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The Knowledge Economy and Postsecondary Education: Report of a Workshop (2002)

Chapter: 6 Creating High-Quality Learning Environments: Guidelines from Research on How People Learn

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Suggested Citation:"6 Creating High-Quality Learning Environments: Guidelines from Research on How People Learn." National Research Council. 2002. The Knowledge Economy and Postsecondary Education: Report of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10239.
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Suggested Citation:"6 Creating High-Quality Learning Environments: Guidelines from Research on How People Learn." National Research Council. 2002. The Knowledge Economy and Postsecondary Education: Report of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10239.
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Suggested Citation:"6 Creating High-Quality Learning Environments: Guidelines from Research on How People Learn." National Research Council. 2002. The Knowledge Economy and Postsecondary Education: Report of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10239.
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Suggested Citation:"6 Creating High-Quality Learning Environments: Guidelines from Research on How People Learn." National Research Council. 2002. The Knowledge Economy and Postsecondary Education: Report of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10239.
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Suggested Citation:"6 Creating High-Quality Learning Environments: Guidelines from Research on How People Learn." National Research Council. 2002. The Knowledge Economy and Postsecondary Education: Report of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10239.
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Suggested Citation:"6 Creating High-Quality Learning Environments: Guidelines from Research on How People Learn." National Research Council. 2002. The Knowledge Economy and Postsecondary Education: Report of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10239.
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Suggested Citation:"6 Creating High-Quality Learning Environments: Guidelines from Research on How People Learn." National Research Council. 2002. The Knowledge Economy and Postsecondary Education: Report of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10239.
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Suggested Citation:"6 Creating High-Quality Learning Environments: Guidelines from Research on How People Learn." National Research Council. 2002. The Knowledge Economy and Postsecondary Education: Report of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10239.
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Suggested Citation:"6 Creating High-Quality Learning Environments: Guidelines from Research on How People Learn." National Research Council. 2002. The Knowledge Economy and Postsecondary Education: Report of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10239.
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Suggested Citation:"6 Creating High-Quality Learning Environments: Guidelines from Research on How People Learn." National Research Council. 2002. The Knowledge Economy and Postsecondary Education: Report of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10239.
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Suggested Citation:"6 Creating High-Quality Learning Environments: Guidelines from Research on How People Learn." National Research Council. 2002. The Knowledge Economy and Postsecondary Education: Report of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10239.
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Suggested Citation:"6 Creating High-Quality Learning Environments: Guidelines from Research on How People Learn." National Research Council. 2002. The Knowledge Economy and Postsecondary Education: Report of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10239.
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Suggested Citation:"6 Creating High-Quality Learning Environments: Guidelines from Research on How People Learn." National Research Council. 2002. The Knowledge Economy and Postsecondary Education: Report of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10239.
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Suggested Citation:"6 Creating High-Quality Learning Environments: Guidelines from Research on How People Learn." National Research Council. 2002. The Knowledge Economy and Postsecondary Education: Report of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10239.
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Suggested Citation:"6 Creating High-Quality Learning Environments: Guidelines from Research on How People Learn." National Research Council. 2002. The Knowledge Economy and Postsecondary Education: Report of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10239.
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Suggested Citation:"6 Creating High-Quality Learning Environments: Guidelines from Research on How People Learn." National Research Council. 2002. The Knowledge Economy and Postsecondary Education: Report of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10239.
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Suggested Citation:"6 Creating High-Quality Learning Environments: Guidelines from Research on How People Learn." National Research Council. 2002. The Knowledge Economy and Postsecondary Education: Report of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10239.
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Suggested Citation:"6 Creating High-Quality Learning Environments: Guidelines from Research on How People Learn." National Research Council. 2002. The Knowledge Economy and Postsecondary Education: Report of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10239.
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Suggested Citation:"6 Creating High-Quality Learning Environments: Guidelines from Research on How People Learn." National Research Council. 2002. The Knowledge Economy and Postsecondary Education: Report of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10239.
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Suggested Citation:"6 Creating High-Quality Learning Environments: Guidelines from Research on How People Learn." National Research Council. 2002. The Knowledge Economy and Postsecondary Education: Report of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10239.
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Suggested Citation:"6 Creating High-Quality Learning Environments: Guidelines from Research on How People Learn." National Research Council. 2002. The Knowledge Economy and Postsecondary Education: Report of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10239.
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Suggested Citation:"6 Creating High-Quality Learning Environments: Guidelines from Research on How People Learn." National Research Council. 2002. The Knowledge Economy and Postsecondary Education: Report of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10239.
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Suggested Citation:"6 Creating High-Quality Learning Environments: Guidelines from Research on How People Learn." National Research Council. 2002. The Knowledge Economy and Postsecondary Education: Report of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10239.
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Suggested Citation:"6 Creating High-Quality Learning Environments: Guidelines from Research on How People Learn." National Research Council. 2002. The Knowledge Economy and Postsecondary Education: Report of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10239.
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Suggested Citation:"6 Creating High-Quality Learning Environments: Guidelines from Research on How People Learn." National Research Council. 2002. The Knowledge Economy and Postsecondary Education: Report of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10239.
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Suggested Citation:"6 Creating High-Quality Learning Environments: Guidelines from Research on How People Learn." National Research Council. 2002. The Knowledge Economy and Postsecondary Education: Report of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10239.
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Suggested Citation:"6 Creating High-Quality Learning Environments: Guidelines from Research on How People Learn." National Research Council. 2002. The Knowledge Economy and Postsecondary Education: Report of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10239.
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Suggested Citation:"6 Creating High-Quality Learning Environments: Guidelines from Research on How People Learn." National Research Council. 2002. The Knowledge Economy and Postsecondary Education: Report of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10239.
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Suggested Citation:"6 Creating High-Quality Learning Environments: Guidelines from Research on How People Learn." National Research Council. 2002. The Knowledge Economy and Postsecondary Education: Report of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10239.
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Suggested Citation:"6 Creating High-Quality Learning Environments: Guidelines from Research on How People Learn." National Research Council. 2002. The Knowledge Economy and Postsecondary Education: Report of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10239.
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Suggested Citation:"6 Creating High-Quality Learning Environments: Guidelines from Research on How People Learn." National Research Council. 2002. The Knowledge Economy and Postsecondary Education: Report of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10239.
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Suggested Citation:"6 Creating High-Quality Learning Environments: Guidelines from Research on How People Learn." National Research Council. 2002. The Knowledge Economy and Postsecondary Education: Report of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10239.
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Suggested Citation:"6 Creating High-Quality Learning Environments: Guidelines from Research on How People Learn." National Research Council. 2002. The Knowledge Economy and Postsecondary Education: Report of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10239.
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Suggested Citation:"6 Creating High-Quality Learning Environments: Guidelines from Research on How People Learn." National Research Council. 2002. The Knowledge Economy and Postsecondary Education: Report of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10239.
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Suggested Citation:"6 Creating High-Quality Learning Environments: Guidelines from Research on How People Learn." National Research Council. 2002. The Knowledge Economy and Postsecondary Education: Report of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10239.
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Suggested Citation:"6 Creating High-Quality Learning Environments: Guidelines from Research on How People Learn." National Research Council. 2002. The Knowledge Economy and Postsecondary Education: Report of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10239.
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Suggested Citation:"6 Creating High-Quality Learning Environments: Guidelines from Research on How People Learn." National Research Council. 2002. The Knowledge Economy and Postsecondary Education: Report of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10239.
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Suggested Citation:"6 Creating High-Quality Learning Environments: Guidelines from Research on How People Learn." National Research Council. 2002. The Knowledge Economy and Postsecondary Education: Report of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10239.
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Suggested Citation:"6 Creating High-Quality Learning Environments: Guidelines from Research on How People Learn." National Research Council. 2002. The Knowledge Economy and Postsecondary Education: Report of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10239.
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Suggested Citation:"6 Creating High-Quality Learning Environments: Guidelines from Research on How People Learn." National Research Council. 2002. The Knowledge Economy and Postsecondary Education: Report of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10239.
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6 Creating High-Quality Learning Environments: Guidelines from Research on How People Learn John B ran sfordt, Nancy Vye, and Helen Bateman ~ Not long ago, our local newspaper announced that the state university system was going to offer a number of college degree programs over the Internet. Some people scoffed at the idea and made statements like "here come the diploma mills." However, for a large number of individuals, this was genuinely exciting news. Some had attended college but did not get a chance to finish because they needed to go to work full-time now they had a chance to get a degree. Others never had the chance to attend college now they could do so without having to move from their present location. Even if it turns out that many of these people don't have the time to take enough courses to graduate, it can be a wonderful sense of accomplishment to have taken a college course or two. We applaud the increased access to educational opportunities that new technologies are making possible. Nevertheless, we have been asked to focus on the issue of educational quality rather than access. Ultimately, people need access to high-quality learning opportunities. Issues of quality are important for face-to-face learning environments, totally online environments, and hybrid environments that include combinations of both. We organize this chapter into three major sections: John Bransford is Centennial Professor of Psychology and codirector of the Learning Technology Center at Peabody College of Vanderbilt University. Nancy Vye is senior research associate and codirector of the Learning Center at Peabody College of Vanderbilt University. Helen Bateman is presently a research fellow at the Learning Technology Center, Vanderbilt University. This chapter is based on research funded by the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Department of Education. 159

· An overview of different ways to think about educational quality. · A discussion of ways that information about how people learn can guide the design of environments that support high-quality learning. · An examination of some of the special challenges and oppor- tunities for high-quality learning that accompany new technologies. SOME WAYS TO THINK ABOUT ISSUES OF EDUCATIONAL QUALITY People who want to improve educational quality often begin with a focus on teaching methods. We have been approached by a number of professors and K-12 teachers who heard that lectures (whether live or online) are a poor way to teach. "Is this true?" they ask. "Is cooperative learning better than lecturing?" "Do Ecomputers, labs, hands-on projects, simulations] help learning?" For Web-based instruction, we are often asked to identify the most important technology features needed for success, including the relative importance of threaded dis- cussions, chat rooms, availability of full motion video, and so forth. Questions about teaching strategies are important, but they need to be asked in the context of whom we are teaching and what we want our students to accomplish. The reason is that particular types of teaching and learning strategies can be strong or weak depending on our goals for learning and the knowledge and skills that students bring to the learning task (e.g., see Jenkins, 1978; Morris, Bransford, and Franks, 1977; Schwartz and Bransford, 1998~. The Jenkins Tetrahedral Mode} A model developed by James Jenkins (1978) highlights important constellations of factors that must be simultaneously considered when attempting to think about issues of teaching and learning. (See Fig- ure 6-1. We have adapted the model slightly to fit the current discussion.) The model illustrates that the appropriateness of using particular types of teaching strategies depends on (1) the nature of the materials to be learned; (2) the nature of the skills, knowledge, and attitudes that learners bring to the situation; and (3) the goals of the learning situa- tion and the assessments used to measure learning relative to these goals. A teaching strategy that works within one constellation of these variables may work very poorly when that overall constellation is changed. One way to think about the Jenkins model is to view it as highlighting important parameters for defining various educational ecosystems. A particular teaching strategy may flourish or perish depending on the overall characteristics of the ecosystem in which it is placed. Attempts to teach students about veins and arteries can be used to illustrate the interdependencies shown in the Jenkins model. Imagine that the materials to be learned include a text, which states that arter- ies are thicker than veins and more elastic and carry blood rich in 160 CREATING HIGH-QUALITY LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS

Nature of content Modality (text, visual, 3-D) Degree of connectedness Engagement Etc / Teaching and Learning Activities Lectures Simulations / Hands-On Problem Solving Etc. FIGURE 6-1 : Jenkins Tetrahedral Model. SOURCE: Adapted from Jenkins ( 1978~. \ Characteristics of the Learner Knowledge Skills Motivation Attitudes Etc. Criterial Tasks Recognition Recall / Problem solving and transfer Effectiveness of new learning Etc. oxygen from the heart. Veins are smaller, less elastic, and carry blood back to the heart. What's the best way to help students learn this information? The Jenkins model reminds us that the answer to this question depends on who the students are, what we mean by "learn- ing" in this context, and how we measure the learning that occurs. Consider a strategy that teaches students to use mnemonic tech- niques. For example, they might be taught to think about the sentence "Arttery) was thick around the middle so he wore pants with an elastic waistband." The Jenkins framework reminds us that the ability to use this particular technique presupposes specific types of knowledge and skills on the part of the learners (e.g., that they understand English, understand concepts such as elasticity and why they would be useful in this situation, etc. ). Given the availability of this knowledge, mnemonic techniques like the one noted above "work" extremely well given particular assumptions about what it means for something to "work." JOHN BRANSFORD, NANCY VYE, AND HELEN BATEMAN 161

Mnemonic techniques "work" for remembering factual content. If asked to state important characteristics of arteries (e.g., thick, elastic), the preceding statement about Art~ery) can be very helpful. If our tests assess only memory, we tend to say that our students have learned. But suppose that we change the goal from merely remembering to learning with understanding. The Jenkins framework reminds us that a change in learning goals and assessments often requires a change in teaching and learning strategies as well. In order to learn with understanding, students need to understand why veins and arteries have certain characteristics. For example, arteries carry blood from the heart, blood that is pumped in spurts. This helps explain why they would need to be elastic (to handle the spurts). In addition, arterial blood needs to travel uphill (to the brain) as well as downhill, so the elasticity of the arteries provides an additional advantage. If they constrict behind each uphill spurt, they act as a type of one- way valve that keeps the blood from flowing downhill. Learning to understand relationships such as why arteries are elastic should facilitate subsequent transfer. For example, imagine that students are asked to design an artificial artery. Would it have to be elastic? Students who have only memorized that arteries are elastic have no grounded way to approach this problem. Students who have learned with understanding know the functions of elasticity and hence are freer to consider possibilities like a nonelastic artery that has one-way valves (Bransford and Stein, 1993~. Overall, this example illustrates how memorizing versus under- standing represents different learning goals in the Jenkins framework and how changes in these goals require different types of teaching strategies. The details of one's teaching strategies will also need to vary depending on the knowledge, skills, attitudes, and other charac- teristics that students bring to the learning task. For example, we noted earlier that some students (e.g., those in the lower grades) may not know enough about pumping, spurts, and elasticity to learn with understanding if they are simply told about the functions of arteries. They may need special scaffolds such as dynamic simulations that display these properties. As a different kind of example, imagine that we want to include mnemonics along with understanding and one of the students in our class is overweight and named Art. Under these conditions, it would seem unwise to use the mnemonic sentence about Art~ery) that was noted above. The Importance of Working Backwards The Jenkins model fits well with a recent book by Wiggins and McTighe entitled Understanding by Design (1997~. They suggest a "working backwards" strategy for creating high-quality learning experiences. In particular, they recommend that educators (1) begin with a careful analysis of learning goals; (2) explore how students' progress in achieving these goals; and (3) use the results of to assess 162 CREATING HIGH-QUALITY LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS

1 and 2 to choose and continually evaluate teaching methods. (Assumptions about steps 1 and 2 are also continually evaluated.) When using a "working backwards" strategy, one's choice of teaching strategies derives from a careful analysis of learning goals, rather than vice versa. In the discussion below, we attempt to clarify the importance of working backwards by discussing some imaginary universities that each set different goals for their students. These different goals have strong effects on what and how the universities teach. Father Guido Sarduci's Plans for Education One example of working backwards from a well-defined set of goals is illustrated in a wonderful four-minute comedy routine by Father Guido Sarduci from the television program "Saturday Night Live." Father Sarduci begins by looking at the knowledge and skills that the average college graduate remembers five years after he or she graduates. He accepts these five-years-later memory performances as his standard and proposes a new kind of university that will have the same outcomes. His innovation is "The Five-Minute University," which will cost only $20. Father Sarduci notes that $20 might seem like a lot for only 5 minutes, but it includes tuition, books, snacks for the 20-second spring break, cap and gown rental, and graduation picture. Father Sarduci provides examples of the kinds of things students remember after five years. If they took two years of college Spanish, for example, he argues that five years postgraduation the average student will remember only "`,Como esta usted?" and "Muy bien, gracias." So that's all his Five-Minute University teaches. His eco- nomics course teaches only "Supply and Demand." His business course teaches "You buy something and sell it for more," and so forth. A video of Father Sarduci's performance demonstrates how strongly the audience resonates to his theme of the heavy emphasis on memorization in college courses and the subsequent high forget- ting rates. Competing with Father Sar(luci: Reducing Forgetting A competitor to Father Sarduci's Five-Minute University might establish the goal of reducing the amount of forgetting that typically occurs five years after students graduate. The competitors' univer- sity will have to last longer than five minutes, but the increased retention of what was learned in college should make it worth the students' time. In order to accomplish this goal, the competitor will introduce students to a number of memory techniques. We saw an example of a memory technique in our earlier discus- sion of veins and arteries. A teacher in the competing university might introduce it as follows: "OK class. Here's a way to remember the properties of arteries. Think about the sentence ART(ery) was THICK around the middle but he was RICH enough to afford pants JOHN BRANSFORD, NANCY VYE, AND HELEN BATEMAN 163

with an ELASTIC waistband. This will help you remember that arteries are thick elastic and carry oxygen-rich blood. In a minute I'll give you a different sentence for remembering information about veins." There is a great deal of research about the power of memory techniques and about ways that strategically spaced reminders can decrease the rate of forgetting (e.g., Bjork and Richardson-Klavhen, 1989; Bransford and Stein, 1993; Mann, 1979~. The competitor to Father Sarduci's university would probably use these studies as evidence for the "research-based teaching methods" that her school provides. Another Competitor: Learning With Understanding A third competitor proposes to move beyond the goal of simply increasing retention. Her university emphasizes the importance of learning with understanding. This not only can help remembering, it can also provide a basis for transfer to new problems that need to be solved. (e.g., National Research Council ENRC],1999a; Bransford and Stein, 1993; Judd, 1908; Wertheimer, 1959~. We noted earlier how learning with understanding applies to the veins and arteries example. From this perspective, students need to understand why veins and arteries have certain characteristics. The benefits of learning with understanding include a more flexible ability to transfer to new situations (e.g., to design an artificial artery). The downside is that learning with understanding typically takes more time than simply memorizing. Students need to understand something about the circulatory system and the body as a whole in order to understand the structure and functions of veins and arteries. So our third university is going to have to be longer than the other competi- tors. But the results should be worth this extra time. Still More Competitors We could continue to add more competitors to our existing trio of universities. In addition to a focus on learning with understanding, several competitors might also emphasize problem solving. However, there are many ways to define "effective problem solving," and we would eventually expect new universities to differentiate themselves within this category. For example, one might prepare students to deal with realistic, open-ended problems rather than simply prepare them to solve the kinds of well-specified word problems that are often used in school settings (e.g., see Bransford, 1979; Cognition and Technology Group at Vanderbilt ECTGV], 1997; Hmelo, 1995; Williams, 1992~. This will require a change in the kinds of assessments used to demon- strate success (i.e., the use of open-ended rather than simply well- scripted problems). Still another competing university might promise to accomplish all the preceding goals plus tailor the educational curriculum to the strengths, needs, and desires of each learner. This would include the development of self-understanding (metacognition) as an important 164 CREATING HIGH-QUALITY LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS

goal of learning. There is a considerable amount of data that supports the value of a metacognitive approach to instruction (e.g., see Brown, 1978; Leonard, Dufresne, and Mestre, 1996; Lin and Lehman, 1999; Pressley, 1995; White and Frederiksen, 1998~. It includes an emphasis on learning with understanding and on problem solving, but part of the emphasis is on understanding the cognitive and emotional processes involved in these kinds of activities. Summary: Issues of Education Quality We began this section by noting that some people approach the high-quality learning by focusing exclusively on ~ ~ · r r ~ Issue of defining teaching methods and asking, "which ones are best?" An alternative (and we argue more productive) approach is to focus on what we want students to know and be able to do, and to then work backwards (Wiggins and McTighe, 1997~. We discussed the strategy of working backwards in the context of (imaginary) competing universities that try to differentiate themselves by focusing on different learning out- comes. Their choice of outcomes had a major impact on their choice of teaching strategies including the length of time that students need to spend in their school. The Jenkins model (Figure 6-1) reminds us that a change in learning goals is only one of several factors that should have an impact on our choice of teaching methods. Other factors include whom we are teaching and what they already know. If we are teaching plate tectonics to novices, or veins and arteries to novices, we probably need to include visuals preferably ones that show the dynamics of the systems. If our students already know the core workings of the subject, they may well be able to generate the necessary images on their own (e.g., see Schwartz and Bransford, 1998~. Ultimately, the ability to design high-quality learning environ- ments requires that we move beyond a procedural description of strategies such as working backwards (Wiggins and McTighe, 1997) and diagrams such as the Jenkins tetrahedral model. All these authors would agree that we also need to understand the kinds of skills, attitudes, and knowledge structures that support competent performance, plus understand the literature on ways to develop competence and confidence. We turn to these issues in the discussion below. USING INFORMATION ABOUT HOW PEOPLE LEARN During the past 30 years, research on human learning has exploded. Although we have a long way to go to fully uncover the mysteries of learning, we know a considerable amount about the cognitive processes that underlie expert performances and about strategies for helping people increase their expertise in a variety of areas. Several committees organized by the National Academy of Sciences have summarized much of this research in reports published by the National Academy JOHN BRANSFORD, NANCY VYE, AND HELEN BATEMAN 165

FIGURE 6-2: Four lenses that together make up the How People Learn (HPL) frame- work. Press. Some of the key publications that inform our current discussion are How People Learn: Brain, Mind, Experience and School (NRC, 1999a) and How People Learn: Bridging Research and Practice (NRC, l999b). These two individual reports have recently been combined to produce an expanded edition of How People Learn (NRC, 2000~. A more recent report, Knowing What Students Know (NRC, 2001), which builds on How People Learn, is also relevant to this discussion. Its focus is primarily on assessment. An organizing structure used in the How People Learn volumes (hereafter HPL) is the HPL framework (see Figure 6-2). It highlights a set of four overlapping lenses that can be used to analyze any learn- ing situation. In particular, it suggests that we ask about the degree to which learning environments are: · Knowledge centered (in the sense of being based on a careful analysis of what we want people to know and be able to do when they finish with our materials or course and providing them with the foundational knowledge, skills, and attitudes needed for successful transfer); · Learner centered (in the sense of connecting to the strengths, interests, and preconceptions of learners and helping them learn about themselves as learners); 166 CREATING HIGH-QUALITY LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS

. Community centered (in the sense of providing an environ- ment both within and outside the classroom where students feel safe to ask questions, learn to use technology to access resources and work collaboratively, and are helped to develop lifelong learning skills); · Assessment centered (in the sense of providing multiple opportu- nities to make students' thinking visible so they can receive feedback and be given chances to revise). We discuss each of these lenses below. Knowledge Centered it seems obvious that any learning situation whether informal or formal; whether face-to-face, online, or a hybrid involves the goal of acquiring new knowledge (we include skills within this category). The HPL framework helps us think more deeply about this issue by reminding us to take very seriously questions about what should be taught and why. Consistent with our earlier discussion of Under- standing by Design (Wiggins and McTighe, 1997), an important first step is to ask what we want people to be able to know and do at the end of a course or learning experience. Or at a broader level, what do we want them to know and be able to do once they graduate? Information about how people learn provides important guide- lines for deepening our thinking about knowledge-centered issues. For example, learning goals should not simply be viewed as a list of disconnected "behavioral objectives." A key is to emphasize connected knowledge that is organized around foundational ideas of a discipline. Research on expertise shows that it is the organization of knowledge that underlies experts' abilities to understand and solve problems (see HPL [NRC, 1992b], especially Chapter 2~. Bruner (1960) makes the following argument about knowledge organization: The curriculum of a subject should be determined by the most fundamental understanding that can be achieved of the underlying principles that give structure to a subject. Teaching specific topics or skills without making clear their context in the broader funda- mental structure of a field of knowledge is uneconomical.... An understanding of fundamental principles and ideas appears to be the main road to adequate transfer of training. To understand some- thing as a specific instance of a more general case which is what understanding a more fundamental structure means is to have learned not only a specific thing but also a model for understanding other things like it that one may encounter. (pp. 6, 25, and 31) An emphasis on knowledge organization (as opposed to a mere list of behavioral objectives) has important implications for the design of instruction. For example, Wiggins and McTighe (1997) argue that the knowledge to be taught should be prioritized into categories that range from "enduring ideas of the discipline" to "important things to JOHN BRANSFORD, NANCY VYE, AND HELEN BATEMAN 167

know and be able to do" to "ideas worth mentioning." Thinking through these issues and coming up with a set of "enduring connected ideas" is an extremely important aspect of educational design. Our earlier discussion of veins and arteries provides a simple con- trast between a mere list of fact-oriented behavioral objectives (e.g., be able to list the features of veins and arteries) and an attempt to develop a more coherent, enduring model that explains why veins and arteries have certain properties. As Bruner (1960) argues, taking the time to develop an understanding of key concepts and models is more efficient in the long run (see also Bransford and Schwartz, 1999) because it facilitates subsequent learning. He also states: "One of the principal organizing concepts in biology is the question, "What func- tion does this thing serve?" This question is premised on the assump- tion that everything one finds in an organism serves some function or it probably would not have survived. Other general ideas are related to this question. The student who makes progress in biology learns to ask the question more and more subtly, to relate more and more things to it (Bruner, 1960, p. 280~. Bransford and Schwartz's (1999) discus- sion of "preparing students for future learning" provides additional examples of this point of view. Many courses are organized in ways that fail to optimally prepare students for future learning. For example, texts often present lists of topics and facts in a manner that has been described as "a mile wide and an inch deep" (e.g., see NRC, 2000~. Taking the time to define and teach the "enduring ideas of a discipline" is extremely important for ensuring high-quality learning. Making this choice is often described as choosing "depth over breadth," but in the long run it is not an either/or proposition. Learner Centered There are many overlaps between being knowledge centered and learner centered, but there are differences as well. From the instructor's perspective, an important aspect of being learner centered involves recognition of "expert blind spots." Instructors must become aware that much of what they know is tacit and hence can easily be skipped over in instruction. For example, experts in physics and engineering may not realize that they are failing to communicate all the informa- tion necessary to help novices learn to construct their own free body diagrams (Brophy, 2001~. The reason is that many decisions are so intuitive that the professors don't even realize they are part of their repertoire. Studies of expertise (e.g., NRC, 2000) show that experts' knowledge helps them begin problem solving at a higher level than novices because they almost effortlessly perceive aspects of a problem situation that are invisible to novices (e.g., Chi, Feltovich, and Glaser, 1981; deGroot, 1965~. Shulman (1987) discusses how effective teachers need to develop "pedagogical content knowledge" that goes well be- yond the content knowledge of a discipline (see also Hestenes, 1987~. 168 CREATING HIGH-QUALITY LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS

A learner-centered approach includes an understanding of how novices typically struggle as they attempt to master a domain and an under- standing of strategies for helping them learn. Related to the idea of expert blind spots is the notion that students are not "blank slates" with respect to goals, opinions, knowledge, and time. The HPL volume summarizes a number of studies that demon- strate the active, preconception-driven learning that is evident from infancy to adulthood (see also Carey and Gelman, 1991; Driver, Squires, Rushworth, and Wood-Robinson, 1994~. In many cases, students develop preconceptions based on their everyday experiences that are at odds with the basic assumptions that underlie various disciplines (e.g., modern physics). If these preconceptions are not addressed directly, students often memorize content (e.g., formulas in physics) yet still use their experience-based preconceptions (which are often miscon- ceptions from the perspective of mature disciplines) to act upon the world. Other components of being learner centered involve honoring students' backgrounds and cultural values and finding special strengths that each may have that allow him or her to connect to information being taught in the classroom. Unless these connections are made explicitly, such strengths often remain inert and hence do not support subsequent learning. An article written in 1944 by Stephen Corey provides an insight- ful look at the importance of being learner centered and attempting to help students connect school learning with other knowledge and skills that are available to them. Entitled "Poor Scholar's Soliloquy," the article is written from the perspective of an imaginary student (we'll call him Bob) who is not very good in school and has had to repeat the seventh grade. Many would write Bob off as having a low aptitude for learning. But looking at what Bob is capable of achieving outside of school gives a very different impression of his abilities. Part of the soliloquy describes how teachers don't see Bob as a good reader. His favorite books include Popular Science, the Mechanical Encyclopedia, and the Sears' and Ward's catalogs. Bob uses his books to pursue meaningful goals. He says, "I don't just sit down and read them through like they make us do in school. I use my books when I want to find something out, like whenever Mom buys anything second hand, I look it up in Sears' or Ward's first and tell her if she's getting stung or not." Later on, Bob explains the trouble he had memorizing the names of the presidents. He knew some of them, like Washington and Jefferson, but there were 30 altogether at the time and he never did get them all straight. He seems to have a poor memory. Then he talks about the three trucks his uncle owns and how he knows the horsepower and number of forward and backward gears of 26 different American trucks, many of them diesels. Then he says, "It's funny how that diesel works. I started to tell my teacher about it last Wednesday in science class when the pump we were using to make a JOHN BRANSFORD, NANCY VYE, AND HELEN BATEMAN 169

vacuum in a bell jar got hot, but she said she didn't see what a diesel engine had to do with our experiment on air pressure so I just kept still. The kids seemed interested, though." Bob also discusses his inability to do the kinds of word problems found in his textbooks. Yet he helps his uncle make all kinds of complex plans when they travel together. He talks about the bills and letters he sends to the farmers whose livestock his uncle hauls and about how he made only three mistakes in his last 17 letters all of them commas. Then he says, "I wish I could write school themes that way. The last one I had to write was on 'What a Daffodil Thinks of Spring,' and I just couldn't get going." Bob ends his soliloquy by noting that, according to his dad, he can quit school at the age of 15 and how he feels like he should. After all, he's not getting any younger and he has a lot to learn. The story about Bob is as relevant today as it was in 1944. NRC (1999a,b) discusses how all new learning rests on connections to previous learning, yet potential connections are not necessarily made spontaneously. The advantages of helping students make these connections are con- tinuing to be explored (e.g., Moll, Tapia, and Whitmore, 1993~. Sometimes our assumptions about other people are based on hear- say, stereotypes, or interpretations of behaviors that are one sided because we lack other perspectives. The research literature on stereo- types demonstrates the unfortunate ease with which humans make unwarranted assumptions about others based on only superficial cues (e.g., Cole, 1996; Hamilton, Stroessner, and Driscoll, 1994; Jussim, Coleman, and Lerch, 1987; Salzer, 1998~. Research by Lin and Bransford (in preparation) shows how efforts to personalize information about people can help fellow students and teachers get beyond their initial stereotypes. Interestingly, in an online world, many identifying char- acteristics of individuals that might cause stereotyping can remain hidden. Many argue that this can have important benefits. Community Centered This aspect of the HPL framework is highly related to being learner centered, but it specifically focuses our attention on the norms and modes of operation of any community we are joining. For example, some classrooms represent communities where it is safe to ask questions and say, "I don't know." Others follow the norm of "Don't get caught not knowing something." An increasing number of studies suggest that in order to be successful learning communities should provide their members a feeling that members matter to each other and to the group and a shared faith that members' needs will be met through their commitment to be together (Alexopoulou and Driver, 1996; Bateman, Bransford, Goldman, and Newbrough, 2000~. The importance of creating and sustaining learning communities in which all members are valued can be traced to Vygotsky's theory that culture plays a central role in developmental processes. Vygotsky 170 CREATING HIGH-QUALITY LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS

(1978) suggested that all learning is culturally mediated, historically developing, and arising from cultural activity. Leontiev (1981) describes Vygotsky's "cultural method of thinking" as developing in a system of human relationships: "If we removed human activity from the system of social relationships, it would not exist.... The human individual's activity is a system of social relations. It does not exist without these reactions" (pp. 46-47~. An important implication of this perspective . . ~ . . i s that providing supportive, enrlcnec`, anct ilexlole settings where people can learn is essential. Having strong social networks within a classroom, within a school, and between classrooms and outside resources produces a number of advantages. First, networks provide students with multiple sources of knowl- edge. This is very important since different students often vary in what they know about a particular topic and hence need access to additional knowledge that may go beyond what is explicitly taught (Moll and Greenberg, 1995~. Second, strong learning communities provide learners with considerable support in obtaining such knowledge by providing settings where students are not afraid to ask questions, to attempt solving difficult problems, and to occasionally fail. Such social networks can be thought of as communities of learners (Baseman, 1998; Bateman, Bransford, Goldman, and Newbrough, 2000; CTGV, 1994~. Successful learning communities provide students with multiple opportunities for active participation (Brown and Campione, 1994; Lave and Wenger, 1991; Vygotksy, 1978~. Such communities of practice provide learners with intrinsic motivation to move to greater levels of participation in the community, thus becoming active members of the community of learners (Lave and Wenger, 1991). Although many aspects of community seem intuitively obvious when observed, there is currently considerable debate on defining the term "community"; hence there are numerous definitions of the term. Hillery (1955) was able to identify and analyze similarities among 94 sociological definitions. Poplin (1979), as well as Hillery, concluded that all definitions held the following identifying characteristics in common: 1. a group of people, 2. who share social interaction, 3. who share common ties between themselves and the group, and 4. who share a common "area" for at least some of the time. McMillan and Chavis (1986) have developed one of the most influential community models to date. They propose that effective communities should provide their members with: 1. Membership a feeling of belonging and acceptance, of sharing a sense of personal relatedness. Personal investment and boundaries are important elements of membership. JOHN BRANSFORD, NANCY VYE, AND HELEN BATEMAN 171

Influence a sense of mattering, of making a difference to a group, and of the group mattering to its members. Influence is bidirectional. Integration and fulfillment of needs a feeling that the needs of the individual will be met by the community, as well a feeling that the individual can meet the needs of the community. Shared emotional connection an emotional bond that gradually builds as members of a community share events that require investment of time, energy, and effort. Unlike more traditional "social network" theories, the McMillan and Chavis (1986) model has as its focal point the concept of a person as being both an agent of activity and a member of a community (Lave and Wenger, 1991~. This emphasis on the individual as an active agent of the community provides an important perspective when one's goal is helping all students learn. Studies by Bateman, Goldman, Newbrough, and Bransford (1998) have explored how different approaches to instruction affect students' sense of being in a learning community. They found that when com- pared to traditional classroom environments, those characterized by a constructivist/collaborative approach to learning were significantly higher in students' sense of community as well as in students' levels of social skills (CTGV, 1994~. The goals of constructivist-oriented teachers were to teach for deep understanding and to make students active participants in the learning process. All students were encouraged to develop expertise, and all students were given multiple opportunities to be actively involved in the classroom community. Students were allowed to learn at their own pace, and teachers provided scaffolding that was appropriate to each student's developmental level (Vygotsky, 1978~. Students in these classrooms were given multiple opportunities to engage in formative assessment. Student reflection and revision were the focus of the assessment process. Community building was actively encouraged in the class, with mutual respect for individuality and differences among students as the focal point. Students learned to listen to each other and to the teacher with respect and consideration even if they disagreed with the speaker's point of view. Students were also encouraged to work together in small groups and in pairs, sharing their expertise and understanding with others. When interviewed at the end of the year, most students felt that the opportunities to share, help, and get help from each other were very valuable experiences that contributed to their academic as well as their social development over the school year (Baseman, in press). Students in these strong community classrooms felt that their learning needs as well as their academic needs were being met suc- cessfully by their classroom community. They also felt that they had some influence over the learning process (Baseman et al., 1999~. Research also shows that high levels of community in classrooms are associated with high levels of prosocial behavior such as collabo- ration and cooperation among students and low levels of antisocial 172 CREATING HIGH-QUALITY LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS

behavior such as bullying and fighting (Baseman, 1998; Bateman et al., 1997~. Students in classrooms with strong communities also demonstrate higher levels of conflict resolution skills. These class- room communities are also associated with a host of desirable academic outcomes. Students in these classrooms exhibit higher levels of academic self-efficacy, and higher levels of interest in learning in a classroom setting (Baseman et al., 1999, 2000~. Students in classrooms with strong community are unafraid to take chances at occasional failure (Baseman et al., 2000~. Students in classrooms with strong community report higher levels of complex problem-solving ability. Strong classroom communities appear to foster the development of learning goals in students. Students in these classrooms feel free to focus on learning/mastery goals rather than performance academic goals. Focusing on learning/mastery goals facilitates students to become lifelong learners. Overall, these results support the hypothesis that classroom communities that provide stimulating, supportive, and safe environments in which students are not dissuaded from challenging themselves due to fear of failure and ridicule are the classrooms in which students become lifelong learners. The community- centered lens of the HPL framework (Figure 6-2) is designed to remind us of the extreme importance of this aspect of educational effective- ness and design. Assessment Centered in addition to being knowledge, learner, and community centered, effective learning environments are also assessment centered. Typi- cally when we think about assessment, we think about the tests that an instructor might give at the end of a unit or class, or about large- scale assessments such as state-mandated achievement tests and certi- fication tests mandated by various professional organizations. The following challenge explores people's perceptions of tests. A Cha1!1!enge During the December holiday season, a local newspaper ran a cartoon showing students in a classroom who had each received a wrapped present from their teacher. Upon opening the present, each student discovered the contents a geometry test. Needless to say, the students were not pleased with their "gift." People who viewed the cartoon could easily understand the students' anguish. Tests are more like punishments than gifts. However, is there any way that a "test" could be perceived as something positive? We have presented this challenge to many students and, more often than not, they answer that tests are negative experiences period. The exception is when they happen to do very well on one but they don't know this until after the fact. JOHN BRANSFORD, NANCY VYE, AND HELEN BATEMAN 173

Consider a slight twist on the preceding scenario. Imagine that the students have all been preparing for some kind of big event they consider very important. They may have been studying to pass the written part of their driver's test, which they have a great stake in passing. They may have been working on a geometry project that involves creating something for the community and doing a presenta- tion for community members they want to do a great job. They may have a chance for an internship with an architectural firm if they can demonstrate proficiency in design and mathematics. They may simply want to do well on a test that is going to be administered later. The important point is to imagine that the impending big event is signifi- cant to students. Under the preceding conditions, the dreaded test can be trans- formed into a wonderful gift. Imagine, for example, that the teacher has carefully selected a set of items that help students assess their readiness for their written driver's test, their geometry demonstration, their future employment, or whatever the big event is that is on the horizon. Assume further that the purpose of the test is to help students identify and correct any weaknesses now prior to the big event. Under these conditions, one can well imagine the students' delight and appreciation as they open their present and find a "test" from their teacher. The tests provide important feedback about their progress feedback that lets them continue to work on any weaknesses. But these tests have a very different function from the one that was portrayed in the initial cartoon. Their function is to guide learning to be formative rather than summative. Formative Assessment Formative assessments when coupled with opportunities to revise- provide a number of advantages. They serve a learning function for teachers who can use the information to change their instruction to make it more effective or to target students who are in need of further help. Similarly, students can use feedback from formative assess- ments to help them determine what they have not yet mastered and need to work on further. Data indicate that providing opportunities for feedback and revision greatly helps students learn (e.g., Black and William, 1998; Barron et al., 1998; CTGV, 1997; Hunt and Minstrell, 1994~. Helping students learn to self-assess (to become more metacognitive) is especially important (e.g., see NRC, 2000~. Ultimately, they need to develop the habits of mind to assess their own progress rather than always rely on outsiders. A number of studies show that achievement improves when students are encouraged to self-assess their own con- tributions and work (e.g., NRC, 2000; Lin and Lehman, 1999; White and Frederiksen, 1998~. It is also important to help students assess the kinds of strategies they are using to learn and solve problems. For example, in quantitative courses such as physics, many students simply focus on formulas rather than attempt to first think qualitatively about 174 CREATING HIGH-QUALITY LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS

problems and relate them to key ideas in a discipline (e.g., Newton's second law). When they are helped to do the latter, performance on new problems greatly improves (e.g., Leonard et al., 1996~. Providing frequent opportunities for feedback and revision takes time, and this is a major impediment for teachers. Providing opportu- nities for formative assessment is an area where new technologies can have major benefits. We discuss some computer-based and Web- based assessments later on in the section on technology. However, it is useful to know that there are also inexpensive wireless classroom communication systems (CCSs) that provide a powerful opportunity to make even large classes more interactive. A simple version of a CCS allows teachers to show multiple- choice questions during the course of a lecture or demonstration. Students respond by pressing a key on a handheld device. Responses are aggregated and shown as a graph, so all individual responses are anonymous. CCSs provide both students and teachers with immediate feedback about what is and is not being understood. During its early years, CCS research and implementation efforts were limited by hardwired, relatively costly systems with restricted functionality. The new wireless systems include increasing ranges of functionality, and with several manufacturers there is now competi- tive pricing. As a consequence, the opportunities for widespread use of these promising tools are greatly increased. Professors at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst have been using a classroom communication technology called Classtalk for a number of years (Dufresne, Gerace, Leonard, Mestre, and Wenk, 1996; Mestre, Gerace, Dufresne, and Leonard, 1997; Wenk, Dufresne, Gerace, Leonard, and Mestre, 1997~. Initially, Classtalk consisted of handheld devices (either Hewlett-Packard palmtop computers or Texas Instru- ments calculators) that were wired via phone jack ports to a computer in the front of the room. The existence of multiple phonejack ports throughout the auditorium allowed students to sign on to the system, with groups of up to four students sharing one handheld device. The software and hardware allowed the presentation of questions for students to work on collaboratively and the collection and anonymous display of students' answers in histogram form. Data indicate that the vast majority of the students felt that, compared to traditional courses, Classtalk improved their abilities to understand the subject matter they were trying to learn (Dufresne et al., 1996; Mestre et al., 1997; Wenk et al., 1997~. Systems similar to Classtalk have also been suc- cessfully used in K-12 settings (Gomez, Fishman, and Pea, in press; Pea and Gomez, 1992~. The entire HPL framework (Figure 6-2) is useful to keep in mind as a guide for using CCSs. The knowledge-centered lens reminds us to carefully explore the questions being asked. Are they simply fact based or do they develop an understanding of the discipline? The learner-centered lens reminds us to help students understand why certain answers are and are not correct, to make it possible for them JOHN BRANSFORD, NANCY VYE, AND HELEN BATEMAN 175

to be wrong without being embarrassed, and to provide them opportu- nities to discuss questions with one another. The community-centered lens reminds us to think about ways to use CCSs to build a learning community rather than simply spark cutthroat competition. Interviews with students who have used CCSs in their classes (in particular, Classtalk) indicate that its introduction had a number of ripple effects that had an impact on all aspects of the HPL framework. Examples of student interviews are as follows (Bransford, Brophy, and Williams, 2000~: In class I really don't learn anything by lecture. I'm more of a person that reads. That's how I learn. I go to class all the time but it's a waste of time. I'll take notes, but when I leave the class I won't have any idea what the professor has just talked about. With Classtalk you're forced to pay attention, you're forced to process all the information right there. You're not just writing down notes then leaving class; you're actually applying what you're learning as you and others are thinking. Another student emphasized the benefits of seeing what others in the class were thinking about problems. If many other students were confused, it was nice to see that she wasn't the only one. If she did understand but many others didn't, she could appreciate why the pro- fessor needed to take the time to make things clearer to those who needed help. And when different groups explained their reasoning behind different answers, it helped her better appreciate the range of possible ways to think about problems that were posed. Still another student talked about the bonds formed by working in groups to answer via Classtalk. She then noted how working in groups had helped her meet new people and how her Classtalk group also met outside of class to help one another: I think working in groups has helped us meet other people in our major and our classes. It turns out I meet with those same people outside of class. We practice tests together. Often, one worries that students being interviewed are just being polite. We believe that the students noted above were being quite honest. For example, one began her interview by stating how Classtalk made her physics class exciting. After a moment she amended her statement and, in the process, formulated a potentially important prin- ciple about formal education: Even with Classtalk that doesn't mean the class isn't going to have its boring moments. I mean, that's impossible. You have to be bored to be in school. Summative Assessment Unlike formative assessments, summative assessments are generally used to index what has been learned at the end of a unit, course, or 176 CREATING HIGH-QUALITY LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS

program of study. Issues of summative assessment are also discussed in NRC (1999a,b) and in much more detail in the new National Academy of Sciences report entitled Knowing What Students Know (NRC, 2001b). The latter report points out both strengths and a weakness of typical approaches to standardized testing, and recommends that course-relevant formative assessments receive much more attention than they have in the past. Ideally, summative assessments provide an indication of students' ability to do something other than simply "take tests." Assessments should be predictive of performance in everyday settings. One way to look at this issue is to view tests as attempts to predict students' abilities to transfer from classroom settings to everyday settings. From this perspective, assumptions about the nature of "transfer" affect how we think about assessing what students have learned. It has been argued that traditional ways of conceptualizing and measuring transfer may be unnecessarily constraining how we think about assessment (Bransford and Schwartz, 1999~. Central to tradi- tional approaches to transfer is a "direct application" theory and a dominant methodology, which asks whether people can apply some- thing they have learned previously to a new problem or situation. Thorndike and colleagues' classic studies of transfer utilized this paradigm. For example, in Thorndike and Woodworth (1901), participants took a pretest on judging the area of various rectangles and then received opportunities to improve their performance through practice plus feedback. Following this learning task, participants were tested on the different but related task of estimating the areas of circles and triangles. Transfer was assessed by the degree to which learning skill A (estimating the area of squares) influenced skill B (estimating the area of circles or triangles). Thorndike and Woodworth found little evidence for transfer in this setting and argued that the "ability to estimate area" was not a general skill. Gick and Holyoak's (1980, 1983) work on analogical transfer provides a modern-day example of a similar paradigm for studying transfer. Participants in their studies first received information about a problem and a solution such as "The General and the Fortress" Problem. They then received a second problem (Dunker's t19451 Irradiation problem) that could be solved by analogy to the first prob- lem. Depending on the conditions of the experiment, participants either did or did not show evidence of applying what they had learned about the general's solution to solve the irradiation problem. In many instances, there was a surprising failure to transfer spontaneously from one problem to the next. Many other researchers use a similar paradigm of initial learning followed by problem solving. Examples include Adams, Kasserman, Yearwood, Perfetto, Bransford, and Franks (1988~; Bassok (1990~; Brown and Kane (1988~; Chen, and Dachler (1989~; Lockhart, Lamon, and Gick (1988~; Nisbett, Fong, Lehman, and Cheng (1987~; Novick (1988~; Perfetto, Bransford, and Franks (1983~; Reed, Ernst, and Banerji (1974~; Thorndike and Woodward (1901~; and Wertheimer ~ 1959~. JOHN BRANSFORD, NANCY VYE, AND HELEN BATEMAN 177

A striking feature of the research studies noted above is that they all use a final transfer task that involves what Bransford and Schwartz (1999) call "sequestered problem solving" (SPS). Just as juries are often sequestered in order to protect them from possible exposure to "contaminating" information, subjects in experiments are sequestered during tests of transfer. There are no opportunities for them to demonstrate their abilities to learn to solve new problems by seeking help from other resources such as texts or colleagues or by trying things out, receiving feedback, and getting opportunities to revise. Accompany- ing the SPS paradigm is a theory that characterizes transfer as the ability to directly apply one's previous learning to a new setting or problem, which we call the direct application (DA) theory of transfer. Bransford and Schwartz's thesis is that the SPS methodology and the accompanying DA theory of transfer are responsible for much of the pessimism about evidence for transfer. An alternative to SPS methodology and DA theory is a view that acknowledges the validity of these perspectives but also broadens the conception of transfer by including an emphasis on people's "prepara- tion for future learning" (PFL). Here, the focus shifts to assessments of people's abilities to learn in knowledge-rich environments. When organizations hire new employees, they don't expect them to have learned everything they need for successful adaptation. Organizations want people who can learn, and they expect employees to make use of resources (e.g., texts, computer programs, and colleagues) to facilitate this learning. The better prepared people are for future learning, the greater the transfer (in terms of speed and/or quality of new learning). As a simple illustration of a PFL perspective on transfer, consider a set of studies conducted by Kay Burgess (Bransford and Schwartz, 1999~. In one study, researchers asked fifth graders and college students to create a statewide recovery plan to protect bald eagles from the threat of extinction. The goal was to investigate the degree to which their general educational experiences prepared them for this novel task; none of the students had explicitly studied eagle recovery plans. The plans generated by both groups missed the mark widely. The college students' writing and spelling skills were better than the fifth graders, but none of the college students mentioned the need to worry about baby eagles imprinting on the humans who fed them, about creating tall hacking towers so that fledgling eagles would imprint on the territory that they would eventually call home, or about a host of other important variables. In short, none of the students college level or fifth graders generated a recovery plan that was even close to being adequate. Based on these findings, one might claim that the students' general educational experiences did not prepare them adequately for transfer. However, by another measure of transfer, the differences between the age groups were striking. We asked the students to generate questions about important issues they would research in order to design effective recovery plans for eagles (see Box 6-1~. The fifth graders tended to 178 CREATING HIGH-QUALITY LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS

JOHN BRANSFORD, NANCY VYE, AND HELEN BATEMAN 179

focus on features of individual eagles. In contrast, the college students were much more likely to focus on issues of interdependence between the eagles and their habitats. They asked questions such as "What type of ecosystem supports eagles?" (reflecting an appreciation of interdependence); "What about predators of eagles and eagle babies?" (also reflecting interdependence); "Are today's threats like the initial threats to eagles?" (reflecting an appreciation of history and change); "What different kinds of specialists are needed for different recovery areas?" (reflecting an appreciation for a possible need for multiple . , . ~ ~ ,. . . . . .. . . .. .. .. .. solutions). because they had not studied eagles directly, the college students were presumably generating questions that were framed by other aspects of biology that they had learned. So, by this alternative form of transfer test, it would appear that the college students had learned general considerations that would presumably help shape their future learning if they chose to pursue this topic (Scardamalia and Bereiter, 1992~. In this regard, one would call their prior learning experiences a success. It is important to emphasize that the PFL perspective on transfer does not assume the existence of a set of general learning skills that are content free. The expertise literature (e.g., NRC, 2000) shows clearly how strategies and knowledge are highly interdependent. Similarly, we discussed earlier how one's knowledge has extremely important imnlicationLs for the kindLs of ~ueLstionLs one asks (about eaglets and ~ 1 ~ O now to help them make a recovery as a species'. Grouchy fly I I) pro- vides an additional example: "The concept of bacterial infection as learned in biology can operate even if only a skeletal notion of the theory and the facts supporting it can be recalled. Yet, we are told of cultures in which such a concept would not be part of the interpretive schemata" (p. 12~. The absence of an idea of bacterial infection should have a strong effect on the nature of the hypotheses that people entertain in order to explain various illnesses, and hence would affect their abilities to learn more about causes of illness through further research and study and the strategies they would use in order to solve new problems. In short, the acquisition of well-differentiated knowledge is crucial for future learning (e.g., NRC, 2000; Schwartz and Bransford, 1998~. The more that this knowledge is acquired with understanding, the higher the probability that appropriate transfer will occur. Relying exclusively on static assessments may mask the learning gains of many students, plus the learning advantages that various kinds of educational experiences provide (Bransford and Schwartz, 1999~. Linking work on summative assessment to theories of transfer may help us overcome the limitations of many existing tests. HE and Motivation Many people ask where motivation resides in the HPL framework. We argue that all aspects of the framework are relevant to this issue. 80 CREATING HIGH-QUALITY LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS

If students know they are learning content and skills that will be important in life, that is motivating. If courses connect with their interests and strengths and provide interesting challenges to their preconceptions, that is motivating (Dwock, 1989~. If students receive frequent feedback that lets them see their progress in learning and gives them chances to do even better, that is motivating. And if students feel as if they are a valued part of a vibrant learning commu- nity, that is motivating as well. Summary: Using Information About How People I~earn The How People Learn framework provides a convenient way to organize a great deal of information about the nature of competent (expert) performance and about ways to help people develop their own competence (e.g., NRC, 2000~. The framework highlights a set of four overlapping lenses that are useful for analyzing the quality of various learning environments. Balance is particularly important. For example, learning environments can be knowledge centered but not learner centered, and vice versa. In addition, many environments lack frequent opportunities for formative assessment and revision, and many fail to promote a sense of community where learning (which includes admissions of "not knowing") is welcomed. The framework can be useful for analyzing face-to-face environments, online environments, and combinations of the two. ISSUES AND OPPORTUNITIES SURROUNDING NEW TECHNOLOGIES In this section we explore some ways that knowledge about how people learn can help us use technology more effectively. It is also noteworthy that new technologies can push our thinking about learning because they provide opportunities that were not possible in the past. A number of authors and groups have written about the present and possible futures of technology-enhanced learning environments (e.g., Bonk and Wisher, 2000; Palloff and Pratt, 1999; NRC, 2000; Web-Based Education Commission, 2000~. Covering this rapidly growing literature is beyond the scope of the present chapter. Our goal is more modest: to provide a few examples of how a combination of new technologies plus knowledge of how people learn can help us create new types of learning opportunities. Bringing Issues of Interning and Teaching to the Forefront A major benefit of efforts to put courses online is the effect on discussions of teaching and learning. Traditionally, teaching practices have tended to remain private and have been very hard to capture and analyze. If science had been carried out primarily by individual scientists who never made their thinking and work public, it seems JOHN BRANSFORD, NANCY VYE, AND HELEN BATEMAN 181

clear that progress would have been very slow (H. Simon, personal communication, September 21, 1999~. Even the simple act of putting one's syllabus and reading list on the Web makes it more public. Many instructors are going well beyond syllabi and reading lists and putting major portions of their courses on the Web. We call these courses Web-enhanced because they also involve frequent opportunities for face-to-face learning. Other courses and even entire credentialing and degree programs lean more toward being Web based, where face-to-face meetings of students and faculty may be infrequent or nonexistent (Bonk and Wisher, 2000; Stacey, 1999~. The ability to use technology to reach large numbers of students has created financial incentives to market "distance education" pro- grams. Furthermore, new technology has allowed education providers other than existing schools, colleges, and universities to enter the credentialing and degree-granting business. This increased competi- tion, coupled with the increased visibility of the content and teaching strategies used in the online courses, is increasing the national dialogue about effective learning. A number of online sites are devoted to the scholarship of teaching, complete with examples of teaching online (e.g., www.carnegiefoundation.org, www.vkp.org, www.vanth.org, www.cilt.org). Weigel (2000) notes that the majority of the Web-enhanced and Web-based courses are based on a "port the traditional classroom to the Internet" model: "The result, most often, has been little more than an exercise of posting on the Internet an enhanced syllabus that includes lecture content, reading assignments and practice tests, along with using discussion groups and e-mail to respond to students' questions" (p. 12~. We noted above that even these small changes can be valuable because they make teaching and learning practices more visible, and they add some clear functionalities that can be very valuable (e.g., the ability to rehear or rewatch a lecture on one's own time; the ability for asynchronous communication and discussion via threaded discussions and e-mail, etch. Nevertheless, research on how people learn suggests that we can improve both the traditional classroom and the "port the traditional classroom to the Internet" model (Duffy and Cunningham, 1996~. In the discussion below, we explore several ways to redesign a traditional lesson in order to take advantages of both new technologies and new knowledge of how people learn. A Challenge Involving a Sample Lesson on Density Consider the following transcript of a lecture on density that is designed for high school science classes. As you read it, think about how you might improve upon it to teach students about the concept of density. 182 CREATING HIGH-QUALITY LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS

Young people, I want you to listen to me, and listen very carefully, because the concept of density is very important now. The formula for density is D = M/V. D stands for density, of course. M stands for the mass of an object. You determine the mass of an object by weighing it. In science, the unit of mass is in metric units such as grams. V stands for the volume of an object. The volume of a cube is measured by its length times its width times its height. A cube that is one centimeter long, tall, and wide would equal one cubic centimeter. If an object is irregularly shaped, volume can be measured by an immersion technique where the object is placed in a cylinder filled with water. The volume is equal to the amount of water that the object displaces. Volume is measured in units like cubic centimeters. Different types of materials have specific densities. The density of lead is approximately 11.2 grams per cubic centimeter. The density of gold is approximately 19.3 grams per cubic centimeter. The density of a cubic centimeter of sand might be around 3 grams, depending on the coarseness of the sand. Now, young people, listen. This it the essence of the secret of density. I've been around a long time. you'll need to know some day. This is the kind of thing We have given this challenge to several different groups of indi- v~duals and find some high-frequency categories of responses. One is that the lecturer needs to be more interactive perhaps stopping once in a while to ask students questions and then provide answers. Another is that a lot of information is presented in a small amount of time and, depending on the audience, the lesson might need to be broken into subparts. For example, more time might be taken to teach the subtopic of volume. A third is that some type of memory aid should be suggested for helping students remember the density formulas. A fourth is that it might be important to add practice problems that ask students to find specific densities so that they can practice their skills. In general, people seem to respond to the challenge by drawing on their experiences of how they were taught. Putting the Lesson Online What happens when people (in our case, undergraduate and graduate education majors) are asked to generate ideas about creating an online density lesson? Not surprisingly, most adopt a "port the classroom" model (e.g., Weigel, 2000~. For example, many note that the lecture could be put online either as text, audio, video, or as a combination of all of these. Readings and other resources (a resource might include memory techniques for remembering formulas) can be put online as well. In addition, students can contact one another and ideally their instructor electronically. (Instructors typically learn to set online office hours rather than have students assume that they are available on a 24/7 basis.) Practice problems can also be provided that ask JOHN BRANSFORD, NANCY VYE, AND HELEN BATEMAN 183

students to compute new density problems, that are automatically graded, and that provide instant feedback to the users. Advantages of having the lesson online include the fact that the lecture can be re-viewed on an as-needed basis, students can commu- nicate asynchronously rather than only synchronously, and they can get instant feedback on practice problems they submit. If the course is Web-enhanced rather than Web-based, students also have the advan- tage of discovering what they don't yet understand by working on the Web and then talking with the professor when they come to class (e.g., Bransford, Lin, and Schwartz, 2000~. Using the HPL Framework to Redesign the Lesson The HPL framework provides a useful set of lenses for taking the redesign of the density lesson a step deeper than was described above. Please note that the HPL framework is very general and can be used quite flexibly this is both its strength and its weakness. In the dis- cussion below we provide only one of many possible ways to use HPL to think about a redesign. Knowledge Centeredness Central to the HPL approach is the issue of clearly defining what we want students to know and be able to do at the end of the lesson. This is consistent with the implications of the Jenkins model (Fig- ure 6-1), with Wiggins and McTighe's (1997) strategy of working backwards, and with Bruner's (1960) arguments about the importance of defining the core ideas in the discipline. Given the goal of teaching about density, what is it that we want students to know and be able to do when they finish our lesson? Based on the transcript of the lecture presented above, one might conclude that the instructor wants students to be able to calculate the density of various materials. This is very different from a goal such as "to see how the concept of density becomes a powerful tool for under- standing a number of mysteries about the world." In order to take seriously the knowledge-centered lens of the HPL framework, we would need to carefully review the literature on students' preconceptions and misconceptions about the subject (e.g., Carey and Gelman, 1991; Driver, Squires, Rushworth, and Woods-Robinson, 1994) and work closely with content experts who are willing to join our search for the enduring ideas of their discipline. The present authors are far from content experts in the area of density. We know from experience that it is easy to think we know enough about a subject to teach it and to then be surprised when we discuss it with experts in the field (e.g., see Bransford, Zech, et al., 1999~. A simple technique we have devised for gathering content from (busy) experts is to conduct short phone interviews about the impor- tant ideas of a topic. These interviews are easy for experts to generate. 184 CREATING HIGH-QUALITY LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS

They are then digitized, put on a tape or CD, and made available to course designers. They can be played while commuting, on planes, and in other places, and hence are easy to access. This approach to knowledge capture provides a starting point that allows designers to get back to the experts with more specific questions to which they can respond. As noted earlier, one example of an enduring idea with respect to density might be that different materials have characteristic densities (note the periodic table) and that this information can help us under- stand many things about the world. But of course, simply saying this to students is not sufficient to help them understand the power of this point. Learner Centeredness The learner-centered lens of the HPL framework reminds us to create situations that are engaging and meaningful to students and allow them to test their initial thoughts about some topic or problem. One way to do this is to focus on "challenge-based learning" rather than lecture-based learning. Students' challenges can be anchored in real data and experiences (e.g., Tinker and Berenfeld, 1994~; com- puter simulations (e.g., Edelson and Gordin, 1998; Kozma, Russell, Jones, Marx, and Davis, 1996~; videos of real-life problems (CTGV, 1997~; and so forth. Medical schools, law schools, business schools, and increasingly K-12 educators have used this general approach under names such as problem-based learning, case-based learning, project- . . . . . . . . . oasea learning, learning oy Design, inquiry learning, and anchored instruction (e.g., Barrows, 1983; Kolodner, 1997; CTGV,1997~. Williams (1992) provides an excellent discussion of the similarities and differ- ences among these approaches. They all begin with context-rich problems to be solved that are designed to help students develop a "big picture" for their new learning, plus help them learn to generate their own learning goals. It is important to note that an emphasis on challenge-based learning does not necessarily rule out lectures. There is a "time for telling" (Schwartz and Bransford, 1998~. However, when working with novices in a domain, simply starting with lectures is typically not the right time. Lectures, discussions, and other instructional techniques can be much more powerful after students have first attempted to grapple with a problem where they have some intuitions about its importance and some general ideas about how to approach it even if these ideas are wrong (see Schwartz and Bransford, 1998~. An example of challenge for a density lesson has been developed in conjunction with Bob Sherwood, a science educator at Vanderbilt. It is certainly not the only way to teach about density, but it has been tested enough to allow us to know that it is engaging to students and helps them develop an understanding of density that goes beyond the lecture provided above (e.g., see Brophy, 1998~. JOHN BRANSFORD, NANCY VYE, AND HELEN BATEMAN 185

The challenge is a short four-minute video entitled The Golden Statuette that was filmed very inexpensively with two high school actors. A high school boy decides to paint a lead statue gold and try to sell it to the proprietor of a metallurgy shop as being "pure gold." "Don't you go cutting into it or anything," he says to the proprietor (obviously worried that this would reveal the true nature of the metal). "It's pure gold and real soft." The proprietor of the store first weighs the statue and then writes down what she found (908 grams). Next she immerses it in a cylinder of water and writes down the overflow (80 cam. She then divides the mass by the volume. Finally she looks at (a) a chart of the densities of various metals and (b) a chart of selling prices for these metals. At the end, she gives the boy 10 cents for his statuette. The challenge to the students is to figure out if she was right and, if so, how she knew how much to pay. We have given this challenge to a number of students including those who have been in very high-quality high schools. Few know how to solve the challenge. Most could remember learning about density when we explicitly asked them if they had learned it in science, but they had basically been taught formulas rather than helped to under- stand how the concept of density is a powerful tool for understanding numerous mysteries about the world. We have also found that once students have grappled with the challenge, they are both more motivated and "cognitively ready" (see Schwartz and Bransford, 1998) to learn about the concept of density. For example, the lecture provided earlier becomes much more inter- esting and relevant to students because it contains clues for how to solve the challenge that they face. Ass ssm nt C nt r An ss e e e ee e This lens of the HPL framework has a number of important impli- cations for redesigning the density lesson. First, the challenge-based approach invites students to make their initial thinking visible. Whether they discuss the challenge face to face or online, many discover that they don't really understand what units such as grams and cubic centi- meters are measuring. Often they don't understand why the statuette was placed in the cylinder of water. And many question the boy's statement that gold is soft. The assessment-centered lens also reminds us to help students engage in a self-assessment of their own thoughts and behavior both as they considered the challenge and began to discuss it with others. Did they define learning goals or simply cringe at not being able to solve the problem? For example, if they could ask one or two questions about the challenge, what would the questions be? Did they interact with fellow students in ways that supported mutual learning? This emphasis on metacognition has been shown to increase learning in a number of areas (e.g., Brown and Campione, 1994; NRC, 2000; Leonard, et al., 1996; Lin and Lehman, 1999; White and Frederiksen, 1998~. 186 CREATING HIGH-QUALITY LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS

Being assessment centered in this context also reminds us to help students think about multiple problems not simply the original challenge. For example, "what if" questions can be asked about the original challenge (What if the statue were zinc rather than lead? How much would it be worth if it were really gold? What if the mass had been x grams? Which would weigh more if you picked it up the solid lead statue or a solid gold statue?) The addition of "what if" challenges to anchoring challenges has been shown to facilitate transfer (e.g., CTGV, 1997; NRC, 2000~. A number of tools for online assessments are being devised (e.g., Diagnoser by Hunt and Minstrell, 1994; Immex by Stevens and Nadjafi, 1999~. In addition to "what if" challenges related to the initial golden statuette challenge, formative assessments can invite students to think about new challenges and then get help if they need it. For example, how does the original challenge relate to the story about Archimedes and the King's Crown? How could you predict if gasoline will float on water versus sink? How could you evaluate a design to use five helium-filled balloons to hold up a loudspeaker that weighs x pounds? How can something like gold be both dense and malleable? Ideally, these kinds of formative assessments can be used to help students self-assess their readiness to demonstrate what they have learned. The HPL framework also reminds us that summative assessments should focus on understanding rather than simply computing the densities of "mystery" entities. One possible assessment is to ask students to generate their own challenges about density for other students. (This is highly motivating and an excellent way to assess students' under- standing.) Another is to provide students with different types of transfer problems. One is to use the typical "sequestered problem- solving" paradigm where students have no access to resources other than what they currently have in memory. Another is to use a "preparation for future learning" paradigm (Bransford and Schwartz, 1999) where students have opportunities to formulate learning goals and find rel- evant resources that can help them solve the problems (e.g., texts, videos, and simulations on the Web or provided among many options in their testing environment). Technology makes it possible to track the resources used by students and to capture their conclusions based on what they consult (Bransford and Schwartz, 1999~. Community Centeredness The community-centered lens of HPL reminds us to think about this important element. Overall, many features of online environ- ments can make learning more learner friendly than many face-to- face environments. Advantages of going online (either for Web-enhanced or Web-based instruction) include more opportunities for self-paced learning including revisiting the lecture at one's own pace and pur- suing resources on an as-needed basis (e.g., a student may or may not need more help to understand volume). A very important advantage involves getting immediate feedback on homework and practice problems JOHN BRANSFORD, NANCY VYE, AND HELEN BATEMAN 187

(from automatic homework graders). Opportunities for asynchronous discussions with fellow classmates and professors can be very benefi- cial as well. However, there are also downsides of working online. One includes breakdowns in the equipment (this can be very frustrating) or very slow responsiveness due to too much bandwidth for the media and too little for one's Internet connections (also very frustrating). Other dif- ficulties include an inability to get immediate answers to questions because others are not online at the moment or do not have the time to respond. Perhaps the largest obstacle to effective online learning is the loss of personal interactions with professors and fellow students (e.g., see Hough, 2000; Palloff and Pratt, 1999~. Since online discussions are usually text based, there is less personal information available (gestures, smiles, tones of voice) than is typical in face-to-face interactions. This means that people often misinterpret others' intent. Even failures to get responses to one's e-mail can be interpreted negatively. Students who receive no answer to a message can easily assume "no one cares" or "my thoughts must have been stupid." In actuality, people may simply have been too busy to respond. Interacting with people we do not know can exacerbate the diffi- culties of interacting electronically. In The Social Life of Informa- tion, Brown and Duguid (2000) argue that interactive technologies appear to be more effective in maintaining communication among established communities than in building new communities from scratch. Online courses also often require a level of personal skills of time management that are not as necessary in face-to-face settings when course schedules tend to provide an outside pull that keeps students on track. Keeping students informed that their absences are noticed by the professor (and ideally other members of the community) is very important for successful online learning. Technology such as "knowbots" (J. Bourne, 1998 personal communication, August 10, 1998) have been used successfully to contact students when they have missed an online deadline and ask about their welfare. New versions of course management systems such as Web CT also have the ability to send "personalized" letters to students who need special help. The person- alized letters are actually batch processed (e.g., the entire list of students doing poorly on an exam can be put in one batch) hence saving instructors a great deal of time. Overall, existing research on how to build and sustain face-to-face learning communities has a number of implications for creating high- quality online courses (Baseman et al., 1999; CTGV, 1994~. The data suggest that online learning environments should be designed to enable community elements such as: (a) addressing the learning needs of all participants, (b) enabling participants to be active members in the community, (c) enabling all members to have influence in community processes, (~) enabling all participants to feel important and valued as 188 CREATING HIGH-QUALITY LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS

members of the community, and (e) over time facilitating emotional connections between members of the virtual community. OVERALL SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS We began by noting that opportunities for Web-based learning are increasing people's access to educational opportunities, and this is an extremely positive development for people's lives and for our nation. We applaud efforts to increase access. By the same token, the goal of our paper is to go beyond issues of access and ask how we might improve the quality of education in any format be it face to face, Web based, or a combination of both. In the first section of the chapter, we discussed different ways to approach the issue of high-quality learning. We noted that many people begin with a focus on teaching (e.g., is cooperative grouping better than lectures?) but that it seems more fruitful to focus on learning. We introduced the Jenkins model as depicting some important char- acteristics of educational "ecosystems" in which teaching and learn- ing strategies operate. The same teaching strategy may be good or poor depending on the rest of the ecosystem. Especially important are the goals for learning and methods of assessing it. We connected the Jenkins model to the idea of "working backwards" in order to design effective educational environments (Wiggins and McTighe, 1997~. And we discussed a number of imaginary universities that might compete with one another based on their ultimate goals for their students. Farther Guido Sarduci's "Five-Minute University" was one competitor. He set as his goal the ability to replicate what most college students remember five years after they graduate. Competing universities increasingly raised the bar with respect to what they wanted their graduates to know and be able to do. Next, we discussed the How People Learn framework (NRC, 2000) and showed how it connects to the Jenkins model and to the idea of working backwards (Wiggins and McTighe, 1997~. It is a very general framework that leaves a great deal of room for flexibility, which is both its strength and its weakness. Nevertheless, the framework is useful because it reminds us to analyze situations at a deeper and more complete level than we might do otherwise. In particular, it reminds us to examine the degree to which any learning environment 1S: · Knowledge centered (in the sense of being based on a careful analysis of what we want people to know and be able to do when they finish with our materials or course and providing them with the foundational (connected) knowledge, skills, and attitudes needed for successful transfer); . Learner centered (in the sense of connecting to the strengths, interests, and preconceptions of learners and helping them learn about themselves as learners); JOHN BRANSFORD, NANCY VYE, AND HELEN BATEMAN 189

· Community centered (in the sense of providing an environ- ment where students feel safe to ask questions, learn to use tech- nology to access resources and work collaboratively, and are helped to develop lifelong learning skills); · Assessment centered (in the sense of providing multiple oppor- tunities for formative assessment and revision and providing summative assessments that are carefully aligned with one's learning goals). The third section of the paper focused on special challenges and opportunities provided by new technologies. We noted that putting courses online has the advantage of making issues of teaching and learning more visible. We also noted that most online courses have tended to look much like "porting" existing classrooms onto the Internet. From the perspective of HPL, neither traditional face-to-face courses, nor their online cousins, represents environments where opportunities for high-quality learning are consistently strong. We organized much of our discussion in this section around a short lecture-based lesson on density. We have informally asked a number of people to redesign the lesson and found that they can usually make suggestions for improvement. However, for most of them the general lesson format (lecture) remains invariant. When asked to imagine the lesson online, they tend to port their classroom model to the Internet. Many are able to pinpoint some definite advantages to the Internet-based format like the ability to review the lecture, engage in asynchronous discussions, and get instant feedback on practice problems. Interestingly, very few engaged in the kinds of rigorous "working backwards" strategies that are recommended by theorists such as Wiggins and McTighe (1997~. With some trepidation, we attempted to illustrate how the HPL framework might provide a guide for more fully redesigning the density lecture. We say "with trepidation" because none of us is truly an expert in the area of density. We know something about the concept, but not enough to be truly confident that our decisions are optimal. in, , ~ ~~ ~ r ~ , , ~ ~ ~ · r ,~ , · 'l'he need tor deep content knowledge Is one ot the most Important features emphasized in NRC (1999a,b). Especially important is knowledge of key concepts and models that provide the kinds of connected, orga- nized knowledge structures and accompanying skills and attitudes that can set the stage for future learning (e.g., Bransford and Schwartz, 1999; Bruner, 1960; Wiggins and McTighe, 1997~. In proposing our redesign, we decided that the best way to make this point was to illustrate that we need this kind of expertise in order to ensure a high- quality lesson. Effective design requires collaboration among people with specific kinds of expertise (content knowledge, learning, assess- ment, technology). We also discussed a simple technique for captur- ing expertise that has proven to be very helpful in our work. We do audio interviews with content experts and place them on tapes or CDs so that they can be studied to better understand content issues. They require only about 20 minutes of an expert's time (we can record from 190 CREATING HIGH-QUALITY LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS

the telephone) and provide a starting point for getting back to experts about key ideas and concepts. The experts can hear the other experts as well. Our (tentative) redesign of the density lesson began with an attempt to say what we wanted students to know and be able to do. The goal of the original density lecture seemed to be "to compute the density of various materials." We wanted students to develop a more funda- mental understanding of the power of using concepts of density to explain a range of mysteries in the world. Our redesign involved a transformation from a lecture-based format to a challenge-based format. We used the term "challenge-based" as a general term for a variety of approaches to instruction that many have studied this includes case-based instruction, problem-based learning, learning by design, inquiry learning, anchored instruction, and so forth. There are important differences among each of these, but important commonalities as well (e.g., see Williams, 1992~. For our density lesson, we created a challenge around The Golden Statuette where a gold-painted statuette was presented to a proprietor as being "solid gold." The proprietor did some measurements, checked some charts, and ended up offering the person 10 cents for the statuette. The challenge for viewers became: Was she right? And if so, how did she know? We used the HPL framework as a set of lenses for guiding the redesign of the lesson. The Golden Statuette challenge was designed to be both knowledge centered and learner centered because it set the stage for understanding the power of understanding concepts of density, and it engaged the students. The challenge was also designed to identify preconceptions about gold, measurements, and other issues. This emphasis on making preconceptions visible was assessment centered as well. Community-centered issues included the development of a climate of collaboration and inquiry where students felt comfortable saying what they didn't know and what they further wanted to understand (e.g., "What does grams stand for?" "Why did she put the statuette in that cylinder of water?". The HPL framework was used to guide not only the development of our challenge but also the overall instruction that surrounded the challenge. Particularly important were opportunities to make students' thinking visible and give them chances to revise. We also noted the importance of provided opportunities for "what if" thinking, given variations on the challenge (e.g., if the statuette had actually been zinc rather than lead) and for new problems that also involved the concept of density (e.g., explaining the significance of Archimedes' "eureka" moment). Attempts to help people reflect on their own processes as learners (to be metacognitive) were also emphasized. In addition, we discussed issues of effective summative assessments including the possibilities of moving from mere "sequestered problem-solving" assessments to ones where we track students' abilities to learn to JOHN BRANSFORD, NANCY VYE, AND HELEN BATEMAN 191

solve new problems because they have been prepared to learn (Bransford and Schwartz, 1999~. Our density lesson is just a small example of the processes involved in rethinking traditional approaches to instruction in order to make them higher quality. A major issue is to help students develop the kinds of connected knowledge, skills, and attitudes that prepare them for effective lifelong learning. This involves the need to seriously rethink not only how to help students learn about particular isolated topics (e.g., density) but to rethink the organization of entire courses and curricula. An excellent model for doing this appears in a book entitled Learning That Lasts (Mentkowski et al., 1999~. It is not highly technology-based. Nevertheless, it explores issues of high- quality learning that are highly compatible with discussions in NRC (1999a,b), and with new ways to think about transfer as "preparing students for future learning" (Bransford and Schwartz, 1999~. All of these issues are relevant to attempts to enhance learning through the effective use of new technologies. REFERENCES Adams, L., Kasserman, J., Yearwood, A., Perfetto, G., Bransford, J., and Franks, J. (1988~. The effects of facts versus problem-oriented acquisition. Memory and Cognition, 16, 167-175. Alexopoulou, E., and Driver, R. (1996~. Small group discussion in physics: Peer interaction modes in pairs and fours. Journal of Research in Science Teach- ing, 33~10J, 1099-1114. Barron, B.J., Schwartz, D.L., Vye, N.J., Moore, A., Petrosino, A., Zech, L., Bransford, J.D., and CTGV. (1998~. Doing with understanding: Lessons from research on problem and project-based learning. Journal of Learning Sciences, (3-4J, 271-312. Barrows, H.S. (1983~. How to design a problem-based curriculum for the preclinical years. New York: Springer. Bassok, M. (1990~. Transfer of domain-specific problem solving procedures. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 15, 153- 166. Bateman, H.V. (1998~. Psychological sense of community in the classroom: Relation- ships to students' social and academic skills and social behavior. Unpub- lished doctoral dissertation, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN. Bateman, H.V. (in press). Understanding learning communities through students' voices. In A. Fisher and C. Shonn (Eds.), Psychological sense of community: Research, applications, and implications. New York: Plenum. Bateman, H.V., Bransford, J.D., Goldman, S.R., and Newbrough, J.R. (2000, April). Sense of community in the classroom: Relationship to students' academic goals. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, New Orleans, LA. Bateman, H.V., Goldman, S.R., Newbrough, J.R., and Bransford, J.D. (1998~. Students' sense of community in constructivist/collaborative learning environments. In M. Gernsbacher and S. Derry (Eds.), Proceedings of the twentieth annual meeting of the Cognitive Science Society (pp. 126-131~. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Bateman, H.V., Newbrough, J.R., Goldman, S.R., and Bransford, J.D. (1999, April). Elements of students' sense of community in the classroom. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Montreal, Canada. 192 CREATING HIGH-QUALITY LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS

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Saul Fisher The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Email: sf~mellon.org Antoine M. Garibaldi Educational Testing Services Email: agar~baldi~ets.org Evelyn Gazglass National Governors Association Email: eganzglass~nga.org Michael Goldstein Dow, Jones & Albertson Email: mgoldstein~lalaw.com David Goodwin U.S. Department of Education Email: david.goodwin~ed.gov James A. Griffin Office of Science and Technology Policy Email: jgriffin(~ostp.eop.gov Janet S. Hansen Committee for Economic Development Email: janet.hansen~ced.org Lucy Hausner National Alliance of Business Email: hausnerI~nab.com Gregory Hensche] U..S. Department of Education/OER} Email: gregory.henschel~ed.gov Ricardo Hernandez U.S. Department of Education Email: r~cardo.hernandez~ed.gov Margaret Hilton The National Academies Email: mbilton(~nas.edu John Jackson National Science Foundation Email: jajackso~nsf.gov Janet Javar U.S. Department of Labor Email: jjavar~doleta.gov The Knowledge Economy and Postsecondary Education: Report of a Workshop Appendix B Julie Kaminkow CISCO Email: jkaminko~cisco.com Paula Knepper U.S. Department of Education Email: paula.knepper~ed.gov Jay Labov The National Academies Email: j~abov~nas.edu Mark A. Luker EDUCAUSE Email: miuker~educause.edu Angela Manso American Association of Community Colleges Email: amanso~aacc.nche.edu Hans Meeder National Alliance of Business Email: meederh~nab.com Jeanne Narum Project Kaleidoscope Email: pkal~pkal.org Erin Nicholson National Alliance of Business Email: nichoisone~nab.com Samue! Peng U.S. Department of Education/NCES Email: samuel~eng~ed.gov Ronaid Pugsley U.S. Department of Education Email: ronaid.pugsTey~ed.gov Sahar Rais-Danai U.S. Department of Labor Email: srais-dana~doleta.gov Jane Richards ~ternational Labor Affairs Email: nchardsjane~clol.gov Stuart Rosenfeld Regional Technology Strategies, Inc. Email: rosenfeld~rtsinc.org 198

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The Workshop on the Knowledge Economy and Postsecondary Education documents changes seen in the postsecondary education system. In her report Lisa Hudson focuses on who is participating in postsecondary education; Tom Bailey concentrates on community colleges as the most responsive institutions to employer needs; Carol Twigg surveys the ways that four-year institutions are attempting to modify their curricular offerings and pedagogy to adapt those that will be more useful; and Brian Pusser emphasizes the public’s broader interests in higher education and challenges the acceptance of the primacy of job preparation for the individual and of "market" metaphors as an appropriate descriptor of American higher education. An example of a for-profit company providing necessary instruction for workers is also examined.

Richard Murnane, Nancy Sharkey, and Frank Levy investigate the experience of Cisco high school and community college students need to testify to their information technology skills to earn certificates. Finally, John Bransford, Nancy Vye, and Helen Bateman address the ways learning occurs and how these can be encouraged, particularly in cyberspace.

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