Author: busynessgirl

The Deliberate Practice Experiment

For some inspiration to try a more active approach to learning, I thought I would share a short video from Dr. Carl Wieman, who is a Nobel Laureate, a physicist, and more recently a researcher in learning science. Wieman has designed and run some very elegant experiments to demonstrate the effects of active learning techniques. Consider this one: What happens if you run two classes for a week with the same learning objectives, the same time in class, and the same assessment. Prior to the experiment, you take care to ensure that the student makeup and performance is very similar...

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Write an Operating System for Your Brain

Let’s face it. We all have to interact with organizations and systems of relationships in which we might not “fit” perfectly. We can choose to stay and try to thrive, or leave and find another path. Both are valid options. If you are choosing to stay, you will likely have to make minor (or sometimes major) tweaks to how you interact and function within that system. It is unreasonable to expect a system with thousands of employees or a family with 4 people in it to all change and adapt to you when you are unwilling to make changes to...

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To Focus on Learning, Use Words Not Section Numbers

Since many faculty are now approaching that time when syllabi get written and course shells get built, let’s focus on a very simple change that can increase student attention to learning the vocabulary and learning objectives/goals associated with the subject. Take examine your syllabus, schedule, and course shell looking for places where you could have written the name of the course, the topics, or the learning objectives in words, but didn’t do it. When schedules and other course materials are passed out without any reference to the vocabulary of the subject, you are missing a great chance to put that vocabulary and learning objectives/goals front...

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The Four Processors: A Neogeneralist Problem?

My husband has been joking for years that my brain has 4 processors. He says I can’t relax unless at least 3 processors are turned off, but that’s not an easy thing to do. When one processor can’t solve the problem it is stuck on, my brain brings up the next-most-interesting processor and begins working on that problem instead. Often, I wake up at 5am to find that one processor has kicked out a solution to a problem and then it is impossible to go back to sleep. Sometimes I can’t sleep because the processors are occupied with such interesting...

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Clickety Click Click: Awful Measures for Learning

I feel a little inspired by Sam Ford’s post The Year We Talk About Our Awful Metrics. Ford writes about the need for change in metrics of online media publications, but we could just as easily be discussing the metrics of learning management systems, ed-tech vendor platforms, and institutional analytics. Ford argues that we need to “get serious” about better forms of measurement in 2017. As long as we are measuring metrics with little meaning, we aren’t really improving learning. Let me give you a few examples to illustrate the similar problems in education. Page Clicks As in, how many pages...

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