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Abstract

This article discusses the learning pyramid propagated by National Training Laboratories Institute. It presents and complements the historical and methodological critique against the learning pyramid, and calls for NTL Institute to retract their model.
Introduction
Most readers are probably familiar with
some version of the learning pyramid, and
the associated claims that the best way to
learn and remember something is by teach-
ing or doing. The retention of these modes
of learning have been claimed to be as high
as 75, 80 or even 90 percent, whereas
attending lectures, or using other theoret-
ical approaches to learning are in
comparison extremely inefficient, only
resulting in five or 10 percent retention.
Earlier critiques of the learning pyramid
have focused on the dubious origin of the
model (Molenda, 2004; Subramony, 2003),
and have demonstrated inconsistencies
between the pyramid and the research on
retention (Lalley & Miller, 2007).
This article assesses a well-known ver-
sion of the learning pyramid propagated
by NTL Institute. First it will briefly dis-
cuss its origins, and disqualify the claim
that the model is based on research. It will
then raise some essential semantic and
methodological criticisms against this
model. Finally, it will question the idea of
the apparent intuitiveness of the learning
pyramid.
Concluding, it will urge NTL Institute
to retract their model. And, as their learn-
ing pyramid is but one of several versions,
recommend that similar critique ought to
be raised against resembling models.
There is no Learning Pyramid
As point of critique goes, this admit-
tedly seems a conclusive one. However, it
is a matter of semantics, not of ontology.
What normally is referred to as “the learn-
ing pyramid”, are in fact several different
models relating different degrees of reten-
tion from different kinds of learning.
Usually they are quantified by neat per-
centages, like 10, 20, 30, 50 and 90 percent.
In addition, there are several similar
models sometimes named “the cone of
learning”, “the cone of experience”, “the
learning cone”, “the cone of retention”,
“the pyramid of learning”, or “the pyra-
mid of retention”, while others are
unnamed. In order to subsume all these
models under one concept this article sim-
ply refers to them as the “learning
pyramid”, as this seems to be the most
common term.
Thus, it is impossible to criticize the
learning pyramid itself, as there is none,
and an attempt to criticize them all is unre-
alistic. However, NTL Institute’s model is
an obvious candidate for critique. Numer-
A REBUTTAL OF NTL
INSTITUTEʼS LEARNING PYRAMID
KÅRE LETRUD
Lillehammer University College
This article discusses the learning pyramid propagated by
National Training Laboratories Institute. It presents and comple-
ments the historical and methodological critique against the
learning pyramid, and calls for NTL Institute to retract their
model.
Keywords: Learning Pyramid; NTL Institute; National Training
Laboratories Institute.
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ous findings refer to NTL Institute as the
source of their model (see for instance:
Borthick & Jones, 2000; Busby & Hub-
bard, 2007; Chun, 2004; Darmer,
Ankersen, Nielsen, Landberger, Lippert &
Egerod, 2004; DeKanter, 2005; Fu, Su
&Yu, 2009; Garden, 2009; Hazlett, 2009;
Hoon, Emerson & White, 2006; Janavaras
& Gomes, 2007; Janavaras, Gomes &
Young, 2008; Katsuragi, 2005; Magennis
& Farrell, 2005; Morgan, 2003; Peteroy-
Kelly, 2007; Peterson, Rowat, Kreiter, &
Mandel, 2004; Qayumi, 2006; Roettger,
Roettger & Walugembe, 2007; Sousa,
2006; Thier, 2005; Thomas & Baker, 2008;
Wagner, Wagner & Jayachandran 2005;
Williams, Hawes & Foley, 2006; Wood,
2004; Zainal, 2011; Zhang & Su, 2007).
NTL Institute’s willingness to be asso-
ciated with the pyramid makes them in no
small part responsible for the spreading of
the model. They confidently and consis-
tently claim to have performed studies
supporting one of the pyramids:
Thanks for your interest in NTL
Institute. We are happy to respond to
your inquiry about The Learning
Pyramid. It was developed and used
by NTL Institute at our Bethel,
Maine campus in the early sixties
when we were still a part of the
National Education Association's
Adult Education Division.
While we believe it to be accurate,
we no longer have- nor can we find-
the original research that supports
the numbers.
We get many inquiries every month
about this- and many, many people
have searched for the original
research and have come up empty
handed. We know that in 1954 a sim-
ilar pyramid with slightly different
numbers appeared on p. 43 of a book
called Audio-Visual Methods in
Teaching, published by the Edgar
Dale Dryden Press in New York
however the Learning Pyramid
as such seems to have been modi-
fied and remains attributed to NTL
Institute.
To summarize the numbers (which
sometimes get cited differently) learners
retain approximately:
90% of what they learn when they teach
someone else/use immediately.
75% of what they learn when they
practice what they learned.
50% of what they learn when
engaged in a group discussion.
30% of what they learn when they
see a demonstration.
20% of what they learn from audio-
visual.
10% of what they learn when they've
learned from reading.
5% of what they learn when they've
learned from lecture.
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(NTL Institute, Personal Communi-
cation, October 14. 2009)
This seems to be a standard formulation
offered to those enquiring about the model,
as others have also reported correspon-
dence with the same wording (See Booth,
2011, p. 41; Lalley & Miller, 2007; Magen-
nis & Farrell, 2005; Polovina, 2011;
Thalheimer, 2006). NTL Institute’s reply,
however, fails to reassure. If the method-
ology and data behind the model are
missing, we have no way of evaluating the
results.
How, for instance, did they ensure that
the different rates of retention were
affected only by the difference in learning
methods? Did they test the retention of
general knowledge, a series of random
names, number, letters or symbols, or did
they test some kind of skill? How long did
they wait between learning and testing?
What were the subjects’ age, sex, and gen-
eral background, and how many were they?
Furthermore, we may concur with Lal-
ley and Miller when they describe what
“daunting task” this kind of study would
be:
There is an implied assumption that
these methods have been compared to one
another in a systematic manner employ-
ing sound research methodologies. At a
minimum, these empirical issues would
include:
* That each of the methods, employed as
an experimental treatment, was of the
same duration (e.g., a student's reading
session would last as long as an indi-
vidual teaching or discussion session).
* That each of the methods would have
be conducted or supervised by the same
teacher or that multiple teachers would
have been matched in terms of educa-
tion, teaching experience and subject
area (e.g., the lecture being given by
the same teacher as the one leading the
discussion). Further, the teacher(s)
should have been well versed in both
content and method.
* That the content to be learned with each
method would be the same, regardless
of the method being employed.
* That the outcome measure(s), or depen-
dent variable(s), was one measuring
retention, the ability to recall or do
something after a time delay (e.g., days,
weeks or months), rather one that is
completed immediately after treatment.
(2007, p. 68,69)
Without this and other necessary infor-
mation on how the claimed study was
supposed to have been performed, we are
unable to judge the generalizability, valid-
ity and reliability of the model’s claims.
NTL Institute’s learning pyramid is
unsupported by empirical research
A scientific theory consists basically of
a model, and a theoretical hypothesis, the
latter being a concomitant claim that this
model resembles, or somehow “fits” the
world (Giere 1997); Scientific theories usu-
ally describe and explain parts or specific
aspects of the world, like the planetary
movements of our solar system, or the
structure of DNA. Such models can include
scale models, analogue models, and in the
case of the learning pyramid; theoretical
NTL Institute’s Learning Pyramid… / 119
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models.
The main criterion for evaluating a the-
oretical hypothesis is whether the model
corresponds to the part of reality it is sup-
posed to represent. This is done by
deducing an empirically testable proposi-
tion, a prediction. A confirmed prediction
normally serves as support for the model.
On the other hand, if there are other mod-
els that could equally well predict the same
data, or if the confirmed predictions oth-
erwise offer no real support to the model,
the data are deemed inconclusive. Further,
a failed prediction may in turn lead to the
model being rejected (Giere 1997).
However, there seems to be no empir-
ical support for the claim that the learning
pyramid presents a fitting description of
learning and retention. In their reply, NTL
Institute state that they are unable to pre-
sent any studies that support their model,
and hence fail to fulfill the burden of evi-
dence that follows their claim of the
model’s empirical status.
Contrary to NTL Institute’s history of
the model, it has been demonstrated that
the learning pyramids have been produced
through a synthesis of two separate and
untenable ideas (Lalley & Miller, 2007;
Molenda, 2004; Subramony, 2003):
The first is a misconstruing of Edgar
Dale’s “cone of experience”, presenting it
as a model of learning efficiency. Dale
originally presented the model as a visual
aid for classifying learning methods
according to their level of abstractness and
concreteness, and explicitly stated that it
was not intended as “a hierarchy or rank
order of learning processes”. (Dale, 1946,
47). His cone was not describing retention
at all, and neither the 1946, the 1954 nor
the 1969 version of the cone contained any
numbers.
The second idea stems from an old
retention chart. This chart is a set of rates
of retention associated with reading, see-
ing, hearing, saying and doing. These
percentages have been traced back to the
early 1940s (Molenda, 2004), but we have
lately found that they were published sev-
eral times between 1906 and 1940 (Letrud
2012).
Even though our knowledge of the ori-
gin of the percentages of the learning
pyramids is incomplete, the NTL Insti-
tute’s belief in having performed any
original research seems somewhat opti-
mistic. Indeed, the retention chart precedes
the founding of this institution in 1946 by
at least 40 years.
Making predictions from the model
Rejecting a model due to lacking empir-
ical support may be hasty if such evidence
in turn may be produced. But in order to
test the learning pyramid and to measure
the relative efficiency of the learning
modes, the model’s rudimentary categories
need to be thoroughly modified for them
to be operationalized. An empirical inter-
pretation of the model in its present state
could only be highly arbitrary, and subse-
quently the learning pyramid of NTL
Institute is hardly testable.
Some categories are ambiguous. Con-
sider the sentence “learners retain
approximately: 90% of what they learn
when they teach someone else/use imme-
diately.” The syntax allows for two
interpretations that are equally plausible,
but only partially consistent with each
other: is it adequate to “teach someone
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else” or must we “teach someone else
immediately” in order to retain 90 percent?
The content of the term “learn” shifts
depending on the category. When related
to reading, lectures, audiovisual aids, and
demonstrations, “being presented with, or
acquiring information” seems a plausible
interpretation. While in the context of prac-
ticing, using and teaching, “learn”
apparently takes on a new and different
meaning, indicating something along the
lines of “processing and understanding
information”. In the category “discussion
in groups”, “learn” is equally open to both
interpretations, since we both are present-
ed with information, as well as contributing
our own conceptions and ideas into the dis-
cussion.
The difference between “practice” and
“use” in the categories “practice what they
learned” and “use immediately” is not
clear, because these terms are sometimes
synonymous. Furthermore, while
“practice” can signify repetitions in order
to improve one’s performance, or
retention of a subject matter, it may also
signify the translation of theoretical knowl-
edge into actions or judgments, as in
“practicing medicine”.
And finally, what kind of retention does
the pyramid describe – long-term, or short-
term memory? The category “immediate
use” suggests that the aim is to transfer the
information from short-term to long-term
memory by repetition. The other categories
are unclear in this respect.
Even if the model were changed accord-
ing to these objections, thereby making the
model more suitable for testing, it would
only produce valid answers to a limited
extent:
The categories are, as suggested earli-
er, not discrete. These ought to be
adequately separated and defined, so that
they can be examined and evaluated on
their own. The claimed 90 percent reten-
tion gained by teaching others is in this
context paradoxical – because the reason
that teachers know the material they teach
in the first place, is because they them-
selves have prior knowledge (Lalley &
Miller, 2007) from years of attending lec-
tures, reading, discussions, and
demonstrations. They have also been prac-
ticing – in both meanings of the word.
Hence, their competence is a result of all
these low- or semi efficient modes of learn-
ing. Even though it is an important
motivator, it is far from evident that teach-
ing is a form of learning.
The same critical point can be made of
the audio-visual presentations. These often
include text, lectures and demonstrations,
thereby making it hard to evaluate the
impact of audio-visual technology.
These problems might be solved, if the
model’s percentages are intended to be
additive, and not discrete. However, this
interpretation will present major difficul-
ties in separating the effect of the learning
methods from the well-known and well-
supported effect of repetition.
The intuitiveness of the learning pyramid
But, some might argue, considering the
length of time the model has been with us
and to the extent it has spread, surely this
must indicate that it conveys some essen-
tial truths on learning. One cannot help
thinking that a major reason why it has
spread so efficiently is that it corresponds
to all these authors’ scientific knowledge
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of education as well as their professional
experience.
First of all, even if some experiences
of learning come easier to mind than oth-
ers, the ease of recollection and the
vividness of memories of situations where
learning took place may not be represen-
tative of how we actually learn. For
instance, the laborious and tedious process
of reading, writing and repeating in order
to retain and understand is anything but
memorable.
Secondly, it is no wonder that we expe-
rience that the model’s most efficient forms
of learning, discussions, practice, imme-
diate use or teaching others, have made
several major contributions to our grasp of
different subject matters. They are them-
selves parts of learning processes that
involves attending lectures, reading and
writing, and their discrete contribution to
these processes cannot easily be distin-
guished. They can, however, easily be
overemphasized.
Thirdly, I have doubts that the authors
who reproduce the model adhere to more
than one, or maybe two of the categories.
There are probably few who have strong
feelings concerning the percentages asso-
ciated with, say demonstrations. Most tend
to stress the lower and upper categories,
because they find the learning pyramid
confirms their general preference for active
learning strategies over passive ones, hence
resonating with several pedagogical
theories that are currently in vogue. And
lastly, the burden of evidence is not ful-
filled by claiming that the model seems
reasonable
Conclusion
NTL Institute’s learning pyramid lacks
empirical evidence, and any attempt to per-
form empirical tests of the model will
encounter major methodical problems.
Despite its inability to stand up to close
examination, the model is still corrobo-
rated by NTL Institute. The continued
distribution of this model cannot be justi-
fied, and in order to reduce further
dissemination, NTL Institute ought to
retract it.
Presentations of other versions of the
learning pyramid also need to be con-
fronted with correspondingly critical
questions in order to clarify the scientific
statuses of these models. If these cannot be
adequately satisfied, one should abstain
from using them all together.
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... Nowadays, new professionals might have the skills to get used to different environments and work settings. The traditional educational models are based on lectures covering prescribed academic contents, and studies have shown that according to the learning pyramid, the average retention rate is in the order of five percent [1]. Hence, there is a need to prepare students to continuous change and to develop skills and competencies fo r the 21 st century. ...
... Other scholars who recognize that online learning has been developed for decades by experts across disciplines include Lederman (2020). 7 Questions have been raised about the methodology and evidence for the popular "Learning Pyramid" developed by the National Training Laboratory Institute that argues that lectures result in the least amount of student learning and retention compared to other modalities of instruction (e.g., Letrud, 2012). However, with few exceptions (e.g., Letrud & Hernes, 2018), these critiques have focused on perceived methodological problems with learning pyramid research, and have not actually come up with a counter-schema to the learning pyramid that disproves its assertions. ...
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The move to online teaching during the Coronavirus pandemic has facilitated the decline of the student-centered pedagogy that has been composition’s pride and joy. Institutional technologists have appropriated large sums of money to equip faculty and classrooms for online and hybrid instruction during the pandemic, apparently oblivious of the problematic constructions of student learning and pedagogical efficacy that the new technologies, geographies, and architectures normalize. Building on scholarship from the fields of critical pedagogy, teaching and learning, and composition studies, as well as more recent work on the “managed campus,” this chapter unpacks the detrimental effects (on students, on universities, and on civil society) of this newly universalized pedagogical epistemology, and suggest what kinds of interventions compositionists might make into this instructional order in order to advocate for pedagogies that resurrect student agency and enact our commitments to student-centeredness and social justice in the classroom.
... However, this concept has been repeatedly criticised. For example, K. Letrud noted that the study is largely based on an unknown methodology of questionable quality, with an unknown reduction in the impact of certain parameters such as time, specificity of the tested groups, etc., which makes the results of the original study unreliable [15]. Indeed, when planning a teaching model, it is necessary to consider that the group will include students who strive for different learning styles: while someone of the psychophysical type is closer to practical participation, the other student needs more time to analyse the information that can be provided through reading the material. ...
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Professional training of specialists in the field of musical art is an urgent task, as it contributes to the development of a performing and pedagogical culture, which is reflected in the understanding of a musical composition. High-quality music education ensures continuous professional and creative development. The purpose of the study is to determine the basic principles of combining empirical and theoretical knowledge in the educational process for training future musicians and pianists. The main methodological base of the study consists of: methods of theoretical (monographic, abstraction, and concretisation) and empirical (analysis, content analysis, generalisation of pedagogical experience, experiment) search. The study considers the main principles and trends in the development of modern piano pedagogy in Ukraine. The essence of the concepts of empirical and theoretical cognition in the context of the educational process is analysed and the features of their possible application in piano pedagogy are identified. An educational process model for training future pianists is proposed, which would allow providing favourable conditions for the development of a creative personality, better performing skills, and an independent professional performer. It is established that the specific features of piano pedagogy condition the need to adapt modern educational methods to the conditions of the educational process in the context of obtaining music education. As a result, during the application of the model for organising the teaching of piano art, which provides for the unity of theoretical and empirical cognition, the principles on which such a model should be based were identified. The practical value of the study lies in the fact that the development of a model for combining methods of theoretical and empirical cognition in the educational process of piano art students is proposed
... While there may be some (albeit its precise scope is equivocal, see Letrud, 2012) that may be readily impacted by a didactic presentation of information, data, and statistics to discuss poverty issues and trends, many individuals prefer to learn actively and experientially (like Teena in our sample who implored organizers "to stop with the stats"), by doing, practicing, discussing, and teaching others (Wood, 2004). New research acknowledges of the complexity and multidimensional nature of learning, which beyond a linear cognitive process, involves the body, emotions, the mind, and spirit. ...
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This study explores two poverty training curricula, namely Bridges Out of Poverty (‘Bridges’) and a community-developed curriculum dubbed Rethink Poverty, intended to educate people about the causes, impacts and outcomes of poverty. The research questions posed in the study explore: (a) how are the poverty curricula assessed by participants; and (b) what can we learn about the ways in which poverty training materials are designed and/or delivered that might enhance their relevance and efficacy for community audiences? Employing a thematic analysis of qualitative interviews with participants, several themes emerged, including the importance of workshop facilitation that excludes the ideas surrounding Bridges (a theme dubbed ‘More of the same?); targeting poverty training to populations outside typical health and social service audiences (a theme entitled ‘Going beyond preaching to the choir’); themes related to ‘Observations on the evidence of poverty curricula’ and ‘Perceptions of poverty and debunking myths’; addressing the current ‘(Limited) motivation for action’ on poverty; and how to engage people to increase poverty awareness and advocacy (‘What’s missing’ in poverty training curricula). The discussion outlines key points, based on adult learning theory, for community providers to consider when offering poverty training for community audiences.
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Resumo: A inserção de conhecimento neurocientífico na educação pode contribuir para o desenvolvimento de estratégias de ensino que visam melhorias na aprendizagem. O presente estudo realizou um levantamento bibliográfico, por meio do método de revisão sistemática integrativa de literatura, buscando identificar a relação entre neurociência e o ensino de ciências, com foco na formação de professores de ciências. Resultados iniciais em publicações indexadas nas bases de dados da Scielo, Scopus e Google Acadêmico, compreendidas entre 2009 a julho de 2020, surgiram a partir dos termos descritores "neuroscience" e "teaching Science". Trinta publicações foram incluídas e agrupadas em quatro categorias de análise: estratégias de ensino, revisão de literatura, neurociências e formação de professores e contribuições da neurociência na educação. Dos 377.445 resultados encontrados, apenas 0,5% corresponde a publicações brasileiras, o que aponta que os estudos a respeito da neuroeducação no país ainda são incipientes, não obstante a sua relevância para a educação. Abstract: The insertion of neuroscientific education can contribute to the development of teaching strategies aimed at improving learning. The present study was developed to identify a bibliographic survey, through the method of systematic integrative literature review, seeking the relationship between neuroscience and science teaching, focusing on the education of science teachers. Initial results in publications indexed in the Scielo, Scopus and Google Scholar databases, between 2009 and July 2020, emerged from the descriptors "neuroscience" and "teaching Science". Thirty publications were included and grouped into four categories of analysis: teaching strategies, literature review, neuroscience and teacher training, and contributions of neuroscience in education. Of the 377,445 results found, only 0.5% correspond to Brazilian publications, which indicates that studies on neuroeducation in the country are still incipient, despite its relevance to education.
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A inserção de conhecimento neurocientífico na educação pode contribuir para o desenvolvimento de estratégias de ensino que visam melhorias na aprendizagem. O presente estudo realizou um levantamento bibliográfico, por meio do método de revisão sistemática integrativa de literatura, buscando identificar a relação entre neurociência e o ensino de ciências, com foco na formação de professores de ciências. Resultados iniciais em publicações indexadas nas bases de dados da Scielo, Scopus e Google Acadêmico, compreendidas entre 2009 a julho de 2020, surgiram a partir dos termos descritores “neuroscience” e “teaching Science”. Trinta publicações foram incluídas e agrupadas em quatro categorias de análise: estratégias de ensino, revisão de literatura, neurociências e formação de professores e contribuições da neurociência na educação. Dos 377.445 resultados encontrados, apenas 0,5% corresponde a publicações brasileiras, o que aponta que os estudos a respeito da neuroeducação no país ainda são incipientes, não obstante a sua relevância para a educação.
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El uso del eclecticismo como un método en la enseñanza del idioma inglés (ELT) ha sido promovido aproximadamente desde los finales de la década de los 60. Esto es el resultado de la carencia de un método universal que pueda garantizar la adquisición de competencias lingüísticas y comunicativas en los aprendientes. No obstante, el eclecticismo como un método es una espada de doble filo. El autor arguye que un procedimiento ad hoc hacia la selección de técnicas para la enseñanza de idiomas (por ejemplo, uno basado meramente en si las técnicas suenan divertidas o inclusivas) puede llevar al detrimento del proceso de aprendizaje. Este artículo reconoce que el eclecticismo es la única opción viable para los docentes de idiomas (dado el panorama actual en la investigación dentro de la psicología y la didáctica de idiomas), pero arguye a favor de un proceso de selección de técnicas basado en evidencias. Más aún, este proceso viene con un criterio para la selección de técnicas de enseñanza y modelos instruccionales, cuyo propósito es el de filtrar cualquier técnica, método o teoría que difícilmente provea alguna manera de mejorar el aprendizaje.
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span>Retention is the ability to retain information in the mind, either in short-term or long-term memory. Memory in the long-term is more ideal. Thus, this has become a challenge for educators on how to transfer ideas in short-term memory to long-term memory. To concretize the effect of time on mathematics learning retention, a randomized pre-test post-test x groups design, using matched subjects was used in the study. Seven matched groups of students were identified, and took the pre-test as the basis of the initial amount of learning, after which a group of students was assigned to take the post-test every week for seven weeks. The post-tests results were the basis of the amount of retained learning of the students. The study found out that: i) The amount of retained learning among the students diminished following a negative exponential curve; ii) The amount of retained learning was comparably equal with the initial amount of learning up to the second week; iii) The amount of retained learning became incomparable with the initial amount of learning after the third week; and iv) The concepts in the knowledge level had a great chance to be remembered while the concept with analysis level was prone to motivated forgetting.</span
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This paper seeks to confirm whether students using the Global Market Potential System Online (GMPSO) web based software, (http://globalmarketpotential.com), for their class project enhanced their knowledge and understanding of international business. The challenge most business instructors and practitioners face is to determine how to bring the real world of business into a classroom or training environment. Experts claim that the answer lies in the Project-Based Learning (PBL) method and web based interactive software widely used at universities and businesses around the world. The findings indicate that the GMPSO enhanced the students’ understanding of international business and improved their team working, research and critical thinking skills.
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It has been well-established that discussion groups enhance student learning in large lecture courses. The goal of this study was to determine the impact of a discussion group program on the development of conceptual reasoning skills of students enrolled in a large lecture-format introductory biology course. In the discussion group, students worked on problems based on topics discussed in lecture. The program was evaluated using three assessment tools. First, student responses to pre- and posttests were analyzed. The test question asked the students to demonstrate the relationships between 10 different but related terms. Use of a concept map to link the terms indicated an advanced level of conceptual reasoning skills. There was a 13.8% increase in the use of concept maps from pre- to posttest. Second, the students took a Likert-type survey to determine the perceived impact of the program on their conceptual reasoning skills. Many of the students felt that the program helped them understand and use the main course concepts to logically solve problems. Finally, average exam grades increased as the semester progressed. The average final grade in the course was 75%. Students enrolled in the course the previous year (where the lecture component of the course did not assess or reflect student learning in the discussion group) had an average final grade of 69%. The results of this study demonstrate that the discussion group program improves the conceptual reasoning skills of students enrolled in a large lecture-format introductory biology course.
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Award-winning brain research expert David A. Sousa explains current research on how the brain learns language and provides strategies for teaching English language learners.
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Increased accountability and emphasis on teaching reading and mathematics have left little time for social studies instruction in elementary schools. The results are that students have deficits in social studies content knowledge and pre-service teachers lack exposure to exemplary instructional strategies. The purpose of this study is to examine the impact of oral history as a strategy for social studies instruction implemented by a group of preservice teachers. This oral history project was a collaborative effort among 57 university pre-service teachers in Alabama, 40 local elementary school fourth graders and their 3 teachers, and 5 community members serving as interviewees. Findings indicate overall positive attitudes by pre-service teachers' concerning the use of this strategy, a renewed interest in history as a discipline, and acquired social studies teaching efficacy. Elementary students gained content knowledge and interest in learning history.
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