Recently, we published a series of twelve blogs on how to use learning technology effectively in online learning environments. We translated Wilfred Rubens’ work[1] (original blog – in Dutch – here), who wrote the twelve based on the book ‘Wijze lessen. wijze lessenTwaalf bouwstenen voor effectieve didactiek’ (‘Lessons for Learning: Twelve Building Blocks for Effective Teaching’ which is at this very moment being translated into English), written by Tim Surma, Kristel Vanhoyweghen, Dominique Sluijsmans, Gino Kamp, Daniel Muijs and Paul A. Kirschner. PS: We’ll let you know when it has been published in English.

In the book, Tim Surma and his co-authors discuss how to teach effectively using twelve evidence-informed instruction principles. Wilfred Rubens, a specialist in using technology for teaching and learning, saw an opportunity to elaborate on the building blocks by teasing out the relationship between each building block and different learning technologies.

When we initiated the blog series, it was in response to the world being in the grip of the corona (Covid-19) virus and this will probably continue for a while. Although some schools are cautiously opening again, many people are still urged to work from home when possible and many students and workers probably still need to find a way to learn while at home and so, education institutions and work organizations need to find a way to support them. 

However, even without the virus, this blog series can help anyone who needs to (re)design online learning solutions to find some focus. The building blocks in combination with Wilfred’s added ‘learning tech dimension’ can be used as the foundation for any virtual learning offering. 

That’s why we’ve decided to list all the blogs in one place here. Use it to your benefit and enjoy!

Building Block 1: Activating Relevant Prior Knowledge

Building Block 2: Give Clear, Structured, and Challenging Instruction

Building Block 3: Use Examples

Building Block 4: Combine Words and Visuals

Building Block 5: Make Learners Process the Subject Matter Actively

Building Block 6: Check Whether All Learners Have Understood the Content

Building Block 7: Provide Scaffolding for Challenging Tasks

Building Block 8: Spaced Learning

Building Block 9: Variable Practice

Building Block 10: Testing

Building Block 11: Feedback

Building Block 12: Learn More Effectively

[1] We (Mirjam and Paul), together collaborated with ExCEL’s – the Expertise Centre for Effective Learning (of which Paul A. Kirschner is guest professor) Tim Surma, Kristel Vanhoyweghen (researchers at ExCEL and also authors of the book), and Tine Hoof (also a researcher of ExCEL) to translate the blogs into English.



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