Featured Book, Recent, Weekly Updates

Reading Break Two

Hello Everyone,

This week (Oct.15 – 19) is our second Reading Week   for a bit of space for more reading and some reflection.

We are more than half-way through the book. Time flies! We hope you are are having fun and experiencing some meaningful learning with the Book Club.

If you are still considering participation, please come along for the ride and say hello in the Comments section of our Intro post  .Read the comments from participants from Chapters 1, 2, 3, and 4.

After this break, we’ll start up again on October 22nd with “Chapter Five: Practice and Feedback” facilitated by Janine Hirtz.   The week will be topped off with a Friday chat October 26 at 10 AM PST. Be sure to join us.

In the meantime, have a great week!

Featured Book, Recent, Weekly Bookclub Meetup

The Fourth Meeting of the BCcampus Book Club

Hi there,

The fourth meeting of BCcampus Book Club will be on Friday October 12th at 10:00 am (Pacific).

Hop into the Blue Jeans room ahead of time to be sure you’re ready to participate. You may want to have time to check your audio. More info on using Blue Jeans can be found at their ‘Joining a meeting from your computer‘ page.

Below are a few questions we invite  you to consider on our reading of Chapter Four on “Mastery”.

  • Are these stages of learner achievement and the teaching modes that support their attainment, factors in your context? Where does the model fit and does it fall short in some aspect?
  • If you have one, describe your own experience with a ‘blind spot’ as an instructor. How did you overcome it?

For more info, check out the Weekly Book Club Meetings page.

Hoping to see you on Friday.

Keith Webster, Chapter Four Facilitator

Featured Book, Recent, Weekly Updates

Chapter Four: Mastery

35164307533_09a545fece_o

What?

There are two major points made in Chapter Four of How Learning Works (HWL).  Mastery is an important final stage of learning that requires specific teaching practices to ensure student achievement, and mastery as an instructor can leave us blind to the challenges students face on their own road to this goal.

HWL offers a four-stage model for progression towards mastery:

  1. unconscious incompetence
  2. conscious incompetence
  3. conscious competence
  4. unconscious competence

and three teaching modes for their attainment:

  1. component skills
  2. integration
  3. application

Application will be familiar to many instructors as the ‘transfer’ learning that we hope to see when students are able to apply concepts or skills learned in one context (typically, the classroom or lab) to a new context (hopefully, the real world).

This topic lends itself to both traditional academic disciplines and to trades and skill-based learning. Examples can be developed from both spheres, but perhaps there are differences in how this plays out in each context.

The implication for mastery in instructors is that having achieved the ‘unconscious competence’ stage, instructors have blind spots where they don’t realize that internalized steps or an intuitive ability to apply knowledge is perceived by learners as a black box, or not perceived at all. Options to alleviate this perceptual mismatch are offered in the “Strategies to Expose and Reinforce Component Skills” section of the chapter.

So What?

This chapter makes a strong case that supporting the path towards mastery is the key to deeper learning. An argument could be made that the ‘application’ stage is where professional fields like accounting, or general skills like critical thinking, make our graduates successful in their lives after graduation.

Now What?

As you think about this chapter, consider how it relates to your own teaching practice or the learning you have supported.

  1. Are these stages of learner achievement and the teaching modes that support their attainment, factors in your context? Where does the model fit and does it fall short in some aspect?
  2. If you have one, describe your own experience with a ‘blind spot’ as an instructor. How did you overcome it?

To encourage participation, those who share a comment/post this week will have their name entered into the Chapter Four draw for a $25 CAD gift certificate for Chapters Indigo. Read the contest guidelines here. Good luck!

The Book Club chat on Chapter Four will take place on Friday, Oct 12th at 10 AM PST. Check out the schedule and how to connect with the group. We also invite you to say hello in the Comments section of our Intro post.

 

Weekly Bookclub Meetup

Third meeting of the BCcampus Bookclub

Hello Everyone,

The third meeting of the BCcampus Book Club will be tomorrow, Friday October 5 at 10 AM PST.

Please connect a few minutes earlier to check your technical setup (especially your audio connection) by checking out this page with information about Blue Jeans web conferencing and the link to our dedicated room.

Here are a few questions to help us get started in our Chapter Three discussion.

  • Is motivation an issue for you? (yourself and/or your learners)
  • Do you find the biggest challenges are value, expectancies, or learning environment?
  • Goal directed behaviour and feedback are essential in addition to motivation; do you make this explicit in any way?
  • Have you tried any of the recommended strategies (or others)? How did it go?

Looking forward to discussing the chapter with all of you!

Giulia Forsythe, Chapter Three Facilitator

Weekly Updates

Chapter Three: Motivation

What?

Building on the first two chapters topics of prior learning and knowledge organization, Chapter 3 of HLW asks the big question about motivation: 

What Factors Motivate Students to Learn? 
How Learning Works: Chapter 3 Motivation

Value

Is it worth doing? Is this worth knowing? This is obviously subjective!

HLW describes the different types of value we seek:

  • Attainment value
  • Intrinsic value
  • Instrumental value

Expectancies

  • Is it possible?
  • Can I do it?
    • Has my prior experience affected my perceptions of self-efficacy?
    • Do I believe success is attributable to luck or effort

HLW says that learners who believe that efficacy can be influenced by controllable behaviours, like effort, will be more likely to achieve their goal. Of course the goal must be scaffolded in a way that shows the task or learning is possible.

Goal Setting

Once motivated, we want to encourage goal directed behaviour. Goals can take many forms, depending on your motivation. These are not mutually exclusive and may overlap in many ways.

  • Performance goals
    • Avoid incompetence
    • Achieve competence
  • Learning goals 
  • Affective goals
  • Social goals
  • Work avoidant goals (least effort for maximum success)

Supportive learning environment

Of course all of this is contingent upon a learning environment that is supportive and consistent with meeting goals, aligned with expectancies, and value.

So What?

This is a great question which HLW asks, what is the value?

Now What?

HLW works makes 18 suggestions, briefly summarized here:

  • Organize information & Prior knowledge
  • Show Relevance
  • Provide Flexibility
  • Scaffold towards goal
  • Show effort can help achieve the goal
  • Assessment is authentic and meaningful
  • Criteria for success (consistent, fair, explicit expectations and rubrics)
  • Targeted feedback towards goal-directed behaviour and success
  • Provide opportunities for Reflection

To reflect on this chapter and prepare for the upcoming book club meeting you may wish to comment on the following:

Is motivation an issue in your classes? Describe your challenge/ successes.

To encourage participation, those who share a comment/post this week will have their name entered into the Chapter Three draw for a $25 CAD gift certificate for Chapters Indigo. Read the contest guidelines here. Good luck!

The Book Club chat on Chapter Three will take place on Friday, October 5 at 10 AM PST. Check out the schedule and how to connect with the group. We also invite you to say hello in the Comments section of our Intro post.

Weekly Updates

Reading Break One

Hello Everyone,

This week (Sept 24-28) is our first Reading Week! So if you need a bit of time to catch up or refresh your reading of HLW, this is it.

If you want to join the BCcampus Book Club now, please do! Be sure to say hello in the Comments section of our Intro post  and check out the many thoughtful comments from participants on Chapter One (Prior Knowledge) and Chapter Two (Knowledge Organization).

After this break we’ll start up again on October 1st with Chapter Three on Student Motivation facilitated by Giulia Forsythe. (Don’t forget we have a weekly draw prize for a Chapters Indigo gift card.)

Have a good week!

baby-beautiful-child-1257105

 

Weekly Bookclub Meetup

Second Meeting of the BCcampus Book Club

Hello Everyone,

The second meeting of the BCcampus Book Club will be tomorrow, Friday September 21st at 10 AM PST.

Please connect a few minutes earlier to check your technical setup (especially your audio connection). Information about Blue Jeans web conferencing and the link to our dedicated room is provided here.

Here are a few questions to help us get started in our Chapter One discussion.

  • What are your some of your overall takeaways from this chapter?
  • What strategies do you currently use your course or when developing courses to help students understand and develop appropriate knowledge organizations?
  • What did this chapter not touch on for you? What areas were missing or you have questions about?
  • What are some ways that you are considering emphasizing knowledge organization in your practice?

Looking forward to discussing the chapter with all of you!

Lucas Wright, Chapter Two Facilitator

 

Weekly Updates

Chapter Two: How Does the Way Students Organize Knowledge Affect Their Learning?

Principle: How students organize knowledge influences how
they learn and apply what they know.

 

RubicCube.gif

How long does it take you to solve a Rubik’s cube? What knowledge organizations allow an expert to solve a Rubik’s cube in 5.5 seconds? I cannot solve a Rubik’s cube and was amazed at the complex knowledge organizations that Rubik’s cube experts use. What really jumped out for me when reflecting on this chapter was the complex knowledge organizations we have for many tasks even beyond complex domains. 

What

In Chapter Two of How Learning Works: 7 Research-Based Principles for Smart Teaching Ambrose et al, look at how experts create and maintain complex and meaningful ways of organizing knowledge. This aids them in memory retrieval and understanding the complex knowledge of their domain. In contrast, students often have “not yet developed such complex and or meaningful ways of organizing the content they encounter in the course” (Ambrose et al. 2010, p.46). The authors then focus in on research about how knowledge is formed and outline ways that experts’ and novices’ knowledge organizations differ.

So What

The authors suggest that instructors need to be aware of the different knowledge organizations between novices and experts in their discipline/domain when they design tasks. They also suggest a number of ways that instructors can “provide structures that highlight to our students how we organize disciplinary knowledge and draw on it to perform specific tasks” (Ambrose et al. 2010, p.46). Strategies that they suggest include, using concept maps with students, graphic organizers and making connections between concepts explicit.

Now What

To reflect on this chapter and prepare for the upcoming book club meeting you may wish to complete the following: 

  1. Reflect on the implications of knowledge organization to your own practice or your overall reaction to this chapter by commenting below.
  2. Use a concept mapping tool such as https://bubbl.us/  or https://www.mindmup.com to share a map of a single concept within your discipline or an area of interest.

To encourage participation, those who share a comment/post this week will have their name entered into the Chapter Two draw for a $25 CAD gift certificate for Chapters Indigo. Read the contest guidelines here. Good luck!

The Book Club chat on Chapter Two will take place on Friday, September 21st at 10 AM PST.  Check out the schedule and how to connect with the group. We also invite you to say hello in the Comments section of our Intro post.

Expertdog.gif

 

Weekly Updates

Book Club Meeting: Chapter One

Hello Everyone,

The first meeting of the BCcampus Book Club will be tomorrow, Friday September 14th at 10 AM PST.

Please connect a few minutes earlier to check your technical setup (especially your audio connection). Information about Blue Jeans web conferencing and the link to our dedicated room is provided here.

We will take the first 5 minutes for a few brief introductions then 30-40 minutes for our book club chat.

Here are a few questions to help us get started in our Chapter One discussion.

  • What idea(s) on Prior Knowledge (and the research-based principle) most resonated for you?
  • Do you have a strategy to address PK in your subject area that you find particularly useful and would like to share with fellow bookclubbers?
  • Is there a PK challenge you have that you’d like to ask this group for help?

Looking forward to meeting you!

Chat soon,

Leva Lee, Chapter One Facilitator

P.S. Bring your cuppa tea or coffee!

book-cup-drink-159788

 

 

Featured Book, Weekly Updates

Chapter One: How does Students’ Prior Knowledge Affect Their Learning?

What is the Principle?

Prior knowledge can help or hinder learning.

In Chapter One of How Learning Works: 7 Research-Based Principles for Smart Teaching (HLW), the authors delve into a look at the prior knowledge of learners and how it impacts learning. Prior knowledge (PK) can be a good foundation for building new knowledge, but research shows that student learning is influenced by the nature of the prior knowledge. Depending on a number of conditions, prior knowledge can help or hinder learning.

This diagram (re-created and adapted from the original in the book, Figure 1.1) shows the conditions for when prior knowledge helps or hinders learning.

Screen Shot 2018-09-06 at 11.59.50 AM

Prior knowledge (PK) helps learning when it is activated. In addition, that PK needs to be sufficient, appropriate and, above all, correct.

Prior knowledge (PK) that is problematic or that hinders learning is one or more of the following:

  • Inaccurate: Some deeply held misconceptions are difficult to correct.
  • Insufficient: There are many kinds of knowledge such as declarative (what) , procedural (how), contextual (when) knowledge. Students’ PK may have gaps.
  • Inappropriate: Correct but used at wrong time or context.
  • Incorrect: Knowledge that is wrong.

So What? (What does this mean for how we teach? What does this mean for helping students learn?)

Many of us use techniques to bridge, integrate, and activate learners’ prior knowledge  with the new content we are teaching. But have we considered more closely, the nature of their prior knowledge and whether it is sufficient, appropriate, as well as, accurate?

The HLW authors offer a variety of strategies in Chapter One to help us identify possible problem areas in learners’ prior knowledge and how to proactively address them. Some of these strategies include student self-assessment questions, looking for patterns of error, identifying discipline-specific conventions for our learners, or having them conduct and test predictions based on what they currently know.

Now What? (Applying the Prior knowledge principle to our practice.)

Take a moment to reflect on your current teaching practice. Is there a common misconception about the subject you teach?  Share what that is and a strategy you use (or plan to use) to address this issue. To do this, simply subscribe to this blog and post in the Chapter One Comments. Alternatively, you may share your thoughts using social media with the hashtag #BookClubBC.

To encourage participation, those who share a comment/post this week will have their name entered into the Chapter One draw for a $25 CAD gift certificate for Chapters Indigo. Read the contest guidelines here. Good luck!

The Book Club chat on Chapter One will take place on Friday, September 14th at 10 AM PST.  Check out the schedule and how to connect with the group. We also invite you to say hello in the Comments section of our Intro post.

Looking forward to reading together and meeting you online!

Acknowledgments

Graphics:

Owl by Oksana Latysheva from the Noun Project
Suitcase from the HLW graphic by Giulia Forsythe