The Learning Accelerator Blog/Ignite Your Use of Ed Research

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Ignite Your Use of Ed Research

by Saro Mohammed on January 2 2019

Learning sciences seem to be everywhere these days. Over the last couple of years, the message that educators have been getting about evidence has flipped from, “the research is new,” or “the evidence isn’t conclusive,” to “learning science clearly shows us...” This is a positive development, but the challenge still remains to help educators clearly connect these learning science facts to practice. What is the most actionable learning science evidence and, perhaps more importantly, what is its relevance to instruction?

IngnitED Research: Connecting Learning Science to Instructional Practice

IgnitED Research, a new 12-part series from The Learning Accelerator, aims to answer these questions and increase the ability of educators to integrate learning science facts into their practice. Each month in 2019, we will be releasing bite-sized introductions to the evidence base on several research-grounded topics, including:

  • The myth of learning styles: There is no evidence to support the notion that teaching to a student's "learning style" leads to better or deeper learning.
  • Feedback: Feedback is essential to learning.
  • Mixed-ability (or heterogeneous) groups: Students of all abilities learn more in mixed-ability groups.
  • Retrieval practice: Retrieval, or “calling information to mind,” is a robust strategy for improving learning.
  • The testing effect: Taking a test on studied material promotes remembering that material on subsequent tests.
  • The myth of extrinsic rewards: External rewards (such as “gold stars”) can lead to poorer learning outcomes.

Hear From Educators Directly

Each monthly topic will be covered by a pair of resources – a video, plus an Insight – that briefly outlines the research and digs deeper into examples of how this evidence can be applied in classrooms. We interview educators who have used the evidence about each topic to improve their own teaching and share their process and how learning experiences improved. The videos use an Ignite-inspired presentation format to convey the essentials in a brief but enlightening way. Insights contain the same information as the videos and feature additional links to resources that can be used to apply each learning science topic in classrooms.

Exciting Trend and Multiple Resources For Educators

We understand that learners gain nothing from research without greater awareness, relevance, applicability, and accessibility of the evidence-base. This is why we are enthusiastic about several efforts among education organizations to explicitly link research to practice, including Digital Promise’s Introduction to Learning Science and Edutopia’s ongoing research coverage. The Learning Accelerator’s IgnitED Research provides educators with additional access to established learning science facts. We hope these resources will make it easier for you to better understand important education research and implement evidence-based practices in your classroom, helping you build learning experiences that will allow students to reach their full potential.

Follow Us For Monthly Releases

Follow us @LearningAccel and @EdResearchWorks to receive each new resource and other news from The Learning Accelerator.

About the Author

At TLA, Saro focuses on understanding if, how, and when K-12 blended learning is effective nationally. She has ten years’ experience in researching/evaluating public, private, and non-profit education programs.