Professor Terry Doyle is from Ferris State University in Michigan. He has been focused on learner-centered teaching and faculty development for 35 years. The title of his keynote at this conference was "The new science of learning."
You can review the slides from this keynote at his website: http://learnercenteredteaching.wordpress.com
He starts with 3 Vital Questions:
- What is the best use of our time in helping students master learning outcomes?
- What would make us happy that our students still knew and could apply from the content and skills from our course one year later?
- How do we get students to be more responsible for their own learning?
What I found really interesting is the list of things that the brain needs in order for learning to occur. Then with each item on the list he explains why and some research that has been done to prove its importance in the learning process. The ironic thing is that most college students DO NOT serve themselves well and often neglect all of these things!
- improves focus, motivation and attention, actually makes learning easier
- thankfully we breathe to stay alive and there's no getting around that, however, some nice deep breathes of fresh air before class is not a bad idea.
- a normal, stable, healthy diet is necessary (not beer, cheetos, soda and pizza)
- the brain must be hydrated in order for learning to occur. Most students are dehydrated. Drink lots and lots of water, especially before an exam
- you must have at least 7.5 hours of sleep for a healthy brain. During sleep your brain replays memories, taking a nap after learning something new will actually help you retain the info
- Tie personal relevance to the skill or information
- content should be made to respond to survival needs (attaining career or move up for better paying job)
- aim for teaching with multi-modal, experiential and multi-sensory activities
- emphasize PRACTICE and necessary time on task to effectively learn
- surround factual data around Meaningful context
- Use various sensory channels at the same time for especially difficult content
- the brain seeks and detects novelty. mix it up, try new methods for delivery
- help students see patterns in learning
- similarity and difference
- cause and effect
- compare and contrast
- in student's own words