I am happy my community is back on campus; a beautiful learning space where teachers utilize their physical presence to guide attention and support students towards new understandings. I also realize, having been fooled too may times by COVID, that it’s possible that we’ll be forced to shift once again into a hybrid model (and maybe even remote learning) in the event of quarantines or a new variant.
During these times, I see it as part of my responsibility as Director of Educational Technology to arm teachers with proven instructional techniques that, when automatized, can be retrieved effortlessly from long-term memory so that they may tackle teaching problems that arise across learning formats. Without these techniques in long-term memory, teachers have no other choice but to rely on inefficient problem solving strategies such as means-ends analysis, a major source of cognitive overload. It is unfair to leave teachers to discover what works on their own when a repository of effective techniques exists. And, as I’ve argued before, the most obvious place to derive recommendations for the techniques isn’t from the opinions of educational “thought leaders” and ideologues, but the learning sciences.
One of the places I go for research is ResearchGate.net, a site for following researchers as they churn out mountains of work that never seems to make it into schools. Today I logged in to see what my homies were up to, and, while 99 percent of the posts are usually text-based articles, at the top of my feed was this great Creative Commons poster from Sepp, Wong, Hoogerheide and Castro-Alonso:
I’m thinking this poster deserves a place on my bulletin board at work, which is currently being monopolized by the work of Caviglioli. Even though I’ve seen these effects before – most are from cognitive load theory and the cognitive theory of multimedia learning – I’m looking forward to studying this from time to time from my desk, like one of Sweller’s worked examples. Perhaps I’ll get really serious and leverage the imagination effect and the self-explanation effect as I mull over the implications of this poster for my learning program.
As you take a look at this poster, which of these tips have implications for all three formats; in-person, hybrid, and remote; and which seem only applicable to the design of online trainings? And which need to be in teachers’ toolkits now (hello: transient information effect and example-based learning) and which seem most susceptible to “lethal mutation” (hello: generative learning overkill)?
Before you go, do as I did and try scanning the QR code in the poster (link here). To my delight, it took me to an interactive version, with animations for each of the effects. Pretty cool.
– Zach Groshell
Link to Poster on ResearchGate.net, here.
Link to interactive version of poster (w/ download), here
Poster based upon paper: Sepp, S., Wong, M., Hoogerheide, V., Castro-Alonso, J.C.(2021) Shifting Online: 12 Tips for Online Teaching Derived from Contemporary Educational Psychology Research. Manuscript submitted for publication.