the fun-fast way
goal-setting and learning outcomes
Encourage students to set their own goals - and to plan
their own future. If they know where they are going, then their path is focused. In our
experience, most people will over-achieve personal targets that they set themselves
- possibly the soundest principle in management.
In classroom settings, we both encourage the
"Station WIIFM" game - to focus on "What's In It For Me?" Not in a
selfish sense, but to get participants, perhaps in pairs, to tell each other and teachers
what they specifically hope to get from the session, the day or the year.
The way this is introduced is vital, especially in
school. Many at-risk students get very angry with the traditional
"You-will-learn-this today" introduction. Instead, good teachers invite students
to set their own goals, right from the outset, and the outcomes they would like from the
Often students come with "hidden agendas"
- and they don't always "buy in" to the instructor's agenda. The key is to make
learning a partnership, where the instructor prepares a smorgasbord of possible
"curriculum pieces" and the students get a big say in what they want out of it.
Try visualizing your goal
Visualizing is a powerful learning tool. An
ineffective teacher might well say: "Don't forget to study or you might do poorly in
the upcoming test" - a negative reinforcer.
Eric Jensen suggests two better ways. One is to
encourage students to visualize precisely how they would be using their new-found
knowledge in the future. The other is to plant a positive thought that will encourage
students to browse through their study-book looking for specific answers that might be
used in the future.
We cannot stress this point too strongly: many
teachers do not realize how damaging negative suggestions can be.
Trigger the emotions
Nor can we overstress that the emotional "limbic" part of the brain
is the gateway to long-term memory, so all good teaching encourages warm emotions. This
fuses what you have been learning into deep memory.
2. The keys to good presentation
Positivity and linking are the first ones. All good
presentations must be learner-centered and linked to students'
Contents Page Preface