After new knowledge has been presented, we give students a task which aims to form long-term memories. If the task is too easy, it will simply exercise prior knowledge. If it is too hard, the student will fail. In both cases, no learning can take place.
To set a challenging task, we depend on our judgement of the Prior Knowledge of our students.
The learning process needs students to have two versions of the material stored as memories: The individual details and the whole picture
We can improve the effectiveness of the task by:
- using cooperative/collaborative methods
- using graphical methods
- giving worked examples
- using hypothesis testing, problem solving and other thinking tasks
- using metacognition – ‘thinking about the thinking’
When the basic knowledge has been learned, we can improve the overall understanding by:
- asking ‘why?’ ‘how?’ and ‘what would happen if?’ questions