Comprehensive Exams Begin Today

by ajc

I’ve just received four questions that I must address as the primary component of comprehensive exams at Kent State University. I have eight weeks to answer these completely, after which they will be evaluated. If I’m successful, I will then be asked to defend my responses in person.

Research Methods in Educational Psychology and Instructional Technology

One of the things that may distinguish one discipline from another is the research that is done. The research may differ in the content, in the questions asked, and in the methods used. Instructional Technology and Educational Psychology are closely related disciplines in many ways, but they are also different. Choose a topic that is likely of interest to each field. Now design two studies, one that looks at the topic from an Educational Psychology perspective and one that does so from an Instructional Technology perspective. Explain how and why the two studies are different. What do these differences imply for the two disciplines?

Cognitive Load Theory in Designing Instruction

The basics of cognitive load theory seem well-established at this point, and it appears that instruction that fails to minimize extraneous cognitive load is likely to be less effective than instruction that takes this theory into account. First, explain the theory and its application clearly and succinctly. Then go beyond it. Specifically, it is unlikely to that cognitive load is the only factor that determines what and how much people learn from instruction, multimedia, and other elements. Describe another key factor that you believe, from your reading of the literature, has important effects on learning. Now consider how those two factors may interact in instructional settings. Describe a study that would illuminate these interactions and provide practical guidance in the design of instruction. You may narrow this down to a specific type of instruction, setting, population, or other factors.

The Application of Motivation Theory to Education

Discuss the current trends in contemporary motivation theory in the context of education. Compare and contrast motivation theories, such as need for achievement, attribution theory, achievement goal theory and theories of self-regulated learning. Make certain that your discussion focuses on theoretical developments that have stemmed from correcting earlier theoretical misconstructions. In your response be sure to cite research, which discusses each theoretical perspective’s take on achievement outcomes. Present some directions for the future related to the development of motivation theories and educational practices.

Instructional Design for Maximizing the Effectiveness of Technology

Many of us think that instructional design is one of the key foundations of instructional technology in general. In the current explosion of interest in and use of technology in education and training at all levels, it often appears that the focus is almost exclusively on the technology, with relatively little attention paid to instructional design and especially to the systematic processes of ID usually used within the field. There may be many reasons for that. Discuss the barriers that exist to applying instructional design procedures to improving the effectiveness of technology in schools, universities, or companies. Describe in some detail an approach to instructional design that would help teachers and others maximize the effectiveness of technology use in education. You may choose the setting, grade level, and other contextual factors that you concentrate on here. The approach may be one that is already in the ID literature or one that you have developed (with reference to the ID and related literatures).