Changing Minds and Brains: Applying Neuro, Cognitive, and Learning Sciences to Online Course Design

Concurrent Session 2

Session Materials

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Brief Abstract

Neuro, cognitive, and learning sciences research has validated human learning principles and dispelled neuromyths to help educators create optimal learning experiences. This presentation will demonstrate how the presenters incorporated suggestions from this research into their scalable course design process, based on an instructional designer/faculty partnership model.

Presenters

Elena P. Garofoli, Senior Instructional Designer for the Boston University Office of Distance Education, has more than 30 years combined experience in pedagogy, training, education, and computer/educational technology. She has experience working in hybrid and totally online learning, and is certified in quality hybrid and online course assessment. She has experience working in a variety of educational institutions, and with faculty, staff, administrators, and students, and presented at regional, national, and international venues. The instructional design team she leads at BU has responsibility for professional certificate programs, several masters programs and two doctoral programs—all of which are offered online. She has been the Boston University Metropolitan College’s Chadwick Fellowship, served as a consultant for an American Council on Education (ACE) alternative credit project, received a Blackboard Exemplary Course award, and presented at the United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA) and Online Learning Consortium (OLC) conferences. Prior to Boston University where she has been employed for seven years, she was an Academic Learning Technologist at Suffolk University’s Sawyer Business School. Garofoli previously owned her own business called SparkFireLearning, an independent elearning and instructional design consultantancy. There she worked for colleges and universities, private industry, and non-profit organizations. During this period of time she was the Director of the Master of Arts in Teaching with Internet Technologies (MAT) for the Marlboro College Graduate School (VT).
Ye Liu is a Lead Instructional Designer at Office of Distance Education, Metropolitan College, Boston University. She works in partnership with faculty to design and develop online courses in a variety of online programs.

Extended Abstract

Learning Objectives

After this session, you will be able to:

  • Identify at least three fundamental principles of neuro, cognitive, and learning sciences.
  • List at least two ideas you might implement in your current (online) course(s) based on neuro, cognitive, and learning sciences.
  • Identify and use resources provided by presenters for further exploration on neuro, cognitive, and learning sciences study.

Extended Description
Neuro, cognitive, and learning sciences research has validated human learning principles and dispelled neuromyths to help educators create optimal learning experiences. One purpose of this session is to help faculty and instructional designers identify the six human learning principles (Metacognition, Differentiated Instruction, Real-World Transfer, Attention, Memory, and Thinking) validated by neuroscience, cognitive, and learning sciences research. A second purpose is for session attendees to develop teaching strategies based on the learning principles and incorporate these strategies into their own (online) courses.

The presenters will share their takeaways from the OLC online workshop Applying the Neuro, Cognitive, and Learning Sciences to Instructional Design and demonstrate how they incorporated neuro, cognitive, and learning sciences research into their scalable course design process. Examples they will share include their updated course design template, which embeds built-in suggestions from cognitive research; retrieval practices that guide students to actively practice and relearn knowledge; and metacognitive strategies to facilitate students’ learning processes. Each presenter will demonstrate one of her redesigned courses and will comment on selected neuro, cognitive, and learning sciences resources that she found helpful.

Session Process and Participant Interaction
The presenting team has experience facilitating workshops in the U.S. and in selected countries overseas. They will draw on this background to engage the session attendees and actively solicit questions. The attendees will also have the opportunity to work individually to apply session gleanings to their own contexts. All participants will have the opportunity to discuss and contribute their own course design challenges and solutions.