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The Role of Representations in the Frontiers of Learning Technology, Essay Example

Pages: 2

Words: 629

Essay

Representation has been applied in the field of science more so in engineering it has been vital tools that facilitate effective learning. Animations are one of the forms of representation that is commonly used in science disciplines and laboratory practices as a talk, action, and highlighting of important issues (diSessa, 2004). Representations is commonly applied in form of paper and pencil or computers but whatever the mode of their creation, they have a crucial role in engineering work such as charts and graphs among other visuals. They are resourceful in teaching, learning as well as performing work (Hundhausen, Agarwal, Zollars, & Carter, 2011). Contextualized and abstract representations have significant implications in improving the cognitive ability of the students. Poor spatial ability skills cause negative effects in successful learning among many students. Majority of the problems students are  encounter problems in text conversions such as freebody diagram (Medina & Suthers, 2012).

Representations are commonly used in the engineering courses as well as in the professional practice of engineering. The most important consideration for effective use of representations is fluency in terms of transformation, use and creation that are paramount in successful engineering work coupled with the development of identity among the experts in engineering workforce. In the professional practice that uses technology, the learning process is commonly collaborative thus requiring that students learn in groups and teams. Collaboration in these fields calls for articulate translation of the representations that span beyond the boundaries of specific disciplines (Johri, Williams, & Pembridge, 2013). Conducting a comparative analysis of representations in education institutions as well as work settings reveals the potential similarities and differences and subsequently bridging of the existing gaps between them. Representation is important in design that forms an integral part of technology. Design makes use of unique approaches in the development of situated as well as cognitive skills that demands knowledge of working with the help of materials, working collaboratively as well as being an integral part of the community of practice (Johri, Roth & Olds, 2013).

Representation is also applicable in the out-of-school situations in science, technology and engineering that achieve the goal of shaping the developmental process of adolescents in terms of their attitudes as well as ideas to the technology. Representations are also evident in popular media that allows for its integration in learning technological disciplines and this has a significant implications on the perception of the students towards the discipline (Hall, Stevens & Torralba, 2002). Any changes in representations become a core problem in the theories that explain distributed cognition. A better understanding of inference, skill, learning as well as memory is commonly distributed to give room for effective and coordinated activity. Understanding such activities requires a considerable shift of boundaries of cognitive unit in analysis past the skin of an individual. It is prudent that representational infrastructures are developed that aid in constructing, interpretation as well as propagating the representational states.

References

diSessa, A. A. (2004). Metarepresentation: Native Competence and Targets for Instruction. Cognition and Instruction, 22(3), 293-331. doi: 10.1207/s1532690xci2203_2f

Hall, R., Stevens, R., & Torralba, T. (2002). Disrupting representational infrastructure in conversations across disciplines. Mind, culture, and activity, 9(3), 179 – 210.

Hundhausen, C., Agarwal, P., Zollars, R., & Carter, A. (2011). The design and experimental evaluation of a scaffolded software environment to improve engineering students’ disciplinary problem-solving skills. Journal of Engineering Education, 100(3), 574–603.

Johri, A., Roth, W.-M., & Olds, B. M. (2013). The Role of Representations in Engineering Practices: Taking a Turn towards Inscriptions. Journal of Engineering Education, 102(1),   2-19.

Johri, A., Williams, C. B., and Pembridge, J. (2013). Creative collaboration: A case study of the role of computers in supporting representational and relational interaction in student engineering design teams. International Journal of Engineering Education, 29(1), 33–44.

Medina, R., & Suthers, D. (2012). Inscriptions Becoming Representations in Representational Practices. Journal of the Learning Sciences, 22(1), 33-69.

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