Not too long ago I “took” a super helpful – and free – MOOC* through the University of California – San Diego. I put air quotes around took because what taking a MOOC means when you’re not aiming for certification is basically to watch the videos, read the readings, and take the quizzes. But that doesn’t mean that I didn’t learn anything.
The MOOC is called Learning How to Learn, so right up my alley. It was created a professor of engineering at a little school in Rochester, Michigan. (Who knew there was a Rochester in Michigan? Not me. Until now.) Anyhoo, Dr. Barbara Oakley’s research delves into neuroscience and learning – and social behavior. She’s joined by a Dr. Sejnowski, a computational neuroscience pioneer and overall Big Man in Academia. Great team.
Although the course is basically for college students trying to get through Trig and such, if you streaaatcccchhhhh it just a little bit, there were a lot of gems in there that are totally relevant to the kinds of e-courses we build for adult learners.
To save you the time going through the course on your own, I created this post based on what I learned.
And now for the 4 points that I think you’ll find most useful:
1 – Spacing
Spacing learning out has been shown to have a huge advantage over squeezing it together. I know that it does seem like setting up your course so people can binge-take it sounds efficient but really, in the end, it’s lousy for long-term recall.
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