Glossary: deep learning

From Deep and Surface Learning:

Deep and Surface are two approaches to study, derived from original empirical research by Marton and Säljö (1976) and since elaborated by Ramsden (1992), Biggs (1987, 1993) and Entwistle (1981), among others.

  • Deep: Focus is on “what is signified”
    Surface: Focus is on the “signs” (or on the learning as a signifier of something else)
  • Deep: Relates previous knowledge to new knowledge
    Surface: Focus on unrelated parts of the task
  • Deep: Relates knowledge from different courses
    Surface: Information for assessment is simply memorised
  • Deep: Relates theoretical ideas to everyday experience
    Surface: Facts and concepts are associated unreflectively
  • Deep: Relates and distinguishes evidence and argument
    Surface: Principles are not distinguished from examples
  • Deep: Organises and structures content into coherent whole
    Surface: Task is treated as an external imposition
  • Deep: Emphasis is internal, from within the student
    Surface: Emphasis is external, from demands of assessment

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