Cognition/Learning & Technology

Cognition/Learning & Technology

Biliş/Öğrenme & Teknoloji

Metacognition & Enbodied Learning


Metacognition is thinking about thinking (Flavell, 1979), referring to learners knowledge about the cognitive processes that involve them in decision-making before, during, or after performing a learning task. According to Watkins (2001), it is monitoring and controlling your thought processes.

Metacognitive Knowledge

  • Person knowledge: Learners knowledge of variables relating to their general knowledge about anything concerning them as learners (e.g., personality, ability, capacity, motivation, aptitude, working memory).
  • Task knowledge: One’s understanding of the nature, type, and difficulty of a task and the processing demands placed on them for completing it. As Flavell’s states, task knowledge is basically about “how successful you are likely to be in achieving its goal”.
  • Strategy knowledge: Knowledge about various types of strategies for solving the problems in learning, both cognitive and metacognitive.

Metacognitive Regulation

  • Planning: Selecting or generating goals and a plan for addressing the study task; time and effort allocation, selecting strategy etc.
  • Monitoring: Checking one’s progress and selecting appropriate repair strategies when the selected strategies are not working.
  • Evaluating: Determining one’s level of understanding.

Metacognitive Experiences

Flavell described metacognitive experiences as “any conscious cognitive or affective experience that accompany or pertain to any intellectual enterprise”. Feelings, estimates, or judgments related to the features of the learning task, of the cognitive processing as it takes places, or of its outcome. What learner experiences during a cognitive endeavour (Efklides, 2009). Efklides identified different categories of metacognitive experiences, and some of these included: feeling of familiarity, feeling of confidence, feeling of difficulty, feeling of satisfaction, the estimate of solution correctness, and the estimate of effort expenditure.

Four assignments for explicit instruction:

  • Re-assessments
  • The Muddiest Point
  • Retrospective Post assessment
  • Reflective Journals
Metacognition, Self-regulation & Self-regulated learning

Embodied Learning

Embodied cognition is the theory that many features of cognition, whether human or otherwise, are shaped by aspects of the entire body of the organism. The features of cognition include high-level mental constructs (such as concepts and categories) and performance on various cognitive tasks (such as reasoning or judgment). The aspects of the body include the motor system, the perceptual system, bodily interactions with the environment (situatedness), and the assumptions about the world that are built into the structure of the organism.

Classicist/Cognitivist ViewEmbodied Cognition View
1. Computer metaphor of mind; rule-based, logic-driven.1. Coupling metaphor of mind; the form of embodiment + environment + action constrain cognitive processes.
2. Isolationist analysis – cognition can be understood by focusing primarily on an organism’s internal processes.2. Relational analysis-interplay among mind, body, and environment must be studied to understand cognition.
3. Primacy of computation.3. Primacy of goal-directed action unfolding in real-time.
4. Cognition as passive retrieval.4. Cognition as active construction based upon an organism’s embodied, goal-directed actions
5. Symbolic, encoded representations5. Sensorimotor representations

Embodiment and Embodied Design in Education

Cognitive psychologists suggest knowledge is first acquired in the conscious, deliberate mode and then become intuitive. Understanding the differences between two epistemic modes-the immediate “doing”-is important. Embodied activities are in the intuitive mode.

Manipulating symbolic notation is cognitively quite similar to physically moving objects in space. “Abstract concepts are perceptual, being grounded in temporally extended simulations of external and internal events” (Barsalou, 1999).

The First Challenge: Activities

Should require that students use their perceptual senses and kinesthetic coordination to judge properties of stimuli and perform new actions. Initial tasks should include little to no symbolic stimuli, with a preference instead for figurative, iconic, diagrammatic, and graphical representations.

The Second Challenge: Materials

Learning activities should be situated in an orchestrated environment that includes media and facilitating agents. The learning environment should be designed so that somatic actions become coupled with the environment via action-feedback loops. Augmented reality-virtual worlds-simulations are some applications.

The Third Challenge: Facilitation

Physical cueing and situated real-time feedback should be implemented. The physical demonstration, co-production, hands-on coaching, media technologies, and haptic experiences are some applications.

Fatih Cebeci

Activity Theory & Situated Learning Theory


Activity theory has its roots in the classical German philosophy of Kant and Hegel, which emphasized both the historical development of ideas as well as the active and constructive role of human (Johansen & Murphy, 1999). Activity theory is a powerful socio-cultural and socio-historical lens through which we can analyse most of the human activity. It focuses on the interaction of human activity and consciousness (the human mind as a whole) within its relevant environmental context.

The Cultural-Historical Activity Theory (CHAT)

CHAT is grounded in the work of Vygotsky and his students, in particular, Leontiev, in the 1920s. The Cultural-Historical Activity Theory helps to understand and analyse the relationship between the human mind (what people think and feel) and activity (what people do). Activity is holistic, high-level and usually collaborative (e.g. teaching a course or doing a PhD) and it shouldn’t be confused with more everyday uses of the word ‘activity’ in English. Human activity is purposeful and carried out by the use of physical or psychological (e.g. language) tools. The relationship between the subject (human doer) and object (the thing being done) forms the core of activity.

Situated Cognition Theory

Situated cognition takes place in real situations. Thinking and learning occur in the context of using knowledge and skills to complete a task (e.g., solving a problem). The scientific study of cognition as a phenomenon that occurs in the course of participation in social contexts. A major thrust of situated cognition promotes the idea that knowledge and skills are best learned in contexts that closely resemble the contexts in which they will be used. Situated cognition is an instructional design approach that embeds learning processes in authentic performance environments, which significantly reduces the challenge of transferring learning in the classroom to performing on the job. Situated cognition is a psychological paradigm for learning that requires social interaction situated in real-world contexts for learning to occur. Situated cognition suggests that one learns better in contextual circumstances than in classroom or laboratory settings. Situated cognition is a learning theory that challenges the perception that learning is a cognitive process that takes place solely in the minds of individuals. Situated cognition views learning as a collaborative process in which people engage with tools and the environment in which they will be used.

Fatih Cebeci

Connectivism & MOOCs


Connectivism is a learning theory for the digital age. “The connections that enable us to learn more are more important than our current state of knowing” (George Siemens). According to Siemens (2004), in the early days of Behaviorism, Cognitivism, and Constructivism, education was not as significantly influenced by Technologies as it is nowadays. This influence is consequential.

Technologies leave marks not only on the ways, modes, and methods of education, but what is more-the content of education. The lifespan of knowledge cannot be today measured in decades but years, in some cases just months.

Behaviourism, cognitivism, and constructivism asserted that knowledge is the goal. They attempt to address how it is that a person learns. Learning theories are concerned with the actual process of learning, not with the value of what is being learned. In a networked world, the very manner of information that we acquire is worth exploring.

When knowledge is abundant, the rapid evaluation of knowledge is important. In today’s environment, the ability to synthesize and recognize connections and patterns is a valuable skill. An entirely new approach is needed. Unlike constructivism (Meaning Making Tasks), connectivism (Chaos) states that the meaning exists-the learner’s challenge is to recognize the patterns which appear to be hidden. Chaos is a new reality for knowledge workers.

Principles of Connectivism:

  • Learning and knowledge rest in diversity of opinions.
  • Learning is a process of connecting specialized nodes or information sources.
  • Learning may reside in non-human appliances.
  • Capacity to know more is more critical than what is currently known.
  • Nurturing and maintaining connections is needed to facilitate continual learning.
  • Ability to see connections between fields, ideas, and concepts is a core skill.
  • Currency (Accurate, Up-to-date knowledge) is the intent of all connectivist learning activities.
  • The knowledge that resides in a database needs to be connected with the right people in the right context to be classified as learning.

The universality of MOOC allows rapid Exchange of knowledge, facilitating the universality of communication between people regardless of their cultures, regions, or nationalities. Based on Siemens (2005) Connectivism, MOOCs promote active learning strategies and facilitate continual learning. MOOCs make it possible for a person’s message to make its way around the globe to eventually end up back to the same person after being responded and commented by innumerable participants across borders (Yasar, 2020).

Siemens distinguishes between connectivist (CMOOCs) and extended (XMOOCs) making the best and most current taxonomy of MOOC models despite their constant change.

Fatih Cebeci

Technology Enhanced Learning Environments, Intelligent Tutor Systems & Artificial Intelligence


Digital Technologies have already started to become an internal part of our everyday life. They have been changing the way we are looking for information, the ways we communicate with each other, even how we behave. As a result, the educational environments have begun to change as well (Chassignol, Khoroshavin, Klimova & Bilyatdinova, 2018). Students use tablets instead of copybooks, teachers utilize different learning platforms such as Google Classroom, Edmodo, Power School, Moodle etc. There are hybrid learning environments such as “flipped classroom”. There are also a large number of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) for the online studies such as Coursera and edX.

Pedagogical Implications of Technology Use

SAMR (Substitution, Augmentation, Modification, Redefinition) model was proposed by Ruben Puentedura.

  • Substitution: Technology is a direct substitute for a non-technological approach with no change in function.
  • Augmentation: Technology is a substitute which adds improved functionality.
  • Modification: The use of technology allows the task to be significantly changed.
  • Redefinition: New tasks which were previously not possible become achievable.


e-Learning, when we consider it in a narrow sense, could be thought to be an embodiment of education and training using a computer network. For example, in asynchronous learning by web-based training (WBT), the learner learns using the teaching materials already stored in the WBT server by using a web browser. In synchronous learning, however, simultaneous distribution of lecture and acceptance of questions from learners are realized by using a video conference system. When we think about it in a broad sense, e-learning embraces not the only implementation of education and training, but also performance evaluation thanks to IT support.

Intelligent Tutoring Systems (ITS)

An intelligent tutoring system (ITS) can be defined as a computer system aimed to provide immediate and customized instruction or feedback to students, usually without intervention from a human teacher (Gallagher, 2017). The common goal of ITSs is to enable learning in a meaningful and effective manner by using a variety of computing technologies.

ITS consist of four modules:

  • A teaching material module
  • A learner model modüle
  • A tutoring strategy modüle
  • An interface modüle

Eight Principles of ITS Design and Development

An intelligent tutor system should enable the student to work to the successful conclusion of problem-solving (Corbett, 1997).

  1. Represent student competence as a production set.
  2. Communicate the goal structure underlying problem-solving.
  3. Provide instruction in the problem-solving context.
  4. Provide an abstract understanding of the problem-solving knowledge.
  5. Minimize the working memory load.
  6. Provide immediate feedback on errors.
  7. Adjust the gain size of instruction with learning.
  8. Facilitate successive approximations to the target skill.

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Artificial Intelligence is the activity devoted to making machines intelligent, and intelligence is that quality which can enable an entity to function appropriately and with forethought in its environment (Wang, 2015). AI is a field of computer science dedicated to solving cognitive problems commonly related to human intelligence, such as learning, problem-solving, and pattern recognition. AI is the theory and development of computer systems being able to perform tasks which normally require human intelligence, such as visual perception, speech recognition, decision-making, and translation between languages.

10 Roles For Artificial Intelligence in Education

  1. Artificial Intelligence can automate basic activities in education, like grading.
  2. Educational software can be adapted to student needs.
  3. It can point out places where courses need to improve.
  4. Students could get additional support from AI tutors.
  5. AI-driven programs can give students and educators helpful feedback.
  6. It is altering how we find and interact with information.
  7. It could change the role of teachers.
  8. AI can make trial-and-error learning less intimidating.
  9. Data powered by AI can change how schools find, teach, and support students.
  10. AI may change where students learn, who teaches them, and how they acquire basic skills.

Fatih Cebeci

Discovery Learning


Discovery is the act of detecting something new. Something found, invented or uncovered. It is noticed something previously unrecognized as meaningful. Discovery Learning is an instructional model that engages students in learning through discovery. It is an inquiry-based instruction generally used in problem-solving situations. Believed that learners should discover facts and relationships themselves.

It is pedagogically aimed to:

  1. Promote “deep” learning
  2. Promote meta-cognitive skills (develop problem-solving skills, creativity, etc.)
  3. Promote student engagement

Models of Discovery Learning

  1. Case-based learning: Solve an open-ended problem and learn from it.
  2. Incidental learning: Any learning that is unplanned or unintended.
  3. Learning by exploring: Storylines within the environment challenge each student to leverage their curiosity and passion to solve complex problems.
  4. Learning by reflection: Learners develop critical thinking skills and improve future performance by analysing what they have learned.
  5. Simulated-based learning: Integrates cognitive, technical, and behavioural skills into an environment where learners believe the setting in real, act as they would responding in the field, and feel safe to make mistakes for the purpose of learning from them.

Discovery learning-as part of educational philosophy appeared numerous times throughout history with philosophers like Rousseau, Pestalozzi and Dewey. Support has come from the theorists and psychologists like Papert, Bruner and Piaget.

Jerome Bruner defined discovery as “all forms of obtaining knowledge for oneself by the use of one’s mind”. A true act of discovery is not a random event. It involves an expectation of finding regularities and relationships in the environment. With this expectation, learners device strategies for searching and finding out what the regularities and relationships are. Bruner believed that the process of discovery contributes significantly to intellectual development and that the heuristics of discovery can only be learned through the exercise of problem-solving. That being so, he proposed discovery learning as a pedagogic strategy that must be tested in schools.

Bruner does not restrict discovery to the act of finding out something that before was unknown to mankind. Rather he includes all forms of obtaining knowledge for oneself by the use of his mind. Active discovery in man’s intellectual life is all that he knows what he has discovered for himself. According to Bruner, a student should put things together for himself to be his discoverer. Nevertheless, discovery, like a surprise, favours the well-prepared mind. Since the history of science is studded with examples of men finding out something and not knowing it.

The aim as teachers is to give students as firm a grasp of a subject as could be and to make them as autonomous and self-propelled a thinker as can be who will go along on his own after formal schooling has ended.

Bruner’s Three Modes of Representation

Enactive (0 – 1 year)

The first kind of memory. This mode is used within the first year of life (corresponding with Piaget’s sensorimotor stage). Thinking is based entirely on physical actions, and infants learn by doing, rather than by internal representation (or thinking).

Iconic (1 – 6 years)

Information is stored as sensory images (icons), usually visual ones, like pictures in the mind. For some, this is conscious; others say they don’t experience it.

Symbolic (7 years onwards)

This develops last. This is where information is stored in the form of a code or symbol, such as language. This mode is acquired around six to seven-years-old.

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Radical Constructivism


The mind begins neither with knowledge of the self nor knowledge of things as such, but with knowledge of their interaction, and it is by simultaneously directing itself towards the two poles of this interaction that the mind organized the world by organizing itself (Piaget, 1936).

Proposition of Constructivism

Knowledge is actively constructed by the cognizing subject, not passively received from the environment. Coming to know is an adaptive process that organizes one’s experimental world; it does not discover an independent, preexisting world outside the mind of the knower.

What is radical about radical constructivism?

Truth in constructivism is replaced by viability (von Glasersfeld, 1998). Our constructions do not necessarily reflect knowledge of a “real world”. Coming to know is a process of dynamic adaptation toward viable interpretations of experiences. We have no way of knowing what “real” reality might be since the input is filtered. Previous constructs also influence our perceptions of current experience. We construct “viable” models of what reality is based on social and physical constraints. It does not suggest that we can construct anything we like. Within the constraints that limit our construction, there is room for an infinity of alternatives.

Learning is not a stimulus-response phenomenon. It requires self-regulation and the building of conceptual structures through reflection and abstraction. Problems are not solved by the retrieval of rote-learned “right answers”. To solve a problem…as an obstacle that obstructs one’s progress toward a goal (van Glasersfeld, 1995).

In conceptual thinking, what matters is not pointing at one only possible knowledge or answer, but to display successful operating of the mind.

“God knows the world because He created it; human beings can only know what they have made themselves”(Giambattista Vico, 1710).

“Human reason can grasp only what it has itself produced according to its plans” (Kant, 1787).

The link to teaching and learning

  • The acquisition of knowledge requires the active engagement of the learner who uses prior knowledge to construct new information.
  • A teacher’s role shifts from a presenter of knowledge to a provider of experiences.
  • You can not transfer knowledge from a teacher to a student as if it were a commodity. The student has to build his/her knowledge.
  • Learners may come up with different representations or interpretations of knowledge and it even enables the teacher to learn from the student.

Radical constructivism emphasized discovery learning, incidental learning, digital Technologies and exploratory virtual environments, fostering reflections and autonomy, learning in social contexts, in collaboration with peers and more knowledgeable others as well as individually.

Fatih Cebeci

Interactional Cognitive Development & Social Constructivism


The most important factor influencing learning: the construction of meaning and knowledge through the interaction with others. Knowledge and our idea of reality arise through social relationships and interactions (Spector, Merrill, Elen, and Bishop, 2014). Social constructivism developed in the 1990s, very popular in education and educational research today. Popular educational formats problem-based learning, computer-supported collaborative learning (CSCL), and self-regulated learning have roots in social constructivism. Use of traditional lectures discouraged whereas small or large group discussion encouraged.

According to the Bruner, one must consider their broader context in how culture shapes the mind and provides the toolkit by which individuals construct worlds and their conceptions of themselves and their Powers. Bruner argues that a theory of development should go hand in hand with a theory of instruction.

Major Themes in Bruner’s Work:

  1. The sequence of representational systems children acquires through which they understand their world.
  2. The role of culture in the course of cognitive growth and the role of schooling as an instrument of culture in the amplification of human intellectual Powers (Driscoll,2014).

Three Modes of Representation

  1. Enactive Representation: Representing events through motor responses.
  2. Iconic Representation: Summarizing events by the selective organization of percepts and of images.
  3. Symbolic Representation: Representation events with the acquisition of a symbolic system.

In 1924 and the following decade, Vygotsky constructed a devastating critique of the two theories:

  1. Higher psychological functions in human can be found by the principles derived from animal psychology (stimulus-response laws).
  2. The properties of adult intellectual functions arise from maturation alone and wait for an opportunity to manifest themselves (Cole and Scribner, 1978).

Marx’s theory of society played a fundamental role in Vygotsky’s thinking. According to Marx, historical changes in society and material life produce changes in human nature (consciousness and behaviour). Vygotsky was the first to attempt to relate this proposition to concrete psychological questions. Vygotsky was the first modern psychologist to suggest the mechanism by which culture becomes a part of each person’s nature.

Other cognitivist focused on the individual as the unit of analysis whereas Vygotsky focused on social activity. Development does not proceed towards socialization; it is the conversion of social relations into mental functions (Driscoll, 2014).

İmportant Concepts of Vygotsky’s Theory:

  1. Internalization: Internal reconstruction of an external operation.
  2. Zone of Proximal Development: The zone of proximal development refers to the difference between what a learner can do without help and what he or she can achieve with guidance and encouragement from a skilled partner.

Fatih Cebeci

Cognitive Development & Conceptual Change


Jean Piaget’s main field of interest was biology. In the early years of his career, he was interested in the cognitive development of children. His work has revealed a detailed and comprehensive theory of how cognitive development occurs. Piaget’s studies are not concerned with directly predicting behaviour or how to teach children, as many psychologists do. He preferred to be seen as a genetic epistemologist.

He was highly critical of empiricism, but he was not particularly comfortable in presuming that knowledge is entirely innate (nativist position). He evolved a view, consistent with interpretivism, that suggested a compromise between nativism and empiricism. He sometimes labelled his view interactionism, since cognition was assumed to be an interaction between heredity and environment. Piaget also called his view CONSTRUCTIVISM, because the firmly believed that knowledge acquisition is a process of continuous self-construction.

According to Piaget, cognitive development has four stages:

  1. Sensorimotor Stage (From birth to 2 years): At this stage, the main achievement is object permanence (knowing that an object still exists even if it is hidden).
  2. Preoperational Stage (From 2 to 7 years): This stage is characterized by egocentric thinking. The baby has difficulty understanding others’ point of view.
  3. Concrete Operational Stage (From 7 to 11 years): This stage is the beginning of logical or operational thinking. The child can work things out in their head and converse number, weight, etc.
  4. FormalOperationalStage (+12 and over): This stage is characterized by abstract thinking and logical test hypothesis.

Process of Development

What mechanism did Piaget propose as responsible for children’s progression from one stage to the next? Piaget considered three processes as being critical to development:

  • Assimilation occurs when a child perceives new objects or events in terms of existing schemes or operations.
  • Accommodation occurs when existing schemes or operations must be modified to account for a new experience.
  • Equilibration is the master developmental process, encompassing both assimilation and accommodation.

Piaget’s theory has the following educational implications:

  • Learning should be learner-centred.
  • Teacher’s role is to facilitate learning.
  • For effective teaching, collaborative and individual activities should be used.
  • The learning environment should support the activity of the child.
  • Peer-to-peer interaction is important in cognitive development.
  • Learning should be accomplished through active discovery learning.

Fatih Cebeci

Meaningful Learning & Schema Theory



David Ausubel was a cognitive learning theorist who believed that what a student already knows is the determining factor of what can and should be learned next. He said that if I had to reduce all of educational psychology to just one principle, I would say this: The most important single factor influencing learning is what the learner already knows.

Ausubel supported the theory that pupils form and organise knowledge by themselves. He emphasized the importance of verbal learning/language-related learning which he considers to be very effective for students of the age 11 or 12 and above. Students gradually learn to associate new knowledge with existing concepts in their mental structure. To ensure meaningful teaching: necessary to avoid memorising of facts. Students need to manipulate ideas actively.

Learning occurs through the development of new cognitive structures that will hold newly acquired information.

Cognitive structure: “individual’s organization, stability, and clarity of knowledge in a particular subject matter field at any given time” and it is “hierarchically organized in terms of highly inclusive concepts under which are subsumed less include subconcepts and informational data”.

Types of Learning

  • Reception Learning
  • Discovery Learning
  • Rote Learning (Verbatim Memorization)
  • Meaningful Learning

There is a cognitive structure that is hierarchically and thematically organized. It is easier to recall general terms than the details or sub-terms.

Essential Conditions to Meaningful Learning

  1. A student should employ meaning learning set to any learning set to any learning task. (no intention to memorize)
  2. The material must be potentially meaningful. (Organized, readable, relevant)
  3. Old-new information connection.

Processes of Meaningful Learning

  • Derivative Subsumption: New material or relationships can be derived from the existing structure. Information can be moved in the hierarchy, or linked to other concepts or information to create new interpretations of meaning.
  • Correlative Subsumption: New material is an extension or elaboration of what is already known.
  • Superordinate Learning: An individual can give a lot of examples of the concept but does not know the concept itself until it is taught.
  • Combinatorial Learning: The first three learning processes all involve new information that “attaches” to a hierarchy at a level that is either below or above previously acquired knowledge. Combinatorial learning is different; it describes a process by which the new idea is derived from another idea that is neither higher nor lower in the hierarchy but at the same level.

Advance Organizer

Advance organizers are used to relating prior information to new concepts. They are part of Ausubel’s subsumption theory that “contends that meaningful learning and permanent retention of material is a function of the stability of existing anchoring ideas” (Applin).

Types of Advance Organizer

  • Expository: Describes the new content. Provides new knowledge that students will need to understand the upcoming information. Used when the new learning material is unfamiliar to the learner. They often relate what the learner already knows with the new and unfamiliar material-this, in turn, is aimed to make the unfamiliar material more plausible to the learner.  
  • Comparative: Compares new material with knowledge already known by emphasizing the similarities between two types of material and showing to information that is to be learnt.
  • Narrative: Presents the new information in the form of a story to students.
  • Skimming: Is done by looking over the new material to gain a basic overview.
  • Graphic Organizer: Visuals to set up or outline the new information. This may include Pictographs, Descriptive Patterns, Concept Patterns, Concept Maps, Venn Diagrams.


Schema theory is close to Meaningful Learning and is concerned with how the brain structures knowledge. A schema is an organized unit of knowledge. It is based on experience and is accessed to guide current understanding or action. We have schemas in our minds and the new information is added to the existing schemata. Schemata organize knowledge stored in long-term memory. Schemata enable us to recall, modify our behaviour, concentrate attention on key information, or try to predict most likely outcomes of events. The more existing knowledge we have, the more we can learn. What we have in mind would lead the action. Schema-based processing occurs as people solve problems.

Changes in existing schemata due to learning:

  • Accretion: Learning by adding new data structures to the existing data.
  • Tuning: Minor schema modifications that come with new exemplars of concepts and principles.
  • Restructuring: The creation of entirely new schemata which replace or incorporate old ones.

When learners encounter a task for which they do not have an appropriate or automated schema, they must hold in mind all elements the task individually and simultaneously. This causes Cognitive Load.

Comprehension proceeds with ease when an appropriate schema is automatically activated in reading tasks or problem-solving. When learners encounter instruction that makes no sense to them, it becomes an impossible task to call upon prior knowledge.

Fatih Cebeci

Motivation & Self-Regulated Learning


Motivation & Self-Regulated Learning

Motivation is the process of stimulating people to actions to accomplish the desired goals and success. Motivation is what causes a person to act. In other words, motivation is the reason why a person acts.

Motivation can have many sources; it might be extrinsic (outside forces affect) or intrinsic (the people themselves are the source). Extrinsic motivation involves rewards such as trophies, money, social recognition, or praise. Intrinsic motivation includes the personal gratification of solving a problem.

The motivation was researched and developed to make people to work harder and to produce more in the 1950s.

There are three major components of motivation: activation, persistence, intensity. Activation is the decision to initiate behaviour. Persistence is the continued effort to reach a goal. Intensity is the effort which helps a person to reach a goal.

According to Zimmerman, self-regulated learning is conceived of as a learning process in which learners employ self-regulatory skills, such as self-assessing, self-directing, controlling and adjusting, to acquire knowledge. Schunk and Zimmerman emphasized that self-regulated learning in terms of self-generated thoughts, feelings, and actions, which are systematically oriented toward the attainment of students own goals. Winne (1995) described that self-regulated learning as an inherently constructive and self-directed process.

Performance of Self-Regulation (Schunk & Zimmerman, 1994)

  1. Observing one’s performance
  2. Comparing one’s performance to a standard or goal
  3. Reacting and responding to the perceived difference


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Cognitive Information Process


The Stages of Information Processing

The Flow of Information as Generally Conceptualized
in Information-Processing Theory

Summary of Memory Stages

Sensory Memory

Selective attention refers to the learner’s ability to select and process certain information while simultaneously ignoring other information.

When tasks are overlearned or sources of information become habitual, to the extent that their attention requirements are minimal, automaticity has occurred.

Pattern recognition refers to the process whereby environmental stimuli are recognized as exemplars of concepts and principles already in memory.

Working Memory

In a now classic study of short-term memory, George Miller (1956) demonstrated that about 7 ± 2 numbers could be recalled in a digit-span test.

Working memory capacity may be increased through creating larger bits, known as the process of chunking.


As individual letters, they more than exceed working memory capacity. But as five chunks—JFK, FBI, AIDS, NASA, and MIT—they are easily processed.

In order to prevent the loss of information from working memory, and to ensure its being transferred to long-term storage, two processes are necessary: rehearsal and encoding.

Long-Term Memory

Episodic memory is memory for specific events, as when you remember the circumstances surrounding how you learned to read a weather map.

Semantic memory, on the other hand, refers to all the general information stored in memory that can be recalled independently of how it was learned.

Summary of Models Proposed to Account for the Storage of Information in Long-Term Memory

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Bilogical Basis of Learning and Memory


Two Types of Biological Causes

Ultimate Causes: Evolution and Behavior

Evolutionary psychologists focus on evolved psychological mechanisms, which are adaptations constructed by natural selection to serve some specific function associated with survival.

Snakes and spiders were dangerous to pretechnological man. As a result, we may now be predisposed to fear them.

Proximate Causes: Neurophysiology of Learning

“One of the great scientific questions of our day is: How is information acquired and stored in the brain?”

As in sociobiology, no easy answers to this question are forthcoming.

The human brain has some 12 billion neurons and 5000 synapses, all linked together in incredible complexity.

Overview of Neural Architecture

A Right Side View of the Human Brain

The frontal lobe appears to be associated primarily with attention, specifically, the ability to pay attention on cue.

The left frontal lobe is also the site of what is known as Broca’s area, which seems to be responsible for our ability to speak.

The parietal lobe has been associated with the organizing aspects of attention, that is, the ability to attend to specific differences in stimulation, such as different letters in reading.

Attention and the Brain

  • Controlling Attentional States
  • Selectively Allocating Attentional Resources
  • Selectively Organizing Attention

Learning, Memory, and the Brain

Major Systems of Human Learning and Memory

Cognitive Development, and the Brain

Four conceptual models are suggested:

  • Fixed Circuitry and Critical Periods
  • Plasticity
  • Modularity

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Radical Behaviorism & Social Learning


Pavlov’s Behaviourism was an important concept for early learning approaches. Pavlov used dogs in his experiments and noticed that the dogs salivated not only to food but often to other inappropriate stimuli (e.g. the sight of the trainer who brought the food) (Driscoll, 2005: 18).

Pavlov’s ideas worked well on animals, and a well-known example of this approach in people is Watson’s Baby Albert Experiment. On the other hand, it’s hard to find the common usage of Pavlov’s Behaviorism in real life and education environment.

B. F. Skinner’s approach to the psychology of learning was to set out in search of functional relationships between environmental variables and behavior. In other words, he believed that behavior could be fully understood in terms of environmental cues and results. Cues serve as antecedents to behavior, setting the conditions for its occurrence. Results are the consequences of behavior which make it more or less likely to reoccur. What might go on in the mind during learning, then, is immaterial to understanding or describing it.(Driscoll, 2005: 33)

He denied, in fact, that radical behaviorism should even be thought of as a theory; rather, it is an experimental
analysis of behavior (Skinner, 1974). B. F. Skinner

The other approach was the Gestalt Theory. Gestalt psychologists believed that knowledge comes from more than just experience; it also involves the knower actively imposing organization on sensory data (Driscoll, 2005: 21). According to Gestalt theorists, all the parts to a problem have to be exposed to the learner. In the absence of important elements of the problem, insightful learning will not happen.

The general features of insightful learning are as follows:

  • After a period of inactivity or trial and error, the learner suddenly and completely grasps the solution.
  • The learner performs the solution in a smooth and errorless fashion.
  • The learner retains the solution for a very long time.
  • The learner can easily apply a principle gained through insight to other similar problems.

Albert Bandura is known for his social learning theory. He is quite different from other learning theorists who look at learning as a direct result of conditioning, reinforcement, and punishment. Bandura asserts that most human behaviour is learned through observation, imitation, and modelling. Social Learning Theory (SLT) or Social Cognitive Learning Theory (SCLT) is a bridge between behaviourism and cognitive learning theories. In SLT/SCLT, learning occurs through observation and interaction with other people. According to the SLT/SCLT, a need or motive makes a person to learn a new behaviour or not.

Different types of modelling are as follows:

  • Live model
  • Verbal-instructional model
  • Symbolic model (media, cartoons, etc.)

Some educational implications of SLT/SCLT) are presented below:

  • Promote learning through observation. = Role-modelling
  • Describe the consequences of the behaviour
  • Increase students’ self-efficacy
  • Encourage self-regulation

Fatih Cebeci

On Enlightening The Mind


Moses Mendelssohn talked about civilisation, cultivation and intellect in his study: On Enlightening The Mind. He focused on the relationships within the philosophy, psychology and the sociology. There were lots of heavy results of the Industrial Revolution. So, modification needed for reconstructing the social life.

Lots of important character in history like Jan Jak Russo, Arthur Schopenhauer and Voltaire focused on social life, mankind nature and human behaviour. We can count on so many important names from Averroes to Francis Galton that contribute the humankind common intellectual deposition. After all these accumulations, the 20th century was the productive time for the learning approaches.

We have something and persisting change in performance or potential performance that results from experience and interaction with the World that is called LEARNING. The concepts in the epistemology of learning are as follows:

Learning can be defined as a lifelong activity which occurs intentionally in formal instructional settings and incidentally through experience (Driscoll, 2005: 2). The results of learning are seen in performance or performance potential, which is difficult to observe directly. A learning theory is a set of laws or principles about learning which comes out of curiosity and questions to-be-answered (Driscoll, 2005: 2). People have the desire to understand the world around them and this often leads them to ask questions, find answers and solve problems. A learning theory tries to answer questions of how people learn, what is needed to realize learning and what the learning process in mind is. In other words, a learning theory explains the results associated with learning and predict the conditions under which learning will occur again (Driscoll, 2005: 4).

Hermann Ebbinghaus could be considered as the first educational psychologist who had working learning theory in terms of results, means and inputs. Firstly, according to Ebbinghaus, if ideas are connected by the frequency of their associations, then learning should be predictable based on the number of times a given association is repeatedly experienced. In other words, the more frequently a given association is experienced, the more predictable the learning is. Secondly, Thorndike examined learning in terms of the associations related to action. His experiments on animals such as cats and chicken showed that animal could learn to associate a sensation and an impulse if there is a satisfying consequence. Thirdly, Pavlov conducted his experiments on dogs, and these experiments resulted in his classical conditioning paradigm. According to classical conditioning, if the unconditioned stimulus (food) and neutral stimulus (bell-ring) are presented together repeatedly for a while, the neutral stimulus (bell-ring) turns into a conditioned stimulus. Finally, Gestalt psychologists believed that knowledge comes from more than just experience; it also involves the knower actively imposing organization on sensory data (Driscoll, 2005: 21). For insightful learning to occur, Gestalt theorists argued that all the parts to a problem need to be exposed to the learner (Driscoll, 2005: 22).


Sapere Aude


Platon’un Devlet kitabında geçen mağara metaforunda, doğumdan itibaren tüm hayatlarını bir mağara içerisinde, kolları ve boyunları zincirlenmiş durumda geçiren insanlardan bahseder. Bu insanların sırtları mağaranın çıkışına dönüktür ve arkalarında bir duvar vardır. Bu mağara sakinlerinin tek görebildikleri, yakılan bir ateşin önüne tutulan nesnelerin, insanların önlerindeki duvara yansıyan izdüşümleridir. Tüm dünyalarının duvardaki gölgelerden ibaret olduğunu sanan mağara sakinleri içerisinden dışarı çıkmayı başarıp gerçek dünyayı keşfedenler olur. Özgürlüğe kavuşanlar tekrar mağaraya dönüp mağara sakinlerini gerçek dünya hakkında aydınlatmaya çalıştıklarında ise hiçbirini ikna edemedikleri gibi, bir de üzerine feci şekilde dövülürler.

Platon’un ünlü metaforunda, özgürlüğü ve gerçeği arama iç güdümüzün yanında, özgürlüğün sınırının iç dünyamızda oluşan dikenli teller ile belirlendiği vurgusu vardır. İnsan, doğası gereği, kısıtlı algılarının menzili içerisinde, güvenli ve görece konforlu bir bölgede yaşamak ister. Bir savunma mekanizmasıyla ördüğü duvarların ötesinde farklı bir dünya olmadığına inandırır kendini. Kendi fanusu içerisinde ve aynı kısır döngüde yaşayan milyonlarca insan, günümüz sosyolojik oluşumunun reddedilemez bir gerçeğidir. Buradaki reddediş ve kendi sınırlı bölgesinden çıkmama psikolojisinin gözlemlendiği çok sayıda edebi eser ve filmden hemen aklıma gelen Joseph Kosinski’nin yönetmenliğini üstlendiği 2013 yapımı bilimkurgu filmi Oblivion.

Filimde ana karakterimiz Jack Harper, 2077 yılında dünya üzerinde konuşlu mikro merkezlerde görevli İHA tamircilerinden biridir. Victoria ise aynı merkezdeki iletişim subayıdır. Jack ve Victoria’nın bildiği, 60 yıl önce, uzaylı istilacılar ile çıkan savaşta nükleer silahların kullanılmasıyla istilacıların yenildiği ancak dünyada radyasyonlu bölgelerin oluştuğudur. Ayrıca istilacıların ayı vurması ve parçalaması sonucu meydana gelen deprem ve tusunamiler neticesinde dünyanın yaşanılamaz hale geldiğidir. İnsanlar dünyanın yörüngesinde bekleyen Tet adlı merkeze, oradan da Satürn’ün uydusu Titan’a transfer edilmiştir. Jack ve Victoria gibi son kalan ekiplerde, okyanusun suyunu Titan’a taşıyan dev türbinleri koruyan İHA sisteminin bakıcılarıdır. Dünyada son kalan uzaylı istilacılardan İHA’ları ve türbinleri koruyan Jack ve Victoria’nın hafızaları güvenlik amaçlı silinmiştir. Victoria, görevlerini eksiksiz ve sorgusuz tamamlayıp bir an önce Tet’e ve oradan da Titan’a gitmek için motive olmuştur. Jack ise biraz sorgulayıcı, meraklı ve kuşkucudur. Filmin devamında Jack, radyasyonlu bölgelerin gerçek olmadığını, dünyadaki uzaylı istilacıların istilacı değil, hayatta kalmaya çalışan direniş gücü dünya insanları olduğunu, Tet’in aslında insanların aktarım merkezi değil, uzaylı istilacı varlığın ta kendisi olduğu ve dünya enerjisini sömürdüğü ve kendilerinin de manipüle edilmiş klon insanlar olduğunu keşfeder. İkna etmeye çalıştığı Victoria ise ona inanmaz, mevcut pozisyonlarını tehlikeye attığını düşündüğü Jack’in durumunu Tet’e bildirir. Daha fazlası için filmi izlemenizi mutlaka öneririm. Burada Victoria’nın durumunun bir üst versiyonunu kült distopya filmi Matrix’te ki Cyper karakterinde görüyoruz. Gerçek dünyanın, içinde bulunduğu simülasyondan daha huzurlu ve güvenli olmadığını düşünerek sanal bir fanusta yaşamayı kendi iradesiyle talep ediyor. Bedel olarak arkadaşlarına ihanet ederken de tereddüt etmiyor. Bu noktada Victoria, Cyper ve mağara insanlarının davranışsal ve bilişsel eğilimlerindeki yegâne ortaklığın çok net gözlemlendiğine inanıyorum.

Distopik ve ütopik gelecek kurguları ile Antik Çağ filozoflarının alegorilerini bir kenara koyarak Aydınlanma Dönemi Avrupası’ndan Immanuel Kant’a kulak vermek bu aşamada anlamlı olacaktır. Kapsamlı Epistemolojik, Etik ve Estetik çalışmalarıyla bilinen Kant, 1784 yılında “Aydınlanma Nedir? sorusuna yanıt” adlı makalesinde, Antik Roma şairi Horatius’a gönderme ile yine “Sapare Aude!” demiştir: “Aklını kullanma cesaretini göster”. İnsanın kendi kendine düşmüş olduğu bir ergin olmama durumundan kurtulmasını Aydınlanma olarak tanımlamaktadır. Kant’a göre insan bu ergin olmayışa bizatihi kendi suçu ile düşmüştür; bunun nedenini de aklın kendisinde değil, aklını başkasının kılavuzluğu ve yardımı olmaksızın kullanmak kararlılığını ve yürekliliğini gösteremeyen insanda aramalıdır. Kant’ın donelerine daha fazla değinmek istesem bile, yazımın son kısımlarını içinde bulunduğumuz dönemin popüler yazarlarından Yuval Noah Harari’ye ayırmak istiyorum.

Harari “Sapiens-İnsanoğlunun kısa bir tarihi” adlı eserinde Endüstri Devrimine, Bilimsel Devrime, Tarım Devrimine ve İnsanoğlunun birleşme çabalarında kilit noktalar olan para, inanç, emperyalist bakış açısı gibi mihenk taşlarına değinir. Harari, bütün bunları bir kenara koyarak yaklaşık 70.000 yıl önce filizlenen Bilişsel Devrime (Cognitive Revolution) vurgu yapar. Düşünme ve düşünmenin bedelinin kapsamlı değerlendirmesini yapar. Aynı perspektifte, bende yaşadığımız en büyük devrimin Bilişsel Devrim olduğuna inanıyorum. Hayvan kemiklerinden silah yaptığımız dönemlerden farklı gezegenlere yolculuğun hayal olmadığı günümüze, tüm insanlık tarihinin en önemli olayı budur. Kümülatif devam eden bu süreçte acaba tersine bir devrim mi yaşamaktayız soruları da kafamda dönmüyor değil?

Son tahlilde bir eğitimci olarak, insanoğlunun aklını kullanmaya cesaret etme konusunda tereddüt ettiğini görüyorum. Eminim çoğu meslektaşım da bir nebze olsun kendini Jack gibi, ya da mağaradakileri ikna etmeye çalışan tarih öncesi Âdemoğlu gibi hissediyordur. Öyle bir dönemde yaşıyoruz ki, her türlü bilgi saniyeler içerisinde duyu organlarımızın emrine amade olabiliyor. Tek yapmamız gereken eleştirel bakış açısıyla düşünmeye ve sorgulamaya cesaret etmek. Bu bağlamda sevgili öğrencilerimi ve meslektaşlarımı Quintus Horatius Flaccus’un Epistles şiirinden şu güzel dizelerle selamlıyorum:

Gözüne ufak bir çöp batsa, onu oradan çıkarmak için acele edersin.

Zihnin hasta olduğu vakit tedavisi için neden acele etmezsin?

Başlamak, işin yarısını bitirmek demektir.

Kendi aklınla düşünmeye/akıllı olmaya cesaret et, başla!


Sapere Aude


In the cave metaphor in Plato‘s book State, it mentions people who have spent their entire lives in a cave with their arms and necks chained from birth. The backs of these people face the cave exit and there is a wall behind them. The only thing the inhabitants of this cave can see is the projections of objects held in front of a burning fire, reflected on the wall in front of the people. Among the inhabitants of the cave, who think that their whole world is made up of shadows on the wall, some manage to get out and discover the real world. When the liberated ones return to the cave and try to enlighten the cave dwellers about the real world, they cannot convince any of them, and they are also badly beaten on.

In Plato’s famous metaphor, besides our instinct to seek freedom and truth, there is an emphasis that the limits of freedom are determined by the barbed wires formed in our inner world. Human, by nature, wants to live in a safe and relatively comfortable area within the range of their limited perceptions. He convinces himself that there is no different world beyond the walls he has built with a defence mechanism. Millions of people living in the same vicious circle in their bowl are an undeniable fact of today’s sociological formation. The science fiction film Oblivion, directed by Joseph Kosinski, came to my mind immediately from the many literary works and films in which the psychology of refusal and not leaving his limited territory is observed.

Jack Harper, our main character in the movie, is one of the UAV repairmen working in micro centres located around the world in 2077. Victoria is the communications officer at the same centre. What Jack and Victoria know is that 60 years ago, the invaders were defeated by the use of nuclear weapons in the war with alien invaders, but radiated regions were formed in the world. Besides, the world became uninhabitable as a result of the earthquakes and tsunamis that occurred as a result of the invaders striking and breaking the moon. Humans were transferred to the centre called Tet, which was orbited the earth, and from there to Saturn’s moon Titan. The last remaining crews such as Jack and Victoria are the maintainers of the UAV system that protects the giant turbines that carry the water of the ocean to Titan. The memories of Jack and Victoria, who protect UAVs and turbines from the last alien invaders in the world, have been erased for security purposes. Victoria was motivated to complete her missions completely and unquestionably and move to Tet and then Titan as soon as possible. Jack, on the other hand, is a bit questioning, curious and sceptical. In the sequel to the movie, Jack says that the radiated regions are not real, that the alien invaders on earth are not invaders, but the people of the world who are trying to survive; he discovers that Tet is not the transmission centre of humans, but the alien invading entity itself and exploits earth energy. He learns that they are also human clones manipulated by Tet. Victoria, whom he tries to persuade, does not believe him and informs Tet about Jack’s situation, which she thinks is endangering their current positions. I highly recommend you to watch the movie for more. Here we see a higher version of Victoria’s situation in the character Cypher in the cult dystopian movie The Matrix. Thinking that the real world is not more peaceful and safer than the simulation it is in, he demands of his own will to live in a virtual bowl. He also does not hesitate to betray his friends for a price. At this point, I believe that the only commonality in the behavioural and cognitive tendencies of Victoria, Cypher and cave people is observed.

At this stage, it will be meaningful to listen to Immanuel Kant from Enlightenment Europe, putting aside the dystopic and utopian future fictions and the allegories of the ancient philosophers. Kant, known for his extensive Epistemological, Ethical and Aesthetic studies, in his article “Answer to the Question of What is Enlightenment” in 1784, with reference to the ancient Roman poet Horatius, again he said: “Sapare Aude! – Show your courage to use your mind!”. The Enlightenment describes man’s recovery from the state of not being an adult that he has fallen on himself. According to Kant, man fell into this immaturity by his own fault; The reason for this should not be sought in the mind itself, but in the person, who cannot show his determination and courage to use his mind without the guidance and help of someone else. Even if I want to touch upon Kant’s data more, I would like to devote the last part of my article to Yuval Noah Harari, one of the popular writers of the current period.

In his work titled “Sapiens-A Brief History of Humankind”, Harari touches upon the Industrial Revolution, Scientific Revolution, Agricultural Revolution, and the cornerstones such as money, faith and imperialist perspective which are the key points in the unification efforts of Humankind. Harari puts all this aside, emphasizing the Cognitive Revolution that sprouted around 70,000 years ago. Makes a comprehensive assessment of the thinking and the cost of thinking. From the same perspective, I believe the biggest revolution we’ve ever experienced is the Cognitive Revolution. This is the most important event in all of human history, from the periods when we made weapons from animal bones to the present days when travelling to different planets can possible. In this cumulative ongoing process, I wonder if we are experiencing a reverse revolution?

As an educator, in the final analysis, I see human beings hesitant to dare to use their mind. I’m sure many of my colleagues also feel like Jack, or like prehistoric Humans trying to persuade those in the cave. We live in such a period that all kinds of information can be at the disposal of our sensory organs within seconds. All we have to do is dare to think and question critically. In this context, I greet my dear students and colleagues with the following beautiful lines from Quintus Horatius Flaccus‘s Epistles poem:

If a little trash gets in your eye, you will be in a hurry to get it out.

When your mind is sick, why don’t you rush to cure it?

To start means to finish half the job.

Dare to think/be smart with your own mind, start!

               Fatih CEBECİ