Dec 022011

Learning Strategies: How do you Find  Creative Learning Strategies?

Learning Strategies: A LinkedIn Innovative Learning and Education Innovators Discussion,  As of 12/2/11

 BarbiUnfollow Follow Barbi

Learning Strategies: Hi everyone! How do you come up with new and creative teaching and learning strategies? How do you keep your creativity alive as an educator/teacher/trainer?


 Thomas S. McDonald • You focus on changing your teaching delivery from one to many (think lecture) to one to one learning delivery (think differentiated instruction and differentiated reinforcement)

By personalizing your learning delivery, using proven learning methodologies and instructor facilitated, personalized learning technology, you will empower your participants to be actively engaged in their personalized learning process and advance individual learning outcomes, consistent with organizational objectives

JaydraUnfollow Follow Jaydra

Jaydra Hymer • Thomas– what do you feel are some of the best proven learning methodologies and instructor facilitated, personalized learning technology. I founded a private school for children with ADHD and Learning/Social/Emotional difficulties and used an individualized approach I created. However, I always want to expand my knowledge so would appreciate learning what you have found beneficial.

 Thomas S. McDonald • Hi Jaydra

Thanks for asking

I’ve found that a truely personalized approach (one to one vs one to many) that individually assesses individual participants knowledge gaps, then creates a personalized course plan for each participant, then individually reinforces that information, over time, via individualized spacing, pacing and reinforcement, creates the highest level of participant learning, transfer and adaptive reasoning skills, in the shortest time possible

These research proven learning methodologies are incorporated into the personalized learning technology (each methodology is defined under a parallel corresponding categories tab in my website):

(1) Accelerated learning:

(2) Cognitivism
(3) Differentiated instruction
(4) Differentiated Reinforcement, which includes personalized, distributed practice and individualized, spaced reinforcement
(5) Metacognition (learning how to learn)

The learner becomes and active participant in learning and through graduated difficulty
of multiple choice questions in individual study sessions the participant is forced to exercise their brain, with personalized spacing and reinforcement, over time, to learn and recall critical information

The learning process is defined here:

Instructors and facilitators can utilize integrated interactive communication tools to:
Monitor individual learning progress and individual time on task
Tutor and coach individuals, over time
This personalized learning technology is literally an intelligent tutoring system that has brought at risk special ed and english learner students up to to grade level and empowered them to learn, retain and apply critical ELA and Math ( information to graduate and become productive members of society

Manually integrating personalized learning methodologies into learning delivery can result in inconsistent applications and is difficult to scale to larger populations

Affordable learning technology overcomes these obstacles and dramatically advances individual learning and transfer, especially with at risk learners and within intensive intervention, but adds value to any strugging learners learning outcomes (also, with learning technology, the individualized spacing and reinforcement, over time, is customized to each individual, using a proprietory algorithm, to ensure the individual learning pace is just right to ensure individual content fluency, in the shortest time possible)

The research also reflects that the optimum individual learning results occur in an instructor facilitated, blended, personalized learning environment, supplemented by personalized learning technology. (note that a one to many teaching approach delivered individually through individual cool technology is not a truely personalized learning approach. It betters individual delivery and access, but does not advance individual learning.

Note also that learning styles have no proven research validation of advanced learning effectiveness, so the suggestion is to allocate your time and resources away from unproven learning styles and towards proven learning methodologies

This affordable, proven, personalized learning technology is cutting edge, but interestingly enough, it has been around and has been advancing individual learning since 2000.

DavidUnfollow Follow David

David Tidman • Barbi
I think you have to change the way you have to look at the way you plan to teach. Start out by asking what it is you need to help students learn and then think about the best way to learn it, rather than thinking about the resources that you have to teach them with. Putting things in this order opens up the thinking and allows us to choose the right strategy to deliver things rather than the thinking i have this resource so i wll teach it in this manner. It will also help you get away from a stagnated approach using the same approaches time after time.
JaydraUnfollow Follow Jaydra

Jaydra Hymer • Thomas–
I looked at your website info on traditional learning vs accelerated. I was amazed at how it aligns so closely with the way I have been teaching. In the private school I owned for children who couldn’t succeed with traditional learning, I implemented an individualized, learner driven, mind/body/soul approach with incredible success. I am now in the process of doing a conference to share that success. I will enjoy visiting with you more. Best regards, Jaydra

Paul HubertUnfollow Follow Paul Hubert

Paul Hubert Vossen • Thanks, Thomas, for sharing with us your deep insights and thoughtful recommendations, here and on your website. May I add, that Individual learning has been around not SINCE 2000, but probably FOR more than 2000 years (think of Socrates, for instance), although not so advanced as is possible and required today. Don’t forget, that many problems of current education are self-made or at least contingent upon the staggering ratio of students versus (well-qualified) teachers / lecturers and the finiteness of educational resources.
Thus for decades educational technology has been focussed on inventing and implementing technical solutions to this dilemma. Returning to individualized or personalized teaching, coaching and learning is a must, no doubt, but (1) it doesn’t come for free and (2) it doesn’t automatically improve teaching / learning.
As Thomas remarks quite correctly at the end of his contribution, the effectiveness of (innovative or retrospective) teaching and learning styles should be validated before embarking on them at a large scale, but unfortunately there is nothing so complex and time-consuming as educational research, especially because we are dealing with a “moving target” (well, the same holds for the exploration of space, so maybe we can learn a bit from NASA?).
What it means, in practice, is that teachers who want to adopt new-old teaching patterns should be willing to invest a lot in assessment of their own teaching and assessment of the effectiveness of learning of their pupils. If not, you are just “playing around” with possible didactic options, without being sure whether you are making progress and without creating evidence (for others) that what you are doing is worth “imitating”. It may be fun, but it is probably a waste of time and effort, and in the end it may even be a risk for future learners who are at the mercy of your unvalidated creativity and future teachers who may adopt unvalidated beliefs.

Tom McDonald’s Comments:
Here is additional, comprehensive validation, that advanced individual learning most effectively and most efficiently occurs in an instructor facilitated, personalized, blended learning environment, supplemented by truely personalized learning technology

Thanks for everyones comments.

Personalized learning has been around forever. Note that truely personalized learning technology (intelligent tutoring system) is most often referred to as a future solution. In my world, truely personalized, affordable, learning technology has been available since 2000 and has been bettering learning effectiveness and efficiencies since then. I hope its stated values catch on within learning environments.


To Discuss how these Solutions will add value for you, your organization and/or your clients, Affinity/Resale Opportunities, and/or Collaborative Efforts, Please Contact:

Tom McDonald,; 608-788-5144; Skype: tsmw5752

learning strategies, McDonald Sales and Marketing, LLC