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What's New in Research on Teaching and Learning: Why Failure is Essential for Student Learning

Josh Eyler, Director of the Center for Teaching Excellence

September 14th from noon-1pm in Herring 129

About the Presentation: Everybody knows that scientists walk into their labs and immediately make world-changing discoveries, right?  And isn’t it true that writers, too, create their magnum opus on the first attempt?  Of course not.  As academics, we long ago realized that research, discovery, and learning are lengthy processes marked by stops, starts, and a fair degree of failure before we come close to success, however that might be defined by our respective fields and universities.  Higher education, on the other hand, does not often allow for this process of learning to play out. Students are frequently asked to achieve, on their first attempts, stellar results on high-stakes, high-pressure assessments.  New research on the science of learning is beginning to show us that this strategy does not work well, because it is not how human beings naturally learn.  We need to make mistakes before we can get the right answers.  In this talk, I’ll be reviewing some of the most important findings in this new area of inquiry and suggesting ways that we can generate “opportunities for failure” in our courses so that our students may learn more effectively. 


About the "What's New in Research on Teaching and Learning" Series:
Each semester, the CTE hosts at least one formal research presentation on a specific question addressed within the scholarship of teaching and learning. The "What's New in Research on Teaching and Learning" talks take place over lunch (provided by the CTE) and are open to all faculty, postdoctoral scholars, and graduate students.





Earlier Event: August 22
Graduate Student TA Training
Later Event: September 20
Faculty Owl Days (Day 1 of 2)