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In Order to Learn: How the Sequence of Topics Influences Learning [Hardcover]

Frank E. Ritter , Josef Nerb , Erno Lehtinen , Timothy M. O'Shea

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Book Description

Aug. 13 2007 Oxford Series on Cognitive Models and Architectures (Book 2)
Order affects the results you get: Different orders of presenting material can lead to qualitatively and quantitatively different learning outcomes. These differences occur in both natural and artificial learning systems. In Order to Learn shows how order effects are crucial in human learning, instructional design, machine learning, and both symbolic and connectionist cognitive models. Each chapter explains a different aspect of how the order in which material is presented can strongly influence what is learned by humans and theoretical models of learning in a variety of domains. In addition to data, models are provided that predict and describe order effects and analyze how and when they will occur. The introductory and concluding chapters compile suggestions for improving learning through better sequences of learning materials, including how to take advantage of order effects that encourage learning and how to avoid order effects that discourage learning. Each chapter also highlights questions that may inspire further research. Taken together, these chapters show how order effects in different areas can and do inform each other. In Order to Learn will be of interest to researchers and students in cognitive science, education, machine learning.

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Review


"...full of good content and an extensive set of references."--Ergonomics in Design


"...a detailed book on the role of order in learning. Authors deal with the main goal of showing the relevance of the sequence of information, topics, procedures, etc. in learning. The book is very well organized and it comes from a research program involving five work groups all interested in learning, and the influence of 'order' on learning... A great effort has been put into guiding the reader through the contents of the book in a gentle and effective manner....I would suggest this book to researchers interested in the topic of learning and teaching because it develops an original and uncommon point of view that could be difficult to find in more general educational literature; it also provides a valuable resource to reflect on the role of order in learning and teaching practice."--Paola Palladino as reviewed in Infant and Child Development


About the Author

Frank Ritter helped start the College of Information Sciences and Technology at Penn State, and is affiliated with the psychology, computer science and engineering departments. He also helped start the International Conference on Cognitive Modeling and the tutorial series at the Cognitive Science Conference. He was a Fulbright Scholar at the Technische Universitat Chemnitz in 2005. Josef Nerb is Professor of Educational Psychology at the University of Education in Freiburg, Germany, where he also serves as a Vice Dean for teaching and learning. He earned his Ph.D. at the University of Freiburg and did a post-doc at the University of Waterloo, Canada, supported by an Alexander von Humboldt Foundation fellowship. Erno Lehtinen is Vice rector and former Dean of the School of Education at Turku University, where he is a professor of education. He is a past president of the European Association for Research on Learning and Instruction (EARLI). Tim O'Shea is the Principal (President) of the University of Edinburgh. Previously he was Master of Birkbeck College, and professor of information technology and education at the Open University.

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