01 October 2009

7 Techniques of Teaching / Learning

deWinstanley summarizes Bjork's seven studying techniques in the reference below. These seven learning techniques have corresponding implications for teachers. Here is the list for teachers:
  1. Allocate your attention efficiently. Anything that does not help your students bridge what you want them to learn with what you want to tell / show them is a distraction. If you tell a story, make sure there is a connection with what you want them to learn. Use questions to help your students to focus.
  2. Interpret and elaborate on what you are trying to teach. Students need context to apply what they learn so they can have better recall and retention.
  3. Make your teaching variable (e.g. location, interpretation, example). Use a variety of contexts to illustrate what you want to teach (see points 1 and 2). Try contrasting cases.
  4. Space your teaching of a topic or area and repeat your teaching several times. Instead of blocking or massing what you want to teach on XXX in one big chunk of time, try to space it out in a number of sessions.
  5. Organize and structure the information you are trying to teach. Provide skeleton outline rather than a full outline so students can pay more attention. Provide or have the students produce (see point 7) a concept map that captures the concepts and their relationships with one another.
  6. Help students to visualize the information. Reinstate the context during a test. Use mnemonics, graphs, props, etc., but make sure they are helpful for the student to build bridges to the learning content (see point 1).
  7. Generate Generate Generate ... Retrieve Retrieve Retrieve. Give students lots of tests and opportunities to construct their knowledge. Feedback is good but even if they don't get immediate feedback, have them generate their knowledge over and over again.

deWinstanley, Patricia. (1999). The Science of Studying Effectively. Bjork's Seven Studying Techniques. Retrieved on September 4, 2009 from http://www.oberlin.edu/psych/studytech/.

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