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Adapting Your Instructional Strategy

How will understanding the basics of learning benefit you as an instructor? Would you give an example of how you might adapt your instructional strategy or teaching methods as a result of understanding how the brain functions and how learning occurs?

My instructional strategy is to observe the students as I go thru the Infomation that going to be covered in the three week period.Observing the class I can tell who is here for the education and some that are just here to learn a trade and get out from home and start a life. The ones that are commited to their education its going to be easy to train them where I'm going to have to install a intrest in the ones that don't have as much intrest in this course. will show them how this can benifit there future and they will give there best shot.

By having working knowledge about how the brain functions and how learning occurs I can better plan for my students. When a learning situation comes up I will be able to build off of your understanding of how different factors shape the learning process of my students. I will be able choosing the best teaching method and instructional strategies that are most approriate for my students depending what what stage they are at in brain development and what type of learners they are.

I have understood the benefits of how students learn for many years. It has taken me all that time to learn how to use them effectively. For instance, if I have a student that is not that verbal, I take them to a quieter place in the classroom (kitchen) and just show for a while. Then I ask them to do it. Then I ask them to describe slowly what they are doing. This brings them out somewhat.

Dr Meers,
Great question!
Using what we have just learned in this class, I'd say we need to make sure that we are providing context that lends to episodic memory versus semantic memory.
In other words, we have to deliver the lesson so it has something the student can draw upon experientially, especially an adult student.
Kent Dolasky

I will put more effort into,showing students the practical application,of the course material.

In an accelerated learning environment with students from differnt age groups and socioeconimic backgrounds you need to gage where students are intelectually quickly. By understang how the brain functions and the learning process you can use differnt methods to reach your students.By having more than one method will allow a teacher to reach students that are visual verbal or hands on learners.

Hi Gilbert,
This is very important because if we don't the students will quickly fall behind and catching up will be very difficult for them in accelerated settings.

Hi Dr Meers,
In my school we have a wide variety of ages from 17 years old to 55 to 60 years old. Knowing how the brain function allows me to vary my approach to the various students to customize the learning that best fits where they are at this point. We have to realize that everybodies life experiances will influence how they respond to stimulli. If we can accept that; we can have much more patience and find much more reward in what we do.

Hi Anthony,
Good points about how each learner has unique life experiences and learning preferences. By keeping both of these in mind we can plan our instruction more carefully and target specific learning needs better.

It will benefit me because i can structure my classroom around the subject. Group participation.

Hi Cecilia,
Good way to bring all of the students into your class discussions and learning format.

Knowing how the brain functions will help the instructor to adapt the instruction based these functions. Everyone student learns differently and with a combination learning environment they will all thrive.

Since my field is automotive, you cannot have or use too many visuals. Some ideas and procedures seem abstract at first but having the student see a clear visual example of the presented material or procedure is worth it's weight in gold. I am always looking for new ways to improve upon this so I have no problem accepting ideas from other instructors that may help me improve. The ideas I got from course 108 will be very useful to me.

Hi Bob,
Great to hear that you are going to be able to implement some of the concepts you have learned in ED 108. I wish you much teaching success as you expand your expertise as an instructor.

As a Massage Therapy Instructor and Program Director I interact with students just out of high school and those in retirement going back to school. I need to constantly be aware of how I address the classroom as a whole while being aware of how different ages and experiences impact learning styles.

I teach very diverse classes; my students have very diverse backgrounds, and work and life experiences. Our classes also run four hours, meeting once per week. I try to mix different methods of instruction to both reach students and keep them engaged. I limit lecture by promoting group discussion. I use visual media to supplement discussion. I have recently increased my use of video to present concepts to be discussed. I also try to construct team activities as part of every class. Homework is expected to be an individual activity.

I also teach video conferencing classes to as many as four sites including my local site. I have a great deal of difficulty getting engagement in these classes. Discussions are typically dominated by one student at the remote sites. How can I improve participation at these sites?

In the culinary field, we use lots of visuals. Abstract learning comes into play here with creating a dish on your own or how to plate it. Concrete learning helps with using your senses with any type of food.

It is necessary to understand the basics of learning in order to be able to reach students. If, as instructors, we do not understand how learning occurs and how the brain functions we can not prepare class materials that will reach the students. An example of this might be in a psychology class where the student is faced with an unfamiliar concept. One way that I try to help them understand the concept is by giving them a real life example of where the concept can be applied. I try to use situations that the majority of the students regardless of age will be familiar with.

Learning these basics can enhance your teaching by being able to identify when students have stopped listening. For example, if you were to call on most students after they had their hand up for five minutes, it is possible thast they may not have been listening for that period of time. If you do end up calling on them, it is possible that they may take the discussion backwards instead of forward.

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