Building expertise Converting Research to Suggestions

Ruth Colvin Clark has spent much of her career in adult learning, reporting about research into which educational strategies work and which don’t. Her book Building Expertise is based on over two hundred research reports, as well as her own extensive research experience. Building Expertise has influenced our lesson architecture for Saturn Online, by giving us important insights into suggested teaching tips. We will touch upon the top ten tips her work has given us.

10 Important Teaching Tips

Ruth’s most important research-based educational precepts are summarized in this list.
1.  Make relevance obvious: Make the application of new knowledge and skills obvious from the start.
2.  Activate relevant prior knowledge: Use advance organizers, pre-questions, and previews to help bring relevant knowledge into working memory.
3.  Present learning objectives: Provide a clear statement of expected outcomes from a lesson.
4.  Optimize mental capacity: Control the physical environment, minimize fatigue, and promote accountability for learning.
5.  Use pre-training to organize content: Teach relevant general concepts prior to teaching process stages or task steps.
6.  Minimize note-taking: Provide learners with notes because note-taking diverts attention and wastes valuable learning time.
7.Build situational interest: Write and speak with well organized, clear, and conversational language that engages learners.
8.  Signal attention: Call out the most important and relevant aspects of a lesson.
9.  Include worked examples: Provide demonstrations to illustrate task performance.
10.  Include analogies: Model features or functions of new content with illustrations of content from a different domain.

Saturn’s Commitment to Effective Learning Products

We at Saturn use these precepts as a checklist when constructing blended-learning lessons for our on online training academy, Saturn Online. Blended learning is our growing library of learning content that we store online, for use online by students, and in the classroom, lab, and on the job by teachers. Find out more about licensing our curriculum at our website.