The [Student] Cognition Toolbox: How You Can Help Students Boost Academic Performance, and How Students Can Help Themselves
CEITL Talk About Teaching Workshop
October 24, 2019
Cognitively-based study strategies promote student learning in academic courses, but many students are unaware that some strategies produce better learning outcomes than others; moreover, students often use strategies that can hinder their learning. In the fall of 2019, CEITL launched the Student Cognition Toolbox (SCT); a set of online instructional materials that will teach students cognitively-supported effective and efficient study strategies. A distinctive feature of the SCT is that lessons will include a practice component that will assist students in mastery of that strategy. Our modules cover a wide-range of study strategies, for example: elaborative interrogation, self-explanation, retrieval practice (practice quizzing), worked examples, spacing and interleaving of practice.
In this workshop, we described and demonstrated the SCT, which, delivered through the Carnegie Mellon University Open Learning Initiative platform, can be accessed through Canvas. This session demonstrated how you can incorporate the SCT into your courses, and how the SCT will teach students study skills that are appropriate for your learning outcomes.
To view the slideshow from this workshop, please click here.
Catherine Overson, CEITL
Lauren Kordonowy, CEITL
Meghan Stark, CEITL
Elizabeth Tappin, CEITL
Chris Williams, CEITL
Professor Benassi and his colleagues have spent over a decade working with course instructors to design, implement, and assess the impact of instructional principles informed by the science of learning. The take home message from this work is that, under a variety of conditions and in a variety of courses, they have documented boosts in students’ academic performance. They have monitored which interventions have the most robust effects as well as boundary conditions. To date, the focus of this work has been on helping instructors to implement assignments that are designed to promote student learning. Generally (with consideration of boundary conditions), if students complete the assignments, on average, they reap the benefits on high stakes exams. In this presentation, Professor Benassi will discuss the next step in this work: instructing students directly on how to use powerful study techniques informed by the science of learning—for example, retrieval practice, spacing of study, interleaving of practice, self-explanation. He will describe the Student Cognition Toolbox (SCT) and demonstrate its use either as a standalone open educational resource or as an embedded component within an academic course. He will also share results on the efficacy of the SCT.
National Institute on the Teaching of Psychology Conference
January 3 - 6, 2020