memory matters, even for those of us teaching the most complex cognitive skills we can imagine. Given its importance to our work in higher education, I sought help from Miller, first of all, in thinking about how her research might apply to the design and presentation of college courses.
"The mind isn't a sponge that absorbs whatever disjointed information we happen to pick up through our senses," she said. "Rather, we acquire information from the environment that we (a) understand, and (b) care about. It follows that when we design our courses, we should start by asking ourselves how we will capture and direct students' attention, and then plan how we will frame the information in a meaningful, interpretable way. This is different from the traditional approach of starting with the material to be covered and how we plan to spread it out over the course of the semester."