction than the lecture-seminar format (Henley 1993).

Increased class participation

Moreover in addition to increased class participation, it has also been suggested that simulations lead a greater participation in the wider learning process, through shared reflection and discussion amongst students outside of the classroom.

Promote better relations between the student and the teacher

Simulations can also promote better relations between the student and the teacher. By creating a more open, relaxed and collegial atmosphere in the classroom, the increased interactions improve student satisfaction with the teacher. This effect might also be the result of additional benefits that might occur for the instructor.

Foster an exciting, energetic and engaged teaching environment

For simulations can foster an exciting, energetic and engaged teaching environment. This is particularly welcome in classes that are being taught repeatedly and thus have the potential to turn stale without some more exciting and original elements.

Students in a class that used simulations learned a set of concepts in less time

Provide sufficient time for students to reflect on and discuss what they learned from the simulation. There are evidences that students in a class that used simulations learned a set of concepts in less time that students in a traditional, lecture based class. Shute & Glaser (1989).The findings also suggest that upper-division courses that structure the curriculum in terms of scientific inquiry are tailor made for instructional simulations.

Providing a mechanism for quick feedback

Finally from the instructors perspective the benefits of simulations in terms of providing a mechanism through which quick feedback can be provided to the students and in turn gain a feel as to how students are progressing.

Good increase in student participation

It is observed that there is a fairly good increase in student participation, motivation and preparation for simulation exercises. Using measures such as attendance, amount of reading completed, time spent preparing, and desire to continue the specific area of studies, the scholars noted big increases relative to traditional methods of teaching.

Transferable Skills Development

The final broad area of support for simulation based teaching relates to a specific skill set developed through this method that are not generally well cultivated through more traditional methods. For example professions such as law, social work, planning, politics and health care each use some form of simulation to develop, practice and test students ability to apply communicate, argue and negotiate with others in a manner that applies theoretical ideas in a practical sense. In this sense the skills developed are highly transferable, as to communicate and negotiate effectively with others are core life skills.

Promote concept attainment through experiential practice. They help students understand the nuances of a concept. Students often find them more deeply engaging than other activities, as they experience the activity first-hand, rather than hearing about it or seeing it.

Develops more practical skills,

In addition to developing more practical skills, it has also been suggested that simulations can more efficiently redefine attitudes and perceptions of participants. This form of learning is better equipped to foster empathy of others’ positions and thus impact some form of change in actors perceptions of others.

Integrate the course goals

Integrate the course goals into the post-simulation discussion. Simulation helped them understand the course goals or how it may have made the goals more confusing.

When Simulation Is Not Appropriate

„ When the problem can be solved by common sense.

„ When the problem can be solved analytically.

„ If it is easier to perform direct experiments

. „ If cost exceed savings.

„ If resource or time are not available. „ If system behavior is too complex.

… Like human behavior.

Procedural Mechanism of Simulated Teaching

Prior to sending the pupil-teachers to the real classrooms, they must be trained in the artificial environment by simulated teaching technique

Pre requisites forTeaching with Simulations

Effectiveness instructional simulations require:

  • Teacher preparation.
  • Active student participation
  • Post-simulation discussion.

Teacher preparation. The instructional simulations can be very effective in stimulating student understanding. This  require intensive lesson preparation.

The instructional simulations can be very effective in stimulating student understanding. The  simulations require intensive pre-simulation lesson preparation. Lesson preparation varies with the type and complexity of the simulation. However, most expert users argue that teaching simulation work best when:

  • Teacher have a clear written statement in the course syllabus about the goals of the simulation and an explanation of how the simulation is tied to the course goals.
  • Teacher read ALL the supporting material for the simulation.
  • Teacher  do a trial run of the simulation before assigning the simulation to students, when possible.
  • Teacher make sure  that  specific facilities support the simulation when these facilities are needed.
  • Teacher  integrate instructional simulations with other pedagogies such as Cooperative Learning or Interactive Lecture Demonstration.

Active student participation. The learning effectiveness of instructional simulation rests on actively engaging students in problem solving.

Students learn through instructional simulations when they are actively engaged.

  • Students should predict and explain the outcome they expect the simulation to generate.
  • Every effort should be made to make it difficult for students to become passive during the simulation. Students must submit timely input and not rely on classmates to play for them.
  • Teacher should anticipate ways the simulation can go wrong and include this in their pre-simulation discussion with the class.

Post-simulation discussion. Students need sufficient time to reflect on the simulation results.

Post-simulation discussion with students leads to deeper learning. The teacher  should:

  • Provide sufficient time for students to reflect on and discuss what they learned from the simulation.
  • Integrate the course goals into the post-simulation discussion.
  • Ask students explicitly asked how the simulation helped them understand the course goals or how it may have made the goals more confusing.

Procedural Steps of Simulated Teaching-

The procedure or steps of this technique are as follows:

1. Assignment of Roles:

The first step of this technique is the assignment of roles to the pupil-teachers. All the pupil-teachers have to play all the roles. All the pupils play the roles of teacher, pupil and the supervisor.

2. Selection of Social Skills for Practice:

After assigning the roles in the first step, some specific social skills are selected and discussed. The topics related to these skills are practiced. For practice, those topics are selected in selected social skills “fit”.

3. Preparation of Work Schedule:

After this, it is decided that who should initiate the simulated teaching. When it should be summed up? Who will sum it up? Who will interrupt? etc. hence, such work schedule is decided before-hand.

4. Determination of Observation Technique:

In this step, decision regarding the observation technique is taken. It also includes the types of data to be recorded and their way of interpretation. Hence, this step is related to the procedure of evaluation.

5. Organization of First Practice Session:

After all the preparations, the first practice session is organized and the feedback is provided to all the participant pupil-teachers regarding their teaching work. If the need is felt, some changes can be made for second session. The data regarding the first practice session is recorded so that the evaluation of the teaching behavior can be conducted on the basis of that recorded data. Hence, the sessions go on and everyone gets his turn.

6. Altering the Procedure:

After the first session, necessary changes are made in the procedure. In this, topics are changed. Also, the pupil-teacher, observer and the teaching skills are altered. Hence, in this altered procedure too everyone plays the role of a teacher and all the pupil teachers get a chance to practice. Hence, this cycle goes on till the pupil-teacher is trained.

Principles to achieve effective Simulation  based teaching

Resources and time are required to develop a quality learning experience with simulations. Assessment of student learning through simulation is often more complex than with other methods.

Simulated experiences are more realistic than some other techniques and they can be so engaging and absorbing that students forget the educational purpose of the exercise.

If the simulation has an element of competition, it is important to remind the students that the goal is not to win, but to acquire knowledge and understanding.

However, similar principles apply to all simulations.

1) Prepare in advance as much as possible

  • Develop a student guide and put the rules in writing.  Ensure that students understand the procedures before beginning. Frustration can arise when too many uncertainties exist
  • Some simulations are fast-paced, and the sense of reality is best maintained with ready responses. Try to anticipate questions before they are asked.
  • Many simulations have more than one instructional goal. Developing evaluation criteria, and ensure that students are aware of the specific outcomes expected of them in advance. Know what you want to accomplish.

2) Monitor the process closely

Teachers must monitor the simulation process to ensure that students both understand the process and benefit from it :

  • Are problem-solving techniques in evidence?
  • Are the desired instructional outcomes well defined?
  • Does the research being generated match the nature of the problem?
  • Does the student demonstrate an understanding of his/her role?
  • Does the student provide meaningful answers to probing questions?
  • Does this simulation offer an appropriate measure of realism for my group of students?
  • Has the student been able to resolve the issue satisfactorily?
  • Is cooperation between participants in evidence?
  • Is the level of ambiguity manageable for this group?
  • Will follow-up activities be necessary?

3) Consider what to evaluate

It is best to use simulations as part of the process of learning rather than as a summative measure of it. Use follow-up activities to establish a measure of comprehension and as a de-briefing mechanism when students return to reality.

Suggestions of Successful Simulations

One of the most satisfying experiences in training or education, no matter what the subject, is the so-called “Aha!” moment, that instant when sudden, spontaneous insight cuts through the tangle of loose ends in a learner’s mind to reveal a memorable truth.

Simulations are the most likely teaching method to create those “Aha!” moments. Simulations, however, are widely misunderstood. Here are few suggestion for creating successful training simulations.

1. Don’t Confuse Replication with Simulation

The temptation in designing a simulation is to make a small scale replica of some full-blown reality. It seems logical that the closer the simulation comes to reality, the more valid and memorable the experience will be.

2. Choose the Right Subject to Simulate

Some subjects lend themselves better to simulation training than others. A topic is more apt to be suitable for simulation if it embodies at least one of the following characteristics:

  • Developing systems thinking.
  • Performing tasks simultaneously.
  • Performing under pressure.
  • Recognizing cognitive dissonance.
  • Seeing the world through other people’s eyes.

3. Develop a Design Plan

In preparing to design a simulation, you must make two key planning decisions. First, will you design it alone or use a design team? Second, will you employ a structured creative process .

Whether you go it alone or put together a team, you need to fill the following roles:

  • Principal designer, who has firsthand knowledge of training simulations and, for a team, the commitment to lead.
  • Subject matter expert, who has a thorough understanding of the subject to be simulated;
  • Administrator, who sets and maintains the design schedule, oversees acquisition .
  • Representative, who provides a reality check as the project develops (in an oversight capacity only).

4. Avoid premature closure of ideas. Don’t stop searching for ideas after the first workable one appears. Often the best idea comes second, third…or 10th. Think of ideas as stepping stones to other ideas rather than as destinations in themselves.

5. Get outside a problem and look at it from different angles. Try approaching a problem in a teaching simulation from the point of view of a student.

6. Give your subconscious a chance to work on the problem. The solution to an especially intransigent problem will often pop into your head when you least expect it-on the freeway.

The guaranteed responsibility avoiders:

Pretending. If the rules even imply that trainees should “pretend” to be someone or do something. Design all “roles” in a simulation so that trainees must be themselves.

Using competition for its own sake. Employing competition between trainees to increase interest in a simulation can, and often does, backfire. Trainees can then justify all kinds of inappropriate behavior in their quest to win. If competition is not a factor in the real-world situation you are simulating, leave it out. If the simulation of a competitive situation is designed well, the inherent competitiveness of most participants will create enough competition to motivate energetic participation.

Giving inappropriate importance to chance. Limit chance to events that actually occur randomly in the real world.There are other common mistakes designers often make when they first begin designing a simulation. Being aware of them can help you avoid them.

Emphasizing fun at the sacrifice of learning. Many people use the words, simulation, simulation games, and games interchangeably .The word ”game” evokes feelings and expectations that make it difficult to design effective simulations.

As soon as you say “game”, many people think of winning and competing to win. Many simulations do involve competition, but not always. it is important to manage the competitive elements of the simulation so the competition doesn’t overwhelm the learnings.

Games often create an expectation of fun and frivolity.Most of the time it is also fun to participate in a simulation, but not always.. When having fun is one of the criteria used by designers to create a simulation, it greatly limits the design options.

Dumbing down the experience. I believe shorter simulations are better than longer; simpler is better than complicated; learning something is better than learning nothing; capturing the essence is better than replicating every detail . If we remove the difficult parts from the simulation, we risk missing an opportunity to teach extremely important ideas, concepts and values.

Use Symbols and Metaphors to Deal with Emotionally Charged Ideas

Occasionally a simulation focuses on an emotionally charged issue that threatens to overpower the learning experience.

Don’t Play Games with Trainees

No matter how clever it seem to designers at the time of creation, they undermine the authority and effectiveness of the simulation by signaling trainees not to take it seriously.

Develop an Appropriate Performance Assessment Model

Because of a perceived superiority of mathematics-based scoring systems in training, simulation designers often attempt to develop quantitative models for assessing trainee performance. By “qualitative,” means simulations that teach human-centered subjects like ethics or teamwork or cultural diversity. Also, trainees often figure out quantitative models and skew the results.

Alpha Test Your Simulation in Low-Risk Circumstances

Both alpha and beta testing are critical to the development of even simple simulations, but confusing them can be disastrous. A beta test is a real test-a shakedown-of an anticipated final product, always occurring after the design is at least provisionally set. Alpha testing often happens so early in the design process that it might more properly be termed a design technique.

Merits of Simulation in comparison of other teaching methods

Simulation as a method of instruction can be assessed along two dimensions in comparison with other instructional methods, and with direct experience. Arguments favoring simulation follow.

A. Merits of  simulation over direct experience fall into three general categories:

(1) Cost: Simulation can provide experience in a low cost model of a high cost environment.

(2) Time Control: Simulation can provide short time experience and feedback in long time processes. Simulation allows practice in decision making in a timeless environment.

(3) Experimentation: Simulation can provide a field for practice in hypothesis formulation, testing, and modification. Successive strategies in problem solving can be tried on an “unaltered” base situation.

(4) Rehearsing responses in a structured environment: Teacher trainees can practice responses to filmed classroom situations; students can practice test taking. Simulation can provide systematic exercises in inquiry training. Both teachers and students can create designs for sharing experience with others.

B. Merits of simulation over lecture-reading methods include:

(1) Simulation can provide experience in a wider range of educational objectives: affective as well as cognitive; process as well as content oriented; evaluation by self and system criteria as well as by the instructor; and an elaborated concept of cause and effect.

(2) With simulation there may be greater transfer from the training situation to the life situation.

(3) Simulation provides a responsive environment which may give learners a sense of immediacy and involvement.

Advantages of Simulation Teaching

  • Simulation allows trainees to purposely undertake high-risk activities or procedural tasks within a safe environment without dangerous implications. Learners don’t have to wait for a real situation to come up in order to learn.
  • Simulation can improve trainees’ skills and allow them to learn from error. Learners are able to gain a greater understanding about the consequences of their actions and the need to reduce any errors.
  • Simulation offers trainee participation. Rather than sitting through a training lecture, trainees can practice what they have learnt and quickly learn from any mistakes without serious implications.
  • Learners address hands-on and thinking skills, including knowledge-in-action, procedures, decision-making, and effective communication. Many games enable players to embody different characters thus helping to breed attitudes of tolerance and understanding.
  • Simulation  provide a safe artificial environment within which learners with low self-esteem may feel more inclined to explore, investigate and express themselves. Simulated learning can be set up at appropriate times and locations, and repeated as often as necessary.
  • Simulation learning can be customized to suite beginners, intermediates and experts to hone their skills as to speak .Feedback can be given to learners immediately and allow them to understand exactly what went wrong and how they can improve.
  • Simulation is best suited to analyze complex and large practical problems when it is not possible to solve them through a mathematical method.
  • Simulation is flexible, hence changes in the system variables can be made to select the best solution among the various alternatives .In simulation, the experiments are carried out with the model without disturbing the system.
  • Simulation provides a valuable link between activities within the classroom and life outside school. Such a connection will help to make students to have better understanding to see the world in different perspective.
  • Simulation help teacher to connect the teaching material to the student’s real world and encourage the students to make a relation between the knowledge that they have already had with the application in their life as a member of society.
  • It is similar to the real life experience; the problems that students will be found in the real life can be stimulated. So, the students try to solve the problem and make a decision from among alternatives to achieve a particular object.
  • Simulation can be used to teach content that it is very difficult to teach in the classroom. Simulation offers different technique from the others it can deliver all kind of issues which cannot be limited by time perspectives.
  • The power of simulations is to transpose the normal classroom into an authentic setting where skills can be evaluated under more realistic conditions. It prepares students to be able to face the complexity in the real world .
  • Simulation is engaging and motivating approach to students. It gets them involved and holds their attention longer. Children usually learn and retain more knowledge using role play.
  • Students actually engage in the learning process rather than passive receiver of knowledge. Children learn the most from play when they have skilled teachers who are well-trained in understanding how play contributes to learning.

Disadvantages of Simulation Method

  • Simulation does not generate optimal solutions. No real consequences for mistakes may result in students under performing and not being fully engaged in the training, thus producing inaccurate result.
  • It may take a long time to develop a good simulation model. To simulate something a thorough understanding is needed and an awareness of all the factors involved, without this a simulation cannot be created.
  • In certain cases simulation models can be very expensive. Simulators can be very expensive and require constant updates and maintenance.
  • The decision-maker must provide all information about the constraints and conditions for examination, as simulation does not give the answers by itself.
  • Simulation is not always able to completely re-create real-life situations .So not every situation can be included.
  • The results and feedback are only as effective as the actual training provided.
  • Staff need to be trained on how to use the software and/or hardware and this takes up time and costs money.
  • The results of the simulation may not be readily available after the simulation has started — an event that may occur instantaneously in the real world may actually take hours to mimic in a simulated environment..
  • While this technique can dramatically reduce the simulation time, it may also give its users a false sense of security regarding the accuracy of the simulation results.
  • If the level of abstraction is too high, then it may be impossible to actually build the device physically due to the lack of sufficiently detailed information within the design.

Conclusion

Empirical research has shown that simulated teaching could be one of the most powerful tools in preparing college education students for a solid field teaching experience. With the right function and mechanics, this pedagogy can equip students with the necessary teaching skills, aptitudes and competencies majority of the respondents strongly believed they should be exposed to teaching prior to practicum and agreed that early training could develop their competence in teaching. They showed a highly positive attitude towards simulated teaching as an effective way to acquire and apply both content and skills in teaching and learning. it may be concluded that when simulated teaching functions under conditions such as clear goals, guidelines, proper mentoring and guidance from teachers, students are then able to unlock and develop their potentials and prepare for every issue they will face in their practicum stage. The study further confirms a long-held principle that prolonged practice builds expertise.

 

 

 

 

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EDGAR DALE’S CONE OF EXPERIENCE

 

Dr. V.K.Maheshwari, M.A (Socio, Phil) B.Sc. M. Ed, Ph.D.

Former Principal, K.L.D.A.V. (P.G) College, Roorkee, India

Education is formation, recapitulation; retrospection and reconstruction. These are all continuous processes of education and only be provided with the help of experience. Different experiences are planned and adopted to educate and train the learners at different levels of education system.

James Q Knowlton rightly suggested another important component which can be added for the process of instruction is” Experience”. Experience is the accumulation of knowledge or skill that results from direct participation in events or activities; the content of direct observation or participation in an event; something personally lived through or encountered. The practical wisdom gained from what one has observed, encountered, or undergone or felt. Experiences may be direct or indirect and of concrete and abstract.

Edgar Dale (April 27, 1900 – March 8, 1985) was a U.S. educationist who developed the famous Cone of Experience. Dale was a professor of education at University. He made several contributions to audio and visual instruction, including a methodology for analyzing the content of motion pictures Edgar Dale, an expert in audiovisual education, created a model in his 1946 book Audio-Visual Methods in Teaching that he named the Cone of Experience to discuss various modalities/channels of imparting information. . The cone of experience given by Edgar dale has rightly said that it is not offered as a perfect or mechanically flaw less picture to be taken with absolute literalness in its simplified form. It is merely a visual aid to explain the interrelationships of various types of audiovisual materials, as well as their individual positions in learning process His cone did not refer to learning or retention at all, instead modelling levels of abstraction: words being the most abstract in his model, at the top of the cone, and real-life experiences the most concrete, and at the base of the cone.

Dale’s Cone of Experience is a model that incorporates several theories related to instructional design and learning processes.  During the 1960s, Edgar Dale theorized that learners retain more information by what they “do” as opposed to what is “heard”, “read” or “observed”.  His research led to the development of the Cone of Experience. The Cone was originally developed in 1946 and was intended as a way to describe various learning experiences. Essentially, the Cone shows the progression of experiences from the most concrete (at the bottom of the cone) to the most abstract (at the top of the cone).

The cone of experience is a pictorial device use to explain the interrelationships of the various types of audio-visual media, as well as their individual “positions” in the learning process. The cone’s utility in selecting instructional resources and activities is as practical today as when Dale created it.

EDGAR DALE’S CONE/ PYRAMID OF EXPERIENCE

Dale’s Cone of Experience is a visual model that is composed of eleven (11) stages starting from concrete experiences at the bottom of the cone then it becomes more and more abstract as it reach the peak of the cone. Also, according to Dale, the arrangement in the cone is not based on its difficulty but rather based on abstraction and on the number of senses involved. The experiences in each stages can be mixed and are interrelated that fosters more meaningful learning.

According to one of the principles in the selection and use of teaching strategies, the more senses that are involved in learning, the more and the better the learning will be but it does not mean that concrete experience is the only effective experience that educators should use in transferring knowledge to the learner. Like what was mentioned above, the experiences in each stages can be mixed and are interrelated thus, a balance must be achieved between concrete and abstract experiences in order to cater the and address all the need of the learner in all the domains of development and in order to help each learner in their holistic development.

The generalization about the Cone of Experience that was presented above is not enough. Actually, we should try to go deeper in each of the component of the cone since Educational Technology basically revolves around the Cone of Experience. By going one-by-one, starting from concrete to abstract, we will understand more the different components of the cone that will help us in grasping the real meaning of educational technology.

Direct Purposeful Experiences.

These are first hand experiences which serve as the foundation of learning. In this level, more senses are used in order to build up the knowledge. Also, in this level, the learner learned by doing things by him/herself. Learning happens through actual hands-on experiences. This level explains and proves one of the principles in the selection and use of teaching strategies, the more senses that are involved in learning, the more and the better the learning will be. This level also proves that educational technology is not limited to the  modern gadgets and software that are commercially available nowadays. This shows that even the simple opportunity that you give to each child could help them learn.

The Contrived Experiences.

In this level, representative models and mock-ups of reality are being used in order to provide an experience that as close as reality.  This level is very practical and it makes learning experience more accessible to the learner. In this stage, it provides more concrete experiences, even if not as concrete as direct experiences, that allows visualization that fosters better understanding of the concept.

The Dramatized experiences.

In this level, learners can participate in a reconstructed experiences that could give them better understanding of the event or of a concept. Through dramatized experiences, learners become more familiar with the concept as they emerge themselves to the “as-if” situation.

The Demonstrations.

It is a visualize explanation of important fact, idea, or process through the use of pictures, drawings, film and other types of media in order to facilitate clear and effective learning. In this level, things are shown based on how they are done.

The Study Trips.

This level extends the learning experience through excursions and visits on the different places that are not available inside the classroom. Through this level, the learning experience will not be limited to the classroom setting but rather extended in a more complex environment.

The Exhibits

The level of study trips is followed by exhibits. It is a somewhat a combination of some of the first levels in the cone. Actually, exhibits are combination of several mock ups and models. Most of the time, exhibits are experiences that is “for your eyes” only but some exhibits includes sensory experiences which could be related to direct purposeful experiences. In this level, meanings ideas are presented to the learners in a more abstract manner. This experience allows student to see the meaning and relevance of things based on the different pictures and representations presented.

The television and motion pictures etc.

The next levels would be the level of television and motion pictures and still pictures, recordings, and Radio. For television and motion pictures, it implies values and messages through television and films. On the other hand, still pictures, recordings and radio are visual and audio devices that can be used by a group of learner that could enhance and extend learning experience

The Visual symbolic and Verbal symbolic

The last two levels would be the Visual symbolic and Verbal symbolic. These two levels are the most complex and abstract among all the components of the Cone of Experience. In the visual symbolic level, charts, maps, graphs, and diagrams are used for abstract representations. On the other hand, the verbal symbolic level does not involve visual representation or clues to their meanings. Mostly, the things involved in this level are words, ideas, principles, formula, and the likes.

After going through the different components of the Cone of Experience, it could be said that in facilitating learning, we can use variety of materials and medium in order to maximize the learning experience. One medium is not enough so there’s nothing wrong with trying to combine several medium for as long as it could benefit the learners.

Through the levels provided by the Cone of Experience, it could be said that concrete experiences must be provided first in order to support abstract learning.  Lastly, staying on the concrete experiences is not even ideal because through providing abstract experiences to the learner, the more he will develop his  higher order thinking skills which is important for more complex way of thinking and for dealing with more complex life situations.

Through understanding each component of the Cone of Experience, it could be said that Educational Technology is not limited to the modern gadgets that we have right now but rather it is a broad concept that includes all the media that we can use to attain balance as we facilitate effective and meaningful learning.

To understand more the Cone of Experience, you may refer to this picture:

 

Modes of learning in Cone of Experience

In Edgar Dale introduced the Cone of Experience demonstrate a progression from direct, first-hand experience to pictorial representation and on to purely abstract, symbolic expression.

The Cone of Experience corresponds with three major modes of learning:

Enactive (direct experience),- Enactive or direct experience involves practicing with objects (the student actually ties a knot to learn knot-tying).  Enactive experience involves concrete, immediate action and use of the senses and body.

Iconic (pictorial experience) - Iconic experience involves interpreting images and drawings (the student looks at drawings, pictures or films to learn to tie knots).  Iconic experience is once removed from the physical realm and limited to two or three senses.

Symbolic (highly abstract experience)- Symbolic experience involves reading or hearing symbols (the student reads or hears the word “knot” and forms an image in the mind). In symbolic experience, action is removed nearly altogether and the experience is limited to thoughts and ideas.

Some theorists prefer to be more specific and refer to these possible modes of learning

Conditioned- Conditioning refers to learning by pre-design or control via a series of punishments and rewards.

Imitative – Imitation refers to learning tasks by observation or modeling.

Trial and error – Trial and error refers to learning via a series of successful and unsuccessful trials and deliberations.

Investigative - Investigation refers to learning via a series of informed hypotheses and inquiries into problems

Expansive learning - Refers to the questioning of the validity of tasks and problems of a given context to the transformation of the context itself.

Passive and Active Aspects of the Cone of Experience

Although no experience is fully passive, iconic and symbolic experiences are generally more passive than direct experiences. Dale proposed that active and passive modes of participation can be contrasted by assigning a percentage of we tend to remember after two weeks after our experience.

The concrete and abstract aspects in the Cone of Experience

The Cone of Experience invokes a bi-directional movement from the concrete to abstract and from the abstract to concrete. Dale’s theory suggests that objects and the material culture of technology are mere augmentations or media to be used in the learning process. To fully empower teachers with a theory of practice in technology studies, technologies and physical settings have to play a more active role in cognition, emotion and action.

Learning and Experiences: A Step model based on Dale Cone of Experience

When Dale researched learning and teaching methods he found that much of what we found to be true of direct and indirect (and of concrete and abstract) experience could be summarised in a pyramid or ‘pictorial device’ Dales called ‘the Cone of Experience’. In his book ‘Audio visual methods in teaching’ – 1957, he stated that the cone was not offered as a perfect or mechanically flawless picture to be taken absolutely literally. It was merely designed as a visual aid to help explain the interrelationships of the various types of audio-visual materials, as well as their individual ‘positions’ in the learning process.

Dale points out that it would be a dangerous mistake to regard the bands on the cone as rigid, inflexible divisions. He said “The cone device is a visual metaphor of learning experiences, in which the various types of audio-visual materials are arranged in the order of increasing abstractness as one proceeds from direct experiences.”

In true sense the bands of the (Edgar Dale’s) cone are not only the types of audiovisual materials but the different experiences are also included. In fact the upper four bands like verbal symbols, visual symbols, Radio, Recordings, and still pictures, and motion pictures are more related with Audiovisual materials but the later six bands of the cone like Exhibits, Field Trips, Demonstrations, Dramatic Participation, are the strategies of teaching-learning.

Contrived Experiences and Direct, Purposeful Experiences are related with term Experiences .Each division represents a stage between two extremes-direct experience and pure abstraction. As we move from base of the cone to the up in order of decreasing directness. Similarly, if we move down from pinnacle of the cone in the order of the decreasing abstraction .Based on experience of teaching at different levels it was felt that, there are many experiences and audiovisual materials which are missing in dale’s cone and to be included by making a new model of experiences which is presented in the following Step Learning Experiences model.

The base of the step learning experiences model is direct and purposeful experience which is always preferable for any new learner and any kind of learning concept and gives firsthand experience in turn leads to the permanent learning. At the top of the cone is verbal or text these are the least effective ways to introduce new content to students. The step learning experience model includes 17 different experiences.

Verbal Symbols:

Verbal symbols are words, sentences, sounds, or other utterances that are said aloud in order to convey some meaning. The verbal symbol may be a word , an idea , concept , a scientific principle , a formula , a philosophic aphorism  or any other representation of experience that has been classified in some verbal symbolism.

Olfactory Experience:

It is also called Aroma Experience; Aroma is a quality that can be perceived by the olfactory sense. It is a type of Experience where the learner can have the concrete idea of the abstract thing through the sense of smell.

Gustatory Experience:

Gustatory is an adjective that refers to tasting or the sense of taste, Gustatory has its roots in the Latin Gustare, meaning “to taste,” It is a type of Experience where the learner can have the concrete idea of the thing or object or concept through the sense of taste. We can have the taste of real thing which may be in different forms (different Size, shape, color)..

Tactile-kinesthetic Experience:

It is a type of Experience where the learner can have the idea or the concept of the thing or object through the sense of touch and feel; it is learning through a hands-on approach and learners will be physically involved. Kinesthetic Learning Experience refers to one of the modalities that learners use in order to approach and absorb new information.

Kinesthetic-tactile refers to a pupil who learns by movement and by touching. This type of experience can be given through hands-on activities, manipulating objects or flash cards, working problems or re-typing notes.

Visual symbols:

Visual symbol may be a picture or shape that has a particular meaning or represents a particular process or idea. Something visible that by association or convention represents something else that is invisible; and something that represents or stands for something else, usually by association or used to represent something abstract. Visual experience has a rich predictive structure.

Still Pictures, Radio, and Recordings:

This stage includes number of devices that might be classified roughly as “one dimensional aids” because they use only one sense organ that is either eye (seeing) or ear (hearing). All these materials are less direct than the audio-visual experiences.

Motion pictures, Television and computers:

These can eliminate the unnecessary and unimportant material and concentrate upon only selected points. The important processes can be watched with slow motion and vital content and issues can be repeated number of times. The pupils are mere spectators and are distant from the experiences like touching, tasting, handling and feeling from directly experiencing.

Television’s influence on language habits, vocabulary, consumer patterns, cultural values and behavior patterns should not be underestimated. Research suggests that even the learning pace can be enhanced or improved through television learning.

The present day computers are not only compact, extremely powerful and versatile, commonly accessible and easy to use. The computer has, indeed become an integral part of our teaching process and daily life. Students then simulate the entire lab experience using the CAI, which saves time, resources.

Exhibits:

In education normally the arranged working models exhibited in a meaningful way. Sometimes they may be series of photographs or of photographs mixed with models and charts . The opportunity to handle the materials by the participant makes the way to use more sense organs and Learning by doing always helpful for meaningful or concrete learning.

Field-trip (Educational Excursion):

It is a trip by the students to gain firsthand knowledge away from the classroom as to a museum, factory, geological area, or environment of certain plants and animals. A field trip gives students a chance to study something in real environment, rather than in a classroom or laboratory. At field trips normally students see and note down certain important things. Sometimes they get chance to interview and discuss the things with officials or local people to clarify the doubts with supportive to observation.

Demonstrations:

A demonstration is another means whereby pupils can see how certain things are done. Demonstration may require nothing more than observation on the part of the pupil or observer. It is the act of showing or making evident or circumstance of proving or being proved conclusively as by reasoning. It may be description or explanation of a process and illustrated by examples, specimens and it also includes the act of exhibiting the operation or use of a device, machine, process and product.

Dramatization:

There are many things we cannot possibly experience at first hand and we cannot experience directly something that has already happened. Furthermore some matters cannot be reduced to contrived experience and some ideas must of necessary be somewhat abstract and symbolic. Dramatic participation can help us get close as possible to certain realities that we cannot reach at first hand.

As students re-create images, pictures, visual details, staging, movement, location and direction with drama their spatial learning skills are developed. Logical learning follows from using rational patterns, cause and effect relationships and other believable concepts involved with the drama. Sometimes music, or even the music of language, is also used in working with drama.

Contrived Experiences (Artificial Experience):

A contrived experience is editing of reality, an editing which makes the reality easier to grasp. It may be illustrated by working model and it differs from the original either in size or complexity; contrived experiences lead to a suspension of disbelief. In other words, during the period of experience, the learner believes in the reality of the experience. We make use of contrived experiences to overcome limitation of space and time, to edit reality for us to be able to focus on parts or a process of a system that we intend to study and to overcome difficulties of size and finally to understand easily and effectively

Virtual learning experience :

Though the virtual experience can be called as contrived experience but the pupils level of experience may differ and the kind of joy and level of understanding may be high at virtual than the contrived experiences which include models mock ups and cut-away as we can consider them as hardware. A virtual learning experience involves a set of teaching and learning tools designed to enhance a student’s learning experience by including computers and the Internet in the learning process. The representation of the learning environment ranges from text-based interfaces to the most complex 3D graphical output.

Smart boards are the best examples for virtual experience where students can conduct science experiments in simulated way. In virtual experience pupil can see and hear but not use the senses of touch and smell. We can bring reality in the classroom which is more than contrived experience and as near as the real experience.

Four-Dimensional Experiences:

Four-Dimensional Experiences that describes a presentation system combining a Three Dimensional film with Physical effects in the theater, which occurs in synchronization with the film.

Because physical effects can be expensive to install, 4-D films are usually presented only at special venues, such as theme parks and amusement parks. Due to the fast growth of technology, 3-D Theaters have been enhanced by the addition of special simulations.In Education some of the abstract concepts of literature, history and science can be taught with Four dimensional effects and pupil may enjoy the abstract content in a concrete way with same effect as it is given by the poets in the poems, even at science issues and concepts as if they are experiencing in a real situation.

Ubiquitous learning Experience:

Ubiquitous means “pervasive, omnipresent, ever present, and everywhere”.A ubiquitous learning experience is any setting of the environment in which students can become totally immersed in the learning process. To define, it is a kind of experience where learning is happening all around the student but the student may not even be conscious of the learning process.

The Ubiquitous learning Environment includes an ubiquitous computing technology-equipped system supplies users with timely information and relevant services by automatically sensing users’ various context data and smartly generating proper results. So the characteristics of a pervasive computing environment can be mainly concluded as the following: User mobility, Resource and location discovery, Context awareness (user/time/location), Collaborative interaction, Ambient information, Calm technology, Event notification, Adaptive interfaces, Invisibility object augmentation, and Any time/anywhere.

Direct Real Experience

These experiences can be observed live or in real time through technological gadgets and the same can be used effectively to the students understanding of the processes, certain special environments and sometimes the special actions too.

Direct real experience can give greater experience in learning for the students than virtual or contrived experiences. The pupil will have an opportunity to observe and study directly. Hence its impact may be high on learning than the other earlier experiences. It is also an alternative experience to the direct purposeful experience. When teachers are unable to provide direct purposeful experience, they may only have the best option of direct real experience.

Direct Purposeful Experience: The Base of the Step Learning Experiences Model represents direct reality itself as we experience it at first hand. It is the rich full bodied experience that is the base of education. It is the purposeful experience that is seen, handled, tasted, felt, touched, and smelled. It is the experience of life and we get it by living. Some of our richest, most vivid sense impressions are those which involve our feelings and perceptions in an eager exploration of the world.

Critical Appraisal

The cone of experience given by Edgar dale has rightly said that it is not offered as a perfect or mechanically flaw less picture to be taken with absolute literalness in its simplified form. It is merely a visual aid to explain the interrelationships of various types of audiovisual materials, as well as their individual positions in learning process.

The Cone should be considered as a continuum rather than a hierarchy. Learning occurs through all of the experiences present in the Cone, and all experiences may be appropriate at different stages in the learning process or for different audiences.

The Cone does not demonstrate which is the best method of learning? One can conclude that many different kinds of instruction should be used in the classroom. Since no single method is superior to another, instructors must analyze the audience as well as the content. Some content may fit into one teaching method, while other content may be better suited to another method.

The use of audio-visual materials in teaching does not depend primarily upon reading to convey their meaning. It is based upon the principle that all teaching can be greatly improved by the use of such materials because they can help make the learning experience memorable we do not mean that sensory materials must be introduced into every teaching situation

Mathematics is a subject of abstract concepts and can be learnt better through verbal and visual symbols, contrived and virtual experiences. It may not be possible to give direct experiences for pupil in subjects like mathematics and statistics.Verbal and visual experiences are suitable only for Language learning.

Experiences are meant to experience not to evaluate or compare among them. Experiences are purely individualised, with the same kind of experience one’s perception may be differ from others. One can learn better than other, some pupil can learn better with the direct experiences and others can learn easily with virtual experience, some through contrived, one dimensional and two dimensional aids.

John Dewey says that “Direct experience had the disadvantage of being limited in range and fatally restricted”(1946. P-51). Indeed, we learn many things indirectly even better than the direct experience. The direct experience is not necessary or suitable for learning all kinds of concepts.

James P. Lalley and Robert H. Miller have examined many different studies about learning and retention and have concluded that the most learning and retention occurs when many different teaching methods are used in the classroom. They found that direct instruction, or lecture, is most commonly used in the classroom and has “a significant effect on retention”. Reading, although it appears to have little value based on Dale’s Cone will influence the students’ ability to learn throughout their lives.

When Dale researched learning and teaching methods he found that much of what we found to be true of direct and indirect (and of concrete and abstract) experience could be summarized in a pyramid or ‘pictorial device’. He stated that the cone was not offered as a perfect or mechanically flawless picture to be taken absolutely literally. It was merely designed as a visual aid to help explain the interrelationships of the various types of audio-visual materials, as well as their individual ‘positions’ in the learning process.

It is important to note that Dale never intended the Cone to depict a value judgment of experiences; in other words, his argument was not that more concrete experiences were better than more abstract ones. Dale believed that any and all of the approaches could and should be used, depending on the needs of the learner.

Practicability of Learning Pyramid

In order for students to develop meaningful knowledge, feelings and skills, their direct experiences must be “associated with abstractions,” as Dale noted. Language and expression are essential to skill acquisition.

Beyond its sketchy background, the learning pyramid should raise concerns:

  1. What kind of research results end up in such tidy percentages, all multiples of 10?
  2. How would one even develop a method for testing such broad claims?
  3. Do we really believe a learner can remember 90% of anything?
  4. Can an activity be separated from its content and be given credit for learning?

Many distinguished authors have gutted the pyramid’s claims. Educational expert Daniel Willingham was against the pyramid related to oversimplification; providing an optimal learning experience does not boil down to the instruction method. There are many different variables that impact learning.

In her book  Char Booth explains another danger of the pyramid, that relying too heavily on the idea of mode strips away designing instruction for differences in context and content . Booth’s anecdote about how she embraced the pyramid because of its implications for student engagement illustrates another flaw with it. The pyramid is a visual sighting. If we only remember 30% of what we see, then a picture of the pyramid should not have such a dramatic memory impact on so many people.

Looking at Dale’s cone of Experience, one can realize that there can be numbers of model that can be used by the teacher to reach the learner depending on the learners need. Despite the pyramid having been debunked in many venues for decades, it continues to show up in educational presentations and literature.

To conclude, the Cone of Experience is essentially a visual metaphor for the idea that learning activities can be placed in broad categories based on the extent to which they convey the concrete referents of real-life experiences. It has also been interpreted by many as a prescriptive formula for selecting instructional media. Dale’s own explanations are nebulous enough to enable a wide variety of interpretations to find support. Finally, the fact that the Cone has been taken seriously enough to be used in so many ways testifies to the robustness and attractiveness of Dale’s visual metaphor

References:

Dale Edgar. (1954). Audio-visual methods in Teaching. (2nd ed).New York: The Dryden Press.

Dale, Edgar.(1946). Audio-visual methods in Teaching. New York: The Dryden Press.

Dale Edgar. (1969). Audio-visual methods in Teaching. (3rd ed).New York: The Dryden Press.

Dewey, John. (1944). Democracy and Education. NY: Free Press

Dewey. John. (1916). Democracy and education: an introduction to the philosophy of education. New York: The Macmillan Company.

Dewey, John. (1998) Experience and Education: The 60th Anniversary Edition . Kappa Delta Pi: West Lafayette IN.

Lalley, James P. & Robert H. Miller. (2007). The Learning Pyramid: Does It Point Teachers in the Right Direction?. Education 128, No. 1: 64-79.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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