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  1. 1. Susan A. Ambrose Michael W. Bridges | Michele DiPietro Marsha C. Lovett | Marie K. Norman FOREWORD BY RICHARD E. MAYER 7Research-Based Principles for Smart Teaching
  2. 2. How Learning Works
  3. 3. How Learning Works Seven Research-Based Principles for Smart Teaching Susan A. Ambrose, Michael W. Bridges, Michele DiPietro, Marsha C. Lovett, Marie K. Norman Foreword by Richard E. Mayer
  4. 4. Copyright 2010 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc. All rights reserved. Published by Jossey-Bass A Wiley Imprint 989 Market Street, San Francisco, CA The book is based on the seven Theory and Research-based Principles of Learning, which are used with permission of Carnegie Mellon Universitys Eberly Center for Teaching Excellence. Figures created by Judy Brooks. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, scanning, or otherwise, except as permitted under Section 107 or 108 of the 1976 United States Copyright Act, without either the prior written permission of the publisher, or authorization through payment of the appropriate per-copy fee to the Copyright Clearance Center, Inc., 222 Rosewood Drive, Danvers, MA 01923, 978-750-8400, fax 978-646-8600, or on the Web at Requests to the publisher for permission should be addressed to the Permissions Department, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 111 River Street, Hoboken, NJ 07030, 201-748-6011, fax 201-748-6008, or online at Readers should be aware that Internet Web sites offered as citations and/or sources for further information may have changed or disappeared between the time this was written and when it is read. Limit of Liability/Disclaimer of Warranty: While the publisher and author have used their best efforts in preparing this book, they make no representations or warranties with respect to the accuracy or completeness of the contents of this book and specically disclaim any implied warranties of merchantability or tness for a particular purpose. No warranty may be created or extended by sales representatives or written sales materials. The advice and strategies contained herein may not be suitable for your situation. You should consult with a professional where appropriate. Neither the publisher nor author shall be liable for any loss of prot or any other commercial damages, including but not limited to special, incidental, consequential, or other damages. Jossey-Bass books and products are available through most bookstores. To contact Jossey-Bass directly call our Customer Care Department within the U.S. at 800-956-7739, outside the U.S. at 317-572-3986, or fax 317-572-4002. Jossey-Bass also publishes its books in a variety of electronic formats. Some content that appears in print may not be available in electronic books. Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data How learning works : seven research-based principles for smart teaching / Susan A. Ambrose . . . [et al.] ; foreword by Richard E. Mayer. 1st ed. p. cm. (The Jossey-Bass higher and adult education series) Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN 978-0-470-48410-4 (cloth) 1. Effective teachingCase studies. 2. Educational innovationsCase studies. 3. School improvement programsCase studies. 4. Learning, Psychology ofCase studies. I. Ambrose, Susan A. II. Title: Seven research-based principles for smart teaching. LB1025.3.H68 2010 371.102dc22 2010003939 Printed in the United States of America FIRST EDITION HB Printing 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
  5. 5. T H E J O S S E Y B A S S H I G H E R A N D A D U LT E D U C AT I O N S E R I E S
  6. 6. vii C O N T E N T S List of Figures, Tables, and Exhibits ix Foreword xiii Richard E. Mayer Acknowledgments xvii About the Authors xix Introduction Bridging Learning Research and Teaching Practice 1 1 How Does Students Prior Knowledge Affect Their Learning? 10 2 How Does the Way Students Organize Knowledge Affect Their Learning? 40 3 What Factors Motivate Students to Learn? 66 4 How Do Students Develop Mastery? 91 5 What Kinds of Practice and Feedback Enhance Learning? 121 6 Why Do Student Development and Course Climate Matter for Student Learning? 153 7 How Do Students Become Self-Directed Learners? 188 Conclusion Applying the Seven Principles to Ourselves 217
  7. 7. Contents viii Appendices Appendix A What Is Student Self-Assessment and How Can We Use It? 225 Appendix B What Are Concept Maps and How Can We Use Them? 228 Appendix C What Are Rubrics and How Can We Use Them? 231 Appendix D What Are Learning Objectives and How Can We Use Them? 244 Appendix E What Are Ground Rules and How Can We Use Them? 248 Appendix F What Are Exam Wrappers and How Can We Use Them? 251 Appendix G What Are Checklists and How Can We Use Them? 255 Appendix H What Is Reader Response/Peer Review and How Can We Use It? 257 References 261 Name Index 285 Subject Index 291
  8. 8. ix L I S T O F F I G U R E S , TA B L E S , A N D E X H I B I T S Figures Figure 1.1. Qualities of Prior Knowledge That Help or Hinder Learning 14 Figure 2.1. Differences in How Experts and Novices Organize Knowledge 45 Figure 2.2. Examples of Knowledge Organizations 50 Figure 3.1. Impact of Value and Expectancy on Learning and Performance 70 Figure 3.2. Interactive Effects of Environment, Efcacy, and Value on Motivation 80 Figure 4.1. Elements of Mastery 96 Figure 4.2. Stages in the Development of Mastery 97 Figure 5.1. Cycle of Practice and Feedback 126 Figure 5.2. Unequal Effects of Practice on Performance 135 Figure 6.1. Interactive Effect of Student Development and Course Climate on Learning 157 Figure 7.1. Cycle of Self-Directed Learning 193 Figure B.1. Sample Concept Map 229 Tables Table D.1. Sample Verbs for Blooms Taxonomy 246
  9. 9. List of Figures, Tables, and Exhibits x Exhibits Exhibit A.1. Sample Self-Assessments 226 Exhibit C.1. Rubric for Class Participation 233 Exhibit C.2. Rubric for Oral Exams 234 Exhibit C.3. Rubric for Papers 236 Exhibit C.4. Senior Design Project Rubric 239 Exhibit D.1. Sample Learning Objectives 247 Exhibit E.1. Sample Ground Rules 249 Exhibit E.2. A Method for Helping Students Create Their Own Ground Rules 250 Exhibit F.1. Sample Exam Wrapper 253 Exhibit G.1. Sample Paper Checklist 256 Exhibit H.1. Sample Reader Response/Peer Review Instrument 258
  10. 10. To the faculty and graduate instructors of Carnegie Mellon, whose dedication to student learning continues to inspire us.
  11. 11. xiii F O R E W O R D : A P P LY I N G T H E S C I E N C E O F L E A R N I N G T O C O L L E G E T E A C H I N G In 1899, the famous American psychologist, William James pub- lished a little book called Talks to Teachers, in which he sought to explain how to apply psychology to educationthat is, he sought to use what he called the science of the minds workings to generate practical advice for classroom teachers. At the time, the book was not much of a success, largely for two reasons: (a) there was a lack of research evidence on how learning works (that is, the science of learning), and (b) there was a lack of research- based principles concerning how to help people learn (that is, the science of instruction). Much has happened in the learning sciences in the past 100 years, particularly in the last few decades. We nally have the makings of a research-based theory of how people learn that is educationally relevant (that is, the science of learning) and a set of evidence-based principles for how to help people learn that is grounded in cognitive theory (that is, the science of instruction). Indeed, these are exciting times if you are interested in fullling William Jamess mission of applying the science of learning to education. The book you are holdingHow Learning Works: Seven Research-Based Principles for Smart Teachingis the latest advance- ment in the continuing task of applying the science of learning to educationparticularly, college teaching. The authors are experts
  12. 12. Foreword: Applying the Science of Learning to College Teaching xiv in helping college teachers understand how research in the science of learning can improve their teaching. If you are interested in what research in the science of learning and instruction has to say for you as a college teacher, then this book is for you. The book is organized around seven learning principles each a gem that is based on research evidence from the science of learning and the science of instruction. The principles concern the role of the students prior knowledge, motivation, and develop- mental level, as well as opportunities for the student to practice, receive feedback, and learn to become a self-directed learner. Each chapter focuses on one of the principles, such as Students prior knowledge can help or hinder learning. Each chapter begins with a concrete scenario in college teaching that exemplies the prin- ciple being highlighted in the chapter, provides a clear statement and rationale for the principle, summarizes the underlying research and its implications, and offers specic advice on how to apply the principle. Consider the following scenario: You are teaching a course in your eld. Based on years of study and work, you are an expert in your eldbut you are certainly not an expert in how to teach others about your eld. In fact, you have almost no training in how to teach. Yet a fundamental part of your job involves college teaching. You have devised a teaching style that works for you, but you wonder whether there is any way to base what you are doing on scientic principles of learning and teaching. This description ts many college teachers. The book you are holding is based on the idea that you wish to consider taking an evidence-based approach to college teach- ingthat is, you wish to inform your instructional decisions with research