Teaching

This page is under construction!
For now, here are twenty-five heuristics for promoting learning.

From: Winne & Nesbit (2010). The Psychology of Academic Achievement. Ann.. Rev. of Psych., 61(1), 653–678

Heuristic Description
Contiguity effects Ideas to be associated should be presented contiguously in space and time
Perceptual-motor grounding Concepts benefit from being grounded in perceptual motor experiences, particularly at early stages of learning
Dual code and multimedia effects Materials presented in verbal, visual, and multimedia form richer representations than a single medium
Testing effect Testing enhances learning, particularly when the tests are alligned with important content
Spacing effect Spaced schedules of studying and testing produce better long-term retention than a single study session or test
Exam expectations Students benefit more form repeated testing when they expect a final exam
Generation effects Learning is enhanced when learners produce answers compared to having them recognize answers
Organization effects Outlining, integrating, and synthesizing information produces better learning than rereading materials or other more passive strategies
Coherence effect Materials and multimedia should explicitly link related ideas and minimize distsracting irrelevant material
Stories and example cases Stories and example cases tend to be remembered better than didactic facts and abstract principles
Multiple examples An understanding of an abstract concept improves with multiple and varied examples
Feedback effects Students benefit from feedback on their performance in a learning task, but the timing of the feedback can depend on the task
Negative suggestion effects Learning wrong information can be reduced when feedback is immediate
Desirable difficulties Challenges make learning and retrieval effortful and thereby have posotive effects on long-term retention
Manageable cognitive load The information presented to the learner should not overload working memory
Segmentation principle A complex lesson should be broken down into manageable subparts
Explanation effects Students benefit more from constructing deep coherent explanations (mental models) of the material than memorizing shallow isolated facts
Deep questions Students benefit more from asking and answering deep questions that elicit explanations (e.g., why, how, what if) than shallow questions (e.g., who, what, when, where)
Cognitive disequilibrium Deep reasoning and learning is stimulated by problems that create cognitive disequilibrium, such as obstacles to goals, contradictions, conflict, and anomalies
Cognitive flexibility Cognitive flexibility improves with multiple viewpoints that link facts, skills, procedures, and deep conceptual principles
Goldilocks principle Assignments should not be too hard or too easy, but at the right level of difficulty for the student’s level of skill or prior knowledge
Imperfect metacognition Students rarely have an accurate knowledge of their cognition, so their ability to calibrate their comprehension, learning, and memory should not be trusted
Discovery learning Most students have trouble discovering important principles on their own, without careful guidance, scaffolding, or materials with well-crafted affordances
Self-regulated learning Most students need training in how to self-regulate their learning and other cognitive processes
Anchored learning Learning is deeper and students are more motivated when the materials and skills are anchored in real-world problems that matter to the learner