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HOW PEOPLE LEARN             Peter Newbury             Center for Teaching Development,             University of Californ...
Who Am I?2     Peter Newbury         PhD   Univ. of British Columbia                Vancouver, Canada     Research Inte...
3
Theories of Learning4    Many lectures based in transmissionist learning    model.
Scientifically Outdated,5    Culturally a Known Failure
How People Learn [1]6      People actively construct their own knowledge         Individual         Based      in pre-e...
How People Learn [1]7            Learning is not about what                  professors do.           It’s about what stud...
How People Learn [1]8            Learning is not about what                  professors do.           It’s about what stud...
Let’s have a learning9    experience…
New Coding System10     Please memorize this code:      1=              4=          7=      2=              5=          8=...
Test11     What is this number?
New Coding System12     Here’s the structure of the code:                       1     2     3                       4     ...
Test13     What is this number?
Constructivism14      All new learning is based in pre-existing       knowledge that you hold.      You store things in ...
Another Example of15     Constructivism:     Think about the house you grew up in. How many     windows does it have? Ente...
Constructivism16      “Creating memories” (aka learning) involves       having neurons fire (and neurons link up in      ...
Learning Requires Your Effort17      Higher-level learning = brain development                                           ...
Key Findings about how people18     learn     1. Students come to the classroom with        preconceptions about how the w...
Preconceptions in biology19     (Think, Pair, Share)     What pre-existing concepts might you be able to     use to teach ...
Resources on Biology20     Education     http://lifescied.org        Search   abstract on          Preconception        ...
How do you think undergraduate     students feel about learning21     biology?       A          B           C           D ...
How do you think undergraduate     students feel about learning22     biology?       A          B           C           D ...
How do you think undergraduate     students feel about learning23     biology?       A          B           C          D  ...
2) Key Findings24     2. To develop competence in an area of inquiry,        students must:          have a deep foundati...
2) Key Findings25     3. A “metacognitive” approach to instruction can        help students learn to take control of their...
Please break into groups of 3...26     Each set of cards has      3 Key Findings      3 Implications for Teaching      ...
27
28     Implications for Instructors     and Teaching Assistants
Traditional (lecture) class29              Lecture    Textbook    Homework       Exam            First       Read Hard Stu...
Constructivist class30                 Homework               Lecture        Lab          Exam                            ...
When you are the instructor of31     record…      Peer Instruction (aka “clickers”)       One of most-studied active lea...
Typical Peer Instruction32     Episode     1. Instructor poses a conceptually-challenging        multiple-choice question....
In effective peer instruction33      students teach each other immediately,                                             s...
Effective peer instruction34     requires     1. identifying key concepts,        misconceptions                          ...
Clicker Question35      The molecules making up the dry mass of wood      that forms during the growth of a tree largely c...
Clicker Question36     Suppose that in the tree below new data were     uncovered indicating that taxon E is sister to a  ...
Which one is the closest match to your phylogeny?37       a)                        b)       c)                        d) ...
Quiz38     Selection is the stimulus/pressure (internal or     external) that affects life and/or the ability to     repro...
Sync with Key Findings 2?39      Does that lesson demand deep foundation of       knowledge, a conceptual framework,     ...
Clicker question: Selection40     How many of the following statements are true?     Plants:    Some plants don’t experien...
Active Learning Techniques for41     Discussion Sections      Think, Pair Share or peer instruction with       clickers  ...
Discussion Sections42      Learning is not about what TAs explain.       It’s about what students understand!
Discussion Sections43      Learning is not about what TAs explain.       It’s about what students understand!      Corolla...
Discussion Sections44      Learning is not about what TAs explain.       It’s about what students understand!      Corolla...
But really ask yourself…45           Who is doing the work?            You or the students?
Questions?46      And feedback…
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How People Learn

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How People Learn, a presentation to biology teaching assistants.

Peter Newbury
Center for Teaching Development
UCSD

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  • 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.
  • 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.
  • However, I want to remind you that, even though you have experience and comfort with “listening to lecture” and you may even feel like you learn from it, research shows that learning is not a passive process. Learning actually involves developing your brain, building new proteins, neurons, and connections in your brain. It’s a very PHYSICAL process. And one of the keys to this physical process is that it requires WORK on the part of the learner, for these physical changes to take place. In fact, a lot like a training program for improving your physical, muscular abilities, where you would expect to need to put in repeated effort, going to the gym and working hard to build new muscle… to learn you have to YOURSELF put in repeated, strenuous effort in order to build new support in your brain for the new knowledge. So unfortunately, I can’t do the learning for you. You do have to do it yourself, and it takes serious effort. The reason we use Peer Instruction is to support you in efficient ways of accomplishing this learning
  • These are the highlights from the online discussion forum on what preconcpetions undergrads have regarding computing concepts.
  • This is results from the CS literature
  • In this class, we will be changing the “design” of the learning process with the goal of giving you much greater opportunity to get feedback on your learning from the “expert” – the professors.Since you are intelligent, and you can buy access to the basics of the knowledge needed for this class in the form of the textbook, we’ll ask you to get your first exposure to the material by reading the book (or other assigned resources) and getting the “basics” for yourself. To help guide you in this, we’ll provide a set of questions that give you the idea of the kind of things you should “get” after reading the textbook. At least 2 of these questions will be on the “quiz” that we’ll give (with clickers) at the beginning of lecture.Why a quiz at the beginning of lecture? A few reasons: 1) it gives you an excuse to do the homework. You are busy people, and by giving you quiz points for doing the homework and preparing for lecture, we’re giving you the incentive to fit it into your schedule. 2) You should ACE every quiz. Quizzes are over the *basic* information from the textbook – getting all the questions on the quiz right let’s you know you learned enough from reading in order to be prepared to engage and learn in “lecture”.During lecture, I’ll be presenting some of the “hard stuff” that I know that students often struggle with or that the book doesn’t explain particularly well. Sometimes I will “explain things” in a way that looks like lecture. But a lot of the time, I will be letting you TEST YOUR OWN UNDERSTANDING and deepen your understanding – by presenting a question for you to solve, and having your discuss it in a team of your peers to help you make sure you really do get it. This is where the clickers come in – you will vote on your answer with them, so I can adapt what we do in class to address issues you are not sure about. Finally in lab, we’ll have you practice your mastery of the material <<TAKE THIS OUT IF YOU DON’T HAVE LAB, PERHAPS REPLACE WITH WHATEVER YOU DO>>. And then we’ll let you show us how much you have mastered on exams.Again: This process is based around giving you the opportunity to get access to expert help and explanation, when you need it. Not leaving you alone at night when you are doing your homework…This process is also based in research on “how people learn”. Researchers have shown that people each construct their own understanding – individually. It’s not possible for me to “dump” or transmit understanding into your brain. Each of you is a unique individual, and you will each need to work and construct your own understanding.
  • Beth: Plants statement is False (all plants, actually all living things, experience selection). The mammals statement is also false because of the “always”. Depending on the pressure, might be survival or it might be reproduction that are impacted. Insects is true (caterpillar has different predators than butterfly) and birds is true (drought, habitat changes may differ year to year.) So the answer is C) 2 are true.
  • 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.
  • The how is most important… and it also applies to teaching any course.
  • Transcript of "How People Learn"

    1. 1. HOW PEOPLE LEARN Peter Newbury Center for Teaching Development, University of California, San Diego pnewbury@ucsd.edu @polarisdotcactd.ucsd.edu/2012/10/how-people-learn-the-biology-edition
    2. 2. Who Am I?2  Peter Newbury  PhD Univ. of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada  Research Interests  How people learn astronomy, physics, mathematics  How to teach (instructors how to teach) students to use graphs: “Please graph the graph on the graph.”  Carl Wieman Science Education Initiative  Establishing and maintaining an online personal learning network (PLN) @polarisdotca
    3. 3. 3
    4. 4. Theories of Learning4 Many lectures based in transmissionist learning model.
    5. 5. Scientifically Outdated,5 Culturally a Known Failure
    6. 6. How People Learn [1]6  People actively construct their own knowledge  Individual  Based in pre-existing understanding  Biologically, learning changes the brain  Proteinsform, neurons fire  Technology allowing us to observe learning as it happens (fMRIs)[1] How People Learn: Brain, Mind, Experience and SchoolExpanded Edition. Ed. Bransford
    7. 7. How People Learn [1]7 Learning is not about what professors do. It’s about what students do![1] How People Learn: Brain, Mind, Experience and SchoolExpanded Edition. Ed. Bransford
    8. 8. How People Learn [1]8 Learning is not about what professors do. It’s about what students do! Corollary: Students will not learn (just) by listening to the professor explain[1] How People Learn: Brain, Mind, Experience and SchoolExpanded Edition. Ed. Bransford
    9. 9. Let’s have a learning9 experience…
    10. 10. New Coding System10 Please memorize this code: 1= 4= 7= 2= 5= 8= 3= 6= 9= 0=
    11. 11. Test11 What is this number?
    12. 12. New Coding System12 Here’s the structure of the code: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
    13. 13. Test13 What is this number?
    14. 14. Constructivism14  All new learning is based in 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.
    15. 15. Another Example of15 Constructivism: Think about the house you grew up in. How many windows does it have? Enter the number using your clicker: to turn on or refresh to select 0 – 9 to move to next digit in number SEND to submit answer
    16. 16. Constructivism16  “Creating memories” (aka learning) involves having neurons fire (and neurons link up in networks or patterns)
    17. 17. Learning Requires Your Effort17  Higher-level learning = brain development It’s like muscle development! Strenuous, repeated effort -> New Muscle Cells Strenuous, repeated effort -> New Neurons, Links! Development of new neurons in response to difficult learning task T. Shors, Sci. Amer. Mar 09
    18. 18. Key Findings about how people18 learn 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.
    19. 19. Preconceptions in biology19 (Think, Pair, Share) What pre-existing concepts might you be able to use to teach a biology concept? 
    20. 20. Resources on Biology20 Education http://lifescied.org  Search abstract on  Preconception  Misconception
    21. 21. How do you think undergraduate students feel about learning21 biology? A B C D E Strongly Strongly Disagree Agree 1. To learn biology, I only need to memorize facts and definitions
    22. 22. How do you think undergraduate students feel about learning22 biology? A B C D E Strongly Strongly Disagree Agree 1. To learn biology, I only need to memorize facts and definitions 2. Knowledge in biology consists of many disconnected topics.
    23. 23. How do you think undergraduate students feel about learning23 biology? A B C D E Strongly Strongly Disagree Agree 1. To learn biology, I only need to memorize facts and definitions 2. Knowledge in biology consists of many disconnected topics. 3. When I am answering a biology question, I find it difficult to put what I know into my own words.
    24. 24. 2) Key Findings24 2. To develop competence in an area of inquiry, students must:  have a deep foundation of factual knowledge,  understand facts and ideas in the context of a conceptual framework, and  organize knowledge in ways that facilitate retrieval and application. How People Learn – Chapter 1, p 16.
    25. 25. 2) Key Findings25 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.
    26. 26. Please break into groups of 3...26 Each set of cards has  3 Key Findings  3 Implications for Teaching  3 Designing Classroom Environments TASK: For each Key Finding, match one Implication for Teaching and one Designing Classroom Environment.
    27. 27. 27
    28. 28. 28 Implications for Instructors and Teaching Assistants
    29. 29. Traditional (lecture) class29 Lecture Textbook Homework Exam First Read Hard Stuff See if You Show Knowledge Exposure Know Hard Stuff Mastery  students get very little opportunity for “expert” feedback
    30. 30. Constructivist class30 Homework Lecture Lab Exam Q U I Z First Exposure: Learn Hard Stuff: Practice Show Knowledge With resources and With teacher and Knowledge Mastery Feedback discussion Mastery  Everyone constructs their own understanding: I can’t dump understanding into your brain. To learn, YOU must actively work with a problem and construct your own understanding of it.  Greater opportunity for expert feedback
    31. 31. When you are the instructor of31 record…  Peer Instruction (aka “clickers”)  One of most-studied active learning techniques for improving learning  Works IN the (large) lecture hall  Focuses students on their role and responsibility as the learner
    32. 32. Typical Peer Instruction32 Episode 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, coloured cards, ABCD voting cards,... 4. The instructor reacts, based on the distribution of votes.
    33. 33. In effective peer instruction33  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 theircommunicate own language like experts  the instructor finds out what the students know (and don’t know) and reacts
    34. 34. Effective peer instruction34 requires 1. identifying key concepts, misconceptions before 2. creating multiple-choice questions that class require deeper thinking and learning 3. facilitating peer instruction episodes during that spark student discussion class 4. resolving the misconceptions
    35. 35. Clicker Question35 The molecules making up the dry mass of wood that forms during the growth of a tree largely come from a) sunlight. b) the air. c) the seed. d) the soil. Veritasium (Derek Muller) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2KZb2_vcNTg Question credit: Bill Wood
    36. 36. Clicker Question36 Suppose that in the tree below new data were uncovered indicating that taxon E is sister to a group consisting of taxa D and F. Draw the new phylogeny.
    37. 37. Which one is the closest match to your phylogeny?37 a) b) c) d) Some other phylogeny
    38. 38. Quiz38 Selection is the stimulus/pressure (internal or external) that affects life and/or the ability to reproduce. True 1. Some plants don’t experience selection. T F or False? T F 2. Insects often experience a different type of selection as larvae than as adults. T F 3. Birds can experience different directions of selection in different years. T F 4. Selection in mammals always operates more strongly on survival than on reproduction.
    39. 39. Sync with Key Findings 2?39  Does that lesson demand deep foundation of knowledge, a conceptual framework, organization of knowledge?  Did instructor teach in depth, multiple examples of concept, provide firm foundation?  Is attention given to what is taught, why it’s taught and what mastery looks like?
    40. 40. Clicker question: Selection40 How many of the following statements are true? Plants: Some plants don’t experience selection. Insects: Insects often experience a different type of selection as larvae than as adults. Birds: Birds can experience different directions of selection in different years. Mammals: Selection in mammals always operates more strongly on survival than on
    41. 41. Active Learning Techniques for41 Discussion Sections  Think, Pair Share or peer instruction with clickers  One-Minute papers: What is most confusing right now?  Problem Solving in Groups  Provide scaffold/structure  Ask what steps would you take to solve problem (versus actually solving them)  Critique or “fix” sample work/problem  overhead slides, document cameras, board?
    42. 42. Discussion Sections42 Learning is not about what TAs explain. It’s about what students understand!
    43. 43. Discussion Sections43 Learning is not about what TAs explain. It’s about what students understand! Corollary 1: Students will not understand (just) by watching the TA solve problems.
    44. 44. Discussion Sections44 Learning is not about what TAs explain. It’s about what students understand! Corollary 1: Students will not understand (just) by watching the TA solve problems. Corollary 2: BE LESS HELPFUL.
    45. 45. But really ask yourself…45 Who is doing the work? You or the students?
    46. 46. Questions?46  And feedback…
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