Supporting teachers and students with the science of learning: Challenges and solutions
One goal of cognitive psychologists who apply their research to education is encouraging others to use evidence-based teaching and learning techniques. However, conducting relevant research, presenting it at academic conferences, and publishing it in academic journals is not enough: Researchers must also communicate clearly with education stake-holders for the research findings to be maximally useful to society. In this presentation, I talk about some of my research; but more importantly, I talk about my outreach efforts with the Learning Scientists project, co-founded with Dr. Yana Weinstein (University of Massachusetts Lowell) in January 2016. Through this project, we communicate with students and teachers about research, motivating and supporting them to implement recommendations when they study and teach. The project grew from a Twitter account to a blog, free resources in many languages, a forthcoming podcast, and much more. I will discuss the successes and challenges that we have faced with this project.
Megan Sumeracki (formerly Megan Smith) is an Assistant Professor at Rhode Island College. She received her PhD in Cognitive Psychology from Purdue University. Megan’s area of expertise is in human learning and memory, and applying the science of learning in educational contexts. Her research program focuses on retrieval-based learning strategies, and the way activities promoting retrieval can improve meaningful learning in the classroom. Megan addresses empirical questions such as: What retrieval practice formats promote student learning? What retrieval practice activities work well for different types of learners? And, how can we encourage students to practice retrieval?
“Teaching the Science of Learning” – During the talk I will discuss our recent project creating materials to promote the science of learning in classrooms. I will also talk about the empirical work we are doing to test whether our materials to help teach students how to study effectively on their own lead to improvements in study strategy choice and learning. (Talk Co-authors: Yana Weinstein and Cindy Wooldridge)