Using Context to Deepen and Lengthen Learning

Nearly every teacher has experienced students forgetting something important. This forgetfulness comes in various forms. It might involve not following instructions for an assignment, missing a due date, forgetting important details on a test, or even forgetting to take the test itself. Whatever the memory infraction, there are usually good reasons why students forget. Gratefully, there are a few simple ways teachers can build context to help students achieve deeper and longer lasting learning.

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Learning That Lasts: Helping Students Remember and Use What You Teach

How often do you hear the following sentiments from students? • “I won’t ever use anything I am learning in this class, but I have to take it to graduate.” • “I don’t care about this class. I just need a passing grade.” • “I can’t remember anything I learned in that class.” Granted, not all classes cover interesting material—or at least material that’s of interest to students who may be there only to fulfill a requirement. While we can’t change what needs to be taught, we can change how we deliver it. If we make the right adjustments to our course design and teaching methodologies, we will hear less complaining in our classes. So, what can we do to achieve higher levels of student satisfaction and long-term learning that lasts far beyond the end of our class?

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