Teaching Commons > Events > Teaching & Learning Conference > How Students Learn (2015)
Teaching students how to learn has become just as important as teaching the content itself. As the emphasis shifts from the “what” to the “how” of learning, educators are challenged to take on an additional role: that of a learning guide, coach, or facilitator. Yet instructors regularly encounter conflicting information about how students learn and how to teach. For example, recent research has called into question the utility of popular learning-style inventories and the assumption that teaching always leads to learning.
In their search for evidence-based strategies for teaching, conference presenters drew from multiple sources: published research, theory, and their own experiences in the classroom.
Many educators continue to struggle with how best to proceed from delivering lectures to creating truly effective learning environments. In addition, students struggle to understand the best way to learn in our classrooms. The result can be class sessions that are difficult and frustrating to teach with students who appear apathetic and indifferent toward learning. In this session, we looked at how effective evidence-based teaching practices can be aligned with effective evidence-based learning strategies.
Keynote slides (1 MB)
What can instructors do to facilitate learning when they encounter students who seem uninterested and even apathetic toward course content and assignments? Part of the responsibility for learning belongs to students, but as faculty, we can find new ways to motivate, inspire, and maybe even cajole students to learn. In this workshop, we explored how instructors can make classroom learning, perhaps one of the most artificial learning settings, a more meaningful experience for students. The workshop facilitator used theories of learning and motivation as a basis for creating strategies to increase student engagement in course content and class sessions.
Workshop slides (327 KB)
Todd Zakrajsek is the Executive Director of the Academy of Educators in the School of Medicine and an Associate Professor in the Department of Family Medicine at UNC-Chapel Hill. Todd is the immediate past Executive Director of the Center for Faculty Excellence at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Prior to his work at UNC, he was the Inaugural Director of the Faculty Center for Innovative Teaching at Central Michigan University and the founding Director of the Center for Teaching and Learning at Southern Oregon University, where he also taught in the psychology department as a tenured associate professor. Todd currently directs four
National Lilly Conferences on College and University Teaching and Learning. He received his Ph.D. in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from Ohio University and has published and presented widely on the topic of student learning.