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:

 

A $500 Million International Project Will Create the Most Detailed Map of the Brain Ever — from singularityhub.com by Edd Gent

Excerpt:

That’s why the National Institutes of Health’s BRAIN Initiative has just announced $500 million in funding over five years for an effort to characterize and map neuronal and other types of cells across the entire human brain. The project will be spearheaded by the Allen Institute in Seattle, but involves collaborations across 17 other institutions in the US, Europe, and Japan.

“These awards will enable researchers to explore the multifaceted characteristics of the more than 200 billion neurons and non-neuronal cells in the human brain at unprecedented detail and scale,” John Ngai, director of the NIH BRAIN Initiative, said in a statement.

From DSC:
The LORD does awesome work. I wonder how many of these scientists and researchers will become believers while doing this project.

Proverbs 27:1

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.

 

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:


 

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

 
 

The Science of Learning: Research Meets Practice — from the-learning-agency-lab.com by Alisa Cook and Ulrich Boser; with thanks to Learning Now TV for this resource
Six Research-Based Teaching Practices Are Put Into Practice

Excerpt:

For the nation’s education system, though, the bigger question is: How do we best educate our children so that they learn better, and learn how to learn, in addition to learning what to learn? Additionally, and arguably just as challenging, is: How do we translate this body of research into classroom practice effectively?

Enter the “Science of Learning: Research Meets Practice.” The goal of the project is to get the science of learning into the hands of teaching professionals as well as to parents, school leaders, and students.

 

A Podcast Listening Strategy for Learning — from learntrepreneurs.com by Eva Keiffenheim
Three steps to make the most of your podcast time

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

Use apps that help you remember more
You won’t remember much from a podcast if you only listen to it. Your brain needs repetition and elaboration to make new knowledge stick.

Unlike books, you can’t highlight audio?—?or can you?

I listen to my podcasts while biking or walking. Hence, an extremely uncomfortable situation to open a notepad or Roam Research whenever I hear an interesting idea.

But two applications have transformed how I listen to podcasts: Snipd and Airr. Both are audio highlighting tools.


The Key Idea All Great Books on Learning Have in Common — from learntrepreneurs.com by Eva Keiffenheim
And how you can implement the powerful way to learn.
.

teaching in public is the principle all great books on learning agree on

 

Also from Eva Keiffenheim (on Medium.com, on Twitter), see:

What Most People Get Dangerously Wrong About Building a Second Brain
And how to fix it.

Also relevant/see:

Analysis: 6 Brain-Based Learning Strategies and Study Skills That Help Teens Learn — from the74million.org by Hank Pellissier

Excerpt:

Teens zoning out during Euclidean geometry or citing TikTok influencers in an expository paper doesn’t always mean they are bored or lazy, argues neurologist and teacher Judy Willis, co-author of Research-Based Strategies to Ignite Student Learning: Insights from Neuroscience and the Classroom. “The demands on students are squishing their natural curiosity and joy of learning,” Willis says.

Brain scientists suggest that students absorb information best if they work in what’s known as the flow state. This mindset is reached when their consciousness is fully “in the zone,” entirely focused on activities they find so pleasurable that time flies and all distractions disappear. Try these brain-based learning strategies and study skills that can help teens enter this open state of more productive and enjoyable learning.

 

I Analyzed 13 TED Talks on Improving Your Memory — Here’s the Quintessence — from learntrepreneurs.com by Eva Keiffenheim
How you can make the most out of your brain.

Excerpt:

In her talk, brain researcher and professor Lara Boyds explains what science currently knows about neuroplasticity. In essence, your brain can change in three ways.

Change 1 — Increase chemical signalling
Your brain works by sending chemicals signals from cell to cell, so-called neurons. This transfer triggers actions and reactions. To support learning your brain can increase the concentration of these signals between your neurons. Chemical signalling is related to your short-term memory.

Change 2 — Alter the physical structure
During learning, the connections between neurons change. In the first change, your brain’s structure stays the same. Here, your brain’s physical structure changes — which takes more time. That’s why altering the physical structure influences your long-term memory.

For example, research shows that London taxi cab drivers who actually have to memorize a map of London to get their taxicab license have larger brain regions devoted to spatial or mapping memories.

Change 3 — Alter brain function
This one is crucial (and will also be mentioned in the following talks). When you use a brain region, it becomes more and more accessible. Whenever you access a specific memory, it becomes easier and easier to use again.

But Boyd’s talk doesn’t stop here. She further explores what limits or facilitates neuroplasticity. She researches how people can recover from brain damages such as a stroke and developed therapies that prime or prepare the brain to learn — including simulation, exercise and robotics.

Her research is also helpful for healthy brains — here are the two most important lessons:

The primary driver of change in your brain is your behaviour.

There is no one size fits all approach to learning.

 


From DSC:
This is so important. It’s the underlying cognitive science/psychology involved in the posting I recently created that was entitled, “What are the ramifications of having cognitive “highways in our minds?” It occurs to me that patience, grace, forgiveness, work, new habits, and more are required here.


 

 

 

If learning is easy, it's here today and gone tomorrow...like footprints in the sand on a beach

Excerpt:

While studying I misjudged the depth of my knowledge. I confused familiarity with knowing.

When you passively consume information like reading books or watching courses and things start to make sense we often tell ourselves: “Oh, easy. I understand this. Got it.”

But it’s wrong to think you can access something from your memory if you can recognize it.

 

A group of workers are shown paving a new highway in this image.

From DSC:
What are the cognitive “highways” within our minds?

I’ve been thinking a lot about highways recently. Not because it’s construction season (quite yet) here in Michigan (USA), but because I’ve been reflecting upon how many of us build cognitive highways within our minds. The highways that I’m referring to are our well-trodden routes of thinking that we quickly default/resort to. Such well-trodden pathways in our minds get built over time…as we build our habits and/or our ways of thinking about things. Sometimes these routes get built without our even recognizing that new construction zones are already in place.

Those involved with cognitive psychology will connect instantly with what I’m saying here. Those who have studied memory, retrieval practice, how people learn, etc. will know what I’m referring to. 

But instead of a teaching and learning related origin, I got to thinking about this topic due to some recent faith-based conversations instead. These conversations revolved around such questions as:

  • What makes our old selves different from our new selves? (2 Corinthians 5:17)
  • What does it mean to be transformed by the “renewing of our minds?” (Romans 12:2)
  • When a Christian says, “Keep your eyes on Christ” — what does that really mean and look like (practically speaking)?

For me, at least a part of the answers to those questions has to do with what’s occupying my thought life. I don’t know what it means to keep my eyes on Christ, as I can’t see Him. But I do understand what it means to keep my thoughts on what Christ said and/or did…or on the kinds of things that Philippians 4:8 suggests that we think about. No wonder that we often hear the encouragement to be in the Word…as I think that new cognitive highways get created in our minds as we read the Bible. That is, we begin to look at things differently. We take on different perspectives.

The ramifications of this idea are huge:

  • We can’t replace an old highway by ourselves. It takes others to help us out…to teach us new ways of thinking.
  • We sometimes have to unlearn some things. It took time to learn our original perspective on those things, and it will likely be a process for new learning to occur and replace the former way of thinking about those topics.
  • This idea relates to addictions as well. It takes time for addicts to build up their habits/cravings…and it takes time to replace those habits/cravings with more positive ones. One — or one’s family, partner/significant other, and friends — should not expect instant change. Change takes time, and therefore patience and grace are required. This goes for the teachers/faculty members, coaches, principals, pastors, policemen/women, judges, etc. that a person may interact with as well over time. (Hmmm…come to think of it, it sounds like some other relationships may be involved here at times also. Certainly, God knows that He needs to be patient with us — often, He has no choice. Our spouses know this as well and we know that about them too.)
  • Christians, who also struggle with addictions and go to the hospital er…the church rather, take time to change their thoughts, habits, and perspectives. Just as the rebuilding of a physical highway takes time, so it takes time to build new highways (patterns of thinking and responses) in our minds. So the former/old highways may still be around for a while yet, but the new ones are being built and getting stronger every day.
  • Sometimes we need to re-route certain thoughts. Or I suppose another way to think about this is to use the metaphor of “changing the tapes” being played in our minds. Like old cassette tapes, we need to reject some tapes/messages and insert some new ones.

What are the cognitive highways within your own mind? How can you be patient with others (that you want to see change occur within) inside of your own life?

Anyway, thanks for reading this posting. May you and yours be blessed on this day. Have a great week and weekend!


Addendum on 3/31/22…also relevant, see:

I Analyzed 13 TED Talks on Improving Your Memory— Here’s the Quintessence — from learntrepreneurs.com by Eva Keiffenheim
How you can make the most out of your brain.

Excerpt:

In her talk, brain researcher and professor Lara Boyds explains what science currently knows about neuroplasticity. In essence, your brain can change in three ways.

Change 1 — Increase chemical signalling
Your brain works by sending chemicals signals from cell to cell, so-called neurons. This transfer triggers actions and reactions. To support learning your brain can increase the concentration of these signals between your neurons. Chemical signalling is related to your short-term memory.

Change 2 — Alter the physical structure
During learning, the connections between neurons change. In the first change, your brain’s structure stays the same. Here, your brain’s physical structure changes?—?which takes more time. That’s why altering the physical structure influences your long-term memory.

For example, research shows that London taxi cab drivers who actually have to memorize a map of London to get their taxicab license have larger brain regions devoted to spatial or mapping memories.

Change 3 — Alter brain function
This one is crucial (and will also be mentioned in the following talks). When you use a brain region, it becomes more and more accessible. Whenever you access a specific memory, it becomes easier and easier to use again.

But Boyd’s talk doesn’t stop here. She further explores what limits or facilitates neuroplasticity. She researches how people can recover from brain damages such as a stroke and developed therapies that prime or prepare the brain to learn?—?including simulation, exercise and robotics.

Her research is also helpful for healthy brains?—?here are the two most important lessons:

The primary driver of change in your brain is your behaviour.

There is no one size fits all approach to learning.

 


 
© 2022 | Daniel Christian