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Advanced Educational Psychology

Information-Processing and Cognitive Learning Theories
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Information-Processing and Cognitive Theories of Learning And Memory


Information-Processing Model

lTheory that describes the processing, storage, and retrieval of knowledge

lInfo is processes and stored in 3 stages:


Sensory Register/Memory

lEverything first come through SM

lInfo not attended to and processed:

lInfo attended to:      


Sensory Registry/Memory:  Educational Implications

lStudents MUST pay attention to info to ever retain it

ltakes time to bring info into consciousness


lHow will you gain and keep students’ attention?


Short Term/Working Memory

lActive or working memory

lInfo not processed: lost forever

lInfo processed: moves on to LTM


How much info can be held in ST/Working-Memory?



lRecodes/reorganizes info into units that are already into LTM


How long does STM last?

lInfo disappears quickly

lCan prolong a memory by repeating it - Maintenance rehearsal

lElaborative rehearsal is more effective


How can teachers help students keep info in Working Memory?

lAllow time to practice, rehearsal

lTeach them how to organize/chunk info

lPresent info in logical, organized fashion

lConnect new info to info already in students long-term memory


LTM – Long-term Memory

lCapacity: unlimited

lPermanence: relatively permanent


3 parts of LTM

lEpisodic memory: Personal experiences

lSemantic memory: Facts and general knowledge

lProcedural memory: Info about how to do things


Enhancing LTM

lMake it personal, relate it

lPresent info visually and verbally

lActive hands-on learning

lAllow for deep processing of info

lDistributed practice > mass practice


What causes people to forget? 

lInterference: Unable to recall info due to presence of other information

Proactive – old info interferes w/ new info

Retroactive – new info interferes w/ old info




Proactive – old info can help student learn new info

Retroactive – new info can help student better learn old info



lRecall: remembering in absence of the item

lFactors affecting Recall

Serial position - Primacy and Recency

Environmental Context

State-dependency - Drugs, mood     



Levels of Processing





Improving Memory

lRehearsal      Selection          Organize/Chunk            Overlearn         Spaced Studying           Sleep and Eat   Mnemonic Devices


Tips for Teachers

lCapture, Hold and Improve Attention

lMinimize distractions, use cues

lRelate tasks to real life, play games, use technology

lEncourage Effective Rehearsal

lStress Meaningfulness

lActive learning

lConnect info to what they already know



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