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Leverage the “Fresh Start Effect” To Generate Motivation

Here are a couple of things you already know about resolutions: One: We customarily make them around New Year’s. Two: These resolutions often fail. And here’s something about resolutions that you probably didn’t know: You can use them in conjunction what psychologists call “the fresh start effect” to effectively generate motivation throughout the year. Fascinating research conducted by Wharton professor
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The Common Experience of “Math Trauma”

A note to Brilliant readers: I’m continuing my confessional streak here (last week I wrote about my experiences of belonging in college). In the piece below, I’ve chosen to share a memory from my own life because I think it is likely to be similar to memories you have as well. In writing about “math trauma,” I don’t in any
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A Sense of Belonging Is Essential to Learning

Note to Brilliant readers: The following essay, which appears today on the website of Time magazine, addresses the recent controversy at my alma mater, Yale University, regarding racial sensitivity and free speech. It’s more personal than what I usually write; I’d be very interested to hear your feedback.—Annie The chandeliers were blazing with light. The long tables were set with
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Apps That Actually Help Kids Learn

Last week, I moderated a panel discussion at Sesame Street Workshop (yes, there were Muppets everywhere!)—an event that was part of the launch of a wonderful new book called Tap, Click, Read. Written by Michael Levine of the Joan Ganz Cooney Center (Cooney is the person who created Sesame Street) and Lisa Guernsey of the think tank New America, Tap,
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Affirmative Testing Blog: Nate Kornell’s Surprising Insights On Learning

Nate Kornell of Williams College is one of my favorite researchers in cognitive psychology; he’s done incredibly interesting work on study techniques that enhance memory, many of which I highlight in my “Turn Testing Into Learning” e-course. His comments are featured in a piece by Laura Entis on the website of Entrepreneur magazine, which lays out “three fundamental principles to
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Affirmative Testing Blog: A Prof Who Tests Differently Encounters Pushback

Alexander Coward, a full-time lecturer at the University of California at Berkeley, caused a stir this week when he revealed on this blog that the Berkeley mathematics department would not renew his contract to teach multiple sections of introductory calculus courses. As Josh Logue of InsideHigherEd writes: “Students immediately flocked to his support on social media. Some used the hashtag
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Affirmative Testing Blog: The Power of Full Feedback

Really interesting article here by Fabienne van der Kleij, a research fellow in assessment, evaluation and student learning at Australian Catholic University. In Lesson Eight of “Turn Testing Into Learning,” I present research showing that elaborated feedback on tests is a great way to promote student learning. In her essay, van der Kleij offers more evidence on this point: “Research
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Turn Testing Into Learning: Sample Lesson on Exam Wrappers

This week I’ve launched an e-course that’s intended to show parents, teachers, and school leaders how to implement affirmative testing: tests as occasions for student learning and growth. The course includes more than 20 practical, research-based techniques that you can start using today (many include templates for exercises that you can print out and give directly to students).  I thought
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Are College Lectures Unfair?

Note to Brilliant readers: This op-ed appears in The New York Times today, September 13. I’m directing readers to this version because it includes links to the cited studies, which a number of readers have asked for. If you want to see or tweet the NYT version, you’ll find it here.—Annie Does the college lecture discriminate? Is it biased against
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Affirmative Testing Blog: Education in the Age of Google

The Turn Testing Into Learning e-course is now LIVE at http://anniemurphypaul.com/brillianted/ ! We live in an era in which an unprecedented quantity of information is being created. At the same time, we have an unprecedented capacity to search for and find the particular information we need. But what does this reality mean for what—and how—our students should learn in school?
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