- Apr 2022
It is difficult to see interdependencies This is especially true in the context of learning something complex, say economics. We can’t read about economics in a silo without understanding psychology, sociology and politics, at the very least. But we treat each subject as though they are independent of each other.
Where are the tools for graphing inter-dependencies of areas of study? When entering a new area it would be interesting to have visual mappings of ideas and thoughts.
If ideas in an area were chunked into atomic ideas, then perhaps either a Markov monkey or a similar actor could find the shortest learning path from a basic idea to more complex ideas.
Example: what is the shortest distance from an understanding of linear algebra to learn and master Lie algebras?
Link to Garden of Forking Paths
Link to tools like Research Rabbit, Open Knowledge Maps and Connected Papers, but for ideas instead of papers, authors, and subject headings.
It has long been useful for us to simplify our thought models for topics like economics to get rid of extraneous ideas to come to basic understandings within such a space. But over time, we need to branch out into related and even distant subjects like mathematics, psychology, engineering, sociology, anthropology, politics, physics, computer science, etc. to be able to delve deeper and come up with more complex and realistic models of thought.Our early ideas like the rational actor within economics are fine and lovely, but we now know from the overlap of psychology and sociology which have given birth to behavioral economics that those mythical rational actors are quaint and never truly existed. To some extent, to move forward as a culture and a society we need to rid ourselves of these quaint ideas to move on to more complex and sophisticated ones.
- visual thinking
- Donut Economics
- behavioral economics
- atomic notes
- Open Knowledge Maps
- Connected Papers
- multidisciplinary studies
- Research Rabbit
- Markov monkey
But reenacting the experience of being a novice need not be so literal; expertscan generate empathy for the beginner through acts of the imagination, changingthe way they present information accordingly. An example: experts habituallyengage in “chunking,” or compressing several tasks into one mental unit. Thisfrees up space in the expert’s working memory, but it often baffles the novice,for whom each step is new and still imperfectly understood. A math teacher mayspeed through an explanation of long division, not remembering or recognizingthat the procedures that now seem so obvious were once utterly inscrutable.Math education expert John Mighton has a suggestion: break it down into steps,then break it down again—into micro-steps, if necessary.
When teaching novices, experts utilize chunking, or breaking up an idea into smaller units. While this may help free up cognitive space from the expert's point of view it exhibits a lack of empathy for the novice who may need expert-sized chunks broken down into micro-sized chunks which are more appropriate to their beginner status.
While the benefits of chunking can be useful to both sets of participants, the sizes of the chunks need to be relative to one's prior experience to leverage their benefit.
- Aug 2020
Simply chunking your text isn’t enough — you also need to support scanning by making it easy to quickly identify the main points of the chunks. You can do this by including: Headings and subheadings that clearly contrast with the rest of the text (bolder, larger, etc.) Highlighted keywords (bold, italic, etc.) Bulleted or numbered lists A short summary paragraph for longer sections of text, such as articles
Help users with skimming articles in a number of ways
- Feb 2020
The benefits of signaling are complemented by segmenting, or the chunking of information in a video lesson. Segmenting allows learners to engage with small pieces of new information and gives them control over the flow of new information.
Segmenting or chunking
- Feb 2019
It is the augmentation means that serve to break down a large problem in such a way that the human being can walk through it with his little steps, and it is the structure or organization of these little steps or actions that we discuss as process hierarchies.
As I begin to read this (as I did back in 2000 when I was introduced to Doug) I begin to think in terms of reductionism as a practice in the face of problems which are highly complex, nonlinear, and which do not submit to chunking.