How People Learn - Eleanor Roosevelt College

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There are patterns to how people learn. Let's exploit those patterns to make teaching and learning more effective.

Peter Newbury
Center for Teaching Development
University of California, San Diego

February 4, 2013

Published in: Education
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  • The how is most important… and it also applies to teaching any course.
  • The pix are not located on the axes to indicate I can “make good KD even if I’m unconscious”. Just to remind audience what these 4 words mean…
  • The pix are not located on the axes to indicate I can “make good KD even if I’m unconscious”. Just to remind audience what these 4 words mean…
  • Where undergrads start off.
  • As they start to study discipline – and maybe even throughout it
  • PhD Students
  • Expertise
  • Experts can have great difficulty communicating with (that is, teaching) novices.
  • The how is most important… and it also applies to teaching any course.
  • The how is most important… and it also applies to teaching any course.
  • How People Learn - Eleanor Roosevelt College

    1. 1. HOW PEOPLE LEARN Peter Newbury Center for Teaching Development, University of California, San Diego pnewbury@ucsd.edu @polarisdotca ctd.ucsd.edu #ctducsd Monday, February 4, 2013 Eleanor Roosevelt College
    2. 2. 2 How People Learn - ERC
    3. 3. Evidence-based teaching We know How People Learn.1 There is research that informs us. Let’s exploit the patterns of learning to make instruction more effective. 1. National Research Council. How People Learn: Brain, Mind, Experience, and School: Expanded Edition. J.D. Bransford, A.L Brown & R.R. Cocking (Eds.),Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, 2000.3 How People Learn - ERC
    4. 4. The traditional lecture is based on the transmissionist learning model4 How People Learn - ERC (Image by um.dentistry on flickr CC)
    5. 5. Scientifically Outdated, a Known Failure We must abandon the tabula rasa “blank slate” and “students as empty vessels” models of teaching and learning.5 How People Learn - ERC
    6. 6. Let’s have a learning experience…6 How People Learn - ERC
    7. 7. Here is an important new number system. Please learn it. 1= 4= 7= 2= 5= 8= 3= 6= 9=7 How People Learn - ERC
    8. 8. Test What is this number?8 How People Learn - ERC
    9. 9. New Number System Here’s the structure of the “tic-tac-toe” code: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 99 How People Learn - ERC
    10. 10. Test What is this number?10 How People Learn - ERC
    11. 11. Constructivist theory of learning  New learning is based on pre-existing knowledge that you hold.  You store things in long term memory through a set of connections that are made with previous existing memories.  Higher-level learning = brain development Physical changes occur in your brain when you learn. T.J. Shors, “Saving New Brain Cells” Sci. Amer. 300, 46-54 (March 2009).11 How People Learn - ERC
    12. 12. What are the patterns of how people learn? How do we use them?12 How People Learn - ERC
    13. 13. Key Finding 1 Students come to the classroom with preconceptions about how the world works. If their initial understanding is not engaged, they may fail to grasp the new concepts and information that are taught, or they may learn them for the purposes of a test but revert to their preconceptions outside of the classroom. How People Learn – Chapter 1, p 14. Instructors must draw out students’ Instruction must be pre-existing student-centered. understandings.13 How People Learn - ERC
    14. 14. Learning requires (good) interaction E.E. Prather, A.L. Rudolph, G. Brissenden and W.M. Schlingman, “A national study assessing the teaching and14 How People Learn - ERC learning of introductory astronomy. Part I. The effect of interactive instruction,” Am. J. Phys 66, 64-74 (1998).
    15. 15. Learning requires (good) interaction Learning gain: 100% 0.50 % of class time NOT lecturing 0 pre-test post-test E.E. Prather, A.L. Rudolph, G. Brissenden and W.M. Schlingman, “A national study assessing the teaching and15 How People Learn - ERC learning of introductory astronomy. Part I. The effect of interactive instruction,” Am. J. Phys 66, 64-74 (1998).
    16. 16. Learning requires (good) interaction 1 2 3 4 E.E. Prather, A.L. Rudolph, G. Brissenden and W.M. Schlingman, “A national study assessing the teaching and16 How People Learn - ERC learning of introductory astronomy. Part I. The effect of interactive instruction,” Am. J. Phys 66, 64-74 (1998).
    17. 17. Key Finding 2 To develop competence in an area, students must: a) have a deep foundation of factual knowledge, b) understand facts and ideas in the context of a conceptual framework, and c) organize knowledge in ways that facilitate retrieval and application. How People Learn – Chapter 1, p 16. These are characteristics of There’s another… expertize.17 How People Learn - ERC
    18. 18. Key Finding 3 A “metacognitive” approach to instruction can help students learn to take control of their own learning by defining learning goals and monitoring their progress in achieving them. How People Learn – Chapter 1, p 18.18 How People Learn - ERC
    19. 19. Aside: metacognition Metacognition refers to one’s knowledge concerning one’s own cognitive processes or anything related to them…. For example, I am engaging in metacognition if I notice that I am having more trouble learning A than B. (Flavell1,2, 1976, p. 232) 1. Flavell, J. H. (1976). Metacognitive aspects of problem solving. In L. B. Resnick (Ed.), The nature of intelligence (pp.231-236). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum. 2. Brame, C. (2013) Thinking about metacognition. [blog] January, 2013, Available at: http://cft.vanderbilt.edu/2013/01/thinking-about-metacognition/ [Accessed: 14 Jan 2013].19 How People Learn - ERC
    20. 20. Key Finding 3 A “metacognitive” approach to instruction can help students learn to take control of their own learning by defining learning goals and monitoring their progress in achieving them. How People Learn – Chapter 1, p 18. Instructors need to provide opportunities for students to practice being metacognitive – thinking about their own thinking20 How People Learn - ERC
    21. 21. Development of Mastery conscious Behavior unconscious incompetent competent Level of Expertise Sprague, J., & Stuart, D. (2000). The speaker’s handbook. Fort Worth, TX:21 How People Learn - ERC Harcourt College Publishers.
    22. 22. Development of Mastery incompetent competent Level of Expertise22 How People Learn - ERC
    23. 23. Development of Mastery conscious Behavior unconscious adikko.deviantart.com23 How People Learn - ERC
    24. 24. Development of Mastery conscious Behavior unconscious incompetent competent Level of Expertise24 How People Learn - ERC
    25. 25. Development of Mastery conscious Behavior unconscious 1 incompetent competent Level of Expertise25 How People Learn - ERC
    26. 26. Development of Mastery conscious 2 Behavior unconscious 1 incompetent competent Level of Expertise26 How People Learn - ERC
    27. 27. Development of Mastery conscious 2 3 Behavior unconscious 1 incompetent competent Level of Expertise27 How People Learn - ERC
    28. 28. Development of Mastery conscious 2 3 Behavior unconscious 1 4 incompetent competent Level of Expertise28 How People Learn - ERC
    29. 29. Why Your Students Don’t Understand You Expert brains differ from novice brains because novices:  Lack rich, networked connections, cannot make inferences  Have preconceptions that distract or confuse  Lack automization, resulting in cognitive overload29 How People Learn - ERC
    30. 30. Development of Mastery conscious 2 3 Behavior unconscious 1 4 incompetent competent Level of Expertise30 How People Learn - ERC
    31. 31. traditional lecture student-centered instruction31 How People Learn - ERC
    32. 32. student-centered instruction peer instruction w clickers worksheets videos interactive demonstrations surveys of opinions reading quizzes discussions32 How People Learn - ERC
    33. 33. Evolution of the Solar System Today, we’ve been learning about the formation of the Solar System. Just like a geologist studies the exposed layers on a cliff-face, we study landforms on other planets and moons to find the chronology (sequence) of processes. (Image: NASA)33 How People Learn - ERC
    34. 34. Clicker question X Are features X and Y ridges or valleys? A) X=ridge, Y=valley B) X=valley, Y=ridge C) both are ridges Y D) both are valleys34 How People Learn - ERC
    35. 35. Archimedes’ Principle In today’s Physics class, we’re going to study buoyancy and Archimedes’ Principle. (Image: Wikimedia Commons – public domain)35 How People Learn - ERC
    36. 36. Clicker question An ice cube is floating in a glass of water that is filled entirely to the brim. As the ice cube melts, the water level will A) stay the same, remain at the brim. B) rise, causing the water to spill. C) fall to a level below the brim. D) cannot say without knowing the density of ice.36 How People Learn - ERC
    37. 37. Typical episode of peer instruction Alternating with 10-15 minute mini-lectures, 1. Instructor poses a conceptually-challenging multiple-choice question. 2. Students think about question on their own. 3. Students vote for an answer using clickers, colored/ABCD voting cards,... 4. The instructor reacts, based on the distribution of votes.37 How People Learn - ERC
    38. 38. In effective peer instruction  students teach each other immediately, students learn while they may still hold or remember and practice their novice misconceptions how to think,  students discuss the concepts in their communicate own (novice) language like experts  the instructor finds out what the students know (and don’t know) and reacts38 How People Learn - ERC
    39. 39. Effective peer instruction takes time Five minutes of peer instruction every 15 minutes means 25% of class time is spent on interactive, students- centered instruction. Where does that time come from?39 How People Learn - ERC
    40. 40. Traditional classroom learn easy learn hard stuff together stuff alone  first exposure to material is in class, content is transmitted from instructor to student  learning occurs later when student struggles alone to complete homework, essay, project40 How People Learn - ERC
    41. 41. Flipped classroom learn easy learn hard stuff alone stuff together  student learns easy content at home: definitions, basis skills, simple examples. Frees up class time for...  students come to class prepared to tackle challenging concepts in class, with immediate feedback from peers, instructor41 How People Learn - ERC
    42. 42. 42 (Image: Eleanor Roosevelt College by NPTang on flickr CC)
    43. 43. ERC Orientation – Flip it!  don’t waste your precious time and students’ enthusiasm by covering details available online  make them read it before the Orientation  incentives! swag for bringing completed quiz?  spend your time together unwrapping what’s important to ERC  why are the rules this way?  what if you break [the most important rule]  who wants to do activities X, Y, Z? Why?43 How People Learn - ERC
    44. 44. How People Learn Learning is not about what instructors do. It’s about what students do!44 How People Learn - ERC
    45. 45. How People Learn Learning is not about what instructors do. It’s about what students do! Students will not learn (just) by listening to the instructor explain.45 How People Learn - ERC

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