Category Archives: Blog of the week

Reducing cognitive load in order to boost motivation

This is a really interesting blog about student motivation.  A quick read.
When I first started writing about cognitive load theory and the need for explicit instruction, a lot of constructivists responded to me by suggesting that …

What to do with Year 11 revision

If you don’t have time to read all of the blog, here is a quick snippet from Shaun Allison’s blog.

These three research informed strategies will definitely be happening in our Year 11 revision programme:

  • low stakes quizzing – using flashcards, memory apps such as Ankiapp, or simply a set of 5-10 questions at the beginning of the lesson, so that students transfer as much information as possible from their long-term memory to their working memory;
  • practice testing – exposing the students to as many types and styles of exam questions as possible, so that they become familiar with the expectations of the exams;
  • elaboration through questioning – asking the students ‘why’ something is the right answer, so that they have to explain their thinking to develop their understanding.

…and three activities which will definitely not be happening, as Dunlosky’s research shows that they are ineffective:

  • summarising notes
  • highlighting and underlining
  • just rereading notes (with no follow-up activity)
Tomorrow will mark 42 school days until the first GCSE exam for our current Year 11 cohort. They will have an extended assembly promoting the importance of this period, receive a study skills bookl…