How We Learn

Have you ever thought about how you learn? We’re in academia, so I’m sure at one point or another you’ve spent a little bit of time wondering if you could be studying more efficiently or wondering if you’ll retain information you just learned.  Given how crunched we are for time, I know more than once I’ve spent a few precious moments trying to determine the most efficient way to maximize my learning and retention.

Continue reading “How We Learn”

What is the HyFlex Teaching Model?

What is the HyFlex Teaching Model?

Everyone is talking about the HyFlex Teaching Model lately. No doubt, you have attended a few sessions related to HyFlex teaching and/or read a few articles on the topic. In case you are still a little unsure of what HyFlex is, continue reading. I plan to explain the model from the viewpoint of someone who is completely new to the concept – sort of a “Cliff’s Notes” version.

In this What is? series post, we will define the HyFlex model and offer some resources to learn more. Continue reading “What is the HyFlex Teaching Model?”

What is Teacher Immediacy?

What is teacher immediacy?

What if your students’ college success depends on you? Not the collective “you”, but the specific, personal, individual you?

What if you could raise your students’ high school grades retroactively? What if you could raise the scores of their entrance exams? What if you could make them better prepared for college success?

This is crazy. It’s impossible to raise your students’ scores or grades from high school. As predictors of college success, they are important college entrance requirements, but there is nothing you can do about them. True, but there is one more factor that is just as significant in predicting student success; one not considered by admissions. Continue reading “What is Teacher Immediacy?”

School Exclusive Classes: What are they?

School exclusive Classes: what are they?

The term “school exclusive class” isn’t a term most of our k-12 professional development participants hear much about. That is because it is really a term we use in our office to describe professional development being offered for an exclusive audience. “District exclusive” is another way to describe these classes. But school districts may refer to them as partner courses or simply stated as, “credit offered through NDSU.”

While you may not need to know the industry jargon for these classes, it is useful to know about these type of classes. Let’s break down what a school exclusive class really is. Continue reading “School Exclusive Classes: What are they?”

What is the Zone of Proximal Development?

What is the zone of proximal development?

In a nutshell:
The zone of proximal development is best illustrated as a series of concentric circles.2,3

concentric circles


An inner circle represents what a learner knows on her own; this can be either a skill or a topic a student understands. A second circle encompassing the first circle represents the zone of proximal development in which there is a set of skills or knowledge a student cannot master on her own unless she has guidance and instruction from someone else. Finally, Continue reading “What is the Zone of Proximal Development?”

What is Scaffolding Reflection?

What is scaffolding reflection?

In a nutshell:
Scaffolding is a process where the activities performed in the classroom “progressively increase student abilities and agency while reducing teacher-led direction.”1 While scaffolding is a commonly used technique in classrooms, it is often not associated with reflection.  Scaffolding reflection leads to students improving their ability to use personal reflection as a learning tool, thus gaining stronger understanding through experience. Continue reading “What is Scaffolding Reflection?”