Category: Learning Design

Learners Need to Focus on Errors

Let’s move on to the excellent article It’s Not How Much; It’s How: Characteristics of Practice Behavior and Retention of Performance Skills, by Duke et al. (2009), which is another dive into analyzing what leads to good retention of learning in music education.  Just to be different, I’ll start with the conclusion, and then circle around to the study construction. “The results showed that the strategies employed during practice were more determinative of performance quality at retention than was how much or how long the pianists practiced” 17 students (advanced piano performance students) were given a 3-measure passage from a difficult Concerto to...

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Learning Math is Not a Spectator Sport

In November, I gave the keynote at the American Mathematical Association of Two-Year Colleges (AMATYC) Conference in Denver. I have given versions of this talk that are not specific for mathematics, but I don’t have recordings of those. I promise that the math in this talk is not inaccessible and is used more for examples than a framework for the talk. In other words, don’t let the word “math” scare you away. The alternate version of the talk is “Learning is Not a Spectator Sport.” The first half of the video is the awards ceremony, so I’ve directed the...

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Why high contextual interference?

This week I followed a hunch and, with the help of a friend who is a music educator, dug into some additional research around this idea of blocked and random practice. In music there are a few goals to achieve with any passage of music: can you play a passage accurately by itself? can you play the passage in the larger context of the piece? can you play the passage to tempo? can you play the passage with the right expression? Think about these goals in your own subject area and see if you can find a similar set...

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Lean in to the Discomfort

When you walk in to a room full of people, choose someone who seems the most different from you (on the surface) or the person that seems the “scariest” to start a conversation with. Start there. Lean in to the Discomfort of having that awkward first conversation. In all likelihood, you DO have something in common with the person – seek to find it. If you always start with the conversation that you perceive to be the most difficult one to have, you will, over time, reduce your own fear of talking to strangers. About 90% of an iceberg...

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AMATYC Keynote Notes: Challenge and Curiosity

In the 2016 AMATYC keynote, I covered three main themes: Interaction & Impasse (last post) Challenge & Curiosity (this post) Durable Learning Here are references and resources for Challenge & Curiosity: First, I have to point you to one of my favorite books on the subject, A Theory of Fun for Game Design, by Raph Koster. Quote from Game Design: “How do I get somebody to learn something that is long and difficult and takes a lot of commitment, but get them to learn it well?” – James Gee How do players learn a game?  They give it a try They...

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