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October 3, 2011

Learning Styles? Forget it.

There are moments in ones career that just stop you in your tracks. So was it when I read this NPR piece about learning styles.

Here's what Doug Rohrer, a psychologist at the University of South Florida found after reviewing studies of learning styles - there is no real evidence that they matter. Psychologist Dan Willingham at the University of Virginia, goes so far to say that we don't need to tailor instruction to different kinds of learners.

Does that mean you shouldn't work to incorporate engaging visuals in your classroom? Does that mean you shouldn't bother having students break into paired discussions? No, we as teachers know that these techniques keep people's attention and help them process information.

I just find it amazing that there is NO good evidence that supports learning theories. Live and learn. Chalk this up to yet another paradigm shifting under our feet?

January 5, 2009

Interesting teaching technique

I just learned from CLENExchange another teaching technique that sounds like a great one to combine with the jigsaw technique. It's called Pecha Kucha, a 20x20 presentation where students develop 20 slides and each slide gets 20 seconds of presentation time for a total of 6 minutes and 40 seconds.

I could see a variation of this working with a jigsaw exercise where each group of learners is asked to review something (such as an article, database or website) and then is given a certain amount of slides and minutes to teach the rest of the class what they learned. I could see asking a couple students to keep time and using a cow bell or some fun beeper to pull people off the 'stage.'

Give it a try!

June 25, 2007

Teaching Nuggets

The Spring/Summer 2007 issue of Educators' Spotlight Digest (ESD), the
free online publication of S.O.S. for Information Literacy, has just come out and has a great article called "Librarian Challenge: Reaching College Freshmen." Particularly take a look at the interview segment with librarian, Michael Pasqualoni.

Here's a summary snippet taken from the article:

Freshman Teaching Tips
Here are a few excellent tips garnered from Pasqualoni and Galloway:

* Chunk lessons into a beginning, middle and ending
* Use mixed media and approaches to keep interest (e.g., instructor lecture, video clips & student interaction)
* Experiment and try new techniques (e.g., "Radical Syllabus" exercise )
* Ask students "what interests you?"
* Distribute helpful handouts
* Be "Presentation-Proofed" by carrying material in several formats
* Plan a “Library Lock-In� event and create excitement