Do you know what influences our relationship to learning and in what way? Can you tell if our emotions and our perception of learning play a significant role in the acquisition of new knowledge? Do you know the strategies that lead to in-depth learning? Test your knowledge by answering the following five questions.
1. True or false? Certain types of emotions have a significant influence on learning.
Four types of emotions have been identified as having a distinct influence on learning. These are achievement, epistemic, topic and social emotions.
Emotions can affect the learner at different stages of the learning process. As has been proven, they can have either a positive or negative impact on the learner’s attention, motivation, learning strategies and ability to self-regulate learning.
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2. Which of the following conceptions of learning is the most “advanced”, thereby integrating the others?
A) Increasing knowledge: increasing the amount of information that makes up our knowledge base.
B) Memorization: recording information repetitively to recall it to our memory as needed.
C) Changing as a person: developing or changing as an individual as a result of new understandings or appreciations, seeing the world differently.
D) Application: acquiring facts, methods, etc. that can be retained and/or used in practice as needed.
C. Changing as a person: developing or changing as an individual as a result of new understandings or appreciations, seeing the world differently.
All of the choices above are part of the six different conceptions that each of us can have of learning. “Changing as a person” is the sixth conception, which includes the five that precede it. Like Russian dolls, the six conceptions are listed in ascending order, from the least advanced (1. Think of learning as simply increasing knowledge) to the most advanced (6. Think of learning as changing as a person).
While the first three conceptions refer to surface learning, the other three conceptions refer to in-depth learning. There is a correlation between the way the learners see learning and the approach – whether on the surface or in-depth – that they are likely to take to their studies. The good news is that they could improve their learning process by changing their perception of the task at hand.
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3. Which of the following statements is not a strategy for in-depth learning?
A) Wanting to learn.
B) Integrating the search for meaning.
C) Seeking external motivation.
D) Actively processing information.
E) Managing metacognitive processes.
It is rather the fact of being driven by intrinsic motivation, accompanied by strong emotional commitment and involvement, that leads to successful in-depth learning. The other two strategies we identified that were not part of the response options are:
- Aspire to take ownership of learning and develop skills.
- Make an effort to understand and apply new learning, build knowledge and be able to transfer it.
Find out more: 7 strategies for in-depth learning
4. Which of the following statements about engagement in learning is incorrect?
A) It is a state.
B) It is a process.
C) It is made up of individual attitudes, thoughts and behaviours as well as exchanges with others.
D) Once it is initiated, it remains stable over time.
Engagement in learning fluctuates over time and takes place in several phases. Some (Molinari and al., 2014) see three stages: engagement-disengagement-reengagement; while others (O’Brien and Toms, 2008) distinguish four: the beginning of engagement, extended engagement period, disengagement, re-engagement. At the heart of this fluctuation is motivation. To become involved in learning, one must be “motivated.”
Moreover, despite the multitude of definitions of engagement in learning, researchers agree that it is a state and process in which cognitive, behavioural, emotional and social (or socio-affective) dimensions interact with each other.
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5. Select the correct term to complete each of the following statements about metacognition.
Terms: one’s own cognitive processes, metacognitive skills, our mental abilities, our environment
A) Metacognition is being able to become aware of ________ and act on them.
B) By cognitive process, we refer to all of our mental processes — attention, reasoning, memorization, conceptualization, etc. — which allow us to gather information from ________ and interpret it to regulate our behaviour.
C) Like cognition, metacognition does not only imply ________, but also our motivation and emotions.
D) Developing ________ is one of the best ways to improve the quality of one’s learning as well as one’s autonomy as a learner.
The complete correct statements are as follows:
A) Metacognition is the ability to become aware of one’s own cognitive processes and to act on them.
B) Cognitive process refers to all of our mental processes — attention, reasoning, memorization, conceptualization, etc. — which allow us to gather information from our environment and to interpret it to regulate our behaviour.
C) Like cognition, metacognition does not only imply our mental abilities but also our motivation and emotions.
D) Developing metacognitive skills is one of the best ways to improve the quality of one’s learning as well as one’s autonomy as a learner.
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