Teaching Philosophy

Volume 38, Issue 1, March 2015

W. Scott Clifton
Pages 1-19

Preserving the Natural Order of Learning
Brain-Based Pedagogy and the Value of Online Discussion Board Assignments

Because learning is a biological process, pedagogical approaches should conform to the ways the brain learns. One of the findings of brain-based pedagogical research is that context matters to learning. More specifically, the order of learning must be preserved: content should be introduced in a concrete context, followed by attempts to isolate abstract elements found in the case. There are better and worse strategies to preserve this order. In this paper I discuss the research and provide what I have found to be a very successful way to preserve the natural order of learning: online discussion board assignments.