Expertise and Development Essay

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¶ … CMC, but you move on to describing lots of learning theories (in no particular order) and you do not link these theories with computer enhance learning and communication. I suggest you revise each section accordingly.

Some specific points to consider are:

Every introduction should have a thesis statement as the final sentence in that paragraph that tells the reader the main ideas and structure of the paper

Make sure you paraphrase all the information taken from another source - no more than 3-4 words in sequence must be the same as the original

Do not have sections that contain long quotations - you must paraphrase information to reflect your understanding

for direct quotes

Integrate your references to show which information comes from another source

Use the plural form for teachers and students to avoid sexist language

On your ref. list, the book titles and journal names are italicised

Your ref. list must be in alphabetical order

Cognitive Learning and computers

Computer mediated communication (or CMC) has been chosen as a learning activity as knowledge acquisition requires some effort on the part of the learner. As the name suggests, CMC is communication through the medium of computers where the computer acts as the representative of all data that is transferred, saved or explained through it. CMC has become a popular source of research in the educational sector in the modern era as technological growth is constant, and educational setups have to move at the same pace as these advancements for real success and durability (Mitchell, 2007). In particular, research studies have shown promise for the use of CMC in both individual and group communication settings (Mitchell, 2007).

CMC affects students communication in the school setting in the following ways: by promoting the exchange of all social data in a computer supported collaborative learning (CSCL) setting; by structuring strong and new teaching techniques for the CSCL phenomenon; and finally, by identifying all the necessary information needed to update all CSCL tools (Ramsey & Fitzgibbons, 2005). In their study, the authors explained that all forms of mechanisms that assist in any way to work faster and form techniques or principles are all modes of social endeavours which are all made by humans for humans and are flexible enough to allow humans to adapt them in accordance to their individual requirements.

One of the ways that the above scenarios have been incorporated within classrooms is through the use of computer-mediated communication (CMC). Usually, CMC is conducted through the Internet and live chatting, and involves people from different parts of the world with different social structures that are available for live chat at the same time as the class

(Paul & Elder, 2006

). This method actually allows the students to have written arguments without having their internal voices being the sole provider of the different possible angles in an argument. The end result is that the students become more comfortable with not only using the technology, but also with their ability to argue on paper, which has resulted in higher students performances in the areas related to written arguments (Paul & Elder, 2006

). The purpose of this paper is to CMC learning activities with Cognitive learning theory so as to explain what is involved in learning. Furthermore, the paper outlines the strengths and limitations of using cognitive theory, as well as other theories, in explaining CMC learning.

Cognitive Learning Theory

Cognitive theory is all about the recall strength of the mind. Bostrum and Lassen (2006) in their study clearly explained that so as to comprehend mental procedures, one needs to understand functions of the brain; therefore, cognitive psychology gives special significance to both memory as well as recall. They further write that researchers provide a good summary of what takes place in cognitive learning, when the learner processes significant material. There classify memory into three types: (1) short-term memory, (2) working memory, and (3) long-term memory. They classify the first two as conscious memory; however, they classify the third as a storage system containing vast capacity. This vast capacity in the right conditions can shift things into the working memory. They argue that for knowledge to come into conscious memory, the attention of the learner has got to be seized (Bostrum & Lassen, 2006

Cognitive elements that enhance intellectual growth

The intellectual growth of an individual is believed to be highly assisted by the communication, cooperation and association between contemporaries, as suggested in the Piaget's cognition theory (Driscoll, 2000). The other elements that help in the intellectual growth of an individual, apart from cooperation, include creating a balance and the ability to adapt and integrate. Piaget (as cited in Saleh & Lamkin, 2008) explained that all problems or hurdles were solved based upon an individual's stored knowledge as well as all that they have learned from their contemporaries in different situations and settings. This simply means that a problem creates an imbalance, and an individual creates the balance by adapting and integrating their prior knowledge (Saleh & Lamkin, 2008). Creating balance is the key for any intellectual growth.

Basic elements of the cognitive theory's "zone of proximal development"

The zone of proximal development (ZPD) is a theory put forward by Vygotsky and it basically revolves around the comparison of the potential intellectual growth of an individual within a higher calibre of peers and settings with the actual intellectual growth of the individual within their current circle of peers and environment (Rowlands, 2000). Vygotsky (1978) believes that all intelligence growth is a direct result of all social dealings and associations, which plainly means that the students with time will grow accustomed to using the tools needed to communicate in a group and then with the passage of time they will grow comfortable with the entire communication structure and principles (Lin, Lin, & Laffey, 2004). Some of the commonly deduced results achieved from CSCL have been recognized to include enhancement of students knowledge as well as the teaching methodologies used by teachers (Forster, 2005), growth of the overall students performances (Forster, 2005), development and growth of critical and analytical thinking skills (Forster, 2005) as well as obvious growth in the mental ability, logical and critical thinking skills (Forster, 2005).

Six elements of cognitive education that enhance learning in a selected activity

Johnson and Johnson (1992) highlighted that there are six main elements that contribute to cognitive education which are: the individuals involved, the contribution of each individual, the grouping, the assignment given to the entire group, the redefinition of the teacher's contribution and constructive mutual cooperation. Strijbos, Martens, and Jochems (2004) explained that the element of constructive mutual cooperation was a prelude of cognitive learning. This simply means that cognitive learning can grow efficient if the overall outlook on cooperation is constructive, but this can only be established if the students realize that within a group the individual contribution is as important as the group cooperation and input. The clearest signs of existence in this form of learning are the rise in the realization of each person's personal responsibility towards the objective of the group and promotive relations within a group (Strijbos et al., 2004). Promotive relations simply means when members of the group support, help and promote the individual inputs in order to better themselves and attain the group's objectives. Hence, mutual cooperation assists not only learning, but improves the overall communication within groups in the long run (Strijbos, Martens, Jochems, & Broers, 2004).

The key elements that can be included as fundamentals for group learning are:

1. Participants;

2. Grouping of participants;

3. Defining of the group objectives and individual contributions;

4. Identification and use of all the mechanisms needed to accomplish the set goals for both the group and the individuals;

5. Establishment of principles by an authority figure;

6. Responsibility of each participant; and

7. The end group result.

Other theories having an impact on CSCL

Basic elements of the Modern Constructivist Theory and CSCL

Other theories that have been significant in the sphere of CSCL include the modern constructivist theory

(Brush & Saye, 2004). This theory revolves around the belief that each individual is a dynamic intellectual mixture of both their own knowledge as well as that gained through interaction with their peers and other social structures. In the modern era, not getting the students involved in their educational decisions is not going to work at all; which is what the advocates of this theory usually point out. This theory is basically built around the need for the teachers to direct or help the students through choosing the subjects and teaching techniques that make the students the centre of all work and leaves the teachers to monitor their progress and intercede wherever necessary. Perkins (1991) explained that teachers have to be careful though, because so much freedom to process might leave many students confused. He goes on to say that this format of teaching is perhaps most suitable for the extremes, that is, the gifted or the disabled… [END OF PREVIEW]

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