Educator vs. Entertainer…which one are we, or is there a choice? As educators, we often put information before application. We need to flip those two, and draw a two-way arrow between them. It’s a constant exchange of application and information. In movies with great teachers (Good Will Hunting, The Karate Kid), the teacher does not appear until 25 minutes into the movie or greater. We do not need to come first for learning to take place. Think of ways to get students to develop questions before lecture/teaching takes place. Issuing challenges is one method of doing this. And…you do not have to provide the answer! It’s ok to leave things open-ended. That adds curiosity.
Cognitive load theory of multimedia learning focuses on motivation and cognitive focus. It helps teachers to find ways to organize task to maximize learning. It explores ways to balance curiosity and information. Withholding just the right amount of information can peak curiosity and increase learning.
Use Google Docs to allow students to anonymously evaluate your class.