10 Must Read Books for Learning Designers — from linkedin.com by Amit Garg

Excerpt:

From the 45+ #books that I’ve read in last 2 years here are my top 10 recommendations for #learningdesigners or anyone in #learninganddevelopment

Speaking of recommended books (but from a more technical perspective this time), also see:

10 must-read tech books for 2023 — from enterprisersproject.com by Katie Sanders (Editorial Team)
Get new thinking on the technologies of tomorrow – from AI to cloud and edge – and the related challenges for leaders

10 must-read tech books for 2023 -- from enterprisersproject.com by Katie Sanders

 

Learning in the brain — from sites.google.com by Efrat Furst; with thanks to 3-Star Learning Experiences for this resource

Excerpts:

Think of working memory as the reception counter to a huge archive.

To summarize, working memory processing resources are highly limited, and yet meaningful processing is essential for storage in long-term memory. It is therefore important to use these resources effectively when learning. There are many tested and proven effective teaching strategies, but a question that often comes up is when to apply each strategy for the best results?

Long-term memory and working memory interactions


 

Teaching: Flipping a Class Helps — but Not for the Reason You’d Think — from the Teaching newsletter out at The Chronicle of Higher Education by Beckie Supiano

Excerpt:

The authors propose a different model of flipping that gives their paper its title, “Fail, Flip, Fix, and Feed — Rethinking Flipped Learning: A Review of Meta-Analyses and a Subsequent Meta-Analysis.”

Their model:

  • Fail: Give students a chance to try solving problems. They won’t have all the information needed to arrive at the solution, but the attempt activates their prior learning and primes them for the coming content.
  • Flip: Deliver the content ahead of class, perhaps in a video lecture.
  • Fix: During class time, a traditional lecture can deepen understanding and correct misperceptions.
  • Feed: Formative assessment lets students check their level of understanding.

I find this paper interesting for a number of reasons. It ties into a challenge I’d like to dig into in the future: the gap that can exist between a teaching approach as described in research literature and as applied in the classroom.

From DSC:
Though I haven’t read this analysis (please accept my apology here), I would hope that it would also mention one of the key benefits of the flipped classroom approach — giving students more control over the pacing of the content. Students can stop, fast-forward, rewind, and pause the content as necessary. This is very helpful for all students, but especially for students who don’t have English as their primary language.

I like this approach because if students fail to solve the problem at first, they will likely be listening more/very carefully as to how to solve it:

Drawing on related research, we proposed a more specific model for flipping, “Fail, Flip, Fix, and Feed” whereby students are asked to first engage in generating solutions to novel problems even if they fail to generate the correct solutions, before receiving instructions.

Plus, students will begin to recall/activate their prior knowledge on a subject in order to try to solve the problem. That retrieval practice in and of itself can be helpful.

 

Improving the Exit Ticket — from theeffortfuleducator.com by Blake Harvard

Excerpts (emphasis DSC):

So, how can the exit ticket be improved upon? How can it be a more effective assessment of learning?

Allow time for forgetting. The main problem with the traditional usage of the exit ticket is that there’s no time to forget, which leads to the measuring of performance and not learning.

Opt for an entrance ticket. Instead of assessing the day’s lesson as they leave, provide students with an index card (or sticky note or whatever) on their way in the next day and assess their knowledge then. Asking those same questions twenty-four hours after the lesson is much more indicative of their true level of understanding.

From DSC:
Though not quite related to the item above, it does have to do with instructional design:

 

Data Science: Re-Imagining Our Institutions at the Systems Level — from campustechnology.com by Mary Grush
A Q&A with George Siemens

Excerpt:

We know that higher education institutions have been exploring data science for decades. Many began by leveraging institutional data to serve administrative computing needs and efficiencies, later taking on an additional learning science focus, at least to some, often limited degree.

What can institutions do now, to use data science better and perhaps reinvent themselves in the process? Are they taking advantage of all the access they have to so many disciplines and researchers, to help move data science ahead in the real world? Here, George Siemens, who is a professor of practice at the University of Texas-Arlington and co-leads the Centre for Change and Complexity in Learning at the University of South Australia, talks with CT about data science in higher education.

 

7 Digital Learning Theories and Models You Should Know — from techlearning.com by Erik Ofgang, Shelly Terrell
Knowing these digital learning theories and models can boost your instruction

Excerpt:

While pursuing teaching degrees, educators are introduced to various learning theorists and their insights about how people learn best. Some familiar names include Piaget, Bandura, Vygotsky, and Gardner.

 Although understanding these learning theories is still important, aspiring educators also need to become familiar with theories, models, and approaches that provide insight on how technology, social media, and the internet impact learning. Digital learning theories and approaches, such as RAT, SAMR, TPACK, Digital Blooms, Connectivism, Design Thinking and Peeragogy help teachers develop curricula that gets students to use technology to research, curate, annotate, create, innovate, problem-solve, collaborate, campaign, reform and think critically. These are skills outlined in Shelly Terrell’s Hacking Digital Learning Strategies with EdTech Missions.

 

Spacing Retrieval is More Important than Extra Retrieval — from learningscientists.org by Cindy Nebel

Excerpt:

Educators: Quiz your students. Absolutely you should incorporate retrieval practice. Just space it out over time instead of providing blocked weekly quizzes just over that week’s content. But congratulations! You don’t have to do the extra work of writing and grading more quiz questions to get this benefit!

Students: Quiz yourselves and when you do, make sure you’re reviewing old material. Build in frequent study sessions, but you don’t have to double the time you’re spending studying to get great benefits, as long as you’re doing what you should be doing throughout (spaced retrieval).


Speaking of memory, also see:


 

To Improve Outcomes for Students, We Must Improve Support for Faculty — from campustechnology.com by Dr. David Wiley
The doctoral programs that prepare faculty for their positions often fail to train them on effective teaching practices. We owe it to our students to provide faculty with the professional development they need to help learners realize their full potential.

Excerpts:

Why do we allow so much student potential to go unrealized? Why are well-researched, highly effective teaching practices not used more widely?

The doctoral programs that are supposed to prepare them to become faculty in physics, philosophy, and other disciplines don’t require them to take a single course in effective teaching practices. 

The entire faculty preparation enterprise seems to be caught in a loop, unintentionally but consistently passing on an unawareness that some teaching practices are significantly more effective than others. How do we break this cycle and help students realize their full potential as learners?

From DSC:
First of all, I greatly appreciate the work of Dr. David Wiley. His career has been dedicated to teaching and learning, open educational resources, and more. I also appreciate and agree with what David is saying here — i.e., that professors need to be taught how to teach as well as what we know about how people learn at this point in time. 

For years now, I’ve been (unpleasantly) amazed that we hire and pay our professors primarily for their research capabilities — vs. their teaching competence. At the same time, we continually increase the cost of tuition, books, and other fees. Students have the right to let their feet do the walking. As the alternatives to traditional institutions of higher education increase, I’m quite sure that we’ll see that happen more and more.

While I think that training faculty members about effective teaching practices is highly beneficial, I also think that TEAM-BASED content creation and delivery will deliver the best learning experiences that we can provide. I say this because multiple disciplines and specialists are involved, such as:

  • Subject Matter Experts (i.e., faculty members)
  • Instructional Designers
  • Graphic Designers
  • Web Designers
  • Learning Scientists; Cognitive Learning Researchers
  • Audio/Video Specialists  and Learning Space Designers/Architects
  • CMS/LMS Administrators
  • Programmers
  • Multimedia Artists who are skilled in working with digital audio and digital video
  • Accessibility Specialists
  • Librarians
  • Illustrators and Animators
  • and more

The point here is that one person can’t do it all — especially now that the expectation is that courses should be offered in a hybrid format or in an online-based format. For a solid example of the power of team-based content creation/delivery, see this posting.

One last thought/question here though. Once a professor is teaching, are they open to working with and learning from the Instructional Designers, Learning Scientists, and/or others from the Teaching & Learning Centers that do exist on their campus? Or do they, like many faculty members, think that such people are irrelevant because they aren’t faculty members themselves? Oftentimes, faculty members look to each other and don’t really care what support is offered (unless they need help with some of the technology.)


Also relevant/see:


 

eLearning Trailblazers: Learning Science Extraordinaires — from elearningindustry.com by Christopher Pappas

Excerpt:

Summary: This Trailblazers List features thought leaders who help us to dive into the cognitive processes and behaviors that shape learning science.

Learning Science Thought Leaders Who Share Their Expertise
Exploring the inner workings of the mind gives us the opportunity to design learning experiences that leave a lasting impression. Thankfully, there are some in our field who are ready and willing to research what motivates and inspires learners, as well as how to improve knowledge retention through the power of science. In no particular order, here are the top learning science experts who share their insights with the eLearning community.

From DSC:
Thanks Christopher for this great list! I would also add Pooja K. Agarwal, Ph.D. from retrievalpractice.org — and I’m sure there are several others that could be listed here as well. But as Christopher mentions, these are the folks who are intentional about sharing their insights.

 

Learning by Scientific Design podcast, Ep. 4: Empowering educators & elevating the teaching profession — from by Deans for Impact

Description of podcast:
Learning by Scientific Design is a podcast series by Deans for Impact that explores how an understanding of cognitive science, or the science of how students learn, can lead to more rigorous, equitable and inclusive teaching.

How can the growing adoption of learning science in teacher preparation contribute to systemic change in U.S. education? In this episode, you’ll hear from:

  • Louise Vose, Adjunct Professor, School of Education, Endicott College
  • Peter Fishman, Vice President of Strategy, Deans for Impact
  • Leah Brown, Assistant Professor, School of Education, University of Alaska Fairbanks

From DSC:
This podcast reminds me of the graphic (below) that I created not too long ago…

We need to take more of the research from learning science and apply it in our learning spaces.

.


Also see:

.


 

10 Arguments for Inciting Learning — from insidehighered.com by Cathy N. Davidson and Christina Katopodis
Active learning has been clearly shown to be more effective than traditional modes, write Cathy N. Davidson and Christina Katopodis, who outline its many merits to those who continue to resist it.

Excerpts:

So what can we do to convince more instructors to actually support and use active learning? Over the past several years, we’ve been researching and interviewing faculty members around the world for our upcoming book on teaching and learning, The New College Classroom. And a number of those faculty have asked us how they can best explain the merits of active learning to colleagues and administrators—and even to students and their parents— who continue to be resistant to it. Here are 10 principles, or convincing arguments, that we’ve shared with them.

“Nothing will change until faculty incentives do.
Until we change our academic reward structures for hiring and promotion, faculty members have no reason to take valuable time out from writing monographs or refereed papers to rethink their role in the classroom. We cannot incite students to learn without inciting—and incentivizing—their instructors first so they will invest in understanding and applying active learning. We’ve already made the case for why such an educational approach is vitally important, so we now say simply to top administrators: let’s do it!

Audre Lorde

 
 

12 Learning Myths Exposed — from ivypanda.com by IvyPanda; with thanks to Irene Fenswick for this resource

Excerpt:

Many people come to us searching for the answer to the question, “What’s the right way to learn?” First of all, we want to clarify: there is no right or wrong way to study. Still, we can list quite a few misconceptions regarding how the human brain works and what methods can help you memorize material. These are so widespread that it takes time and effort to recognize how unjustified and misguided they are.

That’s exactly how this article will help you.

On this page, we’ve busted all the myths surrounding your learning abilities. Our team has collected all the popular misconceptions about studying and explored why they are inaccurate. Besides, we’ve provided some practical (and time-tested) study tips for you to try out.

 

From DSC:
Below are several observations re: our learning ecosystems — and some ideas on how we can continue to improve them.


It takes years to build up the knowledge and skills in order to be a solid teacher, faculty member, instructional designer, and/or trainer. It takes a lot of studying to effectively research how the brain works and how we learn. Then we retire…and the knowledge is often lost or not passed along. And the wheel gets reinvented all over again. And again. And again.

Along these lines — and though we’re making progress in this area — too often we separate the research from the practical application of that research. So we have folks working primarily in learning science, neuroscience, cognitive psychology, and related fields. But their research doesn’t always get practically applied within our learning spaces. We have researchers…and then we have practitioners. So I greatly appreciate the likes of Pooja Agarwal and Patrice Bain out at RetrievalPractice.org, Daniel Willingham, Eva Keiffenheim, The Learning Scientists, James Lang, and several others who bridge this gap.

We need to take more of the research from learning science and apply it in our learning spaces.

Perhaps more researchers, faculty members, teachers, trainers, instructional designers, principals, provosts, etc. could blog or be active out on social media.

***

Along these lines, we need to spend more time helping people know how best to study and to learn.
If that type of thing is ever to be learned, it seems like it’s often learned or discussed in the mid- to later years of one’s life…often after one’s primary and secondary days are long gone.

Instead, we should consider putting these easy-to-understand posters from the Learning Scientists in every K-12 school, college, and university in the nation — or something like them.

***

To provide the most effective engaging learning experiences, we should consider using more team-based approaches. As appropriate, that could include the students themselves.

***

We put way too much emphasis on grades — which produces gameplayers who seek only to do the minimum amount of work necessary to get the A’s.  Doing so creates systems whereby learning is not the goal — getting a 4.0+ is.

***
As we are now required to be lifelong learners, our quality of life as a whole goes waaaay up if we actually enjoy learning.  Many people discover later in life that they like to learn…they just didn’t like school. Perhaps we could place greater emphasis within K-16 on whether students enjoyed their learning experiences or not. And if not, what might have made that topic more enjoyable to them? Or what other topics would they like to dive into (that weren’t’ on the original learning menu)?

This could also apply in the corporate training/L&D space as well. Such efforts could go a long way in helping establish stronger learning cultures.

***

We don’t provide enough choice to our students. We need to do a better job of turning over more control to them in their learning journey. We turn students off to learning because we try to cram information that they don’t care about down their throats. So then we have to use the currency of grades to force them into doing the work that they could care less about doing. Their experience with learning/school can easily get soured.

Learners need: More voice. More choice. More control. -- this image was created by Daniel Christian

We need to be more responsive with our curricula. And we need to explain how the information we’re trying to relay is relevant in the real world and will be relevant in their futures.

***

So those are some ideas that I wanted to relay. Thanks for your time and for your shared interests here!

 
 
© 2022 | Daniel Christian