Sunday, November 8, 2009

Designing Learning

In today's day and age, is the current methodology of teaching the best approach?

Here's my hypothesis, Changing HOW we are taught can net greater results on a broader spectrum of students.

It's a well known fact that there are different types of learning
from: LD Pride
These Learning styles are, Auditory, Tactile, and Visual.
How can we improve each of these area's in today's classroom?

I believe that if a student doesn't "care" about what they're learning, it's like trying to force oil to mix with water, it doesn't work.

What we need is something that will be the go-between from the oil (the student) and the water (the material). One way to do this is by not stifling creativity, and in fact fostering it, the best engineers in my opinion are the ones who find the most creative solutions!

Point in case, I'm working on my microprocessors class. Right now we are learning how to handle interrupts, using timer's, buttons, led's and various other things. Individually these projects are dry and don't inspire creativity.

My solution suggests that the student attempts to create a game in one case. For example, Simon Say's, a great game, could be a pretty easy one to build, but in building that you learn a lot of things, here are many of them I can think of:
  1. LED Outputs
  2. Pointers
  3. Timer's
  4. Interrupts
  5. Button Presses
  6. LCD (maybe give the user a score?)
  7. Stack
  8. Algorithms
So I could manage to learn all those things and actually have fun doing it.

I am so far having a blast with the class because I can SEE the potential I'm given while learning this information, but many people see it using blinders, where they can only see what's directly ahead of them, and not see the potential, I believe that letting student's pick projects force them to learn how to design a project, work through the team building details, and the final implementation. I don't think this should be a one time project that is part of graduating, but shoot find a project that the student needs to complete that takes each piece, and as you learn, you can build more and more.

For example, let's say you're given a project as a freshman, some of the techniques to build this project may require math level x (doesn't have to be overly difficult), as you push through each semester you can learn more and then literally apply it to a project as you go along, so when you finish your degree you can say...Look I completed this project and it required knowledge and skills in all these area's.

How do you think learning should be implemented in today's day and age? And do you have any ideas for programming that may induce learning indirectly?