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March 2021 Newsletter

In the months approaching spring, students may struggle with keeping focused on their learning. Revisiting their initial motivations for joining your program and talking about building a life full of meaning can help them recapture the excitement and push to the end of the semester or program. Consider sharing this quote from John Gardner:

Meaning is not something you stumble across, like the answer to a riddle or the prize in a treasure hunt. Meaning is something you build into your life. You build it out of your own past, out of your affections and loyalties, out of the experience of humankind as it is passed on to you, out of your own talent and understanding, out of the things you believe in, out of the things and people you love, out of the values for which you are willing to sacrifice something. The ingredients are there. You are the only one who can put them together into that unique pattern that will be your life. Let it be a life that has dignity and meaning for you. If it does, then the particular balance of success or failure is of less account.

John Gardner, “Personal Renewal”

Upcoming Events

Click on the links below to register for our events in March.

Canvas Feature Spotlight: Mastery Paths

Have you ever wanted to assign extra review materials to students who needed help after a test? Or give a challenge to students who are already doing amazing at passing tests and assignments? MasteryPaths in Canvas can help you automate assigning work or review materials based on how a student scores on an assignment or test. Check it out in the video below for a basic overview, and let OTL know if we can help you get set up!

Here is another great explanation of Mastery Paths from a teacher at a different school:

Learning Science Spotlight: Seductive Details

The term “seductive detail” in learning science refers to details and interesting stories meant to engage the learner, but that actually detract from the student retaining the information.

Dr. Kripa Sundar explains, “Seductive details can be text, images, audio, gifs, memes, animations – anything that is tangentially related to the content, interesting, and irrelevant to the learning objective…The seductive details effect refers to the phenomenon where learners learn worse when seductive details are included than when they are excluded.”

The image below explains how you can look for seductive details in your teaching materials and minimize their effect on your students so they focus on the learning objectives.

Updated on February 23, 2021

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