Students learn when they process information in various and meaningful ways. Information processing is the center of cognitive learning theories (Laureate Education, n.d.a). Using multiple senses to present information increases learning (Laureate Education, n.d.a). Educators can enhance students’ ability to process information using cues, questions, and advance organizers, and summarizing and note taking as instructional strategies. These instructional strategies are even more efficient with the integration of technology. Teachers can effectively incorporate the cognitive learning theory and instructional strategies into their classrooms through the use of virtual field trips and concept mapping.
The use of cues, questions, and advance organizers is one instructional strategy teachers can utilize through virtual field trips. Cues, questions, and advance organizers enhance students’ skills for remembering, using, and organizing knowledge about a subject (Pitler, Hubbell, & Kuhn, 2012). When this instructional strategy is used before, during, and after a virtual field trip, students have a way to arrange old and new information. Orey (as cited in Laureate Education, n.d.b) stated that virtual field trips produce episodic experiences, which connect to the cognitive theory. An episodic experience is one type of information stored in long-term memory (Laureate Education, n.d.a). Virtual field trips make it easier for students to access the information at a later time because the information is stored in long-term memory.
Another instructional strategy that incorporates the cognitive learning theory is summarizing and note taking. Summarizing and note taking is an instructional strategy that helps students arrange information in a brief new format (Pitler et al., 2012). In this strategy, one way to present information is by making a concept map about the information. To enhance this instructional strategy, teachers can have students use concept mapping tools online. Concept mapping tools aid students in organizing information and linking between concepts by replicating the network model of memory (Laureate Education, n.d.a). When students use concept maps online, they can quickly add information about a topic and make changes as necessary.
These instructional strategies will help me teach for understanding because they provide a format for students to process information. Virtual field trips provide students with a visual experience of what they are learning, and this information is organized using cues, questions, and advance organizers as an instructional strategy. Concept maps are a way for teachers to integrate the summarizing and note taking instructional strategy into their classroom. Both of these strategies combined with the use of technology help students organize information and develop a deeper understanding of the content.
Pitler, H., Hubbell, E. R., & Kuhn, M. (2012). Using technology with classroom instruction that works (2nd ed.). Alexandria, VA: ASCD.
Laureate Education (Producer). (n.d.a). Behaviorist learning theory [Video file]. Retrieved from https://class.waldenu.edu
Laureate Education (Producer). (n.d.b). Spotlight on technology: Virtual field trips [Video file]. Retrieved from https://class.waldenu.edu