Learning, Teaching and Testing for Complex Conceptual Understanding
Technical Report,01 Dec 1987,30 Nov 1990
SOUTHERN ILLINOIS UNIV SCHOOL OF MEDICINE SPRINGFIELD SPRINGFIELD
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Drawing upon our research which has revealed problems among medical students in their understanding of complex material, we propose in this paper that new visions of instruction and assessment are required if education is to promote deep and usable understanding of complex, difficult subject matter. In the main, we argue that instruction and testing should be congruent with the cognitive goals for students that are desired--that if what is desired is that students obtain accurate understanding, instruction and testing should focus on this that if what is desired is that students be able to apply knowledge, instruction and testing should focus on knowledge application that if what is desired is that students acquire a structure of knowledge that they will not easily forget, education should concentrate on building and assessing robust knowledge structures. We propose some desirable characteristics of learning, teaching and testing for achieving this combination of goals. Tied to this, we suggest that educational goals for understanding can be aided by knowing how understanding is likely to break down, and we present numerous examples of ways that students misunderstand.
- Humanities and History