A. "What Brain-Based Techniques Can I Use to Engage Students During Class?" (video; 24.31 m) "demonstrates several techniques to engage student brains in learning. All can be incorporated into either a traditional 50-minute or a longer class period."
- Note: This video is part of Lakehead's subscription to the “20-Minute Mentor” from Magna Publications: Higher Education Professional Development and is available to instructors on both campuses. Activate your Magna access for off-campus viewing.
B. Key Takeaways (examples and explications in the video)
1. Make connections: Use (higher-level) patterning activities to guide connections.
"The brain tries to connect new information to previously learned material. Isolated bits of information will quickly be forgotten."
- Colors, categories, levels, hierarchies, mnemonics
- Concept maps, pictorial representations
2. Make it new: Incorporate novelty.
"[T]he brain responds productively to novel stimuli and constantly tries to make meaning when exposed to something new and unique."
- Unique assignments
- Pictures, drawings
3. Engage emotions to strengthens recall.
"Emotions are really closely linked with memory, since they facilitate memory storage as well as recall."
- Plan fun, creative, engaging, memorable learning activities.
- Connect concepts with amusing, incongruous visuals.
- Activate curiosity with inviting, interesting, non-threatening, but challenging activities.
- Get students singing or laughing as they learn to cement recall.
C. "Brain-Based Learning Theory: 'The New Paradigm of Teaching'" (Slideshare)
"12 Principles of Brain-Based Learning & Neuroplasticity":
- "The brain is a parallel processor."
- "Learning engages the entire physiology."
- "The search for meaning is innate."
- "The brain perceives & creates parts and wholes simultaneously."
- "Emotions are critical to patterning."
- "The search for meaning occurs through 'patterning.'"
- "Our brains learn socially & collaboratively."
- "Learning = conscious & unconscious process."
- "Memory = spatial memory & rote learning systems."
- "Each brain is unique."
- "Our brain changes based upon experience: neuroplasticity."
- It "understands & remembers best when facts/skills [are] embedded in spatial memory."