Friday, April 1, 2011

Prize giveaway sponsored by Wiley Canada!

It's time for another prize giveaway, sponsored by our friends at Wiley Canada.  We will be giving away a copy of Susan A. Ambrose et al.'s How Learning Works, which was reviewed in the Fall 2010 EDC Resource Review.



To enter, leave a comment with your opinion on the following question:  How important is it to draw students' attention to the learning process and have them reflect on the ways they learn best?

Entries must be received by midnight Pacific time on Friday, April 15.  One entry per person.  Winner will be selected randomly and announced on this blog and on the EDC listserv.  You do not need to be a member of the EDC to enter.  No geographical restrictions apply.

9 comments:

  1. I think having students reflect on how they learn best will help them know themselves better and empower them to seek out information in a format that will help them to "put the pieces together" so that they can place the information in a context that will allow them to recall the information learned in a situation where it is required. In this way they will "learn" the information, rather than just memorizing facts, which is not learning.

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  2. Getting learners to pay attention to the learning process and to reflect on how they learn best, provides them with life-long learning skills that they will be able to apply in each new learning situation they encounter, as well as providing them the knowledge, ability and skills for a more effective learning experience overall.

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  3. I do hope that college, university students should know their learning process and have been reflecting on the best ways to learn. They should know when they need to choose a Faculty, a field, electives, sessions, and instructors. When given the options, I strongly feel that students are choosing the courses, sessions accordingly to their learning preference.

    To me, a more important question is how we can draw their attention to different learning ways and recognize the needs of their fellow students. We also need to help them identify ways to overcome the challenges when they are put in a not-so-preferred situation.

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  4. I think that learning how to learn is the most powerful gift that any student can have.At first learning how you learn can seem to get in the way of the learning - for instance if you ask someone to explain how they walk as they are doing it they are likely to stumble.Students who are encouraged to think about their preferred learning approaches may resent the time away from the subject matter, particularly if they think it 'doesn't count' in the exam. As with any skill though the more you know about it, and how to improve the better you become. I wish I had known more about learning earlier in my career.

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  5. I agree that students' reflection on how they learn is a starting point to help them understand that others may have different was of learning as well as different ways of 'knowing'. If we want this to happen, then I believe the first thing to happen is to teach students language around learning (e,g Bloom's taxonomy) and also teach faculty how to teach reflective thinking and writing. This may occur naturally in some academic areas but wouldn't be touched on at all in others. Having a base of self knowledge could then lead to exploring the diversity of learning and 'knowing' and communication styles in classes. Without such background I think the conversation is much less complex and rich. As one student put it during a faculty development session a few years back "We students are like pregnant women.You don't know what's going on inside and who we will become, so you need to teach us about each other."

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  6. Making students explicitly aware of their role in the process makes them more active partners. It is hard to take responsibility when you don't know what is expected.

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  7. Letting students know that there are different learning styles and that you will attemp to teach in ways that will address as many preferences as possible will decrease resistance to different active learning activities and allow students to embrace them more open minded. I always try to emphasize my teaching philosophies and ask for their feedback.

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  8. I believe that it is particularly important to have students build metacognitive strategies into their learning process. By working with students to have them plan their learning, monitor the effectiveness of the strategies they are using, and adjusting as needed, instructors will be helping them become more successful problem solvers and ultimately better equipped for the variety of learning situations that they are bound to encounter.

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  9. The question made me reflect on what I learned when going for my coaching certification: a. describe the task, b. model the task, c. let the players actively try the task, d. observe, e. discuss and allow for self-reflection, f. re-model if necessary, g. try again and h. players reflect on their practices. (Actually it was a three pronged approach, but I cannot pin it down to three!) Along with this, I ask my players to imagine/picture themselves kicking, passing, dribbling, etc. (Now substitute learner for player.)

    Skills require practice and active involvement, whether academic or athletic. Necessarily this means knowing what works and why it works for oneself as a learner. (It is a good approach for teachers too ;).

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