Create challenging learning environments

It could be that we need to spend less time writing lectures and more time thinking about springing surprise tests on our students; that is, at least, if Nate Kornell and Sam Kornell are right:

‘… errors are not necessarily the enemy of learning; they can, in fact, enhance it. Likewise, the widely held belief that testing serves no purpose other than assessing performance is built on a similar misconception. In reality, testing — whether self-testing or testing in the classroom — can, under the right conditions, better promote learning than can studying … We tend to assume that the best way to consume and remember information is through the application of rigorous, extended study. What we fail to see, however, is that the process of trying to work through a problem to which we don’t know the answer focuses our attention on it in a way that simply studying it does not. The desire to get the answer right, and the frustration of failure, is partly to account … Create challenging learning environments, make mistakes and then learn from them’. – Nate Kornell and Sam Kornell, A Really Hard Test Really Helps Learning.

Either way, the spoon-feeding days are over.

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