Tip #625:  Teaching for Robust Understanding

On June 13, 2016, Posted by , In curriculum design, By ,,,,,, , With Comments Off on Tip #625:  Teaching for Robust Understanding

“I never teach my pupils, I only attempt to provide the conditions in which they can learn.” Albert Einstein

Alan Schoenfeld, Professor of Education and Mathematics at the University of California Berkeley, designed Teaching for Robust Understanding (TRU) of Mathematics to teach math to elementary school students. The TRU framework can also be used to teach other elementary school disciplines.

When I read about TRU and its five dimensions, I was struck by its similarity to participatory, learner-centered curriculum design and delivery for adults.

Central to TRU are five dimensions of classroom activity: (1) content; (2) cognitive demand; (3) equitable access to content; (4) agency, authority and identity; and (5) uses of assessment.

  1. The Content dimension is defined as: “The
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Tip #589: Intentional Doodling

On October 5, 2015, Posted by , In brain research, By ,,,,, , With Comments Off on Tip #589: Intentional Doodling

“Doodling is the brooding of the hand.” Saul Steinberg

We have all probably doodled at one time or another in a classroom. I can remember that my doodles involved parallel lines crisscrossed in various ways by other parallel lines. But that is all I remember. I don’t remember what a teacher or a trainer was saying while I was doodling.

However, intentional doodling, or “sketch noting,” has been shown to be a very effective learning device for some learners. My guess is that those are folks who would be more comfortable taking notes in mind map format rather than outline format. My doodles would most definitely fall clearly into the outline format mindset!

In an article titled: “Making Learning Visible: … Read the rest

Tip #384: What is Magic About the Number Three in Brain Research- and What It Means for Training Design and Delivery

On July 25, 2011, Posted by , In brain research, By ,,,,,, , With Comments Off on Tip #384: What is Magic About the Number Three in Brain Research- and What It Means for Training Design and Delivery

” There are three principal means of acquiring knowledge . . . observation of nature, reflection, and experimentation. Observation collects facts; reflection combines them; experimentation verifies the result of that combination.” Denis Diderot

Evidence-based research findings regarding how the brain works have serious implications for training design and delivery. Paying attention to these findings, which just happen to occur in sets of three, will increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the learning that occurs.

a. Three Types of Memory

Research shows that there are actually three types of memory:

1. Working memory is where thinking gets done. It is dual coded with a buffer for storage of verbal/text elements and a second buffer for visual/spatial elements. Working memory is short-term … Read the rest

Tip #364: How to Facilitate Learning Activities

On February 28, 2011, Posted by , In learning activities, By ,,,,,,,,, , With Comments Off on Tip #364: How to Facilitate Learning Activities

“Knowledge is of no value unless you put it into practice.” Herber J. Grant

In response to last week’s Tip on How to Close a Training Session on a High Note, Tom Jackson, Training Team Lead, Division of Strategic National Stockpile, Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, offered this great closing activity.

I thought I’d share a closing activity that one of my old employees showed me and I’ve used quite effectively. I am always amazed at how much energy it creates for my wrap up. It may not work too well with large audiences, but for 10 – 50 folks, it seems to do just fine.

Here’s a wrap up activity … Read the rest

Tip #255: Three Types of Cognitive Load

On December 17, 2008, Posted by , In brain research, By ,,, , With Comments Off on Tip #255: Three Types of Cognitive Load

The intention of cognitive load theory is to avoid overwhelming the learner with new information. I will do my best.

For the purpose of honest disclosure, all of the following information is drawn from Cognitive Load Theory and the Role of Learner Experience: An Abbreviated Review for Educational Practitioners (2008), by Anthony R. Artino, Jr.

Before we begin, we need to have some understanding of schemas and automation, and why they are important for learning.

Schemas categorize elements of information according to how they will be used. Schemas are how long-term memory organizes and stores information. Since complex schemas with many interrelated elements can be held in working memory as a single entity, these schemas effectively expand the capacity of … Read the rest