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This paper critically identifies one published article from a peer-reviewed journal addressing ways in which new cognitive discoveries have affected the practice of psychology and the strengths and weaknesses of these discoveries. It includes the summary of the article.
The article Cognitive tools for discovery learning by Wouter (1998), discusses a definition of the concepts of the cognitive tools and their usage in learning process. Discovery learning is looked at as a promising way of learning for many reasons. A number of examples of cognitive tools for discovery conditions are presented, and the clarity is made on how these tools as perform as hooks for anchoring instructions that are intelligent. The article starts by an elaboration of concept of discovery learning and the cognitive tools as they appear in the Simquest authoring situations for the simulation. At last the design issues for integrating cognitive tools in discovery situations are discussed.
Hypothesis generation has been crucial process in the discovery learning. It’s the process where learners generate new knowledge and ideas. It has been found that hypothesis generation is one of the difficult learning processes in discovery learning. In the present section the two major problems are dealt with, the hypothesis structure itself and the unwanted constraints on the space search of the hypothesis.
Cognitive tools assist the process of hypothesis generation in different ways. These goes from performing the process on behalf of the learner by providing a menu of the hypothesis that is ready made to the tools that constrain or extends the process of search in hypothesis space. One cognitive tool that is used in research is the hypothesis scratchpad. This idea supports the cognitive process of formation of hypothesis expression constraining that the learner could state a hypothesis and by hypothesis space content showing to the learner. Cognitive tool is like a notebook screen that structure the statement that learner makes to be valid hypothesis. This is operational by offering a template for the hypothesis that learners fill in with variables and relations (Wouter, 1998).
Another process is experimentation; Learners have to design experiments that serve as the inspiration for the hypothesis or the hypothesis test. To test the hypothesis a number of experiments have to be carried out hence putting burden on the working memory if all the variables have to be remembered by the learner. Sop simple aid memory is helpful in storage of experiments performed, and remember them. Here the learner is in full control he can decide to add or delete an experiment. The tool offers a mean to manage the experiment like sorting experiments, ordering variables and even replaying the experiments. These help the learner to make sense out of the data they generate.
As the cognitive tool or the monitoring tool clearly supports search process in the experiment space but in the different way as the scratchpad which is proactive, stimulating learners explore hypothesis space, cognitive tool while monitoring tool is reactive (Wouter, 1998).
The strengths of these discoveries are that; they are relatively simple; they all have few functions mainly for reading and editing. They usually interact with discovery surroundings, a replication, by retrieving and setting names of variables and values.
The weakness is that the cognitive tool will never be the main instruments in the presentation of the domain information, but they will be just the instruments that help the learner to direct the processes, to perform a part of it or externalize part of the processes and memory. For scratchpads the learner is not able to delete he list of hypothesis, but is just able to annotate them and make them marked as tested and a truth value ascertained.
In conclusion, these new cognitive tools are helpful in the discovery process and save the learner the great deal. As the result they have affected the practice of psychology in the positive manner.