Saturday, 12 September 2015

The Brain and Learning

For my week 2 blog assignment, I have identified and evaluated the following resources that address this week's topics:  the brain and learning, information processing theory, and problem-solving methods during the learning process.

Research in Brain Function and Learning
The importance of matching instruction to a child's maturity level

The author, Dr. Margaret Semrud-Clikeman, begins by reminding the reader of the different rates at which our bodies grow physically and we develop emotionally so why would our brains would be any different?

What I found of particular interest were the facts and myths about brain development and learning. We viewed a video in the first week of this course suggesting that learning styles do not exist so what other misconceptions are out there?

The site also includes a number of do's and don'ts which are supported by evidence.

Instructional Design Models and Theories: 
Information Processing Theory

This website was referenced by several members of the class as a valuable resource for instructional designers.  Upon further digging, I found a nice connection between information processing theory and instructional design.

Applications of information processing theory on instructional design and learning include:

  • Focusing skills
  • Information gathering skills 
  • Remembering skills 
  • Organizing skills 

Additional learning theories:

How Einstein's Brain Is Different Than Yours

Presenting new information in multiple formats enhance one's ability to learn and utilizes multiple memory systems, such as semantic, verbal and visual (iconic).  For this reason, I've included this link to a video (3:08) by Discovery News that suggests Einstein's genius may be attributed to the size of his corpus callosum (bundle of nerve tissue) that enables communication between both hemispheres of the brain.   Engaging in tasks, such as playing a musical instrument or using  your non-dominant hand, that utilize regions in both hemispheres may strengthen these communication pathways.  Can we design learning activities that make demands on parts of the brain in both hemispheres to increase learning and enhance retention and recall?

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