Declarative and functioning knowledge in distance learning

Partner: University of Ljubljana

The concept underpinning ‘student-as-producer’ is that learning is grounded in research and research-like activities, so much of what the student learns will be through their own discoveries, working in collaboration with academic advisers and other students in a supportive research-rich environment (Hynes: 2017, Abu Bakar et al.: 2013). During the course of teaching, most teachers will have a clear idea of what the students should learn. However, there is a need to distinguish between declarative knowledge and functioning knowledge. When it comes to it, declarative knowledge is usually second-hand, it is about what has already been discovered. Knowledge of academic disciplines is declarative and students need to understand this in order to later be capable of transforming declarative knowledge into functional (Biggs, 2003). This approach has many implications for the design and flexibility of curricula, course content and interactivity of the learning process and is being increasingly used at universities across Europe (EHEA, website). This prerequisites neatly fit into the PLACEDU module ‘Empowering learners’, especially with the concepts of Flipped classroom and Role play.
‘Studend-as-producer’ means we take farewell to the concept of declarative knowledge and embark on the concept of functional knowledge.