Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Learning from Observation

This post, from the Eide Neurolearning Blog got me thinking about motivation in e-learning. A study is cited in which researchers looked at brain activity while subjects learned how to build a structure with Tinker Toys.

Not surprisingly, a lot more activity was seen if test subjects were watching to
learn (anticipating that they were to do the task later) vs. watching only.

The very active area here was the cerebellum, which apparently has a big role in "motor learning and expertise".

I'm no neuroscientist, but these kinds of images get me excited -- seeing which areas of the brain light up. It goes to show, we've got to make sure that we're putting the right content into our courses -- so that the learner knows that he or she is actually going to be using this information later. Weed out the fluff. The brain does indeed pay attention.

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