What Does Deep Learning Got To Do With It? (Week 6 Reading Reflection)

“Mastering a field of knowledge involves not only ‘learning about’ the subject matter but also ‘learning to be’ a full participant in the field.” This quote is a passage from the readings this week that really resonated with me. Social learning is a way to really engage in the subject matter because you are not only passively participating in the subject matter by reading it but also engaging in the subject by discussing it with your peers and in some instances with the instructor. The chapter also discusses surface learning in comparison with deep learning. Surface learning is when you know the basic facts of the material but don’t understand it enough to use it out of direct context, or at least that was my understanding.

After engaging with these readings this week I feel like it is the first chapter that I can really bite into. I feel like much of my education has been focused on surface learning which frankly never really made much sense to me. What is the point of being able to recite information perfectly if you don’t know how to interact with the information and apply it? In this week’s reading I was able to achieve deeper learning as well because I could not only just read the information but also engage with my peers using hypothesis. The new jargon for me during this reading was what a qualitative kind of learning meant. My understanding from the reading is that it means the type of learning in more of a broad sense.

This chapter really got me thinking about the future of education. I am hopeful that by the time my toddler reaches middle school and beyond that the way information is taught to her will be evolved to encourage deeper learning. This thought got me thinking more about digital storytelling and how it will evolve in the future. I am not sure where I see it heading but I know that I am excited to see the development in the future.

To go with the readings this week I found a video that really explains the difference between surface and deep learning. In the video I learned that the terms ‘surface learning’ and ‘deep learning’ are actually terms that students came up with not professors. The students explained that ‘surface learning’ is about memorizing and just doing what your instructor wants you to do. Whereas ‘deep learning’ is when you really try to understand the material and become actively involved in the process. A valid point that was made in the video as well was that memorization in online learning doesn’t really make any sense. How very true is that?! How can you monitor someone answering questions via memorization when you have no idea if they are simply copying the answers or if they are truly answering off of the top of their head? These types of discussions really make me feel hopeful for the future of education.


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