A schema is a cognitive framework that aids in organizing and interpreting information. Furthermore, it helps to find relationships between information and knowledge rather than treating each piece of information as an isolated knowledge entity. This is known as knowledge assimilation. Sheu and Wong (2006) have developed a Web-enabled learning tool called Knowledge Assimilation Schema (KAS) in order help business students acquire technical knowledge and skills. It consists of two following components: a knowledge representation framework and a knowledge acquisition process (Sheu & Wong, 2006). Specifically, the knowledge representation framework, which include visual and spatial representation layouts, contributes to knowledge internalization and structural comprehension (Sheu & Wong, 2006). Likewise, the knowledge acquisition process, which “takes place in search of the mappings from one ontological system to another”, facilitates deeper learning (Sheu & Wong, 2006, p. 224). Sheu and Wong (2006) have tested the KAS in the California State University data communications course and the software development course, and found that there was a significant improvement in the conceptual learning of the material of these courses. The goal of the creation of KAS is for students to develop adaptive skills due to continuing technological advancement and changing curricula and skill requirements (Sheu & Wong, 2006). Likewise, knowledge structures, also known as schemata, are involved in inductive reasoning, which guides self-directed learning (SDL). In particular, Pelitier (2015) showed that schemas can be used in modelling inductive sequences on some parameter where schemas play the role of “black boxes”.
When it comes to the relationship between schema construction and SDL, Zulu and Haupt (2018) conducted a study with 521 participants and found that SDL is indirectly related to schema construction through reflective thinking. In other words, reflective thinking has a mediating effect on a relationship between SDL and schema construction (Zulu & Haupt, 2018). Reflective thinking consists of four following stages: habitual action, understanding, reflection, and critical reflection (Ekawati & Asih, 2019). In a habitual action stage of reflective thinking, one performs an action with little or no awareness, which is also known as a habit (Ekawati & Asih, 2019). In an understanding stage, an individual forms a connection with the information presented by creating a concept without understanding its application (Ekawati & Asih, 2019). In the reflection stage, the individual is able to apply the concept, which furthers the processes of comprehension and learning (Ekawati & Asih, 2019). In the final stage, critical reflection, one can justify each step in linking information, concepts, and their application in order to “gain knowledge to solve problems” (Ekawati & Asih, 2019, p.2). This implies that reflective thinking and schema construction are interrelated cognitive processes, which facilitate SDL.
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Sheu, M.Z., & Wong, W.C. (2006). A Knowledge Assimilation Schema for Acquiring Technical Knowledge. Journal of Information Systems Education
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Zulu, E., & Haupt, T. (11/05/2018). Mediation of reflective thinking on the relationship between self-directed learning and schema construction
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