I’m still working through the material given to me by the staff at MMHS. Last week I picked up some flash cards they had given me, which, it seemed, encapsulated ELLI – Effective Lifelong Learning Inventory. There are seven cards, each inviting the learner to reflect on a different aspect of her own learning. The headings are: Meaning making, Resilience, Learning relationships, Creativity, Strategic awareness, Critical curiosity, Changing and Learning. Continue reading

Strategic learning

Another issue that came up in our discussion of deep and surface learning was the value of strategic learning – that is, that successful students find out what exactly is demanded of them in terms of assessment: they want to do well and get good marks (leading to marketable qualifications). I came across a good example of this over Christmas when one of my great-nieces, who is in her first year of a degree course, told me that she had been disappointed in the marks she got for her first exam. She asked for an interview with her tutor, who explained in detail that, although her knowledge was excellent, the way she laid out her statistical tables and the language she used was not sufficiently academic to get her a first-class degree. Continue reading

Deep and surface learning

Some friends and I were reading up on work done by Bob Farmer at UCE on deep and surface learning*. One of the things we discussed was Bob’s reference in a recorded lecture to Queen Eleanor’s cousin as an example of a fact. A good student would go beyond the mere regurgitation of a fact (an example of surface learning) to link it to meanings in their pre-existing knowledge. My friend and I (as deep learners) made quite different links to wider meanings. She would have asked what the evidence for this fact was, while I would have wanted to know more about Queen Eleanor’s role in the power struggles of the time.

I discussed this with Bob on the phone this morning, and he said either would be a good example of deep learning.

*To be found inthe writings of Graham Gibbs, for instance