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Tip #809: Fact or Fiction? Lecture is Best for Large Groups

On February 10, 2020, Posted by , In learning activities, By , , With Comments Off on Tip #809: Fact or Fiction? Lecture is Best for Large Groups

“A one-size-fits-all lecture is not the way to go about education.” Sal Khan

Fiction. The size of the group has very little to do with the type of learning method. It all depends on the goals of the workshop. If the goal is simply to share knowledge (ideally knowledge unknown to the group participants), then a lecture is appropriate and sufficient. Unbroken lecture can only achieve the learning level of knowledge. However, if the goal is to teach new skills or change attitudes and achieve a higher learning levels: comprehension, application, analysis, evaluation or creation, then the learning method needs to be more participatory: directed large or small group discussion, pop ups, individual worksheets, brainstorming, problem solving, case studies, questionnaires, … Read the rest

Tip #807: Fact or Fiction? Students Learn More in Lectures

On January 27, 2020, Posted by , In learning activities, By , With Comments Off on Tip #807: Fact or Fiction? Students Learn More in Lectures

“A superstar lecturer can explain things in such a way as to make students feel like they are learning more than they actually are.” Louis Deslauriers

Fiction. According to a new Harvard study, published Sept. 4, 2019 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, students learn more when taking part in active learning rather than in lectures.

It is true that active learning requires more effort on the part of students, which they may misinterpret as a sign of poor learning. To better engage students in active learning, this mistaken belief may need to be acknowledged and dismissed at the beginning of a class, possibly using the data from the study.

May your learning be sweet.

Deborah… Read the rest

Tip #798: How to Get Closure on a Learning Activity

On November 11, 2019, Posted by , In learning activities, By ,, , With Comments Off on Tip #798: How to Get Closure on a Learning Activity

“What was closure if not a clock? Not an end as everyone imagined, but a beginning.” Celeste Chaney

An article by Susan Landay identifies two steps needed to get closure on a learning activity:

  1. The Debrief—a time for processing and discussion whereby you review, experience and extract key learning points.
  2. The Commitment—when you consciously make the effort to commit the information to memory and, if appropriate, take action in implementing changes. 

Various LinkedIn contributors offered a variety of methods to accomplish each step. I’ve culled my favorites.

For the Debrief:

  • What? So What? Now What?
    The focus of these questions is: What have you learned? So what, what is the significance of the learning? Now what
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Tip #777:  Incorporate physical movement into the training program.

On June 17, 2019, Posted by , In learning activities, By , With Comments Off on Tip #777:  Incorporate physical movement into the training program.

“Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough; we must do.”  Goethe

In his excellent book: The Accelerated Learning Handbook, Dave Meier advises: “Make sure to get people out of their seats and provide opportunities for physical movement and activity as part of the learning process.“ Physical movement has been shown to have a positive impact on learning and retention.

Neurological research indicates that thinking and bodily movement are interconnected in the brain. In fact, the part of the neocortex that governs thinking and problem solving is situated next to the part of the neocortex that controls fine motor functions. Bodily movement also stimulates the secretion of chemicals that are essential for neural network construction in the … Read the rest

Tip #776: Select learning activities that will achieve the desired learning levels.

On June 10, 2019, Posted by , In learning activities, With Comments Off on Tip #776: Select learning activities that will achieve the desired learning levels.

“The best way to learn is to do; the worst way to teach is to talk.” Paul Halmos

Learning activities are the training methods that enable participants to achieve and to demonstrate their learning. Different learning activities are appropriate for different learning levels.

Participants can:

  • gain information [KNOWLEDGE] when they attend a lecture (enhanced for different learning preferences), participate in a discussion, listen to a panel, or read reference materials;
  • demonstrate that they understand what they have learned [COMPREHENSION] when they read and discuss a case study, brainstorm answers to a discussion question, respond to a quiz or questionnaire, or complete a writing assignment; and
  • put what they have learned to use [APPLICATION] when they play a game, perform a
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Tip #733:  Ask: “So What?”

On August 6, 2018, Posted by , In learning activities, By ,, , With Comments Off on Tip #733:  Ask: “So What?”

“The art of teaching is the art of assisting discovery.” Mark Van Doren

We know that experiential learning activities contribute to better learning and retention. We design learning programs that incorporate these activities in a purposeful manner. We don’t insert a game just for the sake of a game. Every learning activity must achieve a specified level of learning, whether it be knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis, evaluation or creation.

So, there is a reason why we select certain activities to achieve certain levels of learning for key content. But do we make the learning process as rich as it could be? I don’t think so. I’m embarrassed to say that I know now that I haven’t.

Let’s take a case … Read the rest