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Why Myths Are Like Zombies

3-Star learning experiences

Paul A. Kirschner & Mirjam Neelen

The Oxford English Dictionary defines a zombie as “a person or reanimated corpse that has been turned into a creature capable of movement but not of rational thought, which feeds on human flesh”.

While except in the most primitive cultures zombies are fictional, in education they are real, they exist and they thrive! You see them as approaches to teaching and learning (educational myths) that continue to exist and even spread though they have long been proven to be untrue. Paraphrasing the definition above, an educational zombie is “a reanimated myth that has been turned into an educational intervention/approach that moves both in time and place, is capable of influencing how we teach, but is not based on rational thought and which feeds on human learning”. And what’s more, they seem almost impossible to eradicate!

But why are educational and learning myths so stubborn?…

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by | April 11, 2018 · 7:20 pm

Where Are the Learning Sciences in Learning Analytics Research?

3-Star learning experiences

Mirjam Neelen & Paul A. Kirschner

In his LAK 2016keynote in Edinburgh Paul Kirschner answered the question ‘What do the learning sciences have to do with learning analytics (LA)?’ with a firm: ‘Just about everything!’ He also noted that in most LA projects and studies, the learning scientist and learning theories are conspicuously absent, which often lead – in his words – to dystopian futures.

The trigger to write this blog was far and foremost a statement that Bart Rienties made in his keynote at EARLI17 (summary and slides here), in which he said that research shows that learning design[1] (LD) has a strong impact on learner behaviour, satisfaction, and performance. This, in itself, isn’t earth shocking for us (we’d expect effective LD; that is LD based on evidence from learning sciences, to positively impact learning and ineffective LD to harm it). However, it’s of tantamount importance…

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by | October 20, 2017 · 6:39 am