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This is Important: Before we get started, could you please… If you have a few minutes before we begin, prepare a short memorable introduction of yourself.

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Presentation on theme: "This is Important: Before we get started, could you please… If you have a few minutes before we begin, prepare a short memorable introduction of yourself."— Presentation transcript:

1 This is Important: Before we get started, could you please… If you have a few minutes before we begin, prepare a short memorable introduction of yourself by answering the four questions below

2 MetaLearning: Building Brain-Based Learning Skills to Help Students Succeed Lilly West ~ 2013 Stephen Carroll, PhD

3 Notes You Can Use Summary Reflections: ASAP – before sleeping What’s worth reviewing & remembering? For Best Results: Review Summary within 24 hours Notes on what’s being presented Thoughts & feelings that arise Summary: Date, Course, Page # This makes sense! Q: How does this connect with … ?

4 The Problem: Presented by Father Guido Sarducci

5 The Problem: Students arrive in our classrooms knowing very little about the kinds of learning they are expected to do in college Much of what they do “know” is wrong Using the habits of learning they developed in high school leads to inefficient and ineffective learning Reduced performance caused by the inaptness of their learning habits creates motivation and engagement problems that further reduce their academic performance—and learning.

6 A Solution: Teach students how to learn Metalearning Flight School is based on current research in cognitive science, the neurobiology of learning and learning theory Seven years worth of data and experience show that it makes a significant difference in students’ learning It’s especially effective in making students more self- motivated and more self-directed learners

7 The Contract This is not a miracle cure and it will be difficult at first. It will take you and your students a while to unlearn old habits and to develop new ones. (It takes ~21 days to break in a new habit.) What I can promise you is that if you teach your students how to learn, they will learn more, learn faster and retain what they learn longer—thus, your performance as faculty will increase as well. Start with one day—the first day of class, perhaps.

8 Objectives for Today Motivate you to try metalearning techniques with your students to help them become more effective learners Provide you with theories, resources, tools and inspiration to help you develop your own metalearning lessons Provide you with tools to prove it works

9 6 Steps to Changing Learning Habits 1. Help students discover self-motivations for learning 2. Align their definitions of learning with ours (redefine learning) 3. Teach students how learning works and derive principles they can use to guide themselves 4. Derive strategies and tactics from principles (application) 5. Practice often to develop effective learning habits 6. Maintain those habits

10 Priming Students for Self-Directed Learning Videos online through and on our YouTube Part 1: Building Self-Motivated Learners

11 Foundation: What is Learning? What is learning? What does it mean to learn something? How can you tell when you’ve learned something? Part 2: Defining Learning

12 Typical Answers - Understanding Knowing something Understanding something Being able to teach something Getting it Eureka! Making a connection to something new Insight Discovery Enlightenment Knowing that (vs. knowing how) Memorizing Being able to recall Remembering something Understanding the principles Seeing the logic Being able to extrapolate Seeing how it works Epiphany Part 2: Defining Learning

13 Typical Answers - Skills Being able to do something Knowing how Facility Doing it Mastering a procedure or process Increasing level of proficiency Following correct procedures Being able to use what I know Being able to apply something in a new situation Acquiring the knack of something Gains in craftsmanship Getting better at something Part 2: Defining Learning

14 Typical Answers - Affective Learning to like something Getting engaged Being inspired Being motivated Finding joy Wanting to do more Wanting to practice Looking for chances to use what I know Learning to love something Learning to see the beauty or complexity or artistry in something Learning to appreciate something Gaining confidence Becoming more interested in something Part 2: Defining Learning

15 Typical Answers - Habits Being able to do something without paying a lot of attention Doing things automatically Integrating what I know into my life Using what I know as a matter of course Knowing when to use what I've learned Ability to improvise based on what I already know Part 2: Defining Learning

16 Learning is Forming New Habits Fueled by attitudes and desires (emotion) Supported by skills and understanding Part 2: Defining Learning

17 Therefore We want to move away from the learning-as- acquisition-of-facts and teaching-as-Sherwin-Williams model toward defining learning as durable habit formation and teaching as developing and mentoring self-directed learners. Teaching ≠

18 A Cross-lateral Neurobic

19 Cross-lateral Activity Cross-lateral activity opens up the corpus callosum Gets more of your brain involved Balances the load Aids memory Makes learning easier

20 The ART of Learning Acquire new material Retain new material Transfer use of new material Acquire Retain Transfer

21 The ART of Learning. The A in ART is for Acquisition Mnemonic: Actively Build Connections Part 3: How Learning Works


23 Learning IS making connections: Neurons that fire together wire together 2 pyramidal neurons forming a synapse Part 3: How Learning Works

24 Ideas and meanings are patterns Part 3: How Learning Works

25 More complex ideas are more complex patterns—made up of smaller patterns Part 3: How Learning Works

26 A Basic Brain—not very fold-ey Part 3: How Learning Works

27 A Better Brain—more fold-ey Part 3: How Learning Works

28 New Brain Cells Forming Part 3: How Learning Works

29 The Effect of Work Part 3: How Learning Works

30 Goals Fat sausages Foldey lobes Hairy neurons Part 3: How Learning Works

31 The ART of Learning Habits of Acquisition Note-Taking Reading strategies Paying attention/active learning Not multitasking Part 3: How Learning Works

32 The ART of Learning R is RETAIN (Acronym) Review, Explain, Test, Analyze, INtegrate. Part 3: How Learning Works

33 Retention is controlled by Emotion and Repetition

34 Key Influences on Brain Chemistry Emotions How much and what kind of sleep you’re getting How much and what kind of exercise you’re getting Hydration and nutrition (including caffeine and alcohol) Physical cycles and rhythms Part 3: How Learning Works

35 Your amygdalas Amygdalas Part 3: How Learning Works

36 Fear response Part 3: How Learning Works

37 Key Factors Shaping Retention Strong emotion Repetition and reinforcement Sleep (then review) Exercise Hydration and nutrition Richness of the learning and studying environments Part 3: How Learning Works

38 The ART of Learning T is for Transfer (Bus transfer, job transfer) Transfer is always about taking what you know and applying it to what you don’t know Part 3: How Learning Works

39 Teaching for Transfer Transfer is about pattern recognition and Changing set It is the most difficult part of learning … and the least practiced! Students need to practice as much as possible Part 3: How Learning Works

40 Principles derived from neurobiology: 1) Learning ONLY works when it is active and conscious. 2) Learning actively connects new ideas to old information. 3) Learning IS making connections/patterns. 4) Involving multiple senses enhances learning Part 3: How Learning Works

41 Principles derived from neurobiology: 5) Learning works best if it requires real effort (if it is difficult). 6) Learning depends on managing emotions well. Positive emotions (especially self-motivation) accelerate learning by reducing resistance (electrically and metaphorically). Negative emotions (esp. fear and stress) block learning and recall. Part 3: How Learning Works

42 Principles derived from neurobiology: 7) Varying your modes of learning (rich learning environment) increases activity, helps reinforce neural pathway development and moves what was learned to long-term memory. 8) Active repetition is the best way to create durable learning. (Moving things from short-term to long- term memory requires reinforcement within 24 hours.) Part 3: How Learning Works

43 Strategies and Tactics Manage the learning environment and emotions to maximize your learning. Reduce fear and stress Make students’ studying as active as possible (but don’t multi-task—that reduces performance) Build bridges between what they’re learning and what they know and love. Build in rewards and positive feedback loops: celebrate successes (even small ones). Part 4: Application

44 Strategies and Tactics Exercise regularly— Moving blood and oxygen to your brain helps it work more effectively. (Making new brain cells is a huge metabolic load on the body.) The chemicals your body makes when you exercise help you make connections more easily. And taking your mind off of the mental work you’re doing helps you solve the problems you’re working on. (Eureka!) Part 4: Application

45 Strategies and Tactics Make sure you are properly hydrated and nourished. If what you eat comes through a car window or if the label lists ingredients with numbers, it isn’t food. Hard mental work is equally taxing to the body as hard physical work—you have to nourish it to sustain peak performance. Water is key. Even a modest amount of dehydration decreases your reasoning ability by 20%. (Don’t overdo it—over-hydration also adversely affects cognition.) Caffeine, nicotine and alcohol Part 4: Application

46 Strategies and Tactics Pay attention to your daily cycles and rhythms— you’re more awake and better able to learn at certain times than at others. Arrange your day so that you study during these times. Attention Cycle: Take breaks every 20 minutes so that you remain active and don’t go on autopilot. Do something physical and bilateral on your break. Study Cycle: Take a major break every 2 hours. Spend ten minutes on a different kind of task. Make sure you get up and move around. (Put an alarm on your phone to help you remember.) Part 4: Application

47 Strategies and Tactics Get enough sleep— New research shows that mental performance drops off quite sharply if you don’t get at least six hours of sleep per night regularly. You cannot learn some things without this amount of sleep: long-chain reasoning problems, persistence, etc. Teenagers need 9-10 hours of sleep for optimum brain performance. You’ll perform better on the test if you are well-rested than if you have stayed up most of the night reviewing the material one more time. Part 4: Application

48 Strategies and Tactics Sleep Cycle: 90 minutes. Minimum of 6 hours for optimum performance. (9-10 hours for teenagers.) If you must do with less, you want to wake in the REM period at the end of the cycle, not a deep part of the cycle. The less sleep you get, the more important it is when you wake up. Part 4: Application

49 Sleep cycles: ~ 90 minutes/cycle Chart shows 7 hours of sleep 1273 REM If you wake up in these troughs, you’ll be tired and groggy all day. You’ll perform significantly less well on cognitive tasks. If you wake up in one of these peaks, you’ll feel rested and perform well. Part 4: Application

50 Strategies and Tactics Sleep Cycles Plot your cycle so that you know how it works. Guided problem solving: use the information- sorting function of sleep to help you solve problems. Focus on the problem you want to solve repeatedly as you fall asleep. Review in the morning. (Keep paper by the bed.) Lucid dreaming can also help you study. Part 4: Application

51 Strategies and Tactics Information Transfer Cycle Review materials within 24 hours to move to long-term memory. Your period of maximum fatigue will fall 12 hours after the deepest period of sleep. Don’t schedule intellectually challenging activities for this time—work out instead. (This is why you need to map your sleep cycles.) Part 4: Application

52 Part 5: Practice

53 Stages of Change Model based on the Transtheoretical Model developed by James O. Prochaska Part 6: Maintain

54 Prochaska’s Stages of Change Model Part 6: Maintain

55 Stages of Change Model based on the Transtheoretical Model developed by James O. Prochaska

56 Learning Assessment for Courses The Student Assessment of their Learning Gains (SALG) Free Tools at

57 Thank You! Questions? Stephen:

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