Thursday, July 1

Brain Learning and eLearning Design

David Grebow suggested this month's Big Question (thanks David).

There's been a lot of discussion around cognitive theory and "how the brain learns." I've been to a lot of conference sessions around this and I've captured a bunch of really great resources below.

But even with all of that discussion there's a question of whether people are really making changes to the design of their online learning.

So the July Question is:

Does the discussion of "how the brain learns" impact your eLearning design?

How to Respond:

Option 1 - Simply put your thoughts in a comment below.

Option 2 -

Step 1 - Post in your blog (please link to this post).
Step 2 - Put a comment in this blog with an HTML ready link that I can simply copy and paste (an HTML anchor tag). I will only copy and past, thus, I would also recommend you include your NAME immediately before your link. So, it should look like:

Tony Karrer - e-Learning 2.0

or you could also include your blog name with something like:

Tony Karrer - e-Learning 2.0 : eLearningTechnology

Video Link and Posts so far (and read comments as well):

Top 32 Posts on Brain, Learning, eLearning Design

I used eLearning Learning to do some quick research to find top resources related to Cognitive Theory, Brain in combination with terms like Instructional Design, Online Learning, Learning Theory, Pedagogy such as: Cognitive Learning Theory, Brain Learning Theory, Instructional Design and Cognitive Theory, Brain and Learning Styles, Brain and Instructional Design, Brain Online Learning Design, Online Learning Pedagogy - this found 32 really great resources on this topic that I've listed below:
  1. The Science Behind Learning: Cognitive Tips and How Tos for Corporate Training, February 28, 2010
  2. Expanding On The Nine Events Of Instruction- The eLearning Coach, April 19, 2010
  3. Transfer of Learning - Theories and Implications- Designed for Learning, October 31, 2009
  4. Why are people so dumb? (Cognitive Biases), November 1, 2009
  5. Cognitive Load vs. Load Time, October 9, 2009
  6. Aging. Can We Enhance People's Cognitive Outcomes?, June 4, 2009
  7. Rob Barton: Reducing Extraneous Cognitive Load by Accounting for Individual Differences, January 12, 2009
  8. Push Your Brain! Institute for Human and Machine Cognition, January 26, 2009
  9. Discovering Instructional Design, Part 1- The E-Learning Curve, May 19, 2009
  10. Taxonomy of Learning Theories- E-learning in the Corporate Sector, January 12, 2010
  11. Game-based meta-cognitive coaching- Learnlets, October 15, 2009
  12. 20 Facts You Must Know About Working Memory- The eLearning Coach, June 2, 2010
  13. Start and End eLearning Courses with Methods That Facilitate Learning- Integrated Learnings, January 26, 2010
  14. Cognitive Psychology Anyone?- The eLearning Coach, January 25, 2010
  15. Inaccurate claims of brain training benefits- Lars is Learning, January 8, 2008
  16. Definition: Cognitivism- Kapp Notes, December 28, 2006
  17. Theory-informed design tips- E-learning in the Corporate Sector, February 9, 2010
  18. The science of learning- Clive on Learning, February 21, 2007
  19. Deeper Instructional Design- In the Middle of the Curve, November 13, 2008
  20. Brain Based Learning- eLearning Blender, September 28, 2008
  21. Understanding Learning Styles Research- Experiencing eLearning, September 1, 2008
  22. 4 ways to enlist the learners’ unconscious mind- Thinking Cloud, December 20, 2009
  23. Daniel Pink and Framing the Task, September 22, 2009
  24. Brain rules – where does that leave us?- Clive on Learning, June 22, 2009
  25. Brain Rules & learning- Informal Learning, June 13, 2010
  26. Brain changing technology- Learning Technology Learning, March 15, 2010
  27. The art of changing the brain- Clive on Learning, May 13, 2008
  28. Tools and our brain, July 10, 2009
  29. Be Skeptical of Brain-Based Learning, July 21, 2008
  30. Are you being fooled by claims of brain-based learning?, June 2, 2010
  31. That brain of ours, July 9, 2009
  32. 12 Brain Rules continue to stir interest with Instructional Designers, April 10, 2009


dianne said...

I know it's the ex-scientist in me reacting, but whenever I hear about "brain-based learning" I want to see the data or at least a cite to the data supporting the conclusions being drawn.

A great YouTube video on the subject is

The video pretty much reflects my thoughts on brain learning.

Alex Taylor - TJ Taylor Language Training said...

Like Diane, my gut instinct to this question is "I'm not qualified to respond". I'm certainly no neuroscientist or psychologist, and the quasi-medical/neuroscience associations that this term conjures up makes me rather uneasy - and that's from someone who's actually willing to take the time and investigate it. Just think what could happen if this gets released into 'the wild' or a there's a bandwagon to jump on.

Jason said...

Jason McDonald - Maybe You Should Read the Manual

Clive Shepherd said...

Thoughts from Clive Shepherd at Clive on Learning.

Clark said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Clark said...

Clark Quinn's Learnlets - Brain science in design?

Unknown said...

I agree with the previous comments that the term 'brain learning' can cause some anxiety about methods of research, validity of conclusions, etc. However, once we are comfortable with the implications of brain research (if ever)I think it can contribute to instructional design. It gives us one more perspective from which to gauge the efficacy of our learning designs. I always ask questions at different points during my designing - is this engaging, does it lead to the desired outcome, is it presented clearly? Brain-based research can add another dimension to that questioning. For example, does my design present the material is more than one way? (which is supposed to aid encoding and network building in long-term memory).

I wouldn't say its revolutionary, but brain research does have some implication as a refiner for what we do.

kvernon said...

As I read through some of the other posts, I notice that most people have a very negative view on "brain-based learning" and that is a shame. I agree that it is easy to get bogged down with some of the hype and over-marketed products that are indeed simply a fad. The problem lies in the fact that neuroscience simply explains to us how people learn and that fact that, over time, the methods that will work best for students have changed.

In my era, having an instructor simply tell me the data and then me going home to apply the principles was effective. The difference is the environment at my house had one t.v. and we only used it after 6:00. Today we are stimulated constantly with different images, sounds, and entertainment. Even as I write this, I am working on a separate blog, have a video playing in the background and have a game paused to continue when I finish. Obviously having an instructor simply stand and talk at me is going to be ineffective (usually I'll take my phone and surf the web while they talk).

If I have trouble using older techniques, imagine the issues for younger people who never had the training we had as children to sit and aquire data in the old method. We have to be aware of the changes in thinking and learning techniques in order to design our instruction in a method that is most effective for these people. I don't think you should teach the lesson to each individual, but be aware and present the material with more that one modality so you reach the vast majority of those listening and watching you in order to be effective.

Paul Angileri said...

Paul Angileri - If What You Mean Is the Opposite of the Thing, then Yes...

Anonymous said...

Holly's thoughts...
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cezille said...

That's a perfect idea.

yobeb said...

Learnings came from cognitive mindset even the brain reacts the important is the understanding

Rakesh Poddar said...

Rakesh Poddar - Instructional Design is about Adapting Instruction to Brain’s Ways