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.



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. 


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.