EDU510 – Week V: The “Hard Parts” – Attention, Memory and Transfer

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This week we discover what the “Hard parts” of learning are.

The “hard parts” are described as the difficult parts of the learning process (Perkins, 2009). The responsibility falls on the educator (instructor) to make sure that the lesson is engaging (captures the student’s attention) and it is informative (and that information is delivered in a way they can remember it). Instructors can anticipate the “hard parts” but understanding what is going to capture student’s attention and help them process information the most effectively. My educational setting is online learning and I believe in a web-based classroom it can be very difficult to do both of those things. Instructors can get through the “hard parts” and keep students attention by engaging students on a level that is both interesting and informative. The biggest “hard part” in online learning is keeping the students engaged in an environment where the teacher and student never meet face to face.

Learning new knowledge (new things), staying attentive and receptive to embracing new things, which then should easily transfer over to memory (regurgitation).

Attention is how we think (mental processes)  and/or process data and material so that we understand it (comprehension). We also have to organize the the information we receive so that we can comprehend what we have attained. Once we understand what we learned, we now practice remembering and applying what we learned in activities or scenarios that we conduct which solidifies the comprehension.

As learners, if we allow our selves to set specific goals which are measurable and achievable, we can move forward and  are likely to learn new material. Most times as learners, we  are afraid to ask for help, ask questions which break down information so that we comprehend it at our level. Once we comprehend it at our level, we can express ourselves and share the material with others. As learners, we need to understand the relevance and how it applies to us as an individual. Once we understand the goals and specifics at our level, we are able to move to a higher level or echelon which encompasses others, organizational goals so that we can see the big picture.

As an instructor teaching adult learners within the human intelligence realm, I have to be able to implement and illustrate the material in manner that is receptive to my adult learners. I have to captivate them not only from the beginning of the lesson, but throughout each facet of the course. This not only keeps my adult learners engaged and wanting to learn more, but it reinforces the relevance of the material being taught. I implement my lessons learned as well as others lessons learned so that we incorporate everyones knowledge to make training and teaching that much more relevant.

As I instruct each lesson plan, there has to be an overall intent of what I want my adult learners to grasp. I must incorporate checks on learning throughout the course to gage my learners so that we as instructors know our learners are picking up what we are putting down. Without organization and rehearsal, we would be a complete failure as instructors. We must prepare ourselves to teach material and apply up to date and relevant information every class. There will always be at least two instructors teaching and we always have additional instructors on stand by to add additional information that may be relevant and up to date. Utilizing other instructors insights, inputs breaks up the monotony when teaching. We have to aware of our learners abilities to learn new material and continually assess the class throughout each facet. We have to incorporate all students and not only focus on those who are receptive of new material, but challenge each student equally so that learning is fare, fun and exciting.

Lastly, we have to be passionate about what we are teaching. We have to be energetic and enthusiastic so that our students can thrive from our energy and feed off of our enthusiasm. If we show the students that we are not motivated or passionate about the material being presented, how can I as the instructor expect my students to be the same when they are learning?

There are several variables (strategies) that can be applied within the classroom so that students are learning. As an instructor I support the below teaching efforts.

Case method:

Discussion:

Active learning:

Cooperative learning:

Integrating technology:

Distance learning:

Reference: http://www.gmu.edu/resources/facstaff/part-time/strategy.html

http://www.cmu.edu/teaching/principles/teaching.html

I wanted to share some information I thought was relevant as we are discussing effective learning principles.

“The “Four Aces of Effective Teaching” (Walls, 1999) summarize the most prevalent recommendations from the teaching-effectiveness research literature. They are the strongest links between what teachers can do and the learning that students achieve. The Four Aces represent a consolidated way of thinking about the “process” of teaching as it influences the “product” (student learning). You may think of them as catalysts for learning. Student learning is better, faster, and/or more long-lasting when teachers are able to play the Four Aces.” (Bulger, S. M., Mohr, D. J., & Walls, R. T. (2002). Journal of Effective Teaching. Retrieved April 04, 2016, from http://www.uncw.edu/cte/et/articles/bulger/).

Reference: http://www.uncw.edu/cte/et/articles/bulger/

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