Introducing The Learner’s Formula

Professionals in all fields rely upon processes to do consistently high-quality work. We need processes most when our jobs require us to handle high volumes of work or when the work is complex. Take painters for example. Professional painters use the “W Method” to ensure they complete their painting jobs quickly while maintaining the highest quality standards. College students must …

Help Students Differentiate Thinking Skills with Metacognitive Tools

Students will begin the 2022–2023 academic year in our post-quarantine world with optimism and excitement to join their peers on campus. But many students will soon struggle as the reality of college work sets in. Their academic success depends on their ability to activate one specific metacognitive skill: students must know how to differentiate their thinking skills. Here’s a comparison …

Help Students Succeed: The Three Cs of Academic Work

Far too many students needlessly struggle their way through college. They study to the best of their abilities, but their grades simply don’t improve. Why does this happen? Students who can’t find their groove in college have never learned the basics about academic work. Here’s a quick crash course to help students succeed using the foundational components of academic work. …

2021 LSAC National Conference

On May 19, 2021, I was honored to provide two workshops for the Learning Specialists Association of Canada’s annual national conference. Having been the conference Keynote speaker in 2015, it was great connecting with many of my colleagues from the north and beyond! (You can download the sessions’ materials and leave a comment below.)Session I Trench Data: Data that matter …

Instruction Amplified

Teaching shouldn’t be so hard! On a basic level, the teaching and learning enterprise is built upon two conditional assurances. Teachers want to know that if they teach students, then students will work to learn the material. Students want to know that if they do the work, then they will be rewarded with good grades. When these assurances aren’t met, …

Why Bad Thinking Happens

There are two types of academic challenges students face in college: Type I and Type II.Type I problems are challenges of effort. In these situations, students aren’t very studious. They don’t show up for class. They don’t study. And they don’t read. In most cases, students with Type I problems are not serious-minded learners.Type II problems are transfer of learning …

Unequal Competence: The Gap Between Passing and Learning

My recent discoveries suggest that “good students” — those with decent skills and who work hard — enjoy consistent academic success in settings with two distinct academic conditions. Fortunately for them, many courses have these conditions. This post shares the two conditions and includes quotes from students who learned to learn when these conditions are not met. Ideally, confidence flows …

Transforming Academic Divers into Academic Strivers: Building Academic Endurance

Going to college is no trivial matter, but succeeding in college is an entirely different challenge. Why does college make some students but break others? This article shares an effective strategy you can use to transform students’ struggles into successes. When students begin college, they automatically try to use the skills that got them into college to get them through …

Academic Divers, Strivers and Thrivers: Metacognitive Learner Profiles

Click image to enlarge.In the current environment of hyper-segmentation, it can seem impossible for instructors and learning center professionals to know what college students need to succeed. We seem infatuated with sub-dividing students into increasingly smaller and smaller cohorts. This myopic perspective blinds us from seeing the commonalities among students, and prevents us from finding solutions that stretch across academic …