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What do we mean when we say that "learning environments are increasingly complex"? What do we know about the cognitive processing that occurs during complex learning? How can we provide effective instructional support for students who must learn and apply complex knowledge? These questions, and related issues, have fascinated educators and educational researchers for many years and are they are the focus of this book. As a tribute to Joost Lowyck, professor educational technology at the K.U. Leuven, eminent scholars from around the globe have contributed to a far reaching analysis of complexity in learning environments from a cognitive perspective. The chapter authors summarize what we know now about complexity and make specific suggestions for educational practice and for future research on complexity. The different contributions in the several chapters discuss theoretical accounts and empirical findings about learning, the learner, and learning environments. Wide-ranging topics include current descriptions of our cognitive architecture, new contributions to cognitive load theory, research and evaluation design considerations, motivation to learn, the influence of prior knowledge, the use of simulations and multimedia, alternative instructional methods and interventions, studies of the classroom context for complex learning and mental model-building. This book is a tribute to Joose Lowyck, professor educational technology at the KU Leuven. International scholars provide far reaching analysis of complexity in learning environments from a cognitive perspective. It makes specific suggestions for educational practice and for future research.
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Currently a professor of Educational Psychology and Technology in the Rossier School of Education at the University of Southern California, where he directs a doctoral program in Human Performance at Work. He was the 2002 recipient of the prestigious Thomas F. Gilbert Professional Achievement Award by the International Society for Performance Improvement. He has served as a performance improvement specialist in a great variety of organizations in North and South America, Europe, Africa, and Asia in the past two decades. For two years he served as Program Board Member and lecturer in Organizational Psychology at Dublin City University in Ireland, and he is Professeur Associe at the Universite de Montreal, Faculte des sciences de l education in Montreal, Quebec. He is president of Atlantic Training Inc., a consulting company with offices in Los Angeles and Dublin. Clarks interest is in the performance of people and technology in culturally diverse, multinational organizations where complex knowledge work is accomplished in a constantly changing environment. He is the author of more than 150 published books, chapters, articles, and monographs, including, most recently, Learning from Media: Arguments, Analysis, and Evidence (Information Age Publishing Inc., 2001), which sold out its first print run in advance of the books release. He is an Educational Psychologist who is an elected Fellow in the American Psychological Association, the American Psychological Society and the American Association of Applied Psychology.
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