5 strategies for in-depth learning
No matter where you study. Whether in an institution, the library, or remotely, learning is learning.
But no matter where classes are held, learning is always different. It can be in-depth or quite superficial. And many educators are looking for ways to bring remote learning into the deep end, away from the superficial.
In this article, we're going to look at five options, along with tools for in-depth instruction. They'll work for you no matter where you're teaching.
First, it's worth understanding what deep learning is?
There are different interpretations of the term "deep learning," and first of all, it starts when the people learning understand the value of ideas, processes, and are able to use that in their learning.
When information is simply told, we say that the learner must come to understand it himself. That is, to "earn" it through their own mental processes. Of course teaching facts can impart some knowledge, but the discovery of new things will not come to the student without consciously building and processing the information in the head.
Deep learning is a hard process that requires time and mental manipulation of your knowledge. This active construction is what we call "constructing meaning.
Here are five really effective strategies for engaging students in the process of actively making sense of knowledge.
1. Each piece of "learning" should become a big concept
If you try to focus on processing a single piece of material, you will come up with disjointed and superficial learning. Each piece of knowledge must work toward one big idea.
In the case of online learning, the time for the learning process is reduced more often, and that makes the situation worse. To develop conceptual thinking, try not to get hung up on one thing, but cover all the material as one entity.
Regardless of what it is about, establish one concept for your students, and allow them to search for and explore examples proving the concept both in the section you have implied and wherever they can find the opportunity themselves.
2. Apply the core questions to your concept learning processes
Questions that will get your students thinking are what the bulk of your teaching is based on. This will reveal the main point, and perhaps lead to unexpected insights. Don't give a "one-size-fits-all" interpretation of any idea, and don't box students in. Give them the opportunity to find additional meanings and to understand the topic on their own through discussion and in-depth thinking.
Below I can give some examples of guiding questions that you can use in your discipline. The plus side is that they really work everywhere.
- Politics: Why is this person deciding the major issues in the country?
- History: Why might this situation have happened?
- Literature: What is the motivation for the characters in the book?
- Writing: What might readers find interesting?
3. inductive learning
In-depth learning begins when students decipher the meaning of any thoughts they convey themselves. Students begin to interpret and form the meanings of any words and concepts themselves. And in this sense, inductive learning is a great option.
For example, students who have just begun to immerse themselves in a topic receive a set of words and from this they need to form a topic:
- Machine Learning
- Neural Networks
Students are introduced to the terms, and form a common theme, based on converging characteristics.
They then use that common theme to form what the lesson is about. "What is machine learning built on?", "Is repeating the same process likely to change the end result?" and so on.
Then students can refine and modify their plan as new knowledge is revealed to them. Students explore the information the teacher gives them, and the lesson becomes an exploration.
Inductive learning is appropriate in any field of study and can be used in a variety of ways to help awaken your knowledge and apply it to action. Inductive learning develops abstract thinking and the ability to predict events.
A few tips for using inductive learning in your online learning or classroom:
Model the process
Work on labeling and identifying common characteristics in items (e.g., things in a fishing store).
Trying to mix unfamiliar terms with familiar ones
Having something familiar in an unfamiliar environment will help connect and understand new information. Don't try to give out a large number of terms right away, 10-15 will suffice to start with. Later, increase the number to better cover the topic. Most importantly, make sure that your terms will be capacious and can handle the disclosure of the main concept.
Use something other than words
You don't have to give students only terms. For some, a sound, a picture, or even a smell can be great information. Try to vary the information to stimulate thought processes.
4. active reading
Asynchronous learning is often argued with online learning. And that means that more often now, the ability to gain knowledge depends on the ability to interprete the meaning of the text for yourself.
After reading a text, comprehension questions are usually asked, but "reading by meaning" is a more open-ended option, involving free interpretation of the text. The student is offered a few talking points before reading, which he or she can transcribe or discuss.
Imagine that you need to prove or disprove the safety of GMO products. You will be presented with several theses:
- GMOs should always be used.
- GMOs are dangerous and can cause mutations
- There is not enough knowledge about the harm or safety of GMOs and no one can know for sure
After the student reads these theses, his or her job will be to find his or her own arguments in the text provided. And the fact that the questions may be contradictory and open-ended only promotes new discussions and stimulates the thinking process.
Break students into several groups and allow them to discuss with themselves and with you based on what they have gathered from the text. You may have to reformulate the thesis statement together to come to a common agreement.
For example, after reviewing the text, not all students may agree with the thesis statement "GMOs should always be used," but they can reword the question to "Scientists should weigh the pros, cons, and safety and necessity of GMOs before using them."
5. Use empathy
Being able to put yourself in someone's shoes is a great way to "read a person's mind." Empathy will also help us interpret texts and find new meanings in them, because the more factors that contribute to the emergence of some information are revealed to us, the better the information itself is revealed to us.
"Another's Life Day" is a simple enough way to awaken a sense of empathy. It is a way of inviting the student to imagine a day in the life of a historical figure, a political figure, a writer, or even a concept or subject. It's a great way to get students thinking about the root causes of any processes.
"A day in someone else's life" is also a good base for research projects.
The tools and strategies we offer you in this text have already proven to be effective around the world. They enable teachers to enhance learning. They enable students to be creative in their approach to learning information, to think outside the box, and to seek new interpretations. This is especially important in the context of online learning, when it is hard to focus on the process of gaining knowledge while looking at the screen.
Deep learning is accessible - and it all depends on how willing you are to look for new and interesting ways to put it into practice.
Was this article helpful?34 Posted by: 👨 Kathleen J. Patton