As a lifelong learner and social media curator of learning resources, I invest significant time finding, sharing, and consuming a diverse array of learning resources. At this year’s National Institute for the Teaching of Psychology (NITOP), The Novice Professor team encouraged me to share some of my favorite learning experiences via a regular monthly guest blog. Here it goes…
My Favorite Book
In December, Dr. Joshua Eyler (@joshua_r_eyler) released his book, How Humans Learn: The Science and Stories Behind Effective Teaching. It is the fourth book in the Teaching and Learning in Higher Education series, published by West Virginia University Press.
In How Humans Learn, Dr. Eyler explores multidisciplinary research on learning across five fundamental factors relevant to successful learning, including:
It’s a quick read, but it definitely got me thinking and pondering possible learning design and delivery improvements. For example, Eyler’s advice reaffirms the value of sharing essential questions to spark curiosity, employing a variety of low stakes assignments (even ungraded assignments), carefully scaffolding learning experiences, encouraging positive interdependence among learners, nurturing positive emotions in the classroom, treating students as growing scholars, and making it safe to fail while learning.
To learn more about How Humans Learn, check out these recent podcast interviews with the author:
You might also enjoy this quick Q&A with Joshua Eyler on How Humans Learn from Inside Higher Ed and this article, 5 Teaching Tips From How Humans Learn, by The Chronicle of Higher Education.
My Favorite Podcast
While I follow many podcasts relevant to the science of teaching and learning, as well as psychology, this month’s favorite podcast is Believed, by National Public Radio and Michigan Radio. From the first few minutes of the first episode, which first aired in October 2018, to the final episode, which first aired in December 2018, I bet you will be as hooked as I was to the story of Olympic gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar. Nassar sexually abused more than 200 girls and women for decades before his ultimate conviction in January 2018.
The series includes recordings from police interviews with Nassar, as well as interviews with victims, their parents, and others. The final episode certainly forecasts this month’s resignation of Michigan State University’s interim president John Engler.
My Favorite MOOC
While the frenzy about massive open online courses (MOOCs) may be over, MOOCs are still alive and well. This month, I have been delighted with Dr. Paul Bloom’s new MOOC, Introduction to Psychology, which expands upon his popular Yale Open course by the same name. The course, which is on Coursera, includes six learning modules and addresses several key topics of psychology, including:
I complete MOOCs to explore new ways of teaching online courses, to expand my knowledge base, and to experience life as a student. Dr. Bloom’s MOOC provides an exemplar of a solid, albeit brief, online course with provocative video lectures, open source readings, as well as quick quizzes. He does an especially good job of taking complex concepts and describing them in simple, student friendly language. He also uses excellent stories and questions to spark interest in going deep to learn even more independently. He makes learning easy and fun!
My Favorite New Learning Resource
The Association for Psychological Science (APS) has knocked it out of the park with the special January 2019 issue of Perspectives on Psychological Science, How Can Psychological Science Cultivate a Healthier, Happier, and More Sustainable World? The issue, introduced in a brief online article, How Psychological Science is Bettering the World, includes 21 brief articles by 25 psychological scientists who are “expanding their research beyond academic articles and applying it to the betterment of society and the environment.”
Each article alone offers an excellent synopsis of the research endeavors of several psychological scientists, but the entire issue does a superb job of illustrating how psychology matters to everyone. I am eager to incorporate this issue into my Introduction to Psychology course.
My Favorite Media
While I’m still pondering the true meaning behind this film, I thoroughly enjoyed watching the new Netflix Film, Bird Box, starring Sandra Bullock, Trevante Rhodes, and John Malkovich. This gripping thriller managed to get me thinking about many topics relevant to psychology (and it managed to keep me on the edge of my seat for most of the film).
Overall, it was a great month for learning. In addition to these favorites, I thoroughly enjoyed my 11th NITOP Conference in a row and, as a result, you’re reading this blog.
I’m curious. What were your favorites this month?
Written by Bob DuBois
For more learning resources, follow my Twitter feed, @psychoBOBlogy. You might also enjoy the Facebook pages for my courses: