Behaviourism and Learning Development

#Becomingeducational What is an Academic Mentor? What should an Academic Mentor do?

AT LondonMet we have developed an innovative Academic Mentor Scheme – with learning developers embedded within every School, working closely with staff and students to improve student success…

This week we had an excellent session with Janette Myers and Rosie MacLachlan of St Georges – looking at the embedding of learning development in the curriculum via small, repeated drips of practice that teach, model, rehearse and reinforce successful learning practices…

As a timely follow up, we are re-blogging this post from Helen Webster exploring behaviourism and what it might teach us about how we can help students study successfully.

This post is the beginning of a short series on HOW STUDENTS LEARN… and how we can help them…

rattus scholasticus

I’m currently thinking again about what training for Learning Developers might look like. The day on One to One work focussed on the professional skills we need for this context, but bits kept creeping in from what I called the What of LD, rather than the How.

One of the elements I suggested might form the What of LD was an understanding of How Students Learn. To support the development of learning, a learning developer probably should understand what learning is and how it comes about! I’ve been looking back and reviewing things I learned during my PGCE, and in this and future posts, wanted to re-examine the theories I learned then, and reflect on how they might come into my work as a Learning Developer rather than a teacher. Theory is often derided as abstract and irrelevant, but to me, it’s a very practical tool to understand what…

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2 thoughts on “Behaviourism and Learning Development

  1. Sounds like a fab session from colleagues at st George’s- I think they’re presenting at the ALDinHE conference so I look forward to hearing about it in person and maybe coming back to this post with more thoughts on more innovative ways behaviourist principles might be useful to us learning developers!

    • It was a thought-provoking session – offering an innovative way of working with discipline colleagues to think together about what ‘skill’ we want to develop in the students – and how to do that not by one intervention – but a series of small, repeated DRiPs. On our table we explored notemaking – noting that students seem not to be making active notes anymore – so how do we develop this essential active learning practice. We looked at interrupting a lecture to show the sorts of notes that might have been mad – we looked at Cornell, pattern and bullseye notes and the different places we might use them – and we discussed how we might task different groups of students with the role of class notemakers – so that they take responsibility for making the best, most memorable notes of a session, to be uploaded into the VLE at the end of the day…

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