Blimage Challenge: The Rock Arch

Bending

A new blogging challenge has emerged called blimage – a “blog image” challenge: You must use an image sent to you and “incorporate it into your blog, and write a post about learning based on it…Then pass an image of your choice on to someone else so they can do their own #blimage challenge.” Read about the original idea here.

I challenged my colleague Enoch Hale with an image of a hand holding chalk that was about to write on a blank blackboard…and he responded with this wonderful post.  Now I get to try it with the image above that he sent me and others via Twitter.

What a great image!  My wife and I just returned from a week spent on the Carolina coast, so seeing the ocean in the background really resonated with me.  But in the spirit of #blimage, let me concentrate on the rocks in the foreground.

The first obvious point for me is “balance.”  We know from the learning sciences that students (and faculty) are not only intellectual beings, but social and emotional ones as well.  In How Learning Works, Susan Ambrose states that students’ level of development interacts with the social, emotional and intellectual climate of the course to impact learning.  As one who teaches online, I strive to build relationships with my students, to understand better their unique social, emotional, and intellectual drives.  I also work to balance the passion I bring to the course with realistic and practice-based applications that student can take away from the course.

Keeping with principles from Susan Ambrose’s book, the image also suggests to me a knowledge organization.  As faculty, we work with students to help them make connections between topics and see the “big picture”.  Focusing only on the top rock…or the yellow one…misses the conceptual knowledge one can take away from the whole.

Connections also raises the methodology of connectivism as a learning process.  Learning is an active, social process that involves change in knowledge, beliefs and behaviors, done not “to” students…but done by students. The online environment supports a learning-centered approach, providing a vehicle by which interested scholars can exchange and refine ideas via discussions and/or reports. That is the premise upon which my courses are constructed, and it aligns with the evolving digital world.  A constructivist and connectivist approach can be used to guide participants on a journey of discovery, sharing of learning, and building of community. Constructivism suggests that learners create knowledge as they attempt to understand their experiences. Connectivism looks at how individual knowledge is shared in a social environment. Learning, especially learning in a fully online “course” in the digital information age can look very different from learning face-to-face in earlier days. George Siemens suggested that connectivism is relevant to online learning.

The starting point of connectivism is the individual. Personal knowledge is comprised of a network, which feeds into organizations and institutions, which in turn feed back into the network, and then continue to provide learning to individual. This cycle of knowledge development (personal to network to organization) allows learners to remain current in their field through the connections they have formed (Siemens, 2004).

Finally, the image brought to mind Garr Reynold’s book Presentation Zen – as he has similar stacked rocks on his cover.  Garr quotes Leonardo DaVinci:

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.

A lot to pull from one image – but at its core: Balance, Connections, and Simplicity.

Thanks, Enoch, for the challenge.  I’ll have another image shooting your way tomorrow!

{Graphic: Mary Roy}

Direct Instruction and Learning Science

icon-e-learningKristi Bronkey had a nice article in Faculty Focus yesterday entitled “Re-Thinking Direct Instruction in Online Learning.” She noted that while direct instruction had a bad reputation associated with passive learning, it did not have to reflect passivity. She suggested a model framed around the notions of “I Do, We Do, and You Do.”

  • I Do – Direct instruction by faculty using screencasts
  • We Do – Faculty guided student processes with frequent feedback
  • You Do – Students working together in authentic group processes

Kristi noted:

“Direct Instruction should be an ongoing exchange between professor and students. With effort, creativity, and the intentional use of the I Do, We Do, You Do structure, we can present new information in engaging ways, provide guided feedback as students strive to draw meaning from their new learning, and allow students the opportunity to collaborate with colleagues before independently reflecting on their own learning.”

How Learning WorksI was struck by the parallels between Kristi’s article and the research Susan Ambrose and her colleagues published (2010) in How Learning Works: Seven Researched-Based Principles for Smart Teaching.

Kristi noted that for “I Do”, faculty could use short screencasts to help students make connections between the reading assignments and bigger picture aspects of the topic being discussed. She noted that this allowed students to “hear our thought processes.” This aligns nicely with the Knowledge Organization principle:

“How students organize knowledge influences how they learn and apply what they know.”

Students do not have the rich knowledge structure and associated connections of facts that faculty experts draw on when conceptualizing a topic. Articulating these connections can aid student learning.

Faculty screencasts can also help guide the students in both procedural knowledge and the knowledge of how to employ them – steps towards mastery. Developing a concise screencast can help faculty push past their own “expert blind spot” by clearly identifying skills needed and steps for applying these skills.  This aligns with another principle noted by Ambrose:

“To develop mastery, students must acquire component skills, practice integrating them, and know when to apply them.”

Facts can be dry…but rarely come across as dry when a passionate expert discusses them. Screencasts can provide avenues in which this passion of the faculty becomes evident, and that links to student motivation for learning. As Ambrose noted:

“Students’ motivation determines, directs, and sustains what they do to learn.”

Two more principles can surface in the We Do area of learning processes. Students come to our courses with a wealth of knowledge already, and helping students surface that prior knowledge influences how they filter and process what they are learning. If they lack sufficient prior knowledge, learning can be negatively impacted. The facilitative nature of We Do can help engage prior knowledge.

“Students’ prior knowledge can help or hinder learning.”

Kristi’s article also discusses the use of frequent feedback. Ambrose noted that learning is best fostered when students engage in practice that is directly linked to learning outcomes, set at an appropriate level of challenge, and is linked to specific and explicit feedback.  As Kristi noted, feedback does not simply have to summative – it can be used formatively during learning processes to guide students to higher levels of achievement.

Goal-directed practice coupled with targeted feedback enhances the quality of students’ learning.”

In the final section of Kristi’s post, she discusses the independent nature of You Do in online learning, but advocates for a mix of group activities and independent metacognitive reflection.  Tackling the potential for isolation addresses another principle noted by Ambrose:

“Students’ current level of development interacts with the social, emotional, and intellectual climate of the course to impact learning.”

The reflection on their own contribution to the progress of learning also aligns with the final principle noted by Ambrose:

“To become self-directed learners, students must learn to monitor and adjust their approaches to learning.”

learning_graphicI like Kristi’s call to action for online professors.  We would not want passivity in our students, and we should not allow our delivery to be passive.  Incorporating the concepts of I Do / We Do / You Do as a mindful approach to course design can not only help keep students engaged, but also better incorporate aspects of learning science that we know from research lead to more effective learning.

{Graphics: EuroMedia, Jossey-Bass, John Hopkins University}

My Evolving Top Tools

Jane Hart has issued her call for voting for the top tools we as professionals use for learning. I have voted in the past, as I noted in 2014 (here) and 2o12 (here), and I have always enjoyed the resulting Top One Hundred Tools list that Jane curates from the votes.  Her list from last year is embedded below:

My list for this year is similar to previous years…but I found my order was different:

2015tools3

As some may have noticed, I have been blogging less as I concentrated on settling into my new job.  However, I feel the urge to reconnect, so hope to do more blogging in the future.  I continue to use the distributed network of Twitter, LinkedIn, Feedly feeds, and to a lesser degree, Facebook, as my go to sources for my personal learning network.

A related post from LinkedIn announced that they have passed one million “publishers”.  They note:

Our over 1 million unique publishers publish more than 130,000 posts a week on LinkedIn. About 45% of readers are in the upper ranks of their industries: managers, VPs, CEOs, etc. The top content-demanding industries are tech, financial services and higher education. The average post now reaches professionals in 21 industries and 9 countries.

What was not mentioned … but is no small leap to assume … is that many of these posts were made on mobile devices.  I had lunch today with colleagues from Creighton University, and they described their use of smartphones in Europe to plan on the fly and connect with colleagues worldwide.  Then one thought back 30 years ago and wondered how we got along.

A great question!  Thirty years ago, none of the tools listed above (or indeed any of the Top 100) even existed.  As the web evolved, and our tools evolved, so too did our practices.

Over the past five years, I have taught a doctoral course on technology and leadership for Creighton University in their Ed.D program.  Originally, the “textbook” was Tom Friedman’s The World is Flat.  That evolved two years later to Clay Shirky’s Here Comes Everybody, and then in the last year to David Weinberger’s Too Big To Know.  It is not that Friedman or Shirky (or now Weinberger) had lost relevance, but the web was evolving at an increasingly rapid rate.

It makes you wonder what is coming in the next thirty years…in terms of tools and in terms of practice!

Digital Leadership

westermanbookI have read about half of a recent book from George Westerman, Didier Bonnet, and Andrew McAfeeLeading Digital: Turning Technology into Business Transformation (2014).  Their premise is that the innovations of the past decade have been nothing short of astonishing – yet they are just the warm up acts for what is to come.  They suggest that those that master the digital playing field will be able to combine big data, machine learning, and visualizations such that their organizations will make smarter decisions, see the future more clearly, drive out inefficiencies, and better understand their customers.

This book was published by Harvard Business Review Press…and is certainly geared towards business professionals.  They note that the elements of the digital world – software, hardware, networks, and data – are “pervading the business world, and they’re doing so quickly, broadly, and deeply” (p. 5).  The first half of the book focuses on two driving capabilities – digital capability (customer engagement, operational processes, and business models) and leadership capability (vision, governance, and infrastructure).

The authors matrix these two capabilities to suggest four levels of digital mastery:

  • Beginners
  • Fashionistas
  • Conservatives
  • Digital Masters

Plotting these by industry gives the following graphic (p. 22):

DigMastery

Noteworthy (to me) is the absence of higher education.  Yet, as I considered this, it struck me that it is more difficult to pin down any university (or college or department within universities).  There are programs and faculty just beginning the digital journey.  There are programs and departments that jump on bandwagons but do not have a compelling vision for where they are going.  There are definitely conservative programs that are carefully considering their digital future.  And there are higher education programs that seem to have successfully made the digital transformation, and there are numerous centers for teaching nationwide that focus on facilitating this digital transformation.

My colleague Jeff Nugent over the past few years has suggested three “truths”:

  • We live in a networked world where the vast storehouse of human knowledge is literally accessible at our fingertips.
  • There are unprecedented opportunities to create, share and interact on the web.
  • We are witnessing the increased digitization of the university.

If one agrees that these are true, one would naturally cultivate both the digital capability and leadership capability necessary to succeed in this digital world.  Yet, the lack of urgency in developing these capabilities across much of higher education seems to suggest that some of our colleagues do not hold these as truths.

It brings to mind research conducted by Carol Dweck and others that has identified two distinct ways in which individuals view intelligence and learning.  Individuals with a fixed mindset believe that their intelligence is simply an inborn trait—they have a certain amount, and that’s that.  In contrast, individuals with a growth mindset believe that they can develop their intelligence over time.  One wonders if faculty – many of who achieved success in a pre-digital era – are operating from a fixed mindset when it comes to digital literacy?

It raises the question of whether one can focus on digital mastery without first tackling the issue of mindset?

The second half of the book provides strategies for framing the digital challenges, investing in actionable ways, mobilizing and motivating workforces, and sustaining the transition.  This book has me thinking … which is good.  I would be interested in your thoughts around the digitization of the university – faculty and students – and the mindset associated with that transformation.

A Look Back Six Years

Monday, Lindsey Sudbury, a member of Academic Technology Services here at Northeastern University, and I did a 90-minute interactive presentation to our English department at their End of Term Retreat.  It was a 30,000 f00t fly-over of a variety of digital tools that might add engagement in writing classes, including social media tools.  Our slides are below:

.
I was struck by how things had (and had not) changed in the past six years.  In 2009, I did a similar workshop at the Innovations Conference.  My slides then:

In those six years, Diigo has replaced Delicious, and Feedly has replaced Google Reader.  But the concept remains on target.

One other change … more faculty are receptive to the idea!

Wirearchy as Leadership Concept

Over the last several years, I have taught Technology and Leadership in Creighton University‘s interdisciplinary doctorate program. This program brings students with backgrounds in business, education, healthcare and non-profits together to explore issues in an interdisciplinary way. My premise in designing the course is that leaders today operate in an unprecedented environment. In the past, information was related to power – those with information had the power, and the further up the organization hierarchy one was, the more information (and power) one had. In the past decade – due almost entirely due to the rapid global adoption of the internet, organizational power dymanics have shifted to an environment in which every employee (student, patient, client) has access through web devices to all the knowledge of the world. For background, I had my students explore multiple works, including Tom Friedman‘s The World is Flat, Clay Shirky’s Here Comes Everybody, David Weinberger‘s Too Big to Know, Harold Jarche‘s Personal Knowledge Management blog, and Jon Husband‘s Wirearchy blog, among others. Husband’s concept of a wirearchy was particularly relevant.

Husband defined “wirearchy” as a:

“dynamic flow of power and authority, based on information, trust, credibility, and a focus on results, enabled by interconnected technology and people.”

Hugh MacLeod illustrated the basic concept of wirearchy as follows:

Wirearchy03

Interestingly (on several levels), one of my students recently questioned the efficacy of the wirearchy model, given that it does not appear in Wikipedia!

(…new tag line – if it is not in Wikipedia. it must not be true…)

Given that the concept continues to resonate with me … and given the fact that I have admonished my students and colleagues for years that if you find a fault in Wikipedia – FIX IT! … I worked with Jon Husband to add a draft entry to Wikipedia. Please “peer-review” my initial draft … and make it better.

{Graphic: GapingVoid}

 

 

Minds Online – A Wrap

minds_online2Over the past two weeks, I have been reviewing Michelle Miller‘s new book Minds Online: Teaching Effectively with Technology.  This post looks at the last two chapters, on motivation and on putting it all together.

Michelle noted that motivational challenges are one of the main differences between online and on campus teaching.  “Motivation,” as Michelle noted, comes for the same Latin root as the word “to move” – mechanisms that put you in motion.  The study of motivation is closely aligned with the study of emotion.  What we (and our students) are motivated to do … or not do … flow from what we feel and what we believe.  She noted that all of us in education (and I would say leadership as well) are professional motivators.

Many of us are pretty good as motivating people when we gather together.  The challenge is inspiring people in a virtual environment.

Michelle discussed the framework of self-determination theory, contrasting intrinsic and extrinsic motivations.  This suggests that people are motivated by the need for three basic things:

  • Competence,
  • Relatedness, and
  • Autonomy

When students are cut off from any of these three, motivation suffers.

Michelle noted multiple studies that have found that academic self-efficacy is a good predictor of academic success.  Providing videos of “average” students who succeeded boosted self-efficacy, as did presenting grades in informational rather than controlling ways.  Wording course materials in ways that suggest autonomy, such as “you might…” or “we suggest…”, as well as tying course materials to student long-term goals, increase motivation.

fixed2An interesting section discussed motivation issues associated with a “fixed” mindset versus a “growth” mindset .  If students have a fixed mindset, they carry a belief that intelligence is basically unchangeable, whereas those with a growth mindset believe that intelligence is not set in stone.  Online instructors can sometimes unwittingly foster a mindset by the feedback they provide.  Positive comments about intelligence, such as “you are smart” or “you are a math whiz!” actually feed a fixed mindset.  Michelle suggests that praise should be focused on the process: working hard, choosing good strategies, etc.

Motivation is a high stakes endeavor in online teaching, so Michelle suggested that during the first week, we steer the focus towards the “why” of a course and away from the “what” – why study this topic, why this topic might change you as a student, why this topic is important to your future … rather than what is required, what you have to complete, what the grading policies are.  The “what’s” are important and need to be covered … but they need to be covered after the “why’s” have been covered … and better yet, after the students have engaged with the whys.

Michelle closed the motivation chapter with four strategies she has used:

  • Early and Often Assessments
  • Bridging, Scaffolding, and Hooks
  • Rubrics
  • Peer TA’s

In the final chapter, Michelle provides tips for “putting it together” in ways that lead to a “cognitively optimized” online course.  Her goal is to design “active management of motivation” into the course design.  She has a series of key questions to guide this process.  For each question, she provided the cognitive principles behind the question as well as tools and techniques that address the question.

put-it-together

1.  Learning Objectives – What We Want Students To Know

  • How will the course ensure that students gain the right kind of thinking skills?
  • How will the course ensure that students transfer what they have learned?
  • Are there any skills that students need to be able to carry out automatically if they are to succeed in the discipline?

2.  Learning Activities – How We Want Students to Spend Their Study Time

  • How will you keep your students focused as they do the learning activity?
  • How will you minimize extraneous cognitive load while students are doing the activity?
  • How will learning activities maximize spaced study?
  • How will learning activities use emotions to promote learning?
  • How will learning activities promote deep processing?
  • How will you build on existing knowledge as you introduce new concepts?

3.  Assessments – How Student Learning Will Be Measured

  • How will assessments take advantage of the testing effect?
  • How will assessments function to motivate, not demotivate students?

4.  Peer-To-Peer Interaction – How Students Will Learn From One Another

  • How will you maximize the amount and quality of online discussion?
  • How will the online peer interactions reinforce thinking skills associated with the course learning objectives?

5.  Grades and Other Incentives – How to Get Students Moving in the Right Direction

  • How will you structure the class to discourage procastination?
  • How will you balance grades with other incentives?

Michelle closed this chapter with a detailed sample syllabus for her Introduction to Psychology course, with sidebars providing links to specific sections covered earlier in the book.

I found this to be a very readable and useful book.  There are many aspects that could be implemented immediately into one’s online teaching.  For me, it connected some dots between teaching practices that I knew were effective and the learning science behind why these practices work.

I highly recommend adding his book to your personal library!

{Graphics: Harvard Press, Live and Learn, Invisible Bread}

 

Thinking Better (and Visually)

Cover image of MINDS ONLINEI am continuing to explore Michelle Miller‘s new book Minds Online: Teaching Effectively with Technology.  This post looks at her examination of the third broad area of cognition – Thinking – as well as the effective use of multimedia in online courses.

Michelle defined “thinking” as:

“…using logic to reason based on the available information, analyzing a problem and developing solutions that are both feasible and effective, and applying creativity in order to come up with new and nonobvious approaches.”

She noted that effective thinking is something that sets experts apart from novices…and it is a skill that can be built with practice.  Cognitive scientists have broken thinking down into the discrete areas of formal reasoning, decision making, and problem solving.  Formal reasoning is hard … and our brains tend to take shortcuts when faced with reasoning problems.  Her take-home lesson for online (as well as traditional) learning is that:

“Nearly everyone – A-student or not, math whiz or not – experiences occasional failures of reasoning, oftentimes stemming from an aversion to quantitative reasoning but also because fully abstract logic eludes most of us.  And people are particularly prone to being sidetracked by memorable details, substituting those for more systematic, mathematical thinking.”

One area that I found fascinating is the research on creativity.  Michelle noted that students who are given explicit step-by-step instructions tend to produce less creative work products compared to those who were given less-structured directions.  In many of my online classes, I have used fairly open-ended question prompts – which sometimes leads students to suggest that “I am not teaching them.”  Yet, intuitively, I have seen students provide very creative responses when I do not box them in with my own expectations.

Michelle noted that experts solve problems better – not because they are smarter but because they can draw on a richer base of stored and connected knowledge.  She suggested that for online teachers, providing practice opportunities is important, but equally important is providing scaffolding in the form of knowledge organizations and conceptual interrelationships.  This can help move students from the novice stage to a more expert-like stage of reasoning.

Michelle suggested that in designing online learning opportunities, one integrate metacognitive activities with learning activities.  These can include:

  • Emphasizing how knowledge is organized,
  • Going for depth rather than breadth,
  • Emphasizing underlying principles and conceptual structure,
  • Providing practice in recognizing the kinds of critical-thinking problems that are typical in your field,
  • Providing frequent and low-stakes formative quizzing,
  • Telling students why wrong answers are wrong, and
  • Having students reflect on the process of learning as well as what they are learning.

Michelle suggested the following strategies for online teaching and learning:

  • Assign students to practice the thinking skills you want,
  • Set up varied, realistic scenarios for reasoning, such as Problem-Based Learning or case studies
  • Use Analogies as Teaching Tools
  • Use discussion to build thinking skills

I like this last strategy.  My online courses heavily use discourse for instruction, and “discussions” – whether in discussion boards, wiki discussions, or blog posts (my favorite) – allow students to construct arguments, debate issues, analyze underlying aspects of problems, and reflect on their own learning.  This of course suggests that we as online teachers put some “thinking” into the questions we use as prompts in our courses.

Multimedia image by GeoffreyChapter 7 dealt with incorporating multimedia effectively into online learning.  Multimedia – a mix of text, audio, images, video, and animations – can engage students … but it can also distract students and impede the learning process.  Each modality of media affects learning in its own particular way.

Michelle discusses the time honored learning styles of VAK (Visual, Auditory, and Kinesthetic), noting that “VAK may go down as one of the greatest psychological myths of all time.”  The cognitive research suggests that we all have ALL styles and that there really is not one that dominates.  She noted that people tend to not know what their “true” style is and have poor skills as self-assessing.  Assuming one style can lead students to disengage if presented with an alternative style, negatively impact learning.

That said, the “multimedia principle” holds that adding pictures to text produces enhanced learning … but it is not that simple.  Images can be seductive, decorative, or instructive.  Seductive images are visually engaging but unrelated to the material.  Decorative images may not be as engaging, but again are unrelated to the learning.  Images can help with learning, but they need to provide a substantive connection to the learning.

Michelle also discusses accessibility issues, providing useful tips for making online material more accessible.  Something I had never thought through before (and routinely am guilty of) is to avoid using color to convey meaning in text, as colorblind students might not pick up on the visual cues.

The take away for online teaching is that pictures, audio and video can enhance learning, but the multimedia needs to align with the learning, not (1) overload or (2) distract.  Thinking inclusively, one should augment any multimedia with alternative options.

One post to go … the final two chapters are on motivating online students and “putting it all together”.

{Graphics: Harvard Press, Geoffrey}

 

 

 

Applying Memory Research to Online Teaching

minds_online2The last two posts have dealt with Michelle Miller’s new book Minds Online: Teaching Effectively with Technology.  This post continues with an examination of Chapter 5 on Memory.

Michelle starts this chapter by noting that “…memory is central to the cognitive side of teaching and learning.”  This brought to mind the review my colleagues and I did a year ago of Randy Garrison’s 2011 Second Edition of E-Learning in the Twenty-First Century, as noted in my post “Cogitating on Cognitive Learning.”

In that earlier post, I discussed a 2009 article by Karen Swan, Randy Garrison, and Jennifer Richardson – “A Constructivist Approach to Online Learning: The Community of Inquiry Framework.”  In this article, Swan and team lay out a table with the three presences, categories within each, and indicators.

CoI Categories

CoI categories and indicators; (Garrison & Anderson, 2003) – from Swan et al (2009)

Swan noted that much of the literature to date had focused on the role played by each presence rather than a holistic look at the interplay of all three together.  She noted that not only does the influences shift between them, but they also shift over time within a course and beyond a course.  The “learning” might kick in two to three courses later as continued integration and resolution occur.

This earlier discussion aligns with Michelle’s chapter on memory … and by “memory.” she means more than memorization, though memorization plays a part.

“It’s fashionable among educators to disparage “mere memorization” as opposed to the sophisticated reasoning skills we hope to foster, but this is a false dichotomy.  Focusing on memory doesn’t need to detract from higher-order thought processes.  You can’t make solid arguments, invent new applications, or apply critical thinking without a foundation of information in memory.”

Michelle’s key point is that technology opens up new opportunities for learning that never existed in face-to-face classrooms.  Technology allows one to build activities that capitalize on multiple interrelated sensory cues (video, audio, image, text, query, etc.), deeper-level processing, metacognition, and opportunities to engage the emotions.  Rather than simply providing content for passive intake, online classes afford the opportunity for students to understand why they need to learn something, along with the content to learn.

In applying memory research, Michelle discusses knowledge organization – a key difference between experts and novices.  Experts see patterns and how concepts are linked, including how they are linked to prior knowledge.  Michelle also ties in research on testing effects and spacing effects.  Testing as a tool for learning (as opposed to summative assessment) is not intuitive to students, so again, they need to understand why frequent testing is beneficial.  Spacing the activities and assessments helps build the neural networks for long-term retention…and mitigates against cramming.

Enoch Hale has been journaling his teaching in his Fall UNIV 200 course – and provides some great examples of applied memory research.  Through the vehicle of video games, he has his students writing about concepts that are relevant to them, and he routinely has them engage in metacognitive activities to think about their thinking.  As he noted in his latest post:

As I reflect on this class and my work, I still cannot escape what has become a mantra of mine: “There is an extent to which thought not applied is useless.” — for better or worse. If we can’t see it, we can’t evaluate it, and we can’t avoid, correct or use it deeply. I started blogging by challenging myself to a 30 Question Challenge. My organizing idea and goal was to pose 30 totally out of the box questions that I would blog about. It was a game that had meaning for me.

  • It was relevant to my context as a teacher and a faculty development coach.

  • It was challenging, but I could figure out how to have emerging success.

  • It forced me to identify and question my assumptions.

  • It forced me to examine things from different lenses and perspectives.

  • I called upon background knowledge and schemas to make connections.

  • I had to reframe my misunderstandings, knowledge inaccuracies and expectations.

  • I had to take action and produce something.

  • I had to check my thinking; assess it for quality.

  • I had to reach out to others (resource identification and use).

  • I wanted to contribute to others involved.

  • I had broader goals beyond myself.

  • I failed, regrouped and tried again writing multiple drafts at times.

  • I made a commitment to learn, explore, fail, succeed, and share.

Check out the work Enoch is doing – very cool!

How Learning WorksMichelle suggested five strategies for designing online learning experiences:

  • Include frequent tests and test-like activities
  • Structure for spaced study
  • Involve emotions (carefully)
  • Steer students into deeper learning
  • Base new knowledge on old knowledge

These five strategies align with Susan Ambrose’s How Learning Works principles of Prior Knowledge, Knowledge Organization, Motivation, Goal-Directed Practice and Feedback, and Development of Course Climate.

Lots of good examples in this chapter!  The next chapter is on “thinking” … looking forward to it!