Myth Busting Learning

Concurrent Session 5

Brief Abstract

Are you a learning myth buster? In this session, we’ll not only bust some of the most common and persistent learning myths, but we will also learn how to apply learning science to design effective instruction that helps your students learn better.


Sing is currently the Manager of Learning Design and Solutions at the Clearinghouse for Military Family Readiness. At the Clearinghouse, he manages a team of learning designers, production specialists, and developers to produce researched-based educational solutions to help improve the lives of United States military members and their families. His areas of expertise include instructional design, educational technology, faculty development, adult learning, student engagement, active learning, MOOCs, and the development of STEM-related courses. Sing has previously presented presenter at various education conferences, including the OLC Accelerate, Learning Solutions, and the Penn State Teaching and Learning with Technology Symposium.

Additional Authors

Emily Baxter is an Instructional Designer in the eLearning Design & Innovation Group (eLDIG) in the Smeal College of Business at Penn State University. Over the last 20 years, she has had experience designing instruction for a wide range of learners - from preschoolers through adults. In her position as an Instructional Designer, Emily enjoys having the opportunity to collaborate with other faculty to create meaningful course experiences that utilize best practices in online education.

Extended Abstract

Humans have shorter attention spans than goldfish.

Millennials learn differently.

Re-reading and highlighting are effective study strategies.

Images are 60,000 times more effective than text.


In this highly interactive session, we will debunk some of the most prevalent myths surrounding how humans learn. Whether you are new to learning design or a seasoned veteran, you may be surprised to discover how many myths you believe to be true, and have actually incorporated into your courses. 

We will go beyond the debunking to share what recent learning science has shown to be true about the way students learn. We will also share effective activities and tools for supporting effective learning. This will be a highly interactive session incorporating large and small group discussion, as well as a fast-paced quizzing game.

Participants in this session will:

  • Discover commonly held misconceptions about learning

  • Compile current learning science research

  • Discover tools and techniques for reinforcing learning in the online classroom