Some thoughts on thinking and learning

These 2 articles discuss the information processing theory and submit models on how to instruct for maximum efficacy.

This article How the Brain Learns Best by Dr. Bruce Perry make a case against one-note teaching.  Dr. Perry likens bad instruction to playing a sustained chord on an organ versus good instruction  where keys are stuck and released and the neurons are able to  “respond to patterned and repetitive, rather than to sustained, continuous stimulation”.  The article talks about the importance of Instructors tapping into emotion to in order facilitate the learner connecting with the material.  In what he calls a “Bob and weave lecture” he advises instructors to “give a fact or two; link these facts into related concepts. Move back to the narrative to help them make the connection between this concept and the story.  Go back to another fact. Reinforce the concepts. Reconnect with the original story.”  This he suggests in lieu of a steady stream of facts which he asserts contributes to neural system fatigue.

This study by Ozcelik and Yildirim offers a look at the metacognitive processes of a group of students who were given access to web based “cognitive tools”–highlighters, sitemaps, bookmarks, pagenotes and search functions.  It analyzes why students utilized or under-utilized a tool and provides recommendations for “practitioners of Web-based instruction and Web-based cognitive tool developers”.


Ozcelik, E., & Yildirim, S. (2005). FACTORS INFLUENCING THE USE OF COGNITIVE TOOLS IN WEB-BASED LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS. Quarterly Review Of Distance Education6(4), 295-307.

Perry, B.D. (2013, September 15). How the Brain Learns Best. Retrieved September 15, 2013 from



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