Design Blended Learning

Deep learning in HE

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Website lde-studentsuccess Deep learning in higher education 25 Jul 2016
From the website of Julian Hermida, Algoma University, Department of Law  and Politics, Ontario, Canada

What is learning?
Learning is a way of interacting with the world. As we learn, our conceptions of phenomena change, and we see the world in a different way. The acquisition of information in itself does not bring about such a change, but the way we structure that information and think about it does. Thus, education is about conceptual change, not just information acquisition.


What is deep learning?
Deep learning is an approach and an attitude to learning where the learner uses higher-order cognitive skills such as the ability to analyse, synthesize, solve problems, and think meta-cognitively in order to construct long-term understanding. It involves critically analysing new ideas and linking them to already known concepts and principles to use this understanding for problem-solving in new, unfamiliar contexts. Deep learning entails a sustained, substantial, and positive influence on how students act, think, or feel.
Deep learning promotes understanding and application for life. Deep learners reflect on the personal significance of what they are learning. They are autonomous –they virtually teach themselves. But they are also collaborative learners with high meta-cognitive and learning skills.


What is surface learning?
In contrast, surface learning is the tacit acceptance of information and memorization as isolated and unlinked facts. It leads to superficial material retention for examinations and does not promote understanding or long-term retention of knowledge and information.
A clear overview is available on the teaching and learning website.
The features of Deep and Surface approaches can be summarised  thus:

Deep Surface                                                    
Focus is on “what is signified”                                         Focus is on the “signs” (or on  the learning
as a signifier of something else)
Relates previous knowledge to new  knowledge             Focus on unrelated parts of the  task
Relates knowledge from different  courses                      Information for assessment is simply  memorised
Relates theoretical ideas to everyday  experience           Facts and concepts are associated  unreflectively
Relates and distinguishes evidence and  argument          Principles are not distinguished  from examples
Organises and structures content into a coherent whole    Task is treated as an external  imposition
Emphasis is internal, from within the  student                  Emphasis is external, from demands  of assessment

Read more:  Deep and Surface learning

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