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    • #47535
      David Read

          In the article, Clark and Mayer discusses three types of processing: extraneous processing, essential processing and generative processing. Of the three the first – extraneous processing – is probably the easiest to understand. The other two take a bit more work. If necessary, read through the section of the article where they are mentioned (pages 37-40) and then respond to the questions below:

          Essential processing

          Clark and Mayer talk about this as the ability to process the ‘inherent complexity of the material’. For students on a pre-sessional, which one of these topic areas do you think would require the most processing from students and why: learning the passive voice, learning how to paraphrase, learning the Harvard referencing system?

          Generative processing

          The authors identify this as the ability of the learner to organise and integrate the content/material into knowledge store. Over the last few weeks you’ve seen plenty of examples of digital content – including those made by yourself. What kinds of tasks or activities do you think might help students to organise and integrate content more effectively?


        • #49305
          ann clayton

              learning to paraphrase would probably be the hardest for students to process, because the skill requires several subsets and in some cultures it is very much one which is not relevant or important and even challenges previously held beliefs.

              organising and integrating content could be through interactive activities – role play dialogues (creating appropriate responses), or problem solving scenarios with a relevant job/skill focus


            • #49357
              Joanne Tindall

                  Essential Processing

                  I agree with @ann-c, learning how to paraphrase would require the most processing. This is because it is less formulaic than learning grammar rules like the passive voice or referencing.

                  Paraphrasing is open-ended to some extent and by its very nature requires the working memory to first, receive the input (receptive skills) and then transform it with synonyms (productive skills) that the learner may or may not have in their long term memory. The cognitive load is high because there is the limitation of the working memory to hold the L2 words (and the meaning) whilst simultaneously searching for suitable alternative words either in the long term memory or from an external source.

                  The text explains that the brain processes audio and visual separately and then integrates the new information with existing info from the long term memory. With this in mind, presentation materials should only include essential information (reduce extraneous stuff) and this info is best presented when the learner receives the information verbally and simultaneously through images which can be processed. In other words, presentation material should include both visual and verbal features for optimal learner input.

                  Generative Processing

                  In terms of activities (post input), the learner needs to rehearse the newly integrated information. In addition, the must be motivated to grasp more deeply the the new information. I guess this means the trainer needs to think about what were the aims of the lesson and make sure that these aims are the focus to help the new input to be consolidated. I would imagine that any activity that is engaging and motivates the learner to do it would satisfy the need for ‘rehearsal’.

                • #49401
                  Tania Pacheco

                      Approaches to Manage Challenges of Mental Load.

                    • #49460
                      Linda Roth

                          I definitely agree that paraphrasing requires the most processing because of the complexity of the task and the often bewildering number of language choices available to the student.

                          With regard to helping learners to organise and integrate content, it’s often said that a good way to learn something is to have to teach it or present it to an audience. e.g. In a f2f situations I might ask learners to prepare and give mini-presentations e.g on an aspect of grammar, and this is also possible in an online environment, either as an asynchronous or synchronous activity.


                        • #49612
                          Helen Shaw-Cotterill

                              Essential processing

                              I agree with the others – learning to paraphrase is definitely the one which requires more processing. There isn’t one ‘right’ answer to a paraphrase  – 3 students may have 3 different answers and all are suitable – it can be difficult for students to process the idea that there isn’t 1 fixed answer. Its not so formulaic for students as grammar is.

                              As previously mentioned, it’s also a concept which may be totally new to them, depending on their background, whereas they will have come across the passive several times in their English studies and will possibly (!) have used referencing systems even when writing in their own language so they have an idea of what it is and what is expected of them.

                              Generative processing

                              I like Linda’s idea of presenting the new information to other students as a way to see how well they have understood to new concepts/information. Also, another idea might be to ask students to work in pairs to create some correct/incorrect sentences modelling the new language idea which they give to another pair who have to identify which sentences are incorrect and correct them. .

                            • #49665
                              Akiko IWATA

                                  Essential processing

                                  I agree with the others, that paraphrasing requires the most processing, because you need to understand the key meaning of the context properly, then have to choose the relevant word or different sentence pattern from their existing knowledge in long-term memory to present the closest expression.

                                  Generative processing

                                  I like every idea mentioned above. I suppose very task will work well. But I like the idea of Helen the most, because presented a new idea that make students to identify which sentences are inccorect and correct them.


                                • #49675
                                  Tim Radnor

                                      I agree with @tania-pacheco that, with paraphrasing for a pre-sessional, students are likely to have different knowledge levels (unless we are assuming zero knowledge of paraphrasing when they start the course – which would be worrying for that level!) I like her idea of mini-quizzes and other activities at the beginning to help refine the input so that (a) it is not too complex and (b) avoids extraneous or excessive essential processing. What I think students need for paraphrasing is a lot of practice i.e. generative processing opportunities – I would set up opportunities for writing paraphrases & comparing with both other students’ versions as well as a model with tutor comments. This is easily done in an asynchronous e-learning format. I would also suggest that students choose their own texts to paraphrase (perhaps as part of a writing project they are already working on) as this would give more ‘motivation’ and meaning to their practice & a ‘deeper understanding of the core material’ as the text mentions this is part of generative processing.

                                    • #49862
                                      Amon Ezike

                                          Essential processing
                                          I agree with others about paraphrasing requiring more processing from students. Different activities seems to be going on, firstly the student will need to understand original text then know how to rephrase the original meaning (a skill on its own) while still conveying the exact meaning.
                                          Generative processing
                                          Interactive task – Learning by doing, in an online lesson, adding  interactive tasks within what they are learning either through checking prior knowledge or checking understanding of the provided content. Use of videos and text could also aid learners organise and integrate content better. Including practical task can enable learner engage with the material. In addition, adding scenario based task can aid users in engaging with the content if they can relate to it;

                                        • #49997
                                          Richard Davie

                                              Essential P: Well definitely its ‘Paraphrasing’! (Although I have a beef about teaching it, or rather what can be falsely implied by the name, but that’s not to the point here.)

                                              Generative P: I guess the range of tasks for this is unlimited or hard to define as it implies the broadest, most complex processing. I like the idea of Ss creating their own tasks. I’ve known it for years, of course, but have seldom done it, partly I think because of a concern Ss can labour at producing a task (or explaining the material to another learning) and in doing so display the very fact that they haven’t understood it. But that’s nuts, of course: error is productive so long as they get feedback etc.

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