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The Student Brain


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This workshop allows faculty to explore how the student brain processes information, how experience and learning produce changes in the brain, and how emotion and motivation states impact learning. Faculty are encouraged to discuss how their teaching methods currently impact the brain and what strategies could be implemented to enhance the processes that need to take place for learning to occur. Faculty participants acquire applicable brain-friendly teaching strategies that can be implemented right away.

For more information or to discuss how this information might apply to your students, please contact Lynn Lease, 419-998-3102, @llease,

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The Student Brain

  1. 1. The Student Brain College of Applied Technologies Workshop Sponsored by the Center for Educational Excellence Presented by Randy Blank, Department Chair - Psychology Lynn Lease, Director - Center for Educational Excellence
  2. 2. True or False...? • We only use ten percent of our brains. • Everything important is determined by the age of three. • The brain remembers everything it has ever experienced; forgetting is an absence of recall ability. • You can't change your brain.
  3. 3. Brains are adaptable and flexible • We are born with dependent but adaptable and flexible brains... •
  4. 4. We want to move from this... Image Source:
  5. 5. And from this... Image Source:
  6. 6. Our Goals for Today: • list 3 levels of memory • describe how learning occurs in each of these 3 levels • identify specific learning techniques supported by the physiology of learning to use in the classroom
  7. 7. Three Stage Model of Memory Image Source:
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  9. 9. What gets our students' attention?
  10. 10. The Role of Meaning and Attention
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  13. 13. The Role of Emotion ImageSource:
  14. 14. Instructional Strategies to activate Sensory Memory • Settling In Period – ATTENTION SPAN?? • Anticipatory Set • Activate Prior Schema • Set the tone – expectations • Time to process . . . ImageSource: 8/deck/748572
  15. 15. Short Term (Working) Memory • Where most of our everyday memory chores are processed • Provides temporary storage of just the right amount of information without overloading itself • But has limitations... Image Source:
  16. 16. Short Term (Working) Memory • Can only retain information for about 15-25 seconds • Auditory attention is highly selective • Is also limited in capacity • Try this STM test...Image Source: filesystemfile.ashx/__key/CommunityServer.Blogs.Components.WeblogFiles /thoughts_5F00_from_5F00_the_5F00_frontline/image001_5F00_760AE96 5.gif
  17. 17. Role of Meaning and STM • Chunking--serves to extend information within STM • Recoding--serves as a strategy for later transfer to LTM by elaborating on the information • Elaborative rehearsal hooks new information into something already stored in LTMImage Source: https://s-media-cache-
  18. 18. Role of Emotion and STM • Emotions stamp extra vividness onto our memories • But use with caution... Image Source:
  19. 19. Role of Emotion and STM • Beware of the stress response (fight-or-flight) • Perceived threats take precedence over other strands of thought • Emotion dominates over rational thinking in these circumstances! Image Source:
  20. 20. Instructional Strategies to activate Short-Term Memory ImageSource: 8/deck/748572 • Cognitive Load • Chunking (the dash in the SS#) • Discuss the relevance • Activate prior schema – circle back • Emotion – rapport, environment • Time to process . . .
  21. 21. Long Term Memory • Information stored in LTM is relatively permanent • Is "reconstructed" and not necessarily accurate • Capacity estimated to involve "a million billion" synaptic connections Image Source:
  22. 22. Long Term Memory • Two major types of LTM Image Source:
  23. 23. Elaborative Rehearsal, Meaning, and Retention in LTM • A single exposure to new material won't likely be sufficient for consolidation • Consolidation is enhanced by rehearsal • The more fully we process information over time, the more connections we make, and the better memory will be Image Source:
  24. 24. Instructional Strategies to activate Long-Term Memory ImageSource: 8/deck/748572 • TIME & PRACTICE • Formative assessments • Low stakes practice • Self-checks • Pair and Share – Restate – Offer examples • Time to process . . .
  25. 25. Call to Action!
  26. 26. Available for checkout in the CEE - contact Lynn
  27. 27. Coming up Next . . .