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How Learning Works

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Praise for How Learning Works

"How Learning Works is the perfect title for this excellent book. Drawing upon new research in psychology, education, and cognitive science, the authors have demystified a complex topic into clear explanations of seven powerful learning principles. Full of great ideas and practical suggestions, all based on solid research evidence, this book is essential reading for instructors at all levels who wish to improve their students' learning."
Barbara Gross Davis, assistant vice chancellor for educational development, University of California, Berkeley, and author, Tools for Teaching

"This book is a must-read for every instructor, new or experienced. Although I have been teaching for almost thirty years, as I read this book I found myself resonating with many of its ideas, and I discovered new ways of thinking about teaching."
Eugenia T. Paulus, professor of chemistry, North Hennepin Community College, and 2008 U.S. Community Colleges Professor of the Year from The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education

"Thank you Carnegie Mellon for making accessible what has previously been inaccessible to those of us who are not learning scientists. Your focus on the essence of learning combined with concrete examples of the daily challenges of teaching and clear tactical strategies for faculty to consider is a welcome work. I will recommend this book to all my colleagues."
Catherine M. Casserly, senior partner, The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching

"As you read about each of the seven basic learning principles in this book, you will find advice that is grounded in learning theory, based on research evidence, relevant to college teaching, and easy to understand. The authors have extensive knowledge and experience in applying the science of learning to college teaching, and they graciously share it with you in this organized and readable book."
From the Foreword by Richard E. Mayer, professor of psychology, University of California, Santa Barbara; coauthor, e-Learning and the Science of Instruction; and author, Multimedia Learning

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. Title page
  3. Copyright page
  4. Series page
  5. LIST OF FIGURES, TABLES, AND EXHIBITS
  6. Dedication
  7. FOREWORD: APPLYING THE SCIENCE OF LEARNING TO COLLEGE TEACHING
  8. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
  9. ABOUT THE AUTHORS
  10. Introduction: Bridging Learning Research and Teaching Practice
    1. WHAT IS LEARNING?
    2. OUR PRINCIPLES OF LEARNING
    3. WHAT MAKES THESE PRINCIPLES POWERFUL?
    4. INTENDED AUDIENCES
    5. HOW TO READ THIS BOOK
  11. CHAPTER 1 How Does Students’ Prior Knowledge Affect Their Learning?
    1. WHAT IS GOING ON IN THESE STORIES?
    2. WHAT PRINCIPLE OF LEARNING IS AT WORK HERE?
    3. WHAT DOES THE RESEARCH TELL US ABOUT PRIOR KNOWLEDGE?
    4. WHAT STRATEGIES DOES THE RESEARCH SUGGEST?
    5. SUMMARY
  12. CHAPTER 2 How Does the Way Students Organize Knowledge Affect Their Learning?
    1. WHAT IS GOING ON IN THESE TWO STORIES?
    2. WHAT PRINCIPLE OF LEARNING IS AT WORK HERE?
    3. WHAT DOES THE RESEARCH TELL US ABOUT KNOWLEDGE ORGANIZATION?
    4. WHAT STRATEGIES DOES THE RESEARCH SUGGEST?
    5. SUMMARY
  13. CHAPTER 3 What Factors Motivate Students to Learn?
    1. WHAT IS GOING ON IN THESE STORIES?
    2. WHAT PRINCIPLE OF LEARNING IS AT WORK HERE?
    3. WHAT DOES THE RESEARCH TELL US ABOUT MOTIVATION?
    4. WHAT STRATEGIES DOES THE RESEARCH SUGGEST?
    5. SUMMARY
  14. CHAPTER 4 How Do Students Develop Mastery?
    1. WHAT IS GOING ON IN THESE STORIES?
    2. WHAT PRINCIPLE OF LEARNING IS AT WORK HERE?
    3. WHAT DOES THE RESEARCH TELL US ABOUT MASTERY?
    4. WHAT STRATEGIES DOES THE RESEARCH SUGGEST?
    5. SUMMARY
  15. CHAPTER 5 What Kinds of Practice and Feedback Enhance Learning?
    1. WHAT IS GOING ON IN THESE STORIES?
    2. WHAT PRINCIPLE OF LEARNING IS AT WORK HERE?
    3. WHAT DOES THE RESEARCH TELL US ABOUT PRACTICE?
    4. WHAT DOES THE RESEARCH TELL US ABOUT FEEDBACK?
    5. WHAT STRATEGIES DOES THE RESEARCH SUGGEST?
    6. SUMMARY
  16. CHAPTER 6 Why Do Student Development and Course Climate Matter for Student Learning?
    1. WHAT IS GOING ON IN THESE TWO STORIES?
    2. WHAT PRINCIPLE OF LEARNING IS AT WORK HERE?
    3. WHAT DOES THE RESEARCH TELL US ABOUT STUDENT DEVELOPMENT?
    4. WHAT DOES THE RESEARCH TELL US ABOUT COURSE CLIMATE?
    5. WHAT STRATEGIES DOES THE RESEARCH SUGGEST?
    6. SUMMARY
  17. CHAPTER 7 How Do Students Become Self-Directed Learners?
    1. WHAT IS GOING ON IN THESE STORIES?
    2. WHAT PRINCIPLE OF LEARNING IS AT WORK HERE?
    3. WHAT DOES THE RESEARCH ABOUT METACOGNITION TELL US?
    4. WHAT STRATEGIES DOES THE RESEARCH SUGGEST?
    5. SUMMARY
  18. Conclusion: Applying the Seven Principles to Ourselves
  19. APPENDIX A: What Is Student Self-Assessment and How Can We Use It?
  20. APPENDIX B: What Are Concept Maps and How Can We Use Them?
  21. APPENDIX C: What Are Rubrics and How Can We Use Them?
  22. APPENDIX D: What Are Learning Objectives and How Can We Use Them?
  23. APPENDIX E: What Are Ground Rules and How Can We Use Them?
  24. APPENDIX F: What Are Exam Wrappers and How Can We Use Them?
  25. APPENDIX G: What Are Checklists and How Can We Use Them?
  26. APPENDIX H: What Is Reader Response/Peer Review and How Can We Use It?
  27. REFERENCES
  28. Index