This Week in LIS - 6 June 2014

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Headline of the Week: Make It Stick:  The Science of Successful Learning and

I found a reference to a new book called Make It Stick:  The Science of Successful Learning in an article in The Chronicle of Higher Education. I found it compellingly interesting. It discusses a body of research about effective teaching and learning. As I read it I compared what it suggests to my own personal experience learning and my classroom experience teaching and learning. It has me rethinking my approaches!

One takeaway concerns the idea of “illusion of knowing.” This “illusion” confuses our intuition leading us to favor approaches to learning that appear to be effective but in reality, with time, are less effective than others that don’t “feel” as immediately effective.

Another is not so much a surprise as a reconfirmation. Learning takes real effort. Development of discipline is essential and high structure really makes a difference.

Think of it as an educator’s guide to “delayed gratification” and “no pain, no gain” applied to teaching and learning. There are about ½ dozen techniques that I can imagine building into a class approach.

My sense was that the techniques that book argues for would be most effective in a residential liberal arts college with generally small class sizes and a great deal of faculty student interaction.

I enjoy reading the readers’ comments on articles and books to get additional ideas and insights. It’s almost as much fun as reading the footnotes at the end of books that include extended discussion by the author. A couple comments on the book on Amazon’s site pointed to a web service I’d not seen before called “” This seems like a great tool to use when one needs to master/memorize material onto which one would later want to build higher level thinking skills. As an example it supports an electronic “flashcard” mechanism. The very act of building the flash cards would be a great learning experience for such material. Check it out!

Suggested Reading/Viewing/Listening:

Make It Stick: The Science of Successful Learning by Peter Brown, Henry Roediger, McDaniel

Making It Stick by James M. Lang in The Chronicle of Higher Education


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June 2014

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