P24 Incorporating Cognitive Science into Your Instructional Design

8:30 AM - 4:30 PM Tuesday, September 29


Our goals for learning are (or should be) learning that sticks: learning that is there when we need it and that addresses the necessary goals. To do that, we need to understand how we learn, and that comes from the learning sciences. Yet much of what we see in learning doesn’t reflect what’s known about learning. To remedy this, we need to go deeper. We need to get past folk psychology and myths and drill into what is empirically demonstrated to work.

In this workshop, we’ll explore the brain at many levels, using specific exercises to help understand the phenomena we have to deal with. We’ll look at the architecture and the various components, as well as the emergent behaviors. We’ll discuss senses, attention, working memory, long-term memory, and the processes that move (or hinder) information. We’ll also look at reasoning, automaticity, and expertise. Most importantly, we’ll explore implications for our learning design; issues like cognitive load, repetition and spacing, and abstraction and transfer, as well as the emotional side, including motivation and anxiety.

In this session, you will learn:

  • How to make sure that your learning is there when needed
  • The elements that ensure your learning transfers to appropriate situations
  • Why subject matter experts (SMEs) can’t tell you what they do and how to cope
  • To address motivation and anxiety to optimize learning outcomes

Designers and managers responsible for designing learning that actually leads to meaningful outcomes.

Technology discussed in this session:

Clark Quinn

Executive Director


Clark Quinn, PhD provides strategic learning technology solutions to corporations, government, not-for-profits, and education organizations. An internationally known consultant, speaker, and author of seven books, as well as numerous articles and chapters, he integrates a deep understanding of thinking and learning with broad experience in technology to improve organizational execution, innovation, and ultimately performance. In 2012, Clark was recognized as the Learning Guild’s first Guild Master. He thinks ‘out loud’ at learnlets.com, tweets as @quinnovator, and works on behalf of clients through Quinnovation.

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