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How to Create a Perfectly Difficult CSD Course Implementing "desirable difficulties" in an online course to increase acquisition of foundational knowledge.

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Presentation on theme: "How to Create a Perfectly Difficult CSD Course Implementing "desirable difficulties" in an online course to increase acquisition of foundational knowledge."— Presentation transcript:

1 How to Create a Perfectly Difficult CSD Course Implementing "desirable difficulties" in an online course to increase acquisition of foundational knowledge Ashley M. Frazier and Celia R. Hooper University of North Carolina Greensboro

2 presentation objectives Upon completion of this session, learners should be able to 1. Identify four strategies shown to be effective in long-term learning of new information 2. Compare teaching methods which capitalize on these research-based strategies to other common strategies which might be less effective 3. Apply strategy knowledge to existing classroom teaching methods 4. Integrate "desirable difficulties" into class activity planning

3 agenda Talk about 4 principles Tell you about my class Show you how course plan changed in response to the 4 principles Talk about whether it worked Discuss how desirable difficulties might work in other classrooms

4 where Im coming from traditional techie hard ass bleeding heart

5 desirable difficulties (Bjork, 2011) Vary the conditions of learning Interleave instruction Space study sessions Use tests as study events

6 The basic problem learners confront is that we can easily be misled as to whether we are learning effectively and have or have not achieved a level of learning and comprehension that will support our subsequent access to information or skills we are trying to learn. We can be misled by our subjective impressions. Rereading a chapter a second time, for example, can provide a sense of familiarity or perceptual fluency that we interpret as understanding or comprehension, but may actually be a product of low-level perceptual priming. Similarly, information coming readily to mind can be interpreted as evidence of learning, but could instead be a product of cues that are present in the study situation, but that are unlikely to be present at a later time. We can also be misled by our current performance. Conditions of learning that make performance improve rapidly often fail to support long-term retention and transfer, whereas conditions that create challenges and slow the rate of apparent learning often optimize long-term retention and transfer. Bjork & Bjork- Making Things Hard on Yourself, But in a Good Way: Creating Desirable Difficulties to Enhance Learning

7 the upshot Learning may happen over time with no apparent change in performance Performance improvement can occur with no significant learning People are not good at predicting or recognizing learning when it is happening

8 FOUR DESIRABLE DIFFICULTIES

9 varied learning conditions the classic advice to find a quiet place and always study there is not the best way to learn learning becomes contextualized to that condition varying conditions of practice enhances learning variation during learning supports better retrieval in novel test conditions

10 interleave instruction blocked practice appears optimal for learning, but interleaved practice results in superior long- term retention and transfer of skills may force learners to reload memories interleaving even enhances inductive learning forgetting (losing retrieval strength) creates the opportunity for increasing the storage strength of to-be-learned information or skills

11 space study massing practice supports short-term performance spacing practice supports long-term retention the most intuitive of the 4 principles

12 testing as teaching tests do much more than measure learning; they also enhance learning the deeper, more difficult, and more complex retrieval is, the more powerful that retrieval will be delayed tests constitute better practice for later recall because they exercise more of the processes needed to succeed on a later test, BUT for an item to profit from being tested, the learner must be able to successfully retrieve that item from memory Expanding schedule of tests benefit from the positive effects of delayed tests while not being harmed by recall failures

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14 INCORPORATING DESIRABLE DIFFICULTY INTO CLASS

15 csd 250 Intro/survey course Online class Mostly year 1 & 2 About 50 students Cover speech, language, hearing at introductory level Changed class to incorporate 4 principles between Fall 2010 and Fall 2011

16 my assumptions purpose of intro course is learning models, terminology, develop knowledge framework share passion for the discipline to get students interested help students become better learners & successful managers of their higher education experience

17 vary the conditions of learning rather than keeping them constant and predictable

18 varied learning conditions Fall 2010 Discussion board posts – Post news items – Answer weekly question about reading/material Informational blog – Final project; create blog on topic of choice Fall 2011 Weekly points – Choice based assignments Big Project – Choice of topic – Choice of product – Guided expectations

19 varied learning conditions Fall 2012 – How Im doing it now Weekly points – Choice based assignments – Collaborative creation of materials: Quizlet, Wiki, Google docs Big Project – Choice of topic – Choice of product – Guided expectations – Peer Assessment incentivize variety

20 Weekly Points Students chose assignments from a menu to earn points each week I tried to offer at least 1 elaborative, 1 creative/experiential, 1 synthesis, and 1 analysis option each week, and students typically chose 2-3 to do Example: 5 points – Information to Share from Textbook Ch. 3 Create a single page graphic organizer of key concepts/information from Chapter 3 – think of it as a cheat sheet for someone who didnt read this week but needs to pass the quiz 5 points - Create your own picture code Make a one-page picture code that you could use to get through your school day if you weren't able to talk or write. Use it for one full day, and write 1-2 pages about this experience. 10 points - Act It Out Make a YouTube video demonstrating each of the "Gestures associated with the Body" on p. 7 in your textbook, along with your verbal explanation of what you think at least ten of them might mean. Post your link.

21 Interleave instruction on separate topics, rather than grouping instruction by topic. Thats called blocking. Its bad.

22 This didnt change – instruction was interleaved for both groups Fortunately it is easy to construct coursework this way in CSD… Communication SpeechLanguageHearing Lifespan ChildAdult Professional Issues Culture & Diversity EthicsCareers

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24 spaced study Fall 2010 One midterm exam One final exam Fall 2011 Comprehensive quizzes Distribute study guide 2-3 weeks before exams Guided study session One midterm exam One final exam

25 spaced study Fall 2012 – How Im doing it now Comprehensive quizzes Distribute study guide 2-3 weeks before exams Collaborative creation of study wiki with feedback Guided study session One midterm exam One final exam incentivize early

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28 Use tests as study events, rather than presentations. retrieval practice works.

29 testing as teaching Fall 2010 One midterm exam One final exam Fall 2011 One quiz each week Every 3-4 weeks, comprehensive quiz Quizlet sets One midterm exam One final exam Quizzes were untimed and could be repeated, worth some points but not a lot. Quiz questions were low in identification, high on evaluation and analysis; quizlet sets focused on identification

30 testing as teaching Fall 2012 – How Im doing it now Set of chapter quizzes each week – MC, T/F, Short Answer Every 3-4 weeks, comprehensive quiz Quizlet sets for each topic One midterm exam One final exam

31 did it work? Midterm ExamFinal Exam Fall Fall Fall Difference: Incorporated 4 principles into curriculum Difference: Changed to Justice text, kept the same midterm & final

32 choosing a text things I considered options for extra stuff – online quizzes, questions, cd with case studies, outlines, test bank interleaving-friendly organization of topics/text survey level with lots of links to more information Communication Sciences and Disorders: A Contemporary Perspective (2nd edition) Justice, L. M.. Boston: Allyn & Bacon

33 future hybrid version of class – half online, half live Spring 2013 (reverse classroom) – managing cognitive load compressed version of class – summer session 2013 prepping course for other instructors

34 Resources To learn more about Ashleys teaching or for more teaching resources: Bjork Learning and Forgetting Lab Most articles can be downloaded right from site, look under people/publications UIC Memory Lab (Ben Storm) Most articles downloadable from site The IDEA Center Quizlet Great site for retrieval practice, create quizlet sets & play games with information Hot Potatoes (and Quandary) Also great for creating learning games for retrieval practice & problem solving

35 Everything I need to know about teaching… Celia Hooper Ashley Frazier UNC Chapel Hill 1998


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