This week, I learned about Information Processing Theory and how neuroscience relates (and does not relate) to instructional design.
Cognitive Information Processing Theory (CIP Theory)
Cognitive Information Processing Theory, despite its name suggesting it’s one theory, is actually a blanket term for a few different theoretical approaches. In this post, I’m going to share some of the resources I found that have helped me gain a better understanding of CIP theory
I found this website helpful because it highlights G. A. Miller’s theoretical ideas. It states that our attention span can only handle a certain number of “chunks of information” at once. The chunks, the website says, are “any meaningful unit.” I liked how the website gave examples of applications of these ideas. In addition to it being helpful, it seems like a good source since the citations listed seem credible.
While this is not a scholarly resource, I found the information on this website to be aligned with what is written in my instructional design course textbook. The references at cited at the bottom of the webpage seemed credible (.edu and Pearson), although I was unable to access many of them because they no longer exist on the web. The information on the website is presented in a way that I can clearly understand. Whenever I initially read the chapter on CIP in the textbook Learning Theories and Instruction, I felt as though I got bogged down in the details and could not get a summary or proper overview of CIP theory. This website helped me understand what was written in my textbook about CIP, so I found it very helpful. I also liked the section including links to relevant YouTube videos about CIP.
The Brain and Learning
John Bruer, the author of the “Myth of the First Three Years” is seemingly an advocate for referencing neuroscience responsibly and using evidence-based interventions in education. In his words (from the linked article) “If our intent is to use science and research to form policy, to guide educational practice and to give parents assistance, it’s incumbent on people putting forth those arguments to get the science right.” I found this PBS interview with him. I especially liked the line where he highlights the importance of behavioral science — it is a science just like biology is a science. I enjoyed the interview.
This is an in-depth article that explains how neuroscience can be misused to influence political policy around early childhood education. I found this article easier to read than other resources on the same topic. It covered the “early window of opportunity” and explained the “seductive appeal of neuroscience” to non-experts. It is a similar perspective to Bruer’s in the link above, but I liked how easy it was to read.
Problem-solving in Relation to the Learning Process
I found this website written by an instructional designer describing strategies to help improve learners’ metacognition. I am interested in strategies to help learners “think about thinking” as the blogger mentions in the article. This article was an easy read and very practical for teachers and instructional designers alike.
As any teacher knows, it’s important to make your lessons meaningful to your students. It’s also important to relate new information to students’ prior knowledge. The resource linked above is a blog that cites one of the authors of my ID course textbook (Ormrod). The blogger describes and summarizes what meaningful learning is and how to achieve it. I thought it was a decent summary of how meaningful learning relates to the transfer of knowledge from teacher to learner.
I hope you find these links as helpful as I have.
References have been linked above.
Ormrod, J., Schunk, D., & Gredler, M. (2009). Learning theories and instruction (Laureate custom edition). New York, NY: Pearson.