One, said Mahzarin R. Banaji, a professor of psychology at Harvard, is what she called a "myth" about different learning styles, in which it is thought that some students learn best visually, others by hearing, and still others kinesthetically.
"There's no evidence, zero, that teaching methods should be matched up with different learning styles," Ms. Banaji said. "It's intuitively appealing, but not scientifically supported."
Two days later, they were asked to recall as many words as they could. Those who took four tests recalled words at up to twice the rate of those who only studied.
"Taking a test on something is a very effective way to learn about it," Mr. Roediger said.
But frequent quizzes--which he said should be low-stakes and not "deadly" multiple choice--often hit a wall of disdain among both faculty and students, he noted.
Writing is often an effective pedagogical tool, too, several speakers said. For his history of psychology course, Mr. Roediger asks his students to send him short essays before each class meets. They respond to the reading. (Others at the conference who use this method said they sometimes ask their students to identify outstanding questions or relevant areas of their reading that have been left unexplored.) Mr. Roediger reads the one-page essays before class and works their thoughts into his comments.
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