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Determining and monitoring a student’s prior knowledge

Determining and monitoring a student’s prior knowledge

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Determining and monitoring a student’s prior knowledge

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  1. Determining and monitoring a student’s prior knowledge A. Determine a student’s prior knowledge the essential tasks of teaching B.Promote learningactivity C. Carry outcontinuous evaluation translated and adapted from a presentation by Asko Karjalainen

  2. Before teaching… • In both content and level, teaching should match the students’ needs. In other words, already during the planning stage, teachers should pay attention to what students’ already know and link new information to the students’ existing constructs of knowledge. • Before the actual teaching starts, feedback already received can help the teacher to adjust the aims of the course, its content and level, the style of presentation, the pace and the manner in which topics are divided up.

  3. Some techniques for establishing the students’ prior knowledge…

  4. Question bank • A store of true/false questions related to the topics of lectures • Divide the questions into sets according to the topics of lectures • Students can check the answers themselves against the answers provided by the teacher • This technique is appropriate for courses which cover a good deal of factual information • Students can then pay heed to the matters they don’t know well enough • The teacher can gather data which can be used to plan and adjust the foci of teaching (Kekäle, J. 1994, p. 61)

  5. Level test • Level test • To check the prior knowledge, the teacher can use a traditional test of the course literature or the test on the previous year’s course. • The results guide the content of lessons. • It is advisable for the test to include questions about • the background of the students (age, major, profession, year of studies) • special topics of interest and motives for learning • their understanding of the core themes and principles covered in the course (Kekäle, J. 1994, p. 60)

  6. Diagnostic test • A short test on the day before the lesson, the questions of which guide the planning of the central themes and sub-themes of the lecture • The students can complete the test at home and mark it at the start of the lesson according to the instructions given. • The test guides the teacher in planning and realising the lesson. (Kekäle, J. 1994, p. 60)

  7. Taking stock of the present state of knowledge • The lesson begins with several minutes of independent work, during which each student jots down the thoughts that the topic triggers • After max. 10 minutes, the students form groups of 4-5 people and take turns to give an account of what they wrote down. • The thoughts from each group are compiled and students consider whether they have any questions which they would like to be answered during the lesson => 10-15 minutes time allowed for this activity • Finally, the groups report their thoughts and their questions, which the teacher can write down on the board or the OHP. (Lonka & Lonka, 1991, p. 38)

  8. Activating writing task • Activation of the students’ previous knowledge of a topic • This is generally a 10-15 minute period of writing, in which each student jots down all s/he knows about a given topic. • Example: • Write down all you know about dinosaurs. • How is knowledge represented in the human memory? (Lonka & Lonka, 1991, p. 38)

  9. “Sticky note” technique • Give the students a task or question which is answered by listing items • Example: list the things you want to learn on this course. • One item per sticky note • The slips are collected after the given time and spread out on the board or wall. • After arranging into related topics, the students discuss the topic on the basis of the items listed on the slips. • The slips are moved around as the discussion progresses with the aims of creating an overview of the topic. • Large groups can be divided into smaller groups of 4-6 students, who work together on producing their own overview. (Vänskä, 1995)

  10. Stimulus questions • The questions are given to the students before the lesson • The students have a chance to reflect and activate their knowledge connected with the situation. • The questions can be considered orally or in writing. (Lonka & Lonka, 1991, s.38)

  11. Students’ wish list • The syllabus can be put together with the help of the list compiled by the students of the topics they hope to cover. • The topics can be dealt with in more depth during the lessons. (Kekäle, 1994, s. 62)

  12. Student question time • Before the lesson, each student gives the teacher one question s/he hopes will be answered. • The students or teacher arrange the questions into groups so that the central themes become apparent. • The lesson is organised around the needs of the group. (Kekäle, 1994, s. 63)

  13. Topic survey • Students give a response to statements • Ask the students to respond to the statements twice: before and after the lesson. • Answer ”A”, if you agree with the statement. • Answer ”B”, if you disagree with the statement. • Example statements on the topic of dinosaurs: • Dinosaurs are the most successful group of land animals ever to roam the Earth • Paleontology is the study of fossils. • Human beings belong to the Zenozoic Era. • Most dinosaurs have Greek names. • Some dinosaurs are named for places in which their fossilized remains were found. • Dinosaurs ruled our planet for over 150 million years. • Dinosaurs had small brains (

  14. K-W-L-H –technique I • A model for stimulating active thought while reading • K – prompts the students to remember what they already know • W – prompts the students to decide what they want to learn • L – prompts the students to monitor what they learn while reading • H – prompts the students to consider HOW they can learn more • Example: the topic of dinosaurs (

  15. K-W-L-H –technique II

  16. Spider Map Example: • ”Visual organisers” are aids for gaining an impression of the students’ previous knowledge of a topic. • They can be used to deal with a thing, a process or a concept, or to help formulate a proposition about a particular issue. • Significant questions: What is the central idea? What are its attributes? What is it for? (

  17. Series of Events Chain • Can be used to describe the components of an object, the stages in a process, a series of events and a historical event or aims and achievements of a historical figure • Key frame questions: • What is the object, process or initial event? • What are its stages/components? • How do the stages/events proceed • What is the final result? (

  18. Continuum scale • A scale which represents historical events, age, degree (weight), assessment (grades) • Key frame questions: • What is the entity represented along the scale? • What are its two extremes? ( low high

  19. Compare/Contrast Matrix • Used to represent the similarities or differences of two things (people, places, events, ideas…) • Key frame questions: • In what way are the things similar? • In what way are the things different? (

  20. Problem/Solution Outline • Used to represent a problem, alternative solutions and a final outcome • Key frame questions: • What is the problem? • For whom is it a problem? • Why is it a problem? • What can be done to solve the problem? • Are the attempts successful? (

  21. Network tree • Used to represent, for example, relationships and hierarchies • Key frame questions: • What is on the uppermost level? • And the subordinate levels? • How are they related? • How many layers are there? (

  22. Human Interaction Outline • Representation of the interaction between two people or groups • Key frame questions: • Who are the people or groups? • What are their objectives? • Are they in conflict or do they work cooperatively? • What is the outcome for each individual or group? (

  23. Fishbone Map • Used to represent complex events or the causal interaction of phenomena (elections, learning difficulties, youth crime) • Key frame questions: • Which factors cause X? • How are the factors related? (

  24. Cycle • Used to represent series of events which always produce similar outcomes (weather phenomena, life cycles) • Key frame questions • What are the critical events in the cycle? • How are they related? • In what way are they self-reinforcing? (

  25. References • Kekäle, J. 1994. Luento-opetuksen kehittäminen. Vähemmälläluennoimisella parempiin tuloksiin. Korkeakoulupedagogiikan perusmateriaali. Oulu. • Kuittinen, M. 1994. Mitä luennoinnin sijaan? Malleja opiskelijan itsenäisen työskentelyn lisäämiseksi. Korkeakoulupedagogiikan perusmateriaali. Oulu. • Lonka, K & Lonka, I. (toim.) 1991. Aktivoiva opetus. Käsikirja aikuisten ja nuorten opettajille. Kirjayhtymä, Helsinki. • Vänskä, M. 1995. Antoisaan opiskeluun. Käsikirja opiskelun ja opetuksen kehittämiseen. Helsingin yliopiston ylioppilaskunta.