|Role of Deliberate Practice|
|The Acquisition of Expert Performance|
|The Acquisition of Medical Expertise|
|Reasoning and Instruction in Medical Curricula|
|Changing the Agency for Learning|
|Field Study in SW Design|
|Brooks on Great Designers|
|Conceptualizations of Practice|
Includes activities that are especially designed to improve the current level of performance. Would allow for repeated experiences in which the individual can attend to the critical aspects of the situation and incrementally improve her performance in response to knowledge of results, feedback or both. Explicit goal is to improve performance.
Access to teachers/tutors, training materials, etc.
Practice sessions should be limited. The reasoning for this is to insure that the student has the mental stamina to concentrate on practice. Recall that practice for practice sake does not lead to the types of performance we seek, thus practice sessions should occur when the mental faculties of the student permit the levels of concentration required to focus on the task.
Experts acquire and preserve highly adapted representations that aid in planning, prediction, and evaluation.
"the most effective learning requires a well-defined task with an appropriate difficulty level for the particular individual, informative feedback, and opportunities for repetition and corrections of errors. (p. 20-21)" When all these items are present they use the phrase deliberate practice.
"If improved performance was a mechanical consequence of engaging in the assigned training tasks, the problem of skill acquisition would be essentially solved. However, to attain changes in behavior, attention is necessary to generate the correct desired action and to thus override the activation of th old habitual response. For effective learning the subjects also need to monitor their processes and performance to determine necessary adjustments and corrections."(p. 33) This leads to issues of self-regulation as the agency for learning discussed in Glaser.
"Effective learning requires attention and monitoring of goals, processes, and performance." (p. 34) "for effective learning the subject must acquire mechanisms supporting reasoning, planning, preduction, and expectation in order to generate feedback and effective error diagnosis with appropriate correction." (p. 39)
A chain of inferences from data toward an incremental refinement of hypotheses resulting in a solution. This ia claimed as one of the hallmarks of expert performance in several domains. Novices and intermediates tend to use backward reasoning (hypothesis to confirmation). Forward reasoning is a function of a highly structured knowlege based and well-developed pattern recognition capabilities. When an expert works outside her domain of expertise or on more complex problems then we notice the use of less efficient strategies. This may support the notion of opportunistic reasoning noted by Guindon in design studies.
Interestingly the paper explores role instruction plays in the acquisition of diagnostic behavior. The findings concern the use of basic science knowledge in diagnosis. Subjects taught under the two instructional paradigms show very strong differences in their ability to utilize scientific knowledge in diagnosis. The research suggests that if basic knowledge is needed for a particular application then treating that knowledge base separately prior to its use may be a valid, necessary approach to insure the development of an adequate base. Attempting to integrate the learning of basic science and diagnostic skill simulatenously tended to degrade performance in basic science knowledge. There was evidence of increased use of deductive reasoning in subjects where deductive reasoning was explicitly taught as part of the training paradigm.
The claim is that a fundamental principle underlying the acquisition of competence is the change in agency for learning as expertise develops. Initially learning involves enormous external support (on the part of teachers or coaches). The role these individuals plays is importants to the development of expertise. As expertise and competence increases the individual increasingly internalizes control over the learning situation and the honing of performance. Note that part of the learning must be to improve perforamance/skill and self-regulation.
Glaser's remarks encourage us to pay explicit attention to issues of self-regulation and developing the skills (metacognitive) necessary to support self-regulation in designing instructional activities. Empirical support for training in such skills is available, and encouraging.
Suggests a layered model to explore factors that affect the psychological, social, and organizational processes involved in software development. This model views the individual, the team, the project, the company, and the busines milieu. At the core of the software development activity is the individual software designer. To understand software development is explore the individual's cognition and motivation. A focus on the team or project requires a look at group dynamics. At the top layers are the company and business with isses of organizational behvarior.
The authors point out three issues:
"The central question in how to improve the software art centers, as it always has, on people."(p. 18)
"Sound methodology can empower and liberate the creative mind; it cannot inflame or inspire the drudge."
Training has been studied by looking at the nature of manipulations during the skill acquisition period, and accessing how these work in terms of the learner's acquisition of the skill being taught in a number of trials or a fixed period of time. Unfortunately, the measures of learning tend to be short-sighted and look only at skills gains during the acquisition period, not at retention or transfer. The authors argue convincingly that the training regimen should be designed to have a greater impact on posttraining attributes.
Blocked practice demonstrates a clear advantage over random presentation during acquisition. Random conditions however produced better retention. It could be argued that what is learned from the random practice sessions is very different from the blocked presentation. What the subject may have to develop is the skill in determining how best to approach the task when presented since it is not known a priori.
Similar findings result from experiments that compare fixed versus expanded presentation/test intervals. The fixed interval subjects showed better acquisition performance, but the expanded interval subjects had better posttest retention.
"The condition that produced the best retention performance seemed toohave the characteristics that it provided added "difficulty" for the learner during the acquisition phase." p. 212
Frequent feedback comes to be a part of the task, so that performance is disrupted in retention when the feedback is removed or altered.
Frequent feedback blocks the processing of response-produced feedback, leading to less effective error-detection capabilities for use in retention.
Freqent feedback makes performance too variable during pratice, preventing the learning of a stabilized representations of the kind necessary to sustain performance in later retention tests.
Brooks, F. P. (April 1987) No Silver Bullet. IEEE Computer, 20. p. 10-19.
Curtis, B., H.Krasner, and N. Iscoe (1988) A Field Study of the Software Design Process for Large Systems. CACM, 31. p. 1269-1287.
Ericsson, K. A., R. Krampe, and C. Tesch-Römer (1993) The Role of Deliberate Practice in the Acquisition of Expert Performance. Psychological Review, 3. p. 363-406.
Ericsson, K. A. (1996) The Acquisition of Expert Performance: An Introduction to Some of the Issues. In K. A. Ericsson (ed.), The Road to Excellence. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum. p. 1-50.
Glaser, R. (1996) Changing the Agency for Learning: Acquiring Expert Performance. In K. A. Ericsson (ed.), The Road to Excellence. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum. p. 127-165.
Patel, V. L., G. J. Groen, and G. R. Norman (1993) Reasoning and Instruction in Medical Curricula. Cognition and Instruction, 10. p. 335-378.
Patel, V. L., D. R. Kaufman, S. A. Magder (1996) The Acquisition of Medical Expertise in Complex Dynamic Environments. In K. A. Ericsson (ed.), The Road to Excellence. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum. p.303-311.
Schmidt, R. A. & R. A. Bjork (1992) New Conceptualizations of Practice: Common Principles in Three Paradigms Suggest New Concepts for Training. Psychological Science, 3(4), pp. 207-217.
Created: December 18, 1996
Modified: June 6, 1998