There was a guy who lived in my dorm in college who spent a lot of time talking about how much he studied. Since his grades weren’t very high we used to joke that he spent more time talking about studying than actually studying. But, giving him the benefit of the doubt and assuming he … Continue reading Are Your Learners Cognitively Passive or Cognitively Active?
I spent 20 years as CEO of a testing company so I had lots of opportunity to get a very good sense of how our corporate clients were using testing within their training programs. Of the millions of tests that were delivered on our platform virtually 100% were Summative Assessments. For those not familiar with … Continue reading Can Testing Contribute to Higher Grades?
Many studies have shown that learners are not particularly good at estimating how well they have learned something. In a 2005 paper: Koriat and Bork found that: ”JOLs (Judgments of Learning) can instill a sense of competence during learning that proves unwarranted during testing." But other studies (Nelson and Dunlosky, 1991) have shown that JOLs … Continue reading Illusions of Competence: Getting More Accurate Results From Level 1 Surveys
When I teach my "Science of Assessment" workshop I am addressing an audience of test creators, not test takers. Nevertheless, to help people write effective tests I often touch on test taking techniques that help test takers. For example: If you are ever answering a test question and have no idea what the correct answer … Continue reading You’re Getting Bad Advice: A Test Taking Strategy That is the Opposite of What You Have Been Taught
Last week I wrote that teaching is also a powerful learning experience for the teacher and that you can use this fact to help your learners by encouraging them to use the process known as self-explanation: Anyone who has ever taught can relate to this. To figure out how best to explain something to someone … Continue reading Teaching to Learn
I was a physics major in college. During my junior year I took a course in electromagnetic theory (E&M). To say it was difficult would be an understatement. The professor seemed so smart and I seemed so, well… not so smart. I remember talking to my professor one day after class and he said something … Continue reading Encouraging Self-Explanation Among Your Learners
In an earlier post I took a jab at common sense. Who can possibly be against common sense? Well, as I pointed out, common sense has its limits. Sitting in my office looking out the window and using my commons sense, it is obvious to me that the world is flat and the sun rotates … Continue reading Stop the Music!
In my last blog post, while discussing the benefits of closing your eyes while thinking, I mentioned cognitive load theory. Closing your eyes in order to think may or may not have legs (pun intended) as a learning technique, but cognitive load theory is HUGELY important to learning and the design of instruction. If you … Continue reading Cognitive Load Theory and Instructional Design
I used to work with someone who had an unusual habit. When you spoke to him he would close his eyes while listening to you. The first time he did this to me lots of thoughts raced through my mind: Is he ignoring me? Am I boring him? Is he daydreaming? Is he asleep? Most … Continue reading Want Some Help Learning or Remembering? Close Your Eyes.