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Deep meaningful learning is the higher-order thinking and development through manifold active intellectual engagement aiming at meaning construction through pattern recognition and concept association. It includes inquiry, critical thinking, creative thinking, problem-solving, and metacognitive skills. It is a theory with a long academic record that can accommodate the demand for excellence in teaching and learning at all levels of education. Its achievement is verified through knowledge application in authentic contexts.
Deep Meaningful Learning
Stylianos Mystakidis 1,2
Citation: Mystakidis, S. Deep
Meaningful Learning. Encyclopedia
2021,1, 988–997.
Academic Editors: Chia-Lin Chang,
Michael McAleer and Philip
Hans Franses
Received: 16 August 2021
Accepted: 16 September 2021
Published: 18 September 2021
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1School of Natural Sciences, University of Patras, 26504 Rio, Greece;
2School of Humanities, Hellenic Open University, 26335 Patras, Greece
DefinitionDeep meaningful learning is the higher-order thinking and development through
manifold active intellectual engagement aiming at meaning construction through pattern recognition
and concept association. It includes inquiry, critical thinking, creative thinking, problem-solving, and
metacognitive skills. It is a theory with a long academic record that can accommodate the demand
for excellence in teaching and learning at all levels of education. Its achievement is verified through
knowledge application in authentic contexts.
pedagogy; instructional design; teaching; deep learning; meaningful learning; significant
learning; deeper learning
1. Introduction
Equitable quality education and life-long learning opportunities for all is one of the
United Nation’s seventeen global goals for sustainable development [
]. These goals
comprise a compass for all countries and citizens for peaceful, global development and
transformation by 2030. Quality higher education provides graduates with a robust combi-
nation of durable competencies, theoretical knowledge and procedural skills [
]. Life-long
learning is of growing importance for the reskilling and upskilling of the workforce in
the era of the fourth industrial revolution [
]. In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic
and the imposed social distancing measures, there is also an acute need to improve the
quality of distance education by transforming emergency remote teaching into deep online
e-learning [4].
2. Model and Influences
2.1. Deep Learning
Deep learning originates from the research on the mental processing strategies by
Marton and Säljö in Sweden [
]. In a series of experiments, they examined students’
approaches to learning when prompted to reply to comprehension questions after reading
a text. They discovered two distinct behaviors; some students strived to store isolated facts
without any reflection (surface approach). Others processed them critically and attempted
to connect the new information with existing knowledge (deep approach). A student,
employing deep learning approaches directs her own learning, attempts to comprehend
the learning content and procedure, and modify accordingly his/her beliefs, behavior and
values [
]. On the opposite end of the spectrum, a learner with a surface approach is rather
apathetic towards the studied domain, driven by exam pressure or stress and hence opts
to rote facts memorization. Beyond these two orientations, there is evidence of another,
superseding pragmatic dimension towards short-term performance dictated by course
assessment requirements, namely a strategic approach to learning [6].
The differences between a deep and a surface approach to learning are illustrated
in the following example: John and Melissa attend the obligatory, core course on fluid
mechanics towards a degree of Mechanical Engineering. John has a strong interest in
industrial engineering and does not see how this course can be of any use to him in the
short or long run. Therefore, he skips or is rather inattentive in classes and study. He
Encyclopedia 2021,1, 988–997.
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intends to perform the bare minimum possible to get a passable grade in the final exam.
Melissa is fascinated by the course’s links to previous courses on mathematics as well as
future applications in various fields. She takes notes during lectures, asks questions, and
is driven to search and study additional material beyond the course’s textbook. John’s
attitude is an example of a surface approach to learning while Melissa exhibits a deep or
meaningful, in-depth approach to learning.
The same researchers went on to formulate a hierarchy of six conceptions of learning,
phases that students experience during their study [
]. The lowest three conceptions consist
of surface approaches to learning: quantitative knowledge accumulation, memorization
and storing, fact acquisition for future utilization. The next three phases are typical of
the deep learning approach: sense-making through abstraction, reconceptualizing reality
interpretation, and finally holistic person growth [7].
In addition, there is an alternative view towards deep learning. More specifically,
Ohlsson conceptualized deep learning as the ability to perform essential, non-monotonic,
cognitive development and change [
]. Among others, he identified three categories of
non-monotonic mental shift:
capability to produce new solutions to problems and reach creative insights,
adaptation of cognitive competencies through repetitive experimentation, and
shift in values and perceptions through critical thinking [8].
Deep learning happens through active student engagement and especially in mean-
ingful construction activities [
]. Deep learning is associated with polymorphic thinking
(i.e., creative, critical, reflective, and caring) [
] and problem-solving processes and capa-
bilities [
]. The notion of in-depth learning should not be confused with deep learning
computational processing techniques used for data analysis and representation in the field
of artificial intelligence.
2.2. Meaningful Learning
Meaningful learning, according to Ausubel [
], should be the hallmark of formal
higher education, which is achieved through sustained critical discourse. Meaningful
learning construction is linked with teaching methods such as inquiry and problem solv-
ing resulting in the ability to identify and analyze the underlying structure and connect
existing with new concepts [
]. Educators who intend to offer meaningful educational
experiences to their students are invited to contemplate and design teaching and learning
around the following attributes: active, constructive, intentional, authentic, cooperative, or
relational [15,16].
Active: Learning is an active cognitive procedure where the student is the protagonist.
This dimension signals the active participation of learners by interacting with content
and the learning environment, and engaging with a subject matter so as to make a
personal cognitive contribution.
Constructive: Learners are expected to construct continuously their own meaning
by interpreting and reflecting on observed phenomena, content and the results of
their actions.
Intentional: Learners are encouraged to exhibit individual ownership, agency, be
self-directed, set goals consciously and commit emotionally.
Authentic: Meaningful learning requires tasks linked to an authentic experience or
simulated, realistic context so that they become personally significant and transferable.
Cooperative/relational: Human learning is also a social process involving learners and
teachers. Group collaboration and peer conversation occur naturally in knowledge-
building communities. Additionally, engaged, passionate teachers contribute signifi-
cantly to the emotional involvement of learners.
Meaningful learning depends primarily on course design linking theory and practice
with strong experiences where both teachers and students feel free to express their positive
or negative emotions [17].
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2.3. Deep and Meaningful Learning
Deep learning and meaningful learning have structural similarities that signal high
quality in education and thus are integrated into the term deep and meaningful learning
(DML) [18].
3. Related Theories
DML overlaps with other relevant concepts and theoretical frameworks with similar
epistemological underpinnings in literature. These are significant learning, transformative
learning, generative learning, deeper learning, and transfer of learning.
3.1. Significant Learning
Significant learning generates durable knowledge that can be applied in authentic
contexts. It is achieved through student-centered teaching experiences driving personal
learner cognitive development [
]. Significant learning requires multilevel mental student
engagement across several categories [
]. Fink [
] proposed a taxonomy of the follow-
ing six critical categories that can be used to formulate intended learning outcomes for
interactive learning experiences:
Foundational knowledge; remembering and understanding the fundamental concepts
in the core of an educational program’s content.
Application; identifying, analyzing a problem and solving it by applying the basic
knowledge or skills.
Integration; building conceptual connections between new and existing knowledge
and experiences.
Human dimension; recording an insight in the social dimension in relation to the self
and other.
Caring; an emotional shift in regarding their values, perceptions and interest towards
the studied domain.
Learning how to learn: acquiring domain-specific self-regulation skills to pursue
life-long learning.
Educators seeking to ensure significant learning are encouraged to design and plan
various learning activities across all categories.
3.2. Transformative Learning
Mezirow’s transformative learning is a much researched and studied adult education
theory based on the critical theory [
]. Critical theory takes a clear stance towards the
progressive transformation and emancipation of persons and society as a whole. It strives
to discover the underlying or served interests in studied situations. It notes for example that
the selection of information and methods in curriculum design is an ideological action [
Transformative learning emphasizes personal development, the evolution of worldview
and perspectives through critical discourse and rational thinking [
]. This path of attitude
transformation includes several steps: quandaries to trigger self-reflection leading to
realizations and new decisions, exploring new, better and valid choices and devising plans
towards behavioral change, putting new resolutions and values into action [25]
3.3. Generative Learning
Generative learning is based on the constructivist premise that knowledge is con-
structed through active student agency and participation [
]. Wittrock’s generative
learning model includes four main stages: motivation, learning strategy, generation, and
knowledge creation. However, one essential element is that learners need to assume respon-
sibility, control and direct their own learning. For example, deep learning is more probable
when learners are prompted to produce their own replies in the form of a written text to
address an open question rather than select one option in a close-format multiple-choice
question [27]. Generative learning involves active sense-making activities [28].
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3.4. Deeper Learning
Deeper learning advocates learning beyond rote, superficial fact accumulation. Deeper
learning is associated with higher-order thinking skills and mastery of transversal skills [
Deeper learning has the potential to deliver desirable effects such as enhanced information
recall, intrinsic incentives, lasting knowledge and a structured comprehension of the cardi-
nal propositions of the conceptual and procedural phenomena under scrutiny [
]. It aims
at the development of six core competencies: proficiency of core academic content; critical
thinking and complex problem solving; cooperation; communication; life-long learning;
academic mindset. To cultivate these competencies teaching strategies such as problem-
based and project-based learning have been found effective [
]. Active, student-centered
instructional approaches are recommended including authentic case studies, small group
work, interdisciplinary projects, mentorships, open-ended exploration, knowledge applica-
tion outside of the classroom boundaries, personalized learning according to individual
needs [32].
3.5. Transfer of Learning
Educational transfer or the transfer of learning is the phenomenon where a learner has
the capability to demonstrate competencies, knowledge, skills, and values, acquired from
educational settings to novel, unprecedented situations, and ill-defined problems [
]. For
transfer to take place, learning needs to be organized as an active and dynamic process that
is influenced by learners’ motives [
]. Educational transfer is considered a top priority in
continuous professional development and corporate training programs.
4. Application
How could DML be facilitated in the context of formal education? DML frame-
works conceptualize education quality as the cognitive, affective, and social skills activa-
tion [
]. DML success in physical and online contexts depends on every individual’s
idiosyncratic attributes in terms of personalities, abilities, perceptions, and goals [
Hence DML on scale requires adaptation and differentiation to accommodate personalized
needs. Education stakeholders need to orchestrate litanies of activities and experiences to
foster deep learning approaches [
]. DML from the educator’s angle is a tough challenge
as it entails the expenditure of extra energy for sophisticated planning, patience, mindful-
ness, and diligence [
]. Information and communication technology could support DML
when the latter is used for teaching and learning strategies such as knowledge synthesis,
discussion, articulation, cooperation, and reflection [13,15,37].
DML is even harder to achieve and maintain in online learning where learners’ dy-
namic emotional and motivational fluctuations are sometimes neglected [
]. For instance,
curiosity, interest, and goal orientation are essential as they influence directly cognitive
learning procedures [
]. Quality e-learning towards higher-order processes should be
organized around learner-centered meaningful, demanding activities assisting students to
build associations of new information with existing knowledge and experiences [40].
More specific, DML is influenced by factors of three types: learners’ individual traits
(e.g., personality, skills, emotions, motivation), contextual (e.g., teaching methods, as-
sessment, teacher, class), and perceived contextual factors (e.g., workload, usefulness,
relevance) [
]. In the context of distance education, a systematic review has integrated
fifteen influencing factors into a blended model for deep and meaningful e-learning in
social virtual reality environments [
]. Factors are organized in three classes: in relation
to the learner (e.g., perceptions, technical skills), the implemented instructional design
according to teacher perceptions and beliefs (e.g., learning theory, environment, activities),
and the used technology (e.g., access, usability), before and during learning.
Hence, the community of inquiry theory was formulated to promote DML in ter-
tiary education [
]. Deriving from a social constructivist epistemology, its empirically
supported premise is that effective distant educational experiences should combine three
crucial components: teaching, cognitive, and social presence. Teaching presence comprises
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the responsibilities and actions of educators such as instructional design, direct instruction,
and online facilitation. Cognitive and social presence relates to student behavior. Cognitive
presence is “the extent to which the participants in any particular configuration of a com-
munity of inquiry are able to construct meaning through sustained communication” [
Social presence is achieved when learners communicate purposively and build collectively
shared identities in an environment of trust.
Online learning features principally flexible, self-regulated study. Even when learning
features synchronous virtual meetings, i.e., teacher-led tutorials or group work, learner
isolation is an inherently inhibiting factor [
]. Active, challenging activities, cooper-
ative problem-based tasks, and emotional empowerment are recommended to promote
]. Additionally, overlooking the importance of internal student incentives in
distance education leads to high course attrition rates [
]. When distance students can-
not interact socially with their fellows they have a higher probability of abandoning a
course [
]. This effect has been observed on a magnified scale in Massive Open Online
Courses (MOOCs). Global enrollment in each MOOC rose to thousands and even hundreds
of thousands but completion rates typically do not exceed ten percent [14,48].
Excessive coursework is one common, DML blocking mistake educators commit de-
spite their benevolent intentions is. Too much work inevitably pushes students towards
a surface approach to learning due to time pressure. Hence, reducing content is recom-
mended so that learners have the time to reflect on the studied subject [
]. Another
universal teacher recommendation towards DML is to allow students to confront their
own misconceptions. Learners should be animated to demonstrate comparatively their
constructed meaning and interpretations of the studied domain and debate with each
other [18].
DML proposes an outcome or competency-based design approach in e-learning [
Research in distance education connects DML with active learning, peer communica-
tion, and collaboration [
] as well as high levels of teaching and social presence [
Meaningful e-learning relies on the quality rather than the quantity of meaningful online
interactions of learners with content, instructors, and peers [
]. These interactions should
be designed around realistic experiences necessitating complex knowledge construction
tasks with ample cooperation and reflection opportunities [
]. Game-based and
gamified interventions such as serious games in physical and online, virtual settings have
produced supporting evidence of DML [
]. Distance courses designed with construc-
tivist principles integrating community interactions, open-ended discussions, and team
assignments into a flexible curriculum with fluid content achieve higher levels of learner
satisfaction and deep learning [57].
5. Evaluation
Summative student assessment in formal education serves one main purpose: to
ascertain the degree to which course participants have achieved the intended learning
outcomes. Its format, however, constitutes an indirect hint to students as what is deemed
of the highest value to focus on and learn [
]. Hence, a course aiming at deep meaningful
knowledge development should examine higher-order competencies. Proposed evaluation
strategies include authentic, realistic performance tasks, self-evaluation, and peer assess-
ment [
]. Suggested assessment methods to encourage deep learning approaches are
catalytic assessment, concept maps, problem-based learning, and e-portfolios [18,61].
Catalytic assessment starts with a question that students have to tackle [
]. The quest
to find the right answer triggers first individual exploration and then discourse, often in
dyads or larger teams where students present and defend their choices. Catalytic assess-
ment can be applied in large audiences in physical and online settings as demonstrated by
the peer instruction method [62].
Although concepts maps are learning resources, their creation by students can be a
form of assessment [
]. Concept maps demonstrate a person’s cognitive organization of
comprehension of a topic. Building links, hierarchical structures, and branches among
Encyclopedia 2021,1993
related concepts, processes, and categories allows the accurate representation of students’
mental models.
Problem-based learning is a learner-centered method that starts with a real, ill-defined
problem [
]. In order to solve the problem, students have to take initiative and direct
their own learning in multiple ways: analyze the situation, identify its components, study
sources, collect evidence, formulate and test hypotheses, communicate with peers, argue
and take decisions, experiment, and validate their beliefs and assumptions.
Learning portfolios are collections of nowadays mostly digital artifacts (e.g., essays,
papers, projects, digital files, etc.) that students build gradually throughout the course [
Portfolios, similarly to PBL, place the responsibility and initiative of learning to each learner.
Moreover, they strengthen learners’ agency and relatedness with personally meaningful
values and connections. E-portfolios have the additional advantage that they can be
transferable to other digital platforms and visible to social networks and other outlets
enabling a seamless transition from educational to professional roles and settings [
]. In
this way, portfolios encourage students’ intrinsic goal orientation.
6. Research Instruments
In an attempt to describe and classify the level, depth, complexity and quality of
student learning and understanding, Biggs and Collis formulated the Structure of the
Observed Learning Outcome taxonomy (SOLO), a hierarchy of five stages for learning
outcomes [65]. These categories are the following from lowest to highest order:
1. Prestructural: Unstructured, inappropriate work.
2. Unistructural: Appropriate presentation of one relevant subject aspect.
Multistructural: Appropriate presentation of several relevant but unconnected
subject aspects.
4. Relational: Integration of several relevant subject aspects.
Extended Abstract: Creation of a coherent, holistic approach at a new
abstraction level.
SOLO taxonomy distinguishes two phases in student learning, intended or recorded.
In the lowest, quantitative phase (stages 1 to 3), learning is mainly superficial, additive. In
the qualitative phase (stages 4 and 5), learning results in advanced, deeper understanding,
the ability of application, reflective abstraction and transfer. SOLO categories have corre-
spondences with the six levels of Bloom’s revised taxonomy (remembering, understanding,
applying, analyzing, evaluating, creating) [
]. SOLO can be used by educators in the
design and assessment stage of education: to formulate learning objectives, techniques,
activities, evaluation methods and to assess students’ outcomes and performance [67].
DML can be researched both with qualitative and quantitative methods. A qualitative
DML research approach is phenomenography [
]. It constitutes a new research paradigm
aiming at interpreting differences in thought and experiences based on the descriptions of
understanding [69].
Validated quantitative research instruments to measure subjectively DML include
the Study Process Questionnaire SPQ [
], the Approaches and Study Skills Inventory for
Students (ASSIST) [
], the Motivated Strategies for Learning Questionnaire (MSLQ) [
and the Community of Inquiry framework survey [73].
SPQ and more specifically the Revised Two-Factor Study Process Questionnaire (R-
SPQ-2F) is a questionnaire developed by Biggs that measures two factors, deep and surface
study approach [
]. It consists of twenty items, e.g., “my aim is to pass the course while
doing as little work as possible” (surface study approach), “I feel that virtually any topic
can be highly interesting once I get into it” (deep study approach). Students’ replies are
scored on a five-point scale from “this is never or very rarely true of me” to “this always
or almost always true of me”. R-SPQ-2F can be combined with SOLO taxonomy to link
student study strategies to learning outcomes [74].
ASSIST is a self-reporting questionnaire that reflects relative student preferences
towards three studying approaches: deep, surface and strategic, stemming from the work
of Entwistle and Ramsden [
]. It contains three sections with the main section being
Encyclopedia 2021,1994
the Revised Approaches to Studying Inventory (RASI). RASI includes 52 items, e.g., “I
tend to read very little beyond what is actually required to pass” (surface approach),
“Before tackling a problem or assignment, I first try to work out what lies behind it” (deep
approach), I organize my study time carefully to make the best use of it (strategic approach).
Students are invited to mark their degree of (dis)agreement across a five-level Likert type
scale: agree, agree somewhat, unsure, disagree somewhat, agree.
MSLQ is based on Pintrich’s socio-cognitive assumption on learning depending pri-
marily on the dynamic and contextual interplay between cognitive learning strategies
and motivation orientation [
]. MSLQ can be used to measure 15 different motivation
and learning strategy scales that can be used collectively or separately, e.g., intrinsic and
extrinsic goals, self-efficacy, critical thinking, self-regulation, management of resources [
It contains 81 statements students assess ranging from 1 (not at all true of me) to 7 (very
true of me), e.g., “I’m confident I can learn the basic concepts taught in this course”, “When
studying for this course, I often try to explain the material to a classmate or friend”.
The Community of Inquiry framework survey was developed to measure the three
primary scales of the studied model: cognitive, teaching, and social presence [
]. It
comprises 34 items—statements such as “The instructor clearly communicated important
course goals” and “Course activities piqued my curiosity”. Respondents are scored from
0 (strongly disagree) to 4 (strongly agree).
7. Conclusions and Prospects
Life-long learning in the context of an information-centered society through continu-
ous professional development is ubiquitous [
]. The quality of life-long learning is vital for
the effectiveness of upskilling and reskilling professional development initiatives. Learning
interventions and educational programs of high quality lead to DML. Future research lines
could investigate the intersection of DML and behavioral change in blended and distance
education with emerging technologies such as extended, cross, augmented, mixed, virtual
reality as well as digital games [
], big data and learning analytics [
]. In a macroscopic
view, DML is not an end, it is the beginning of passionate engagements of students with
domains of knowledge fueled by inspiration through inquiry and experimentation leading
to creativity, polymorphic innovation and solutions to pressing problems.
Funding: This research received no external funding.
Conflicts of Interest: The author declares no conflict of interest.
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Supplementary resource (1)

... Meaningful Learning is a learning concept in which the teacher presents real-world situations to the classroom and encourages students to make connections between the knowledge they have and its application in their lives [15,16]. The teacher's task in Meaningful Learning is to provide easy learning to students, by providing various means and adequate learning resources [14,17]. ...
... The model that can be used to make learning more meaningful is the meaningful learning model. Ausubel said that the meaningful learning model is learning that is easy for students to understand and learn because of the teacher's ability to provide comfort that allows students to easily reflect on the experience and knowledge that already exists in their minds as well as a bridge to what students learn, so that students easily understand the material [1,12,15]. ...
... In accordance with what David Ausubel said, an educational psychologist said that the material learned must be meaningful, meaning how to connect new notifications with relevant designs in cognitive structures. According to Ausubel, meaningful learning is a design in which new information or material is associated with concepts in the cognitive structure [15,20]. ...
... Τέλος, η πανδημία του κορωνοϊού κατέδειξε την ανάγκη ύπαρξης επάρκεια συστημάτων και τεχνογνωσίας εξΑΕ, ιδρυμάτων και εκπαιδευμένου προσωπικού σε τεχνοπαιδαγωγικές δεξιότητες σε όλες τις βαθμίδες της εκπαίδευσης (Μανούσου et al., 2021). Η βαθιά και ουσιαστική μάθηση είναι η ανάπτυξη κριτικών και δημιουργικών δεξιοτήτων ανώτερης κλάσης που μετασχηματίζουν το άτομο και διατηρούνται στη μακροπρόθεσμη μνήμη (Mystakidis, 2021). Η βαθιά ουσιαστική μάθηση είναι βασικό ζητούμενο στην εξΑΕ (Λιοναράκης, 2005). ...
... Η μάθηση για να είναι ουσιαστική, πρέπει να χαρακτηρίζεται από πέντε στοιχεία. Να είναι ενεργητική, εποικοδομητική, συνειδητή, αυθεντική και συνεργατική (Mystakidis, 2021). H θεωρία της κοινότητας διερεύνησης που στοχεύει στη βαθιά ουσιαστική μάθηση προβλέπει και συνιστά αντίστοιχα την παρουσία τριών κατηγοριών δραστηριοτήτων στην εξΑΕ: διδακτική, κοινωνική και γνωστική παρουσία (Garrison et al., 2010). ...
Conference Paper
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Η βαθιά και ουσιαστική μάθηση είναι πρωταρχικό ζητούμενο στην εξ αποστάσεως εκπαίδευση, καθώς αποτελεί ισχυρός δείκτης υψηλής ποιότητας. Οι γραπτές εργασίες αποτελούν μια κομβική διεργασία μάθησης στο μοντέλο εξ αποστάσεως εκπαίδευσης που εφαρμόζει στο Ελληνικό Ανοικτό Πανεπιστήμιο. Η ανατροφοδότηση των γραπτών εργασιών αξιολογεί την πρόοδο των φοιτητών/τριών, υποστηρίζει, ενδυναμώνει και καθοδηγεί. Στην παρούσα εργασία παρουσιάζεται μια ευρετική, διαλεκτική μέθοδος ομαδικής ανατροφοδότησης και αναστοχασμού, η παιγνιώδης Σωκρατική μέθοδος. Κομβικά σημεία των γραπτών εργασιών παρουσιάζονται ως ερωτήματα που λειτουργούν ως εναύσματα στοχασμού και διαλόγου. Η παιγνιώδης Σωκρατική μέθοδος εφαρμόστηκε κατά τις ΟΣΣ κατά τα ακαδημαϊκά έτη 2020-21 και 2021-22. Τριάντα δύο (n=32) φοιτήτριες/ες της θεματικής ενότητας ΕΚΠ65 αξιολόγησαν την εν λόγω μέθοδο σύμφωνα με ένα επαληθευμένο ερωτηματολόγιο με 26 ερωτήματα κλειστού τύπου. Τα αποτελέσματα έδειξαν ότι οι συμμετέχουσες/ντες στην έρευνα εκτίμησαν αυτή τη νέα μαθησιακή δραστηριότητα και ότι θα επιθυμούσαν την ευρύτερη εφαρμογή της και σε άλλες ενότητες.
... One way to enhance students' motivation and achievement is to make their learning meaningful (Beni et al., 2019, Loyens & Gijbels, 2008Van Rijk et al., 2017) by creating a meaningful learning environment that emphasizes cognitive, social, and emotional aspects of learning, as well as fully engages a person. Researchers are constantly looking for methods and tools that make learning meaningful for learners (Ignlezi, 2000;Kretchmar, 2006;Kostiainen et al., 2018;Mystakidis, 2021;Polman et al., 2021;Vallori, 2014). It has been determined that learning motivation is particularly enhanced by the experience of success (Filgona et al., 2020;Koca, 2016;Rantalaa & Määttäb, 2012), students' belief in learning success, as well as their empowerment and promotion of their autonomy (Koca, 2016;Bojović & Antonijević, 2017). ...
... A meaningful learning environment links learning with students' needs and interests, motivates students to put in more effort, and allows them to experience the value of learning activities outside of school (Van Oers, 2009). Researchers note that meaningful learning construction is related to teaching methods such as inquiry and problem-solving, which encourage analysing and relating existing information to new concepts (Hanani, 2020;Mystakidis, 2021). As revealed by the study conducted by Polman et al. (2021), when creating a meaningful learning environment for primary school students in mathematics, teachers consider educational contexts that activate students' prior knowledge and connect it to students' personal worlds and values outside the school as important. ...
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The qualitative research aimed to reveal how a teacher creates a meaningful learning environment for primary school students in order to stimulate their motivation for learning. Eight primary school teachers participated in the focus group interviews. During the inductive analysis of the research data, five thematic categories were identified, that reflected the types of teachers activities encouraging students to learn and creating preconditions for meaningful learning of students.
... The ability to provide explanations using analogies made by students showed that the developed MIM provided in-depth and meaningful learning for students. Meaningful and in-depth learning was high-level thinking involving active intellectual use and constructing meaning through pattern recognition and concept association [55]. ...
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This research proposes a mobile interactive multimedia (MIM) system that allows students to interact with various simulations and animations of electrical phenomena and to apply their knowledge to solve problems in electrical circuits. MIM is a tool that enhances the students' conceptual understanding, correcting their misconceptions, and strengthening their problem-solving skills in electrical circuits, according to the students' knowledge type of transition in learning. The MIM was accessible through an Android-based device and was evaluated using a research and development (R&D) method. The Three Tier-Test and Multiple Misconception Revealing Test assessed students' conceptual comprehension and problem-solving ability. The study involved 53 prospective science teachers enrolled in the Electrical and Magnetism course in third-semester; 27 in the experimental group and 26 in the control group. The findings showed that the MIM met the validity, practicality, and effectiveness criteria. Therefore, the MIM was a valid, practical, and effective tool for enhancing the students’ conceptual understanding, correcting their misconceptions, and strengthening their problem-solving skills in electrical circuits, according to the students’ knowledge type of transition in learning.
... Higher education professors now have the continuous challenge of finding new methods to involve students in learning [18], so they work under an active logic. The "new pedagogy" is based on the premise that learning strategies play an essential role in the acquisition of knowledge and, thus, approaching this as a constructive rather than a receptive process could contribute to achieving meaningful learning [19], which is an indicator of high-quality education [20]. ...
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This paper aims to learn about Chilean teachers and students’ experiences and positions to understand how they coped with online learning during the COVID-19 pandemic. The article focuses on student engagement, virtual professional practices, and the difficulties teachers perceive. A review of articles published in Web of Science, Scopus, and SciELO is carried out to meet the objective. The results show different levels of behavioral, cognitive, and affective engagement of students. Different complications were also identified in the realization of professional practices in virtual modality. The profound impacts that this area had on teacher training were mainly highlighted. Finally, university professors raised difficulties in five aspects: acceptance and use, domestic, technological, organizational, and with students. These findings provide several recommendations for the post-COVID-19 era, which can serve as a guide for policymakers, university managers, and academics.
... Según Morín (1998), los procesos de aprendizaje son recursivos y multidimensionales. Un diseño curricular que los fomente y que, además, sea flexible contribuirá al alcance de un aprendizaje significativo profundo (Mystakidis, 2021). ...
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La teoría de redes comenzó a discutirse en el marco de las Ciencias de la Educación. El análisis de redes contribuye a visualizar la estructura oculta de los planes de estudio de diferentes carreras universitarias, reconociendo puntos débiles o desconexiones. Sin embargo, en la actualidad, existen escasos antecedentes de aplicaciones prácticas para el diagnóstico de planes de estudio de carreras universitarias. En este trabajo, se estudian las relaciones curriculares en la carrera de Ingeniería Agronómica, aplicando la teoría de redes. Se cuantificaron las relaciones entre espacios curriculares, identificando la fortaleza de los vínculos entre ellos, a nivel horizontal y vertical, en espacios de ejes de conocimiento y ciclos de conocimiento, analizando el grado de recursividad de los contenidos a partir de sus programas. Los espacios curriculares de los ciclos superiores se encuentran mejor interrelacionados que los de los ciclos inferiores. Los espacios curriculares nodales son los de mayor número de vínculos internos y externos. Las áreas de consolidación propenden, en general, a la integración de conocimientos. Se sugiere fortalecer vínculos horizontales y verticales entre espacios curriculares, especialmente en los ciclos básicos, ya sea de manera directa, o bien, a través de espacios curriculares nodales, incorporando actividades comunes o vinculando contenidos prácticos en común.
... Mystakidis, Stylianos. 2021. "Deep Meaningful Learning." MDPI Encyclopedia. 988-997. 10.3390/encyclopedia1030075 151 Alexander, Robin. A Dialogic Teaching Companion Work (New York: Routledge Taylor & Francis Group, 2020) 152 García-Carrión, Rocío, Garazi López de Aguileta, Maria Padrós, and Mimar Ramis-Salas. 2020. "Implications for Social Impact ...
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The current season of Christian ministry calls for church leaders to view their social media platforms as online sacred spaces where God is present and believers online can experience the presence of God and each other. Technological advancements of social media platforms enable ministry leaders to leverage digital media as cyber sanctuaries where congregants can digitally come together for true community and have digital experiences that contribute to their faith formation and development. This thesis will show that collaborative leadership (shared power) and social constructivist educational approaches (dialogic processes of learning) align with digital church ministry and promote community and spiritual growth in online sacred spaces. It argues that growth and community online are fostered through bidirectional influence and reciprocity of education and ideas; and claims that a leadership approach that values and includes the community's perspective cultivates a connected living environment online. 2
... Outra questão diz respeito a escolha do metaverso implicando diretamente se ele será ou não inclusivo para os alunos. Dependendo do contexto de aplicação, todas essas dimensões devem ser levadas em conta, pois determinarão se o metaverso poderá se tornar uma tecnologia convencional para o e-learning (Mystakidis, 2021). Especificamente para o contexto educacional, metaversos possuem potencial inovador, atendendo a necessidade de aprendizagem das pessoas, possibilitando o acesso a um mundo virtual estendido do mundo real, de qualquer local ou momento do seu dia (Kye et al., 2021;Yue, 2022;K. ...
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A educação passou por grandes transformações durante a COVID-19, incluindo mudanças nos processos de ensino e aprendizagem, as quais buscaram fomentar um melhor engajamento, participação e pensamento crítico dos alunos durante as aulas remotas. Com isso, muitos professores adaptaram técnicas de aprendizagem ativa nestes contextos na tentativa de melhorar a interação, motivação e o aprendizado dos estudantes. Com a melhoria do cenário pandêmico e o retorno gradativo às atividades presenciais, alunos e professores se viram novamente em um novo e desafiador ambiente, o ensino e aprendizado híbrido. Neste cenário, tecnologias apoiadas no metaverso surgem naturalmente como plataformas inovadoras para este tipo de ensino, ao se apresentarem como propostas de extensão do mundo real em ambientes virtuais. Neste artigo, o objetivo foi propor o uso de metaverso como um ambiente de aprendizagem ativa capaz de fornecer suporte ao ensino e aprendizado híbrido. Por meio de um estudo misto (quantitativo e qualitativo) baseado em survey, foi analisada a percepção dos alunos sobre aceitação tecnológica, ambiente de aprendizado e a sua motivação em relação ao uso do metaverso. Como resultados, foram observadas evidências positivas relacionadas com a percepção dos alunos, indicando o metaverso como uma possível abordagem inovadora em contextos de ensino e aprendizado híbridos. A partir das lições do ensino remoto herdadas da pandemia, este trabalho apresenta contribuições que podem auxiliar educadores a refletir sobre práticas educacionais nesta nova realidade "pós-COVID".
... Indeed, meaningful learning occurs when participants feel comfortable with their learning path. These results align with theory and previous research on the topic by considering that the quality of m-learning is vital for the effectiveness of upskilling and reskilling educational and professional development initiatives (Mystakidis, 2021). In Figure 13, participants emphasized the advantages of m-learning as an alternative for independent learning; thus, they used keywords such as self, autonomous time, real regulation, better assessment and developing skills, among others. ...
Full-text available
Introduction: Mobile learning strategies are related to remote learning because they motivate learners to use technological devices such as computers, tablets or smartphones for academic purposes. As a result, greater indexes of compromise, learning, and development of communicative competencies in a foreign language are generated. Objective: This study explores how to boost the level of English proficiency among professors by implementing m-learning strategies as a response to the university’s foreign language policy. Methodology: The study was based on action research with data collection instruments such as an entry test, forums, perception surveys, and students’ learning products. Results and discussion: m-learning strategies were used to foster the attainment of academic goals by participants and to enrich their professional growth as teachers and students. Furthermore, they were prompted to update and incorporate technological resources while the didactic teaching process. Conclusions: participants developed a metacognitive process when using m-learning strategies so that they could make autonomous learning decisions and enhance their pedagogical practice.
This work aims to analyze and explain the didactic strategies used to achieve meaningful learning. It begins under the assumption that meaningful learning is created if students are given freedom and confidence; they can find their answers and develop their knowledge, both in the classroom and in practical life. The method used is the analytical-descriptive one of the reviews of the literature of the main authors who have given rise to this approach, its elements, and the didactic strategies used. It is concluded that the design and implementation of didactic strategies focused on meaningful learning with the application of active didactic methodologies and strategies in meaningful learning processes depending on the context in which it takes place, obtains better results in the training of professionals.
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The emergence of the Learning Analytics (LA) field contextualised the connections in various disciplines and the educational sector, acted as a steppingstone toward the reformation of the educational scenery, thus promoting the importance of providing users with adaptive and personalised learning experiences. At the same time, the use of Augmented Reality (AR) applications in education have been gaining a growing interest across all the educational levels and contexts. However, the efforts to integrate LA techniques in immersive technologies, such as AR, are limited and scarce. This inadequacy is mainly attributed to the difficulties that govern the collection and interpretation of the primary data. To deal with this shortcoming, we present the “Augmented Reality Learning Analytics” (ARLEAN) ethical framework, tailored to the specific characteristics that AR applications have, and focused on various learning subjects. The core of this framework blends the technological, pedagogical, and psychological elements that influence the outcome of educational interventions, with the most widely adopted LA techniques. It provides concrete guidelines to educational technologists and instructional designers on how to integrate LA into their practices to inform their future decisions and thus, support their learners to achieve better results.
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A substantial body of literature has well-documented and demonstrated the potential of using three-dimensional (3D) virtual worlds (VWs) across various learning subjects and contexts in primary and secondary (K-12) education. However, little is known when it comes to issues related to child-interaction research and the impact that design decisions have on the user experience (UX), especially when game-based learning approaches are employed in 3DVWs. Hence, in this systematic literature review, we appraise and summarize the most relevant research articles (n = 30) conducted in K-12 settings, published between 2006-2020 and that elicit information related to (a) the interaction design (ID) of game events and trends associated with game elements and features that were utilized for the development and creation of game prototypes, (b) the research methods which were followed to empirically evaluate their teaching interventions, and (c) the design-related issues and factors affecting ID and UX by identifying the most frequent set of learning and game mechanics that were adopted in various game prototypes in different learning subjects. The vast majority of game prototypes enhanced students' engagement and participation, affecting their achievements positively. This systematic literature review provides clear guidelines regarding the design decisions that educational stakeholders should consider, and provides recommendations on how to assess and evaluate the students' learning experience (i.e., performance, achievements, outcomes) using 3DVWs.
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Deep and meaningful learning (DML) in distant education should be an essential outcome of quality education. In this literature review, we focus on e-learning effectiveness along with the factors and conditions leading to DML when using social virtual reality environments (SVREs) in distance mode higher education (HE). Hence, a systematic literature review was conducted summarizing the findings from thirty-three empirical studies in HE between 2004 (appearance of VR) and 2019 (before coronavirus appearance). We searched for the cognitive, social, and affective aspects of DML in a research framework and studied their weight in SVREs. The findings suggest that the use of SVREs can provide authentic, simulated, cognitively challenging experiences in engaging, motivating environments for open-ended social and collaborative interactions and intentional, personalized learning. Furthermore, the findings indicate that educators and SVRE designers need to place more emphasis on the socio-cultural semiotics and emotional aspects of e-learning and ethical issues such as privacy and security. The mediating factors for DML in SVREs were accumulated and classified in the resultant Blended Model for Deep and Meaningful e-learning in SVREs. Improvement recommendations include meaningful contexts, purposeful activation, learner agency, intrinsic emotional engagement, holistic social integration, and meticulous user obstacle removal.
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Escape Rooms are cooperative games in which players must find clues, solve puzzles, and perform a variety of tasks within a limited time. The goal is usually to escape or leave a room, place, or environment. When the Escape Rooms have a pedagogical purpose, they are usually called Edu-Escape Rooms and can be related to gamification and Game-Based Learning. The potential for student engagement and motivation is one of the main advantages of Edu-Escape Rooms.
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Recent events resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic precipitated a triage-like environment wherein experienced faculty were forced to convert courses rapidly to online venues. This unexpected circumstance forced educators to adopt different learning theories of which they were largely unaware. The results were predominantly unsatisfactory for both learner and educator. This paper provides perspectives to this unfortunate circumstance, describes positive and negative aspects of the experiences, presents best practices for deep online learning, and challenges geography educators to learn how instructional design for online courses can be leveraged. The goal is to provide a forum for online learning in geography education.
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Students’ approaches to learning can vary between students of different ages, genders, years, degrees, or cultural contexts. The aim of this study was to assess the approaches to learning of different students of life science degrees. The Revised Two-Factor Study Process Questionnaire (R-SPQ-2F) has been used to assess the approaches to learning of 505 students of thirteen different subjects of four different degrees at Universitat Politècnica de València in order to study the factors that influence their approaches. Results show a higher deep approach of the students. Differences were observed between subjects and gender, not related to level (bachelor or master) or year. The item reliability analysis showed a high consistency for the main scales, but not for the secondary scales of the R-SPQ-2F questionnaire. High correlation between the deep and surface scales were observed. These data can provide more information to the teachers, which may help them to develop strategies focused on promoting a deeper approach to learning for the students, more adapted to their subject, level, and year.
Although the ability to retain, process, and project prior experience onto future situations is indispensable, the human mind also possesses the ability to override experience and adapt to changing circumstances. Cognitive scientist Stellan Ohlsson analyzes three types of deep, non-monotonic cognitive change: creative insight, adaptation of cognitive skills by learning from errors, and conversion from one belief to another, incompatible belief. For each topic, Ohlsson summarizes past research, re-formulates the relevant research questions, and proposes information-processing mechanisms that answer those questions. The three theories are based on the principles of redistribution of activation, specialization of practical knowledge, and re-subsumption of declarative information. Ohlsson develops the implications of those mechanisms by scaling their effects with respect to time, complexity, and social interaction. The book ends with a unified theory of non-monotonic cognitive change that captures the abstract properties that the three types of change share.
The growth in online professional development opportunities for teachers, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, prompts us to question what the most effective practices of facilitating professional development online are and what design elements of online professional development (OPD) programs improve teachers’ content and pedagogical content knowledge (PCK). These questions are critical to the successful design and delivery of OPD for teachers. To date, there is no systematic review that provides answers to these questions. Hence, this review presents a synthesis of 11 studies that systematically examine experimental and observational studies that tested or evaluated formal OPD programs for teachers. Eight studies were quantitative and three were mixed methods detailing evidence of teachers’ OPD program effectiveness, including design elements, that lead to teachers’ improved: content knowledge; PCK; beliefs about teaching; self-efficacy; and instructional practices. Design elements identified included a focus on learner supports, further acquisition or development of PCK, engagement, flexibility, individual difference in learners and learning styles, practical learning activities, reflection, relevance and application of knowledge and skills. The analysis uncovers a primary issue that few available publications of teachers’ OPD are strong methodologically. This systematic review’s findings report on design elements that lead to effective OPD learning experiences for teachers.
Asynchronous online discussions (AODs) can fail to benefit student learning in online classes if they are not designed to promote higher-order thinking. AODs can be designed as collaborative learning events that prompt students to go beyond the reproduction of basic content. The purpose of this study was to describe student participation, interaction, and levels of learning in AODs following pre-work activities. The pre-work in this study was conceptualized as socio-cognitive scaffolding. It engaged students in common activities where everyone experienced the same content preparation prior to the AOD. During the AOD students were prompted to share, discuss, and validate their understanding of the content. The study was conducted with 49 students in a graduate-level project management course. Results revealed that students were engaged in discussions of content-related material and showed evidence of deep learning during the AODs. Specifically, students analyzed, evaluated, and synthesized information during the collaboration. Results suggested that pre-work activities can be a promising strategy in the design of AODs.
Many teachers see major difficulties in maintaining academic standards in today's larger and more diversified classes. The problem becomes more tractable if learning outcomes are seen as more a function of students’ activities than of their fixed characteristics. The teacher's job is then to organise the teaching/learning context so that all students are more likely to use the higher order learning processes which “academic” students use spontaneously. This may be achieved when all components are aligned, so that objectives express the kinds of understanding that we want from students, the teaching context encourages students to undertake the learning activities likely to achieve those understandings, and the assessment tasks tell students what activities are required of them, and tell us how well the objectives have been met. Two examples of aligned teaching systems are described: problem-based learning and the learning portfolio.