Who is in your Neighborhood?

What is Learning?

The dominant definition of learning in our society is based on psychometrics, or the measurement of psychological properties. Because the amount someone has learned can’t be directly observed, we infer learning using tests or other student-generated artifacts. Although we can never know exactly what a person knows or can do, we believe we can make a pretty good guess by giving them tests and scoring the results. In abstract terms, learning equals the difference in performance of a person over time, or:


t1 - t0 = learning


More concretely, if you give someone a test at the beginning of the course and they get a 62%, then give them a test at the end of the course and they get 92%, then we define learning as:


92 - 62 = 30


XKCD 854: Learning to Cook


MOss' Definition

A better definition of learning, more “ISAT-ty” in the sense that it takes into account the contextualized and systemic aspects of learning, comes from Moss (2003) who said:


From a sociocultural perspective, learning is perceived through changing relationships among the learner, the other human participants, and the tools (material and symbolic) available in a given context.  Thus learning involves not only acquiring new knowledge and skill, but taking on a new identity and social position within a particular discourse or community of practice. As Wenger puts it, learning “changes who we are by changing our ability to participate, to belong, and to experience our life and the world as meaningful.” (p14)

Learning is, at its core, an artifact of relationship. It's fundamentally a social process because we need the mirror provided by others to help us recognize and apply our gifts and talents. In more concrete terms, as a result of learning, I go from being “that guy who works down the hall” to being “that guy who works down the hall and is a great web developer.” As a result of learning, people come to see us differently, and they begin to approach us and rely on us to contribute our gifts and talents back to them. This definition of learning conforms much better to our notion of the PCHOM practitioner who is member of a team or network of people working to solve problems

The Challenge

Write a program that can:

  • Take in a list of names and eID's
  • Quiz the user by showing them either:
    • A picture and four names and they have to pick the right name to go with the picture, or
    • A name and four pictures and they have to pick the picture to go with the name

Who is this?

  1. Tucker VonCannon
  2. George Walter
  3. Joe Timmins
  4. Joe Siler

Which one of these people is Joe Timmins?


By Morgan Benton