The Brain and Consciousness: Sources of Information for Understanding Adult Learning
Understanding how the brain works can help us as instructional designers to create better content. Lilian Hill has researched this topic and presented a paper written in simple language that has valuable information on correlating neuro-functions and teaching methods. For example, knowing that “learning and memory are context driven” (Hill, 2001) means we can structure new concepts around contexts that are familiar for the target student audience. Hill also writes that memory is improved when several senses, such as sight, hearing, even smell, are provided. So, a good tactic for instructional designers to take from this is that a key learning concept should be introduced in several ways to ensure that the learner will remember it.
Teaching with the Brain in Mind
Eric Jensen is widely cited in papers about brain-based learning. His book, Teaching with the Brain in Mind (Jensen E., 2005) can be accessed from the ebrary option of the Walden library. Brain-based learning is the direct application of neuroscience information to enhance instruction. In this book, Jensen uses simple language to explain concepts such as memory formation, how the adult brain and child brain learn differently, and key learning skills. He puts all this information together to provide strategies for the instructor to create more a more meaningful learning environment and enriched instructional content. For example, a good tip to encourage interest is to start a learning session with an interesting activity. As Jensen indicates “The development of thinking requires constant layering and scaffolding.” (Jensen E., 2005, pp123).
Hill, L. (2001). The Brain and Consciousness: Sources of Information for Understanding Adult Learning,” New Directions For Adult And Continuing Education, no. 89. Retrieved November 12, 2010 from http://www.fsu.edu/~elps/ae/download/ade5385/Hill.pdf
Jensen, E. (2005) Teaching with the Brain in Mind 2nd Edition, Association for Supervision & Curriculum Development