Category: Research on Teaching and Learning

Professor Diane Bunce, Nov. 8, 2017 Photo by Diana Bell, Washington University Libraries

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Diane Bunce on How Research Can Help Us Understand the “Average Student”

November 16, 2017 | Beth Fisher

Pinned / Research on Teaching and Learning

On November 8, 2017, Diane Bunce, PhD, gave a talk on “Using Research to Change Our Perception of the Average Student” as part of the Innovations in the Undergraduate Education Speaker Series, co-sponsored by CIRCLE, The Teaching Center, the University Libraries, and Arts & Sciences Computing. Seventy-five faculty, staff, and students from Washington University and […]

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Wash U logo

Study Sheds Light on Learning in General Chemistry

May 16, 2017 | Beth Fisher

Pinned / Research on Teaching and Learning

A new study published in the Journal of Chemical Education (JCE) suggests that students who struggle in introductory STEM courses may do so because they have not acquired a working knowledge of abstract concepts that underlie examples presented in the course. As reported in the Washington University Record, these findings “are important because they may help to explain […]

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The Distracted Classroom

April 27, 2017 | Beth Fisher

Pinned / Research on Teaching and Learning

In his Chronicle of Higher Education column, James Lang (professor of English and director of the Center for Teaching Excellence at Assumption College) reports on research suggesting that digital devices can be distracting precisely because they appeal to a desire to engage in the pleasurable pursuit of “information foraging.” In addition, he reflects on implications of research […]

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Students reading on their laptops

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Does Reading on Computer Screens Affect Student Learning?

July 13, 2016 | Gillian Parrish

Pinned / Research on Teaching and Learning

A recent article, “Does Reading on Computer Screens Affect Student Learning?,” in The Chronicle of Higher Education* raises questions on how reading on screens may be impacting student engagement with the material. Studies cited focus on student attention and retention of information. The article includes some of the perks of online texts, such as hyperlinks and lower costs, as […]

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Evidence Assertion Slide Example from Michael Alley's Craft of Scientific Presentations website

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In PowerPoint, It’s the Headline that Makes the Difference

June 16, 2016 | Shawn Nordell

Evidence-Based Strategies / Research on Teaching and Learning

PowerPoint and teaching – love it or hate it – is a prevalent combination in our classrooms. We all have seen the default slide format: a short, topical title with a bullet list of text and/or a figure underneath. But is this the best format for your students learning? That is the question that the […]

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PLTL students solving problems together

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Discourse Study on PLTL Published

March 1, 2016 | Shawn Nordell

Evidence-Based Strategies / Research on Teaching and Learning / STEM Education

Do you ever wonder what your students are talking about during group work? We know that collaborative learning contexts lead to better learning outcomes, but the mechanism behind how this works is not clearly understood. A newly published study by Michelle Repice and Gina Frey, from The Teaching Center, and their colleagues, analyzes how chemistry […]

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teaching blackboard

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Expecting to Teach Enhances Learning, Recall

September 15, 2015 | Gillian Parrish

Research on Teaching and Learning

A trade secret among educators is that teaching is a form of deep learning. A study led by Washington University postdoctoral researcher John Nestojko, PhD, and recently published in the journal Memory & Cognition shows that people learn more effectively when they think that they will be teaching the material to others. Compared with participants who expected to be […]

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smart phone, tablet

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Media Multi-Tasking: Effects on Students’ Attention

September 11, 2015 | Teaching Center Staff

Research on Teaching and Learning

Does multi-tasking improve or impair attention? The findings of a laboratory-based study (reviewed below) illuminate the relationship between the use of devices and the potential for distraction. The researchers in this study set out to test whether undergraduates who are “heavy media multi-taskers” might have an improved ability, relative to peers who are “light media multi-taskers,” to filter […]

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student takes notes

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Writing Notes “Longhand” May Enhance Learning

September 11, 2015 | Teaching Center Staff

Research on Teaching and Learning

A study published in Psychological Science shows that students who wrote lecture notes “longhand” scored better on conceptual questions in later testing on the lecture content than students who typed notes on a laptop. In this laboratory study, students at Princeton University and the University of California-Los Angeles were given either laptops or pen and […]

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Laptop Use in Class: Effects on Learning and Attention

August 22, 2015 | Beth Fisher

Research on Teaching and Learning

As instructors, we may wonder if laptop use helps or hinders learning in our classrooms. We may find ourselves on the fence—understanding that some students prefer to type their notes, but then wondering whether students are paying attention and staying engaged, and whether their laptop use may be distracting others. Two classroom-based studies (discussed below) suggest that […]

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