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Archive for the ‘Adult Learning Principles’ Category

Talk to the Elephant

Tuesday, January 10th, 2012

Jonathan Haidt (pronounced ‘height’) is a Professor in the Social Psychology area of the Department of Psychology at the University of Virginia []. He studies morality and emotion, and how the two ideas vary across cultures. In his book The Happiness Hypothesis, Haidt describes two parts of the brain. One part is rational and in charge, which he refers to as the rider, and the other part, the impulsive part, he refers to as the elephant. Dr. Haidt provides a free chapter from his book the Happiness Hypothesis where he talks about the parts of the brain in more detail []

Enter Julie Dirksen []. Julie holds a master’s degree in Instructional Systems Technology. In a recent post to the PeachPit blog (PeachPit Press is a publisher), Julie referred to Haidt’s ideas and suggested that we attribute too much power to the rider, in terms of how well the rider can control the elephant. Dirksen goes on to  apply Dr. Haidt’s views of the rider, the elephant and the human brain and came up with Nine Ways to Get and Keep Your Audience’s Attention. Julie writes about “talking to the elephant”.  Visit this URL to read Julie’s insightful and challenging suggestions for creating an engaging presentation [].

For more interesting talk about the brain, watch this TED Talk:

30 Ways to Motivate Adult Learners

Tuesday, December 20th, 2011

Connie Malamed, an eLearning, information and visual designer writes a blog called the eLearning Coach. I found an old post titled Get Your Audience Pumped: 30 Ways to Motivate Adult Learners. You can read the entire post at: 

Flipping the Classroom Part Deux

Monday, December 12th, 2011

Back in September I wrote a blog post titled Mobile Learning and the Inverted Classroom. The basic concept behind the inverted-classroom model is that students watch lectures at home (via video) and do exercises in class the next day, with the teacher present, so that questions can be answered and problems solved on the spot. The goal is to increase student interaction with the material while they are with the teacher, and as one educator put it, ‘shift the cognitive load’, the explaining part of teaching, to the homework portion of teaching, thereby freeing up the teacher to tend to the individual needs of students.

Some say the flipped model is flawed because of the digital divide; however I’m not sure that applies when we’re talking about training the trainers in an academic setting. You will often see the flipped classroom referenced in the context of K-12 education, particularly in math. One of the links below talks about the flipped webinar specifically.

Below you’ll find links to blog posts written by educators about their experiences with flipping. Many of the posts remind us that flipping is a tool, not a panacea.

The Flipped (or Social) Webinar

How the flipped Classroom Is Radically Transforming Learning

The Flipped Class is Here to Stay

The Flipped Class: Shedding light on the confusion, critique, and hype

Why YouTube Will Never Replace Teachers

The Flipped Class Manifesto

The Flipped Class: Myths vs. Reality

The Flipped Class Network

Wrap Your Content in a Story

Thursday, November 10th, 2011

A recent post on Connie Malamed’s eLearning Coach Blog [] included an interview with Nancy Duarte, an author and graphic designer who focuses on presentations.

Nancy talked about oral tradition as an ancient art, but goes on to say it is an effective way to transfer knowledge to listeners during a presentation. Here is a short excerpt from the blog post that describes how to develop your story:

She wrote, “As a story framework, the structure should have a clear beginning, middle, and end. There needs to be two clear turning points: first when it transitions from beginning to middle and then from middle to end.

We call the first turning point a Call to Adventure, because you’re asking your audience to suspend their current position and join you on a journey toward your position. The second turning point is a Call to Action which should state what’s expected of the audience. The middle should structurally move back and forth between what is and what could be. This helps the audience see the transformation you’re asking them to take on—whether it’s a new belief or a new behavior.”

Read the entire interview at:

Learner Engagement Soars! Read All About It!

Wednesday, October 12th, 2011

I can hear myself say it…Any questions?

From Elliott Masie’s Learning Trends blog: 9 seconds – The number of seconds between the time an instructor asks a question and the next sound that they make! Unfortunately, most teachers ask, “Any questions?” and, in less than 3 seconds, start to speak again.” It takes a learner many seconds to recognize that you have stopped teaching and asked for a question, review what you said, evaluate what they would like to ask, formulate the question, raise their hand and then ask it! Not possible in 3 seconds!! Masie suggests to extend your wait time to at least 9 seconds in order to give learners a chance to formulate a question and respond.

Storytelling as a Teaching and Learning Tool

Tuesday, October 11th, 2011

Have you taught a class and had someone ask, why is this important to me? Stories are a means of engaging students, and can create a memorable way to process new information. The following link will take you to a posting by Connie Malamed, an eLearning, information and visual designer, with a Masters Degree in Instructional Design & Technology. Connie has posted 10 reasons why stories are important for learning.

Click here to read the posting

Geek Speak

Wednesday, September 28th, 2011

This isn’t a new question. Should I use jargon in my presentations, classes, etc.? Even when we believe that we know our audience, I think that this short, humourous video answers the question once and for all.

Mobile Learning and the Inverted Classroom

Wednesday, September 7th, 2011

I recently attended the 2011 Summer Institute on Distance Learning and Instructional Technology (SIDLIT); a yearly event at Johnson County Community College (JCCC) in Overland Park, KS []. Below are some notes from a session presented by Tracy Newman, Educational Technology Analyst at JCCC, on inverting the classroom to improve synthesis of new information by students.

Problem: Accessibility of Help

Students need help with assimilation of new information before they do homework; however, teachers are busy delivering the lecture during class time.

Solution: New approaches to Transmission

• Deliver new content via a short video tutorial or a podcast prior to class. Students arrive at class and are ready to apply what they learned.
• The video lecture is the homework; lecture time is now freed up to review the homework, answer questions.
• Provide students with a study or notes guide to complete while watching the video or podcast.
• Provide harder examples in the classroom allowing knowledge to build.
• Quiz at the beginning of class on material from the homework.
• Students as teachers: students reteach the material from homework to a small group.

Mentioned in the session and available on SlideShare: Inverting the Classroom, Improving Student Learning.

“Instead of teaching by telling, I am teaching by questioning.” – Eric Mazur. Science. 323, 50-51. 2009.

-Rebecca Brown