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Information about our Graduate Certificate in Online Teaching and Learning.
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University of Wisconsin-Stout - Learn to Teach Online: http://bit.do/GoStout
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Design Implications of the testing effect: Online learning: It’s different

Design Implications of the testing effect: Online learning: It’s different | E-Learning and Online Teaching | Scoop.it
By interspersing online lectures with short tests, student mind-wandering decreased by half, note-taking tripled, and overall retention of the material improved, said Daniel Schacter, the William R. Kenan Jr.


“What we hope this research does is show that we can use very strong, experimentally sound techniques to describe what works in online education and what doesn’t,” said Szpunar. “The question, basically, is how do we optimize students’ time when they’re at home, trying to learn from online lectures? How do we help them most efficiently extract the information they need?


“At the very least, what this says is that it’s not enough to break up lectures into smaller segments, or to fill that break with some activity,” he said. “What we really need to do is instill in students the expectation that they will need to express what they’ve learned at some later point. I think it’s going to be a very sobering thought for a lot of people to think that students aren’t paying attention almost half the time, but this is one way we can help them get more out of these online lectures.”

Dennis T OConnor's insight:

The techniques described in this article deal directly with how to miinimize distractions when learning online. Clearly the testing effect can minimize mind wandering.  


However, this insight delt with one of my major concerns, "Another surprising effect of the testing, Szpunar said, was to reduce testing anxiety among students, and to ease their fears that the lecture material would be very challenging."


If short, low stakes, multiple trial testing can lower test anxiety, everyone wins.   do I need to emphasize that short aumtomatic graded tests are something the LMS does very well?  When we get the rare combination of a design that improves student retention, with easy and time savings for the instructor it's time to PAY ATTENTION!

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Lynn Dixon's curator insight, April 16, 2013 10:32 AM

Well put- and the comments by Dennis T OConnor are also well received.  A strategy for getting students focused on the content and checking for understanding while ALSO minimizing test anxiety, is a great strategy!

Kate Bowles's comment, April 18, 2013 8:08 PM
For hospitable pedagogy: how do we anticipate that students react differently to the same content delivered in different ways: what adaptive measures are already in our minds?
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Leveraging Cognitive Psychology to Create Compelling Online Learning Experiences | The Sloan Consortium

Leveraging Cognitive Psychology to Create Compelling Online Learning Experiences | The Sloan Consortium | E-Learning and Online Teaching | Scoop.it
Michelle Miller (Northern Arizona University, USA)


Research findings from cognitive and brain sciences are particularly relevant to improving our teaching, given that these disciplines focus on how we acquire new information and learn to use it in new contexts.


The presenter of this interactive will be drawing on her 20 years of experience as a researcher and teacher in the field of cognitive psychology and cognitive neuroscience, as well as on themes from her book in progress tentatively titled Minds Online: What Cognitive and Brain Sciences Tell Us About Teaching with Technology.


Dennis T OConnor's insight:

Dr. Millers presentation materials are available at this link.  I was very impressed with her findings regarding the testing and time effects established by cognitive psychology and their applicaiton to online learning.  


Recent research from Harvard http://sco.lt/6WzedN supports the design idea of including short quizzes as a way to increase learning of fundamental concepts. This is something that the LMS can do very well!  


~ I'm revising my course designs to take advantage of this insight. 

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