Presentation on theme: "Stephen L. Chew Samford University "— Presentation transcript:
1 Improving Student Performance by Addressing Student and Teacher Misconceptions about Learning Stephen L. ChewSamford UniversityCengage Learning Economics Teaching ConferenceNovember 7, 2014
2 Goals of the Presentation Discuss teacher and student misconceptions about learningDiscuss development of a program to help students become more effective learners based on cognitive principlesDiscuss what faculty should know about how people learn and what they can do to help students learn more effectivelyDiscuss cognitive basis of effective pedagogy
3 Three Kinds of Knowledge for Effective Teaching Knowledge ofYour FieldEffectiveTeachingKnowledge ofHow PeopleLearn YourFieldKnowledgeOf How PeopleLearn
4 Teacher Beliefs about How People Learn Teaching requires a mental model of how people learn.Determines selection and implementation of teaching methods, and how to adjust to problems.If the model is accurate, the teacher will be effectiveIf it is flawed or simplistic, the teacher will be less effective
5 Student Beliefs about How People Learn Students also base their study behavior on models of how people (specifically themselves) learnDetermines class attendance, assignment completion, study strategies, test preparation and so onThe better the model, the better the student learnsIf the model is flawed or simplistic, it will undermine student learning
6 A typical incoming college student… Has graduated from high school with an average GPA of 3.00 (NAEP, 2009)Has probably passed a high school exit or graduation examHas been tested for scholastic achievement or aptitude many timesProbably taken an entrance exam and was admitted to college
7 % of Students Deemed Ready for College by ACT (2014)
8 A typical college freshman is Inadequately prepared for college workUnaware of the fact because it is contrary to their successful high school experienceLikely overconfident in their preparation and abilities for college-level work
9 As a consequenceMany students will struggle academically in their first year of collegeOverconfidence hinders recognition and willingness to changeThey do not know what changes to makeA large percentage will struggle and perform poorly and some will not succeed in college even though they have the ability to do so
10 Typical Student Messages “I came into the test really confident that I knew the material but it didn't show that on the test.”“The reason I have stuck with the course this long is because I believe I have put a lot of effort towards studying for the exams is just I haven't tested well.”“I felt prepared going in to the first two exams but scored much lower than I wanted to (and much lower than the class). To be completely honest, I have not wanted to come to class because I do not feel it is worth it if I am not going to do well anyways.”What beliefs are reflected here? Overconfidence. Lack of metacognitive understanding. On number 2, had never come to see me; had never come to review exam. Misconception of effort and relation to grade. May not be doing the right kind of effort. Not doing well so don’t want to go to class. A response to failure that will lead to more failure.
11 The Primary Goal of Teaching EitherTo present information that students are solely responsible for learningOrTo develop a sophisticated, useful, and generative level of understanding on the part of the studentsIf To present information that students are solely responsible for learningTeaching is easy, it only takes content knowledge, no special training.Be accurate, organized and interesting.student adjustment to college level work is not the teacher’s problemThe teacher cannot or should not influence learning (watering down)Good teachers are popular, easy, or funnyOrTo develop a sophisticated, useful, and generative level of understanding on the part of the studentsDefine success in terms of student learningIn which case student adjustment to college level work is the teacher’s problemTeachers share responsibility for student learningTeaching becomes a difficult skill
12 How to help students make a successful transition to college RemediationCollege transition coursesFirst year programs, study skills centers, and other resourcesPersonal and social adjustment; study “tips”, and time managementTeach them how to be more effective learners by correcting misconceptions and teaching them cognitive principles of learningBoth Students and Teachers often base their actions on untested assumptions, informal intuition, and faulty beliefs about how people learn These misconceptions undermine student learningTalk about common misconceptions of teachers and students
13 Evolution of a Presentation Given many workshops for teachers on how to teach effectively using cognitive research on how people learnIn 2006, I was asked to give a presentation to Samford’s entire freshman class on how to study effectively based on cognitive researchFocus on what students need to know about learning to make them better learnersSame info is useful for teachers but I’m focusing on student presentation.
14 The Challenges Overcome the negative preconceptions Overcome student misconceptions about learning, e.g. mistaken beliefs and “magic bullets”Present cognitive principles and research to help students become more effective learnersMake the presentation engaging, accessible, and memorableDo it in 45 minutesStudent preconceptions about college adviceStudents expect to be lectured to about how hard college is going to be and how hard they will have to work.“I’m a college professor and you better study hard because college is tough!”“Look to your left…”
15 Specific Goals of the Presentation Give students a coherent, research-based framework that would allow them to become effective learners in any situationMore than disconnected study tips, e.g. space out learning; study in same place you will be testedNot a single best way to studyShow them how to apply the framework to their studyNot just tell them what to do. Study two hours outside of class for every hour of class. Best study method varies by student, teacher, and subject. Depends on prior knowledge, teaching and assessment method.
16 How to Study Long and Hard and Still Fail… Or How to Get the Most Out of Your Studying Beliefs about Learning that Make You Stupid (common misconceptions)Metacognition and its consequencesSo how accurate are your beliefs about how people learn? (A quiz)A demonstration of Levels of ProcessingOperationalizing Levels of ProcessingApplying Levels to studying, note taking, and highlighting and reading
17 Giving the Presentation (about 5 weeks into Fall Semester)
18 Beliefs about Learning that Make You Stupid Learning is fastBeing good at a subject is a matter of inborn talent rather than hard work,Knowledge is composed of isolated factsI’m really good at multi-tasking, especially during class or studying
19 Attentional Blink Switching attention is time consuming and effortful Checking texts, twitter, etc. wastes at least a few minutes every time20 alerts and you’ve wasted an hour (without checking anything)The average Facebook visit is about 20 minutesThere is no such thing as a momentary distractionAnd they don’t even have to be your alerts. Laptops and phones going off lowers everyone's learning.
20 MetacognitionA student’s awareness of his or her level of understanding of a topicMetacognition distinguishes between stronger and weaker studentsOne of the major tasks for a freshman is developing good metacognitionIn high school, students spent years developing a metacognitive sense that is likely inadequate or even counterproductive for college.
21 Self-RatingWhat is your best, most accurate judgment of the percentage of questions that you answered correctly on this exam? Your answer may range from 0 to 100%_____________________% correct
22 Estimated and Actual Grades for 800 Students: Econ 101
23 The irony of poor metacognition Students who have the poorest metacognition have no clue how weak their understanding of a concept is.Part of being incompetent is not realizing just how incompetent you are.So the students who most need to listen closely to this talk are the ones who don’t believe they need to.(The same holds true for teachers)Same goes for teachers. Teachers who most need to improve are ones that don’t think they do. A common finding; big part of incompetence is not realizing how incompetent you are. Really, it is a critical learning skill. There is probably a lot about this that I don’t know.
24 So how accurate are your beliefs about how people learn?
25 Which of the following is the MOST important ingredient for successful learning? The intention and desire to learnPaying close attention to the material as you studyLearning in a way that matches your personal Learning Style?The time you spend studyingWhat you think about while studyingDo by hand. How is this different than clicker questions.
26 Read the instructions for the demonstration to yourselves and do your best to follow them.
27 Levels of ProcessingShallow processing focuses on spelling, appearance and sound.Rote memorization of factsFlashcards with isolated factsDeep processing focuses on subjective meaning.Relating new information to prior knowledge or other informationMaking information personally meaningful
28 Rate each word Does the word contain an E or G? Do you find the word Pleasant?Shallow processing: You arefocusing on spelling.Deep processing: You arerelating the words to yourown meaningful experiences.Orienting Task DemonstrationBetween Groups:Divide the class into two groups. Have Group one prepare a two column answer sheet labeled unpleasant and pleasant. Have the other group label theirs E/G yes or no. Read the list at about 2 seconds/word. Then give a recall task. This works intentionally or incidentally.1. Evening 13. Cold2. Country 14. Love3. Salt 15. Bargain4. Easy 16. War5. Peace 17. Hate6. Morning 18. Wet7. Pretty 19. Rich8. Expensive 20. Nurse9. Poor 21. Pepper10. Doctor 22. Hard11. City 23. Ugly12. Dry 24. HotNow turn your paper over and write down as many words as you can recall.Use a show of hands to see how many words each person recalled. Also, ask if people noticed that the words were composed of associates. This finding is very robust, and does not depend on incidental learning.These are orienting tasks that cause youto think in deep or shallow ways,regardless of your intention28
29 Four different conditions Be forewarnedyou will beasked torecall allthe wordsFrontDeep Warnedabout RecallDeepNot WarnedShallowShallow WarnedRightLeft
30 Predictions: Who will learn best? If motivation to learnmatters, the front sectionsshould recall best3. If both deep processingand motivation matter, thefront right should recall bestDeep Warnedabout RecallDeepNot WarnedShallowShallow WarnedRightFrontLeft2. If deep processingmatters, The two rightsections should recall best
32 Which of the following is the MOST important ingredient for successful learning? The intention and desire to learnPaying close attention to the material as you studyLearning in a way that matches your personal Learning Style?The time you spend studyingWhat you think about while studying
33 Implications for Learning Intention and motivation to learn are not criticalAttention and amount of study is necessary, but not sufficient for learningLearning strategy has a huge impact on learningShallow processing undermines learning, even when intention and motivation are highDeep level of processing is critical for learning
34 Implications for Students Many students have highly practiced poor learning strategiesStudying more won’t help themIncrease overconfidence without learningThey need to unlearn highly practiced old strategies and develop new, more effective onesConsider study skills in terms of orienting tasks and level or processingStudying, note taking, reading, writing, listeningLong, effortful process to unlearn old strategies and learn more effective ones. No instant success. Can’t try it for one afternoon and expect to see success. Each student must find the best strategy for a particular topic. There will be setbacks in doing so.
35 These findings are strongly counterintuitive All study is effective, only amount, intensity, and desire matterMotivation automatically improves study effectivenessMotivation without deep processing is ineffectiveEffort equals learningLearning is hard work, but not all hard work leads to learningThe more I study, the more I learn
36 Implications for Teachers Teaching skill matters, and matters greatlyPedagogy has a significant impact on learningConsider pedagogy in terms of orienting tasks and level of processingDesign assignments, problem sets, questions, examples to induce deep processingTeachers matter and matter greatlyWhat does this activity make students think about?A badly designed assignment isn’t just useless, it can undermine learning
37 Achieving Deep Processing while Studying As you study, follow these principles:Elaboration: How does this concept relate to other concepts? Can I make a story?Distinctiveness: How is this concept different from other concepts?Personal: Can I relate this information to my personal experience?Appropriate to Retrieval and Application: How am I expected to use or apply this concept?
38 These are principles for deep processing, but not a recipe There is no set recipe for effective studying or effective teachingWhat constitutes effective study will depend on the student, the subject, and the assessmentWhat constitutes effective teaching will depend on the teacher, the students, their mindset, the subject, and the learning goal
39 The aftermath The presentation was a huge success Rated most useful and interesting of freshman activitiesI’ve presented it annually, refining it each yearAfter two years, I was asked to give a follow up presentation for “at risk” studentsBut just how successful was it?2009 Assessment
40 Method The assessment employed a two pronged approach: Study 1 involved three sections of Foundations, a course intended to help freshmen adjust to collegeI attended their class, gave a pretest, gave my presentation, gave an immediate posttest, then gave a follow-up survey two weeks later.Study 2 involved other Foundations sections.Instructors gave a pretest before the presentation, the students attended my presentation, then I gave a follow-up survey several weeks after the presentation.
45 ConclusionsThe presentation is interesting and effective at significantly altering student understanding of learning and their practice.It is particularly effective at decreasing rote memorization and increasing deep processing strategiesA significant portion of students still maintain misconceptions about learning and the positive impact may lessen with time.To address these issues, I created videotaped modules of the presentation for students to review when needed.
46 Development of Video Series Have the same helpful tone as presentationContain the same information as my two presentationsServe as a resource for students and teachers on how to study effectivelyBe as flexible as possible for different uses, such as online learningFive brief modulesBe worth the time invested in terms of information learned6-8 minutes each
47 Creating the VideosI examined the videos on studying that already existMost are either testimonials or selling productsA depressing, often boring, mix of some correct information, misconceptions, and simple tipsNathan Troost—Ace VideographerAll five filmed in four hours one summer morning
48 Video Series: How to Get the Most Out of Studying http://www. samford
49 How to Get the Most Out of Studying Video 1: Beliefs That Make You Fail…Or SucceedVideo 2: What Students Should Understand About How People LearnVideo 3: Cognitive Principles for Optimizing LearningVideo 4: Putting the Principles for Optimizing Learning into PracticeVideo 5: I Blew the Exam, Now What?
50 Videos posted in August, 2011 Very well received: In wide use internationally; from high schools to medical schoolsFaculty appreciate them; Advanced students wish they had them sooner;But freshmen reaction is mixedIt isn’t what they want or expect to hearMisconceptions are hard to changeJust watching them is probably not sufficient
51 So shouldn’t we design pedagogies that make students use deep processing all the time? (What faculty need to know about learning)
52 What are the critical factors in student learning? EngagementActive learningStruggleMany faculty take pride in how hard they make students struggleAssumes struggle leads to better learningThese are educational terms with no exact psychological meaning. Already dealt with fact that engagement and active learning are not guarantees of learning.
53 Cognitive Load Theory (e.g. van Merrienboer & Sweller, 2005) Mental effort is the amount of concentration that a person has available to devote to tasksAlways a limited resourceCognitive Load is the total amount of mental effort a task requires to complete itA person can do multiple tasks as long as the total cognitive load does not exceed available mental effortIf cognitive load exceeds available mental effort, then performance suffers
54 Student mental effort must meet the demands of instructional cognitive load AvailableMental EffortCognitive Loadof TeachingExtraneous LoadTeachersdesigninstructionLimitedResourceMust beless thanGermane LoadIntrinsic LoadTasks and conceptspossess difficulty
55 Name the days of the week out loud and in order as fast as you can
56 About this Activity Were you engaged? Were you engaged in active problem solving?Were you working hard and struggling?What was the 4th day in the list?
57 Name the Days of the Week as Quickly as You Can In Alphabetical OrderFridayMondaySaturdaySundayThursdayTuesdayWednesdayHow many people didn’t even try because it was too hard and you didn’t think it was worth the effort? What do you do when students tell you that?Piece of advice: Study Harder! How useful is that? Not useful, but we tell students that all the time.
58 Implications of Cognitive Load Theory If the cognitive load demanded of students exceeds their available mental effort, then learning will not occurIf the cognitive load takes up most or all of available mental effort, then there will not be enough mental effort available for learning or schema formationDeeper level of processing causes greater cognitive loadTeachers must monitor, manage and minimize cognitive load to allow schema developmentCan complete a task successfully but learn nothing from it if it took all of cognitive load. Schema formation is effortful.
59 Cognitive Load of Various Tasks (adapted from Piolat, Olive & Kellogg, 2004)
60 How do we deal with cognitive load? Deliberate practice: Intentional practice with the goal of improving on a skillNot mindless drill,With large amounts of deliberate practice, knowledge becomes automatic and no longer requires metal effort.Expertise is based on automatic processingPractice beyond simple competence. More than students think necessary. Math
61 About Engagement, Active Learning, and Struggle Engagement, active learning, and mental struggle do not always lead to effective learningNeither does deep processing if cognitive load is too greatTeachers must balance deep processing and cognitive load
62 An Effective TeacherMust monitor, manage, and manipulate multiple, conflicting factors to achieve desired learning goalsMust be knowledgeable about multiple teaching methods, select appropriately among them to achieve desired goals, and make adjustments during teaching.There is no pedagogy that can’t go wrongThere is no pedagogy that a great teacher can’t figure out how to make successful
63 Based on current pedagogical research and writing, I recommend pedagogies that are… high impact,student-centered,just-in-time,technology-enhanced,flipped,blended,hybrid,experiential,disruptive,adaptive,hands-on,situated,guided,integrative,supplemental,reciprocaltransformational,cooperative,collaborative,reflective,engaging,and active;and that arebrain-based,peer-based,inquiry-based,team-based,project-based,case-based,group-based,discovery-based,community-based,competency-based,Teaching changes but it doesn’t advancehigh impact, student-centered, just-in-time, technology-enhanced, flipped, blended, hybrid, experiential, disruptive, adaptive, hands-on, situated, guided, integrative, supplemental, reciprocal, transformational, cooperative, collaborative, reflective, engaging, and active; and that are brain-based, peer-based, inquiry-based, team-based, project-based, case-based, group-based, discovery-based, community based, competency-based, mastery-based, research-based, service-based, problem-based, and data driven. Oh, and they should be massive, open, and online. Add uncovered.mastery-based,research-based,service-based,problem-based,and data-driven.Oh, and it should be massive, open, and online.
64 Take Home MessageDescribed misconceptions that students and faculty have that undermine their learningDescribed a live and video presentation for making students more effective learners based on cognitive researchAttempted to give you a more sophisticated understanding of how people learnLevels of Processing and orienting tasksCognitive LoadRegardless of teaching method, teachers must understand cognitive processes to be effective
65 Stephen L. Chew firstname.lastname@example.org Thank You! Questions?Stephen L. Chew