Peter Brown workshop and lecture

The College of Engineering is excited to host a workshop (for College of Engineering faculty and staff; the workshop now is full) April 16 with Peter C. Brown, lead author of Make It Stick: The Science of Successful Learning. A public lecture, “Four big ideas about learning,” will follow at 3:30 p.m. in 1800 Engineering Hall. View a recording of the lecture here. Additionally, view a video of Brown’s noon workshop here.

Workshop details:

The workshop is full; registration is closed.

Do you get frustrated with your students forgetting what they learned a month, or even a week ago?

In this two-hour workshop you will find out how to apply state-of-the-art knowledge on the neurobiology of learning so that your students learn better and retain what they learned.

Lecture details:

Recent research into how people learn and remember shows that many of us go about learning in the wrong ways. It turns out that most commonly used strategies for learning are of low value, and the most effective strategies are counterintuitive. Brown will summarize four big ideas from the findings of cognitive science and describe strategies that instructors and students can apply to increase student learning and performance.

Additional details:

Make it Stick: the Science of Successful Learning (Belknap Press, 2014) made the Chronicle of Higher Education’s Top Ten Books on Teaching in 2014 list.

Peter C. Brown will join us in discussing examples of instruction in UW-Madison College of Engineering courses. He will provide feedback on how these examples align with evidence-confirmed methods that promote effective memory retention of learned material, and how they might be improved.

Results from basic memory research reveal that typical student study activities may not be overly effective for learning and retention. Memory research favors, instead, study activities that promote challenging retrieval practice. For example, many common study habits and practice routines by students turn out to be counterproductive. Underlining and highlighting, rereading, cramming, and single-minded repetition of new skills create the illusion of mastery, but gains fade quickly. More complex and durable learning come from self-testing, introducing certain difficulties in practice, waiting to re-study new material until a little forgetting has set in, and interleaving the practice of one skill or topic with another.

Peter C. Brown is a best-selling writer and novelist living in St. Paul, Minnesota, retired from a career as a corporate management consultant. He is the lead author of Make it Stick, the Science of Successful Learning (Harvard University Press, 2014), which he wrote with two pre-eminent cognitive scientists at Washington University in St. Louis, Professors Henry L. Roediger and Mark A. McDaniel.