An impoverished machine: Challenges to human learning and instructional technology

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Abstract

Many of the limitations to human learning and processing identified by cognitive psychologists over the last 50 years still hold true, including computational constraints, low learning rates, and unreliable processing. Instructional technology can be used in classrooms and in other learning contexts to address these limitations to learning. However, creating technological innovations is not enough. As part of psychological science, the development and assessment of instructional systems should be guided by theories and practices within the discipline. The technology we develop should become an object of research like other phenomena that are studied. In the present article, I present an informal account of my own work in assessing instructional technology for engineering thermodynamics to show not only the benefits, but also the limitations, in studying the technology we create. I conclude by considering several ways of advancing the development of instructional technology within the SCiP community, including interdisciplinary research and envisioning learning contexts that differ radically from traditional learning focused on lectures and testing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)639-646
Number of pages8
JournalBehavior Research Methods
Volume40
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2008

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