eight core learning principles

#  Core Learning Principles Suggestions for the Instructor

Active involvement:
Learning requires the active,
constructive involvement of the learner

  • Provide variety in teaching methods and avoid situations where students are passive listeners for more than 20 minutes at a time.
  • Involve students in learning activities,such as projects, case studies, observations, exercises
  • Encourage participation in discussions and other group or collaborative activities
  • Help students to create learning goals that reflect their interests and aspirations
  • Give students some say in what to learn and how 
2 Meaningful activities:
People learn best when they participate
in activities that are perceived to be useful  in real life and culturally relevant 
  • Situate activities in “authentic” or real‐life contexts that are relevant to the learners, such as reading a newspaper, applying ideas to a work situation,or analyzing an everyday example  or case study.
  • Use familiar examples that are drawn from everyday situations that students know.
  • For multi‐cultural audiences,use a variety of examples and activities drawn from their culture. 

Relating new information to prior knowledge:
New knowledge is constructed on the basis of what is already understood and believed.

  • In starting a new topic, review prerequisite material or ask students to do some preparatory work.
  • Provide a short overview of new content to help students activate their prior knowledge.
  • Discuss new content with students to check on misconceptions or beliefs that may interfere with learning 
  • Help students to make connections by asking questions, using analogies, modeling behaviors, or relating to prior experiences.
Learning strategies:
People learn by using effective and flexible strategies that help them to understand, reason,and solve problems.
  • Model strategies for solving a problem or applying a new skill.
  • Give students a task and ask key questions that help to model the inquiry process. 
  • Help students to plan what they will do (the strategies) to achieve their goals.
  • Demonstrate study strategies, such as how to outline important points, create a concept map,diagram relationships, develop an argument,or summarize ideas.

Engaging in self‐regulation:
Learners should know how to plan and monitor their learning,how to set their own goals, and how to correct errors.

Give learners opportunities to:
  • Set their own goals
  • Plan how to solve problems, design experiments, or read a journal article.
  • Check their understanding and progress by asking themselves questions (Why am I doing this, what does this mean, how can I use it, how well am I doing, what remains to be done?).
  • Evaluate the statements, arguments, and solutions of others and one’s self.
Aim for understanding rather than memorization:
Learning is better when it is organized around concepts,principles and explanations rather than memorizing isolated facts and procedures 
To teach for understanding:
  • Ask students to explain a concept in their own words.
  • Show students how to provide examples that illustrate how a principle applies or a law works.
  • Have students solve characteristic problems in the  subject matter area.
  • Ask students to identify differences and similarities,compare and contrast ideas, or generate analogies.
  • Ask questions that help students to generalize fromspecific examples.               
Helping students to learn to transfer:
Learning becomes more meaningful when the lessons are applied to real‐life situations.
To help students to transfer learning:
  • Ask students how they might use what they have  learned in their own lives.
  • Ask students to describe examples of where they  have seen this information applied in the past.
  • Help students to apply ideas from one area to other related areas through problems, activities, or exercises.
  • Check for errors in understanding that may interfere with transfer to other situations.
Restructuring prior knowledge:
Sometimes prior knowledge can stand in the way of learning something new.Students should learn how to resolve internal inconsistencies and restructure misconceptions.                                         
  • Be aware that students have prior beliefs and incomplete understandings that can conflict with  learning.
  • Create an environment where alternative beliefs and explanations can be expressed.
  • Build on students’ existing ideas and lead them to   more mature or fuller understandings.
  • Present materials and explanations clearly and provide supporting evidence or examples that help students to see new explanations.
  • Give students time to learn and to reflect on their understandings (it is better to cover fewer topics in more depth than to cover many topics too quickly) .