Situated Cognition and learning Environments: Roles, Structures, and Implications for design

By Jeong-Im & Michael Hannafin


Situated cognition provides:
 -meaning learning
 -transfer of knowledge to real life situations

Purpose of the article:
-to examine the theoretical aspects of situated cognition
-to derive implications for the design of situated learning environments

Formal education Vs  Situated Cognition and learning environments:

Formal education: skills and education differ from real life situation
                              emphasis on decontextualized contexts and learning outcomes

Implications for the design of situated learning environments:

Four aspects are addressed: the role of the content
                                             the role of the context
                                             the role of facilitation
                                             the role  of assessment

Principles of each framework


The role of context
    Everyday cognition:   people reason intuitively based upon experiences within specific contexts; use a variety of methodes to solve problems 

    Authenticity: coherent, meaningful and purposeful activities that represent the ordinary practises

    Transfer: situated learning environments are more likely to transfer to real-life problem solving

The role of content
    Knowledge as tool: students acquire knowledge as well as a sense of when and how to use it

    Content diversity and transfer: concepts need to be represented via various conent; necessity to apply knowledge in various setting to discriminate similarities and differences among settings

    Cognitive apprenticeships: to provide the opportunities for the learners to internalize learning and develop self-monitoring and self-correcting skills.

    Anchored instruction: to create authentic, problem-rich environments that encourage exploration and diversity of perspectives

The role of facilitation


The role of assessment

    Facilitation methods: situated learning environments attempt to help students to improve their cognitive abilities, 
                                    self monitoring and self-correcting skills; encourage active learning and provide opportunities to 
                                    internalize information; facilitation is less directive, more continuous, and highly interactive

                                            Coaching, guiding, and advising
                                           Using cognitive tools and resources
                                            Coaching, guiding, and advising
                                           Using cognitive tools and resources


    Problems and issues: in order to be useful in promoting higher thinking skills, testing needs
                                    to shift from domain referenced evaluation to  assessments;
                                    emphasis need to be on the ability to diagnose manage cognitive growth rather then achievement


Implications and conclusions

Situated cognition has several implications for learning system design as well as teaching and learning process:

 Implications of situated learning: