If You Really Want To Learn Something, Intend To Teach It

Not content to take traditional folk wisdom at face value, upstart researchers from Washington University, St. Louis, the University of California, Los Angeles, and Williams College in Williamstown, MA, have challenged the old saw, “If you really want to learn something, teach it.” Their study employed a couple of reading and recall experiments given to […]

Flatlined During Class

This published finding may not be scientifically significant (N=1) for some applications, but if nothing else it does provoke a chuckle (and a tendency to draw general conclusions without enough supporting data simply because – let’s face it – we’ve all been there). A study published in the IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering reports data from […]

The Eye of the Beholder – Why We Prefer Rounded Corners Over Sharp Edges

Rounded rectangles are everywhere. You might think the reason they are so ubiquitous is because web and product designers’ minds are being controlled by an alien graphical design style ray that shows little chance of letting go. Or, maybe not. Beauty, in the case of the rounded rectangle, might be in the eye of the […]

The Face in the Mirror – Online Avatars Affect Outcomes

According to a study at North Carolina State University, the effectiveness of online training might be enhanced if online educational helpers, or avatars, closely match the student. Researchers Tara S. Behrend and Lori F. Thompson designed instructional avatars using a program called People Putty to match or contradict gender, race and teaching styles of 257 […]

Make Mine Comic Sans – Bad Fonts Aid Learning

If you are the kind of designer who cannot tell the difference between Times and Helvetica, you’re in luck. A recent study by a team from Princeton and Indiana Universities shows that educational presentations that are hard for students to read may lead to improved memory performance. In the technical jargon of cognitive psychology the […]

New Science Points To New Classrooms

In a note that could have been taken from one of Maria Montessori’s books, researchers in neuroscience, machine learning, education and psychology have convened to show that findings from a joint study suggest that “the prepared environment” might be supported by new scientific data. “The ‘prepared environment‘ is Maria Montessori’s concept that the environment can […]

Teaching Adults – We’re Not Just Big Kids

Adult and continuing education is a growing and common feature of modern life. More and more people are getting involved in taking classes and online courses as part of an ongoing need to keep pace with developments in their professions, move into new careers, and to further recreational pursuits. Government, military and corporate employers see […]

I Like to Watch – Passive Learning Works

Adding to a growing body of research in learning that people can acquire new motor skills by watching alone, research at Dartmouth College shows that both viewing and doing are effective in learning new skills. In fact, according to the authors of the study “Human motor skills can be acquired by observation without the benefit […]

Do You Really Want To Know?

One time honored technique of train-the-trainer programs is to video tape a trainer’s presentation for critique and analysis. Often painful for the new trainer, seeing and hearing oneself from the point of view of the student or attendee can stimulate a shift in perception and lead to improved presentation skills if the trainer can recover […]