Mid-term paper

Article # 1: Getting it wrong: Surprising Tips on how to learn

In this article by Henry L. Roediger and Bridgid Finn the researchers mentioned different affective strategies that can be used to help student learn a material better. The methods the researchers suggested contradicted the use of the no errors permits. The no error method basically provided students with correct answer to a problem and repeat this process till the students remembers it. This type of technique is supposed to help the student slowly learn from their mistakes and get the question right. According to Nate Kornell, Matthew Hays and Robert Bjork they believe that it would be better that “learning becomes better if conditions are arranged so that students make errors.” When it comes to people remembering, things they would remember it better and longer if they are given hard questions knowing that they can fail. In a series of experiments that was conducted, it was shown that if students were to make an unsuccessful try to retrieve information before receiving the answer, they could remember the information better than in a control condition in which they are simply to study the information. They conducted another experiment where they have a group students that required to learn pairs of “weak associates,” words that are related in some way. The word that they chose to give them was star-night. So they gave they the students the first word then they were ask to think of the word that associates with it. There was a pretest condition they were given the first word which was star and then was given a few seconds to think of a word that goes with it. The thing about this is the students is just going to think about the first word that comes to mind think it’s right but it’s not. Because they were only given a short time to think about it. They might say bright because of the word star. In the control condition, the students were given the pair to look at for 13 seconds. Because of the little more time they had, some students was able to guess the word. They found out that the students remembers the pairs better if they first tried to think the answer before they were shown the answer. Since they were given such a short time, they didn’t really have time to think about their answer meaning that they most likely get it wrong. But if they were given more time there is a chance for them to get the answer right.

A similar interesting article which can relate to “Getting it wrong: surprising tip to learn” targeted towards youth and providing different learning techniques to learn to bolster schools method to teach. There is a definitive issue of students being left behind in an educational system. With the combined effort of multiple educational psychologist, an experiment is conducted on students in efforts to alleviate this problem. The psychologist went forward knowing that the educational system would have to be corrected in many aspects. There are ten techniques that were applied during this experiment. Some techniques were chosen because of their accessibility, and the other chosen because the techniques students often use. These techniques are elaborative interrogation, self-explanation, summarization, highlighting, the keyword mnemonic, imagery use for text learning, rereading, and practice testing, distributed practice, and interleaved practice. In order to make an accurate hypothesis the psychologist applied those ten techniques to four categories of variables: learning conditions, student characteristics, materials, and criterion tasks. The article defines all these variables as the following: Learning Conditions are environmental (I.E alone or in a group), Student Characteristics are age/ability/prior knowledge, Materials vary from simple mathematics to complicated science text books, and  the Criterion Task are tapping memory, problem solving, and comprehension. The information that is provided generalizes the information because of the findings being extensive. Before the article gives results, it gives a disclaimer that the findings are generalized across the different variables combined with techniques. Meaning some techniques could not be properly evaluated. The techniques with the highest utility assessment were practice testing, and distributed practice. Just shy of high utility were elaborative interrogation and self-explanation. The lowest were summarization, highlighting, the keyword mnemonic, imagery use for text learning, and rereading. It seems like the psychologist here really done their homework, and made sure they had all variables accounted for. My only gripe is if any of these findings are being properly utilized. I believe it is of the utmost importance to make sure students are provided with an environment that which they can truly grow in intelligence, and not be forced fed knowledge with no retention in mind. So my question is anyone using this information to change the educational system? And if not than why not?

Throughout human lifespan they will always be a period of time that consist of learning. Furthermore, learning is a process that is never ending and human has been finding ways to improve on this process. The researched that Nate Kornell, Matthew Hays, Lindsey Richland, Liche Kao,  and Robert Bjork conducted at U.C.L.A has taken us one step forward towards the improvement of the never ending process of learning. A series of experiments was done to defy the idea that the best way to learn something is to be given the correct answer to a problem and study it. The researchers mainly focused around the concepts that we all learn from our mistakes, and painting a clear images in our mind before illustrating it on paper helps us paint a better picture. They prove their ideas through a series of different experiments which shows that we tend to do better at something if we fail at it first. This idea gives us a fundamental concept to focus on when approaching a problem. Although this methods might raise some questions such as: does not failing at something lowest a person confident to do better. The experiments shows still shows that the retrieval attempt is most effective.

I think the authors in the first article “Getting It Wrong’’ surprising tips on how to learn by Henry L. Roediger and Bridgid Finn give good enough reason and data to support their conclusion in the first experiment, because I believe if you continuously repeat something to an individual they will remember it eventually. I feel like this is the most common way to learn. In Nate Kornell, Matthew Hays and Robert Bjork also give good enough reason because if we would arrange questions so that person can get the question wrong and the reason I believe this is a great method is because for an example you give a 8th grader an easy question he isn’t really learning but if you give him questions that you know he will get wrong not only will he get the questions right from multiple attempts but he will be required to think and he will know why he got it wrong and know what he did to get it correct. The last method is an experiment of time if kids have more time on the test they will have a better chance of getting the problems right on the exam. If you are given a short amount of time you will be thinking at a faster rate and you may end up taking a guess and getting the problem wrong. Out of these experiments I personally like Henry L. Roediger and Bridgid Finn the more you repeat something our brains will process it and sort of have a photographic memory on what was said and what exactly happened. I do think the author provided good enough reasons and data to support their conclusions because the techniques with the highest utility assessment were practice testing and distributed practice. The reason I felt this is a great and successful experiment because students will have a better understanding of what is going to be on the test but also improve their test taking abilities. What I like about the work is that we get to see what a long term change in the student’s grades after using this experiment. The author should have asked what did the students who did not have a practice test do. I will personally go to the first experiment in the article “Getting It Wrong’’ by Henry L. Roediger when you repeat something a person will eventually remember it just like how we know the national anthem we have heard it so many times. The second article would be my backup but it is also great because you will have a practice test see what you got wrong and know why and then be ready for the actual test.




















Thinking psychologically



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