In my workshop on the “Science and Practice of Modern Learning” I like to occasionally throw in a learning myth – things we think we know about learning, but that turn out not to have any research basis. One of the most pernicious myths is that of Learning Styles -- the idea that all individuals … Continue reading The Final Nail in the Coffin for Learning Styles?
I recently came across an interesting study about the value of answering questions out loud. Victor Boucher of the University of Montreal tested student’s ability to memorize lists of words under four conditions. First, the students studied a list of words on a computer. He then divided the students into four groups and had each … Continue reading Answering Questions Out Loud Helps Your Learners to Remember
Continuous learning encompasses a number of learning strategies, one of which is spaced review after the completion of a course. This review can be in the form of adaptive questioning exercises, subscription-based micro-lessons, or some combination of the two. Which raises a question: For long term retention what is the optimal period of spacing for … Continue reading What is the Optimal Spacing for Review?
Aristotle (philosopher), Thomas Edison (inventor) and Jean Piaget (cognitive psychologist) all had similar thoughts about learning. Can you see the common thread? Aristotle: Exercise in repeatedly recalling a thing strengthens the memory. Edison: A man will resort to almost any expedient to avoid the real labor of thinking. Piaget: Thinking is interiorized action. Yes, they … Continue reading Active Learning Through the Ages (Literally)
In our quest to teach and to learn who is the good guy? Remembering, of course. And who is the bad guy? Forgetting, of course. Well, not so fast. While you may not think so, forgetting is an important part of the learning process. Forgetting benefits us in multiple ways: It frees our brains up … Continue reading In Defense of Forgetting
I recently had an article published in the Spring 2016 issue of Focus, the magazine of the Life Science Trainers and Educators Network (LTEN). It's on a topic that is critical to all trainers and instructional designers: How can we build instruction that doesn't overload the brain's capacity to process it? Here it is: http://bit.ly/1QzWLpN
A week or so ago in his column in the NY Times David Brooks mentioned recent research on the differences between how we read on screen versus how we read on paper (here). This got me thinking about what this means for learning. With so many of our courses having transitioned from print to eLearning over … Continue reading eLearning vs. Print: Is there a difference in learning?
Are you an early morning person or a night owl? Did you know that measures of intelligence correlate with which one you are? There is a large body of research literature showing a correlation between chronotype (morningness-eveningness) and intelligence. Here’s a recent one: That’s right. Night owls consistently outperform early morning people on tests of … Continue reading Early Morning People, Night Owls and Intelligence
Sadly, it is often the case that what we know and what we do are not the same. What We Know Two well-researched facts we know that help students learn: When students actively engage with the learning material they retain more of the material (usually called, not surprisingly, active learning). To avoid overloading working memory … Continue reading When It Comes to Teaching, Knowing and Doing are Not Always the Same
Very few of us work as individuals. For the most part we work as a part of formal or informal teams, with team members often changing based upon the particular task or project. Have you ever noticed that some teams work better than others? That some teams seem to solve problems more quickly and get … Continue reading Why Do Some Work Teams Outperform Other Teams?