There will be a departmental talk on 31 Aug (4pm) by Dr. Johannes Gurlitt. More details are provided below.
Date/Time: 31 August 2010 (Tuesday), 4pm
Venue: AS7/01-17 (Seminar Room B)
Title: Is prior knowledge activation only the activation of specific concepts in long-term memory?
Is prior knowledge activation only the activation of specific concepts in long-term memory or does the specific task used for prior knowledge activation matter? From a theoretical perspective, differences elicited through conceptually equivalent but structurally different prior knowledge activation tasks question the assumption that prior knowledge effects can be explained solely by assimilation theory. Varying the structure, particularly the explicitness of relations between ideas, also provides a theoretical link to coherence-effects found in text comprehension research. Shedding some light on these questions, the to-be presented studies examine whether and how prior knowledge activation with high- vs. low-coherence mapping tasks influence cognitive and metacognitive processes and learning outcomes. This includes the analysis of think aloud protocols, learning outcomes, and interactions with learning experience. The to-be presented studies support the claim that it is not enough to assume that prior knowledge is activated automatically or that prior knowledge is only the activation of specific concepts in long-term memory. Instead it will be shown that the type of prior knowledge activation used influences cognitive processes and learning outcomes to a substantial degree.
About the speaker:
Johannes studied psychology at the University of Freiburg. He then worked as a visiting researcher at Rutgers University (USA) on a project about the visualization of invisible physical processes and abstract concepts with virtual reality simulations. He then completed his PhD at the University of Freiburg about prior knowledge activation with concept maps and continued his postdoctoral work in Göttingen and Freiburg. Currently he is working on questions whether and how the structure and abstractness of initially presented examples make a difference for learning processes and learning outcomes.