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How Learning Works: Seven Research-Based Principles for Smart Teaching

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Title: How Learning Works: Seven Research-Based Principles for Smart Teaching


1
  • How Learning Works Seven Research-Based
    Principles for Smart Teaching
  •  
  • Dr. Michele DiPietro
  • Executive Director,
  • Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning
  • Kennesaw State University
  • mdipietr_at_kennesaw.edu
  • http//www.kennesaw.edu/cetl

2
Quick Problem to Solve
  • There are 26 sheep and 10 goats on a ship. How
    old is the captain?
  • Adults Unsolvable
  • 5th graders Over 75 attempted to provide a
    numerical answer.
  • After giving the answer 36 one student
    explained Well, you need to add or subtract or
    multiply in problems like this, and this one
    seemed to work best if I add.
  • (Bransford Stein, 93)

3
The Moral
  • We must really understand how students
  • process what we teach them!!

4
How Learning Works
  • Joint work with former Carnegie Mellon colleagues
  • Synthesis of 50 years of research
  • Constant determinants of learning
  • Principles apply cross-culturally
  • Translations to Mandarin and Korean in progress

5
Objectives
  • Following this workshop, participants should be
    able to
  • List and discuss the seven principles of learning
  • Describe the research and the evidence behind
    each principle
  • Generate pedagogical strategies to support
    learning?

6
7 Learning Principles
  1. Students prior knowledge can help or hinder
    learning.
  2. How students organize knowledge influences how
    they learn and apply what they know.
  3. Students motivation determines, directs, and
    sustains what they do to learn.
  4. To develop mastery, students must acquire
    component skills, practice integrating them, and
    know when to apply what they have learned.
  5. Goal-directed practice coupled with targeted
    feedback enhances the quality of students
    learning.
  6. Students current level of development interacts
    with the social, emotional, and intellectual
    climate of the course to impact learning.
  7. To become self-directed learners, students must
    learn to monitor and adjust their approaches to
    learning.

7
  • I consider that a man's brain originally is like
    a little empty attic, and you have to stock it
    with such furniture as you choose. (Sherlock
    Holmes)

FALSE
8
1. Prior Knowledge can help or hinder learning
9
Prior knowledge can hinder learning
  • If it is
  • Inappropriate
  • Insufficient
  • Declarative vs. Procedural knowledge
  • Inaccurate

10
Some examples of inaccurate prior knowledge
(misconceptions)
  • Bricks A B are identical. The force needed to
    hold B in place (deeper than A) is
  • Larger than
  • The same as
  • Smaller than
  • the force required to hold A in place
  • When the switch S is closed, do the following
    increase, decrease, or stay the same?
  • The intensity of A B
  • The intensity of C
  • The current drawn from the battery
  • The voltage drop across each bulb
  • The power dissipated in the circuit

Mazur (1996)
11
More misconceptions
  • Science Seasons happens because the earth orbits
    the sun elliptically (Schneps and Sadler 1988)
  • Statistics Association implies causation
  • Psychology People use only 10 of their brains
  • What misconceptions do students have about your
    field?

12
But even if prior knowledge is correct
  • Each card has a letter on one side and a number
    on the other.
  • Rule If a card has a vowel on one side, it must
    have an even number on the other side.
  • Questions What is the minimum number of cards
    that must be turned over to check whether this
    rule is being followed? Which cards are they?
    (Wason 1966, 1977)

A
J
6
7
13
Reasoning Using Prior Knowledge
  • Each card represents a student at a bar. The
    age of each student is on one side and what he is
    drinking is on the other.
  • Rule If a person is drinking a beer, then he
    is over 21.
  • Question Which card(s) must be turned over to
    check whether everyones behavior is legal?
    (Griggs Cox, 1982)

16
Beer
Coke
23
14
The moral
  • Prior knowledge lies inert most of the time
  • Prior knowledge must be activated to be useful

15
What we owe our students
  • Learning environments that
  • Value and engage what students bring to the
    table
  • Actively confront and challenge misconceptions

16
2. How students organize knowledge influences how
they learn and apply what they know
17
How is information processed in the brain?
(Atkinson and Shiffrin 1968 Baddeley, 1986)
18
  • Memorize the following list
  • TSXCOBCAFTNB
  • Try again
  • FOXABCTNTCBS

19
A Statistics Example
  • Memorize the following formula

20
A Chemistry Example
  • Memorize the following formula
  • H H
  • HCCOH
  • H H

21
An Electrical Engineering Example
  • Memorize the following circuit

22
Knowledge Organization
  • We all chunk knowledge and organize it in the
    brain by connecting new information to existing
    knowledge
  • The same knowledge can be organized in multiple
    ways
  • Experts have mental structures very different
    from novices/students

23
How Novices Experts Differ (Chi, Feltovich
Glaser, 1981)
  • Novices Groupings
  • Novice 1 These deal with blocks on an inclined
    plane
  • Novice 6 Blocks on inclined planes with angles
  • Experts Groupings
  • Expert 2 Conservation of Energy
  • Expert 4 These can be done from Energy
    considerations

24
How Novices Experts Differ
  • Experts have a higher density of connections
  • Experts structures rely on deep underlying
    principles
  • Experts have more flexible structures
  • These features affect memory, meaning-making, and
    transfer!

25
An Example
  • If the balloons popped, the sound wouldn't be
    able to carry since everything would be too far
    away from the correct floor. A closed window
    would also prevent the sound from carrying, since
    most buildings tend to be well insulated. Since
    the whole operation depends on a steady flow of
    electricity, a break in the middle of the wire
    would also cause problems. Of course, the fellow
    could shout, but the human voice is not loud
    enough to carry that far. An additional problem
    is that a string could break on the instrument.
    Then there could be no accompaniment to the
    message. It is clear that the best situation
    would involve less distance. Then there would be
    fewer potential problems. With face to face
    contact, the least number of things could go
    wrong. (p. 719)
  • Bransford Johnson, 1972

26
Try now ?
  • If the balloons popped, the sound wouldn't be
    able to carry since everything would be too far
    away from the correct floor. A closed window
    would also prevent the sound from carrying, since
    most buildings tend to be well insulated. Since
    the whole operation depends on a steady flow of
    electricity, a break in the middle of the wire
    would also cause problems. Of course, the fellow
    could shout, but the human voice is not loud
    enough to carry that far. An additional problem
    is that a string could break on the instrument.
    Then there could be no accompaniment to the
    message. It is clear that the best situation
    would involve less distance. Then there would be
    fewer potential problems. With face to face
    contact, the least number of things could go
    wrong. (p. 719)
  • Bransford Johnson, 1972

27
What we owe our students
  • Learning environments that not only transmit
    knowledge, but
  • Help students organize their knowledge in
    productive ways
  • Actively monitor students construction of
    knowledge

28
3. Students motivation determines, direct, and
sustains what they do to learn
  • .

29
Goals/Value
  • If students cannot find any value in what you are
    offering them, they wont find motivation to do
    it
  • Student value multiple goals
  • Some goals are in competition

30
Goals/Value
  • Rewards Punishments
  • Learning
  • Competence
  • Performance approach/avoid
  • Social
  • Affective
  • Purpose/Integrity/Authenticity
  • What do students value in your fields?

31
Expectancy
  • Expectancy expectation of a successful outcome
  • Three main components of this positive
    expectation
  • Outcome expectancy beliefs that certain
    behaviors are causally connected to desired
    outcomes
  • Efficacy expectancy that one has the ability to
    do the work necessary to succeed (self-efficacy)
  • Environmental expectancy that the environment
    will be supportive of ones efforts

32
(1) Outcome expectancy
  • A belief that certain behaviors are causally
    connected to desired outcome (Vroom 1964)
  • Generally accepted for studying and learning
  • Some contested areas
  • Coming to class helps learning and performance
  • Keeping up with the readings helps learning and
    performance
  • Others?

33
(2) Self-efficacy and beliefs about learning
  • Self-efficacy belief that one has the ability to
    do the work necessary to succeed (Bandura 1997).
  • Research studying students beliefs about
    themselves and about how learning works
  • Learning is fast and easy vs. Learning is slow
    and effortful
  • You have it or you dont vs. The mind is like
    a muscle
  • Im no good at math vs. I lack
    experience in math
  • I just cant draw vs. I could
    use drawing lessons
  • How would student behaviors be affected if they
    endorsed the beliefs on the left vs. the ones on
    the right?

34
(3) Belief in a supportive environment
  • Environmental expectancy Belief that the
    environment will be supportive of ones efforts
    (Ford 1992)
  • What matters here is students perception
  • If I do what it takes to succeed, will it work
    out?
  • Perceptions of
  • Instructors fairness
  • Feasibility of the task
  • Instructors approachability/helpfulness
  • Team members ability and effort

35
Effects of value, self-efficacy, environment on
motivation
36
Individual Reflection and Paired Activity
  • Reflecting on Past Experiences as a Student
  • Recall a learning situation (e.g. a course,
    assignment, etc.) in which you were very
    motivated and compare it to a similar situation
    (e.g. same discipline, same course) in which you
    were rather unmotivated. List at least 2 - 3
    factors which seemed to influence your level of
    motivation. Try to include at least one factor
    which you think influenced many other students
    motivations as well. (3 - 5 minutes)
  • Discuss in pairs and prepare to report
  • After quickly reviewing each persons examples,
    identify the common factors across both stories
    and classify them according to the motivational
    concepts we discussed (5 minutes)

37
What we owe our students
  • Learning environments that
  • Stay up-to-date with what students value
  • Engage multiple goals
  • Build self-efficacy
  • Are responsive and helpful

38
  • The next two principles pertain to learning skills

39
Plan and Teach Activity
  1. Develop a set of instructions to teach somebody
    to tie their shoe laces
  2. Pair up with somebody and try to teach them from
    your instructions, then switch
  3. What issues did this activity bring up for you as
    you watched your partner try to learn from your
    instructions?

40
4. To develop mastery, students must acquire
component skills, practice integrating them, and
know when to apply what they have learned
41
5. Goal-directed practice coupled with targeted
feedback enhances the quality of students
learning
42
Its not teaching that causes learning.
Attempts by the learner to perform cause
learning, dependent upon the quality of feedback
and opportunities to use it. --Grant
Wiggins
  • Goals
  • Explicit
  • Before the performance
  • Feedback
  • Frequent
  • Timely
  • Constructive
  • Practice
  • Scaffolded
  • Zone of Proximal Development (Vygotsky 1978)

43
An important caveat
  • The Stroop Effect (1935)

XXXX XXXX XXXX XXXX XXXX XXXX XXXX
RED YELLOW BLUE GREEN RED GREEN BLUE
YELLOW RED GREEN BLUE YELLOW BLUE RED
44
An ExampleLearning to Drive
  • Initially
  • students rely on very general rules and
    problem-solving skills, e.g. following a
    step-by-step example, matching variables in
    equations
  • working memory load is very high
  • performance is very slow, tedious and error-prone
  • With little practice
  • very general rules are instantiated with
    discipline-specific details to make new, more
    efficient productions
  • performance becomes faster
  • many errors are detected and eliminated with
    feedback
  • With a great deal of practice
  • related steps are compiled and automatized by
    collapsing steps
  • less attention is needed to perform
  • performance continues to speed up
  • experts may lose the ability to verbalize all
    steps

45
The expert blindspot
  • Sprague and Stuart (2000)

46
What we owe our students
  • Learning environments where educators
  • Actively hunt down their expert blindspots
  • Learning environments that
  • Emphasize both individual skills and their
    integration
  • Explicitly teach for transfer
  • Provide multiple opportunities for authentic
    practice
  • Oriented toward clear goals
  • Coupled with targeted feedback

47
6. Students current level of development
interacts with the social, emotional, and
intellectual climate of the course to impact
learning
48
Case Study
  • Please read over the case study
  • As we go through the models and the research, see
    how they give you insights into the various
    students behaviors
  • Well focus on theories of Intellectual
    Development
  • Use the table in the handout to take notes on the
    case
  • Well discuss the case after the theories

49
From Morning-Glory to Petersburg (The World Book,
1928)
  • Organized knowledge in story and picture
  • confronts through dusty glass
  • an eye grown dubious.
  • I can recall when knowledge still was pure,
  • not contradictory, pleasurable
  • as cutting out a paper doll.
  • You opened up a book and there it was
  • everything just as promised, from
  • Kurdistan to Mormons, Gum
  • Arabic to Kumquat, neither more nor less.
  • Facts could be kept separate
  • by a convention that was what
  • made childhood possible.
  • Now knowledge finds me out
  • in all its risible untidiness
  • it traces me to each address,
  • dragging in things I never thought about.
  • I dont invite what facts can be
  • held at arms length a family
  • of jeering irresponsibles always
  • comes along gypsy-style
  • and there you have them all
  • forever on your hands. It never pays.
  • If I could still extrapolate
  • the morning-glory on the gate
  • from Petersburg in historybut its too late.
  • --Adrienne Rich

50
Developmental Theories
  • Describe how our views of certain concepts (e.g.,
    knowledge, morality, culture, identity) evolve
    over time from unsophisticated positions to ones
    that embrace complexity
  • Development is holistic but differential
  • Development is described as a response to
    intellectual, social, or emotional challenges,
    where students begin to question values and
    assumptions inculcated by parents and society,
    and start to develop their own
  • Development can be described in stages
  • It describes students in the aggregate, not
    individually
  • Development is not always forward
  • Can be foreclosed or even backwards

51
Theories of Intellectual Development
  • Describe how approaches to knowledge develop over
    time
  • Perry developmental scheme
  • 464 interviews with 140 Harvard (male) students
    in 50s and 60s -- Perry (1970)
  • Womens ways of knowing
  • 135 women (90 students) in late 70s and 80 in
    the US -- Belenky at al. (1986)
  • Gendered-patters in knowing and reasoning
  • 101 students (50 males) at Miami University,
    followed for 5 years (86-91) -- Baxter-Magolda
    (1992)

52
Stages of Intellectual Development
Perry Dualism Dualism Multiplicity Relativism Commitment
Belenky et al. Silence Received K. Received K. Subjective K. Procedural K. Constructed K.
Belenky et al. Silence Received K. Received K. Subjective K. Separated Constructed K.
Belenky et al. Silence Received K. Received K. Subjective K. Connected Constructed K.
Baxter-Magolda Absolute K. Transitional K. Independent K. Contextual K. Contextual K.
53
Intellectual Development
  • Dualism/Received/Absolute Knowledge
  • Knowledge viewed as received Truth
  • What matters factsthings are right or wrong
  • Teacher has the answers
  • Learning Memorizing notes for tests, getting the
    A is what counts
  • Frustration Why wont the teacher answer my
    questions?

54
Intellectual Development
  • Transitional Knowledge
  • Knowledge partially certain, partially uncertain
  • What matters factsthings are right or wrong
  • Teacher has the answers
  • Learning Memorizing notes for tests, getting the
    A is what counts
  • Frustration Why wont the teacher answer my
    questions?

55
Intellectual Development
  • Multiplicity/Subjective/Independent Knowledge
  • Knowledge a matter of opinion
  • Teacher not the authorityjust another opinion
  • Learning a purely personal exercise
  • Frustration How can the teacher evaluate my work?

56
Intellectual Development
  • Relativism/Procedural/Contextual Knowledge
  • Knowledge based on evidence
  • What matters supporting your argument with
    reasons
  • Teacher Conversation partner, acts as a guide,
    shows the direction
  • Learning depends on the contextwhat we know
    is colored by perspectives and assumptions
  • Questions asked What are more sources of
    information?

57
Intellectual Development
  • Commitment/Constructed Knowledge
  • Knowledge leads to personal actions outside the
    classroom
  • What matters facts, feelings and perspectives
    and how I will act upon them
  • Teacher a source among other sources
  • Learning Making choices, acting on and taking
    responsibilities for these choices
  • Questions asked What were the results of my
    action? What does that mean about my future
    actions principles I live by?
  • Adapted from Perry (1970), Belenky et al. (1986),
    and Baxter-Magolda (1992)

58
Intellectual Development by Year
Baxter-Magolda (1992)
59
Classroom Climate
  • Students work out these developmental challenges
    in the context of the classroom environment.
  • Perceptions of a chilly climate affect student
    learning, critical thinking, and preparation for
    a career (Pascarella et al. 1997 Whitt et al
    1999).

60
What factors contribute to climate?
  • Content
  • Interactions
  • Faculty-student and student-student
  • Tone
  • Syllabus studypunishing vs. encouraging
    (Ishiyama and Hartlaub 2002)
  • Punishing If for some substantial reason you
    cannot turn in your papers or take an exam at the
    scheduled time you must contact me prior to the
    due date, or test date, or you will be graded
    down 20
  • Rewarding If for some substantial reason you
    cannot turn in your papers or take an exam at the
    scheduled time you should contact me prior to the
    due date, or test date, or you will only be
    eligible for 80 of the total points.

61
Results
  • Significant difference in perceived
    approachability (p.04)
  • Instructor with punishing wording rated as less
    approachable
  • Students less likely to seek help from the
    punishing instructor
  • First second year students most affected by
    wording

62
Classroom Climate
  • Climate is best understood as a continuum
  • DeSurra Church (1994)

Explicitly Marginalizing Implicitly Marginalizing Implicitly Centralizing Explicitly Centralizing
63
Back to the Case Study
  • Lets collectively analyze the case study in
    light of the information presented.
  • How do the theories illuminate the story?
  • What suggestions do you have for professor
    Battaglia?

64
What we owe our students
  • Learning environments that
  • Use the tools of the disciplines to engage and
    embrace complexity
  • Are explicitly inclusive in methods and content

65
7. To become self-directed learners, students
must learn to monitor and adjust their approaches
to learning
66
Case studies
  1. Read the two stories on the handout
  2. Pair up with the person next to you
  3. Analyze what unproductive behaviors, attitudes,
    circumstances etc are holding the students back
    (dont try to fix the problems yet)
  4. Share with the large group

67
Metacognition Definitions
  • Metacognition refers to ones knowledge
    concerning ones own cognitive processes or
    anything related to them, e.g., the
    learning-relevant properties of information or
    data. For example, I am engaging in metacognition
    if I notice that I am having more trouble
    learning A than B if it strikes me that I should
    double check C before accepting it as fact.J.
    H. Flavell (1976, p. 232).
  • The process of reflecting and directing ones
    own thinking.National Research Council (2001,
    p. 78).

68
7. To become self-directed learners, students
must learn to monitor and adjust their approaches
to learning
69
Evidence from research on metacognition
Students dont! (Carey Flower 1989 Hinsley et
al. 1977)
Students dont! (NRC 2001 Fu Gray 2004)
Students overestimate their strengths (Dunning
2007)
Self-explanation effect
Students dont plan, or do it poorly (Chi et al.
1989 Carey et al. 1989)
But students dont do it! (Chi et al 1989)
70
Research on beliefs about learning
  • Quicklt-------------------------------gt Gradual
  • Intelligence lt------------------------gt
    Intelligence as
    Entity Incremental
  • Beliefs about learning influence effort,
    persistence, learning and performance (Schommer
    1994, Henderson Dweck, 1990)

71
Metacognition can be taught
  • Early research found it was EXTREMELY hard
  • More recent research is a little more optimistic
  • In particular
  • Students can be taught to monitor their
    strategies, with greater learning gains as a
    result (Bielaczyc et al. 1995 Chi et al. 1994
    Palinscar Brown 1984)
  • Students can be taught more productive beliefs
    about learning and the brain (Aronson et al.
    2002)

72
What we owe our students
  • Learning environments that foster
  • metacognitive awareness
  • a lifelong learning disposition

73
Teaching strategies
  • 2 in particular
  • Guided self-assessment (Appendix A)
  • http//www.cmu.edu/teaching/designteach/teach/exam
    wrappers/
  • Exam Wrappers (Appendix F)
  • http//www.cmu.edu/teaching/designteach/teach/exam
    wrappers/
  • Two über-strategies
  • Modeling Your Metacognitive Processes
  • Scaffold Students Metacognitive Processes

74
Discussion/QA
  • What stands out from the 7 principles?
  • What implications do they raise for your
    teaching?
  • What challenges do they present to you?
  • How are they relevant in the face of emergent
    technology, accountability concerns, and changing
    demographics?

75
MICHELE
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