Tag Archives: understanding

"Math lecture at TKK" by Tungsten - photo taken by Tungsten. Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Math_lecture_at_TKK.JPG#mediaviewer/File:Math_lecture_at_TKK.JPG

How we learn – A comparison of theories

For the last couple of years I’ve been researching how to improve my own department’s training offer to get more result and end-performance out of our participants. In this quest for learning on learning I’ve come across a multitude of ideas and theories that sometimes contradict each other but mostly actually agree with one another. I interpret this as serendipity, i.e. that they look alike since they’re close to reality, and have now done a comparison of four of the ones with the best end-results:

  • Holistic Learning – Making sure everything you want to learn is connected, with an emphasis on creating mental models
  • The Circle model – A way of increasing reading comprehension by writing, with an emphasis on learning from each other
  • Peer Instruction – Utilizing your peers in class to increase the assimilation of new knowledge, with an emphasis on making sense of instead of transferring information as a focus in class and on lectures
  • Story Centered Curriculum – Building courses as realistic stories with all assignments and tasks building upon the previous ones, with an emphasis in letting the students do the reading and fact finding with teachers set only as facilitators.

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Eric Mazur, Abridged “Confessions of a Converted Lecturer”

If you haven’t watched the above video you’re in for a treat. An earth shaking one at that. Eric Mazur came to the conclusion that his lecturing didn’t increase the understanding of his students and thus removed lecturing and in-front-of-class-problem-solving. He transformed his classes using Peer Instruction which utilizes the class mates to help each other understand the subject. Continue reading

Learning by PowerPoint?

Think about the last time you really learned something and specifically, how did you learn it? Was it via PowerPoint? No? Maybe you Googled it, read about it in a book/online or asked someone and got a good explanation? Maybe you even did the dance of trial/fail until you trial/succeeded?

If you don’t learn via PowerPoint – why do you think we often choose PowerPoint as our number one instrument to teach? Even though this question was rhetorical there actually is an answer:

Because we want to make everything clear, concise and easy to understand.

Example of a bad PowerPoint slide

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