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Noba Project
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We +1 teaching and learning psychology.
We +1 teaching and learning psychology.

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It seems reasonable that people would want to maximize various aspects of life whether it’s the pleasure they feel, how intelligent they are, or how much personal freedom they have. In actuality, people seem to aspire for more moderate levels of these and other traits, according to findings published in Psychological Science. “People wanted to have positive qualities, such as health and happiness, but not to the exclusion of other darker experiences – they wanted about 75% of a good thing.”
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What works to get students to learn, to learn resiliently, to learn what they can use and when to use it, is something students do not naturally like nor are necessarily drawn to. They fight what is good for them. When students resist course activities and assignments or put in minimal effort, they are not learning content nor are they building critical skills. Worse yet, they see resistance as necessary, a response to external demands instead of recognizing their own responsibility to learn. The good news is that by understanding the sources of resistance we can proactively address them, reduce it in our classes, improve learning, and enhance the joy of teaching -- New on the Noba Blog: Turning Students into Scholars by Reducing Resistance to Learning http://noba.to/k8wyn7mz
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What . . a . . story . . . Triplets separated during infancy by unscrupulous researchers seeking to track how family environment might influence the manifestation of inherited mental-health problems . . . then the boys are reunited by coincidence in their teens. But is the new documentary about the brothers' bizarre life story any good? Melissa Dahl has mixed emotions.
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Are cumulative exams the same thing as spacing or interleaving? Actually, not quite. Cumulative exams can be beneficial for learning. There are also some subtle ways we can take cumulative exams to the next level – by ensuring that we (and our students) are using spacing and interleaving as much as possible. Tips from retrieval practice expert Pooja Agarwal on how to make your cumulative exams more powerful. http://ow.ly/nwUi30l4ZOi
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Too often our students’ educational goals and their behavior in pursuit of those goals are far apart. As instructors we know what students need to do to be successful, if only they would heed our suggestions. But if students are just being handed solutions to their problems they are likely to resist the help. Motivational Interviewing (MI) may offer a better approach. MI is a way of talking with students about change that can help resolve ambivalence and identify their own reasons to change. It’s a collaborative approach that takes the instructor out of the expert role and recognizes that the student is the expert about his or her own life. Using MI leads to conversations focusing on the student’s perspective, beliefs, and desires rather than our own, and when it works, students make the arguments for change rather than against it. Read more about the basics of MI this month on the Noba Blog - http://noba.to/puhtqwem
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Self-control in the face of temptation is a tricky thing. We tend to view it in black-and-white, almost moralistic terms: Anyone who succumbs to temptation, in whatever form, clearly must be weak willed. But the science behind self-control tells a different story.
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We give our students a lot of information over the course of our weekly hours with them, but how often do we give students an opportunity to interact with, apply, or otherwise practice the course content? Not allowing enough opportunity to practice can pose a problem when we later ask students to use this content in some way. Lynn Kennette, Lisa Van Havermaet, and Bibia Redd offer suggestions of tools and techniques to allow students to practice content. http://noba.to/vxjt6das
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Teaching big classes is a BIG challenge. Here are some things to decide before the class begins and some tips to keep the multitudes engaged. http://ow.ly/xaDq30krTl9
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We spend a lot of time trying to help students develop better study skills. Students who come to office hours or take advantage of other academic help-services on campus are the most likely to show improvement. But many students simply don’t seek the help they need. Professor Christie Cathey and colleagues tried a nudging experiment using the principle of social proof to see if they could influence more students to show up to help sessions. It worked! Read more about how they signaled positive peer behavior to their students and the size of the impact it had. http://noba.to/fwevqhy7
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Are Your Students Paying Attention? Countless studies show that student attentiveness in the classrooms fades quickly into mind wandering. While we might not be able to prevent mind wandering, we can work to understand it better and how it impacts student learning. Jeff Wammes discusses his own recent research on how student focus changes over the course of a class as well as important differences between live and recorded lessons. http://noba.to/7fqsdpah
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