Future Pragmatism Culture Technology Pedagogy Psychology Design Model RLOs Intro
RLOs Menu Assembly of RLOs Practice and Assessment RIO Content Reusable Information Object (RIO) Advantages of Reusable Learning Object Applications The Cisco Reusable Learning Object (RLO) Model Learning Object Taxonomy Historical Perspective
Design Model Menu The Interdependence of the Five Dimensions The Common Path of Psychological and Instructional Theory The Five-Dimensional Framework Establishing the Link Between Assumptions and Methods Grounded Learning System Design Requirements
Psychology Menu Social Properties of Knowledge Knowledge Operations The Shape of Knowledge Talking About Knowledge
Pedagogy Menu Cognitive Apprenticeship as Instructional Design Strategy Metacognitive Strategies Ausubel's Cognitive Style Continuum Strategies for Mastery of New Material The Importance of Knowledge Heirarchy to Instructional Strategy Anchor Points in Cognitive Structure Instructional Strategies Learning Strategy Requirements for Component Centered Design The Separation of Content from Strategy Knowledge Objects as Instructional Design Components Constructivist Orientation
Technology Menu The Work Process for Knowledge Tool Creation Helping Tools Talk to One Another About Knowledge Defining Performance as an Expression of Organizational Knowledge Knowledge Tools
Culture Menu Evaluating the Consequences of Innovation the Features of Social Structure Influencing Adoption of Innovation Five Steps in the Decision to Adopt Innovation Factors Affecting the Adoption of Innovation Criticisms of the Systems Approach to Instructional Design
Pragmatism Menu Organizational Context as an Influence on the Development Process The Tension Between Market Demand and Institutional Accountability
Talking About Knowledge Menu Mental Models Types of Knowledge Schema Generic Tasks Exemplars The Acquisition of Information
Shape of Knowledge Menu A Cognitive Structure Taxonomy Knowledge Relationships in Cognitive Structure Knowledge Organization and Individual Differences Interpretation Categorization The Combination of Knowledge Organization and Heuristics
Knowledge Operations Menu Problem Solution Planning Knowledge as Symbols Enabling Logical Operations Visual Imagery as the Medium for Knowledge Processing Representation-Forming Operations Human Preferences for Heirarchical Knowledge Representation Preferences in Patterns and Styles of Knowledge Negotiation in Cognitive System Linkages
Social Properties of Knowledge Menu Knowledge Embedded in Social Context Distributed Intelligence Problem Space Representation as a Solution Limitation Knowledge as Stories Knowledge and Social Context
Knowledge Tools Menu Reusable Resources Electronic Performance Support Systems (EPSS) Performance Support
Defining Performance as an Expression of Organizational Knowledge Menu Analysis Models for the Development of Knowledge Base Tools The Problem of Knowledge Elicitation Special Constraints on Knowledge Base Tools Organizational Context as a Factor in Knowledge-Based System Design Knowledge Operations in Technology-Based Tools Performance Context in EPSS Design
Helping Tools Talk to One Another About Knowledge Menu Challenges to Metadata Standards The Evolution of Metadata Standards Metadata Taxonomic Systems for Knowledge
The Work Process for Knowledge Tool Creation Menu A Cyclical Model for Instructional System Design and Development Rapid Prototyping as an Instructional Design Process Development Methodology
Dave Dawson, Ed.D. Home contact Me VitaEPSS Development Research Teaching
Mental Models

Jonassen and Henning (1999) advance the notion of schema theory to incorporate natural tasks and situations as the foundations of mental models representing knowledge. Jonassen and Henning provide a definition of mental models that emphasizes structure and relationships as critical features: “Mental models are representations of objects or events in systems and the structural relationships between those objects and events” (p. 37).

Jonassen and Henning (1999) propose that learners model new knowledge through the adoption of allegory or metaphor to aid in structure mapping. They also suggest that structure mapping is an effective concept in understanding cognitive structure as long as five assumptions are taken into account:

Another critical feature affecting the efficacy of mental models according to Jonassen and Henning (1999) is the degree to which the models can be run. They suggest that learners with poor mental models are unable to run them when they are required and perform poorly in problem-solving tasks that rely on the models as the result (Jonassen & Henning). In order to run mental models, they must be dynamic, multimodal, and multidimensional (Jonassen & Henning).

Jonassen and Henning (1999) describe the dynamic properties of mental models using analogous explanations such as the shifting of focus, activating the model, or setting attention to describe transitions of state that the learner's mental model undergoes in response to the requirements of the moment. Modes of operation or awareness also play a role in the runnability of a particular mental model. Different contexts or states of activation at the moment new information is introduced may affect what portion of the learner's cognitive structure processes it (Jonassen & Henning, 1999).

The same element of information may play an important role in a number of interconnected submodels in the learner's cognitive structure (Jonassen & Henning, 1999). The more roles the same information plays, Jonaasen and Henning suggest, the more likely it is to become a stable point in the learner's cognitive structure. However, some substructures will be better rehearsed and more stable than others. The runnability of a new model may depend on the direction the cognitive process takes at critical intersections between new knowledge and existing structures (Jonassen & Henning).

Jonassen and Henning (1999) conclude that differences in knowledge structure, visualization capability, and the generation of metaphors account for significant differences in problem-solving abilities among individuals. Furthermore, they conclude that mental models with more linear structures, lower dimensionality, and less robust metaphors negatively affect the individual's problem-solving ability in a given knowledge domain (Jonassen & Henning).