Professors Are from Mars, Students Are from Venus: Creating Ideal Conditions for High School Graduates to Thrive on “Earth”

Earth is perfectly positioned within the solar system between Venus and Mars in a region called the habitable zone. This area is the only known territory where conditions are favorable for life. If Earth were to stray outside of this propitious zone, life would be impossible. Learning environments have a similar zone, a region where the teaching and learning experience is …

Transforming Good Students into Great Learners

This post features notes from my recent pre-conference and workshop sessions at the Association of Colleges for Tutoring and Learning Assistance (ACTLA) and On Course conferences in sunny California!  Thanks for the invitation and great reception! Education is an enterprise in which students use their intellectual behaviors and cognitive skills to complete cognitive tasks.  Their success depends upon how well they …

Three Things Educators Can Do to Move Students Beyond Memory-based Learning

Contemporary research and conversations highlight educators’ pedagogical style and use of technology as indicators of teacher effectiveness. While these are important factors in the teaching and learning relationship, at the core of teaching and learning is, well, a relationship. This educational union between educators and students has, and always will be, the central key to outstanding education. All relationships hinge upon communication. Employees crave …

Three Things Every Student Must Know to Move Beyond Memory-based Learning

Okay, let’s face it: Learning is a human function. Kids learn naturally and effortlessly well before they become students. Students learn complexly in their non-school endeavors. Yet when it comes to education, students — young through old — use an unnatural approach to learning, a method that leaves students perplexed and educators frustrated. Below are three research-based facts students must understand …

Leading and Lagging Indicators in Learning: An Economic Perspective on Improving Student Academic Performance

Abstract: Economists use predictive factors to determine how an economy will perform. In doing so, they must distinguish between information that drives or is correlated with future performance — leading indicators, from data that measure past performance – lagging indicators. Educators and students regularly, unknowingly, mistake lagging indicators for leading indicators. This misinterpretation results in many bad outcomes: teacher frustration, …

Transferring Competence: How Our Work Experience Can Improve Student Performance (Part II)

This is part II of a two part article.  Click here for Part I Networks A few years ago, educators throughout the country began suggesting that group study was counterproductive. This message made its way to my campus.  Referencing purported “research” from a widely distributed book, some faculty were actively discouraging students from studying in groups. These well-intentioned colleagues claimed …

Transferring Competence: How Our Work Experience Can Improve Student Performance (Part I)

Most established professionals don’t face the same types of challenges as students. We (as professionals) have the luxury of primarily operating from places of competence and strength.  If we are in-class educators, we teach in the ways that are most comfortable to us. Learning support professionals use strategies that are most congruent with their approach to learning.   What’s behind …

From Good to Great Learning: 4-Week Academic Study

Challenge Accepted! Short before-and-after video: http://bit.ly/18XGqFn  Are you tired of seeing good, hard-working students under-perform in college?  Do you believe there are a different set of factors underlying students’ academic problems than the usual pejoratives: “they’re lazy,” “high school didn’t teach them anything,” or “they don’t care about their learning.” Are you seeking interventions that can boost students’ learning and test …

Adjusting to Rigor: Changing Students’ Default Settings

Every technology product we purchase comes with default settings. These settings are basic operational parameters that are preset by the manufacturer. The same presets exist in every device. So even though millions of us hold individual cell phones, we share the same default operating system. Our defaults are automatic and operate without our knowledge. For example, based on presets, our …