A recent article in The Chronicle of Higher Education discusses research that shows our efforts to make it easier for students to process course materials may be less effective in promoting learning. This article is worth a read and connects research about learning with some of the teaching methods many of us already use. I could see using some of this information to explain to students why course materials are NOT being made as though to spoon feed them what they need to know. (The first study referenced in the article seems to equate learning with memorization, but law students also must spend significant effort memorizing, whether to excel on traditional exams or, ultimately, to pass the bar.) Also, those of us who struggle with less-than-perfect classroom slide presentations may take some comfort – wacky fonts may be a better tool than we thought!
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