Feature: Thoughts on Deep Learning

Thoughts On Deep Learning

Dr Abdul Wahab Abdul Ghani
Associate Professor Faculty of Education & Languages

"I believe learning would only be meaningful if comprehension and the ability to differentiate information and knowledge are sought as desirable outcomes. Learning needs to move beyond memorisation into the realm of reflection and even intution. I believe deep learning is desirable at all levels and situations because, ultimately, human progress and wisdom depend on deep learning to be at their core.

Deep learning is not something new, nor is it foreign to us. At the very least, as educators, we need to be familiar with Bloom's Taxonomy of Learning Domains, especially the demands emanating from the higher domains. When setting assessment questions that require analysis, synthesis and evaluation, we should do so based on the idea that learners need to be encouraged to think and reflect.

As tutors, we need to be aware of this dichotomy of the surface and the deep. We have to play our roles in facilitating and articulating this onward move beyond surface learning. We need to carefully plan and strategise tutorial sessions or online discussions, filling them with questions, tasks and cases that challenge learners to think, reflect and be engaged in deep learning. Of course, a necessary prerequisite to this quest is that, we ourselves must believe that our learners would welcome, or at least can be nudged into participating in such a venture. Our learners are here on their own accord and I believe most are highly motivated and eager to learn. Let us show them the way and blaze the trail for deep and meaningful learning."

Dr Nora Ahmad
Associate Professor School of Nursing & Allied Health Sciences

"Deep learning is central to nursing, as nursing by nature requires its practitioners to critically analyse new concepts and ideas and link them to their existing knowledge. Nursing learners would then need to apply these concepts and ideas to solve real life problems in the practical setting. Nursing as a hands-on profession also requires learners to work independently and to be able to identify knowledge gaps to fill in order to prevent errors in the medical practice and to improve the quality of patient care. For these reasons, deep learning is a must in any nursing programme."

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