7 Principles for How People Learn

How Learning Works

I was lucky to have the opportunity to work at Northeastern University, where Susan Ambrose was the Vice Provost.  She and four colleagues published How Learning Works: 7 Research-Based Principles for Smart Teaching in 2010, to much critical acclaim.

Ambrose’s Seven 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. Goal-directed practice coupled with targeted feedback enhances quality of students’ learning.

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

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.

Pulling all this together, and applying it to teaching online, it suggests: