Social science research, the kind we would use to research training effectiveness for example, is in big trouble. Psychology in particular, whose methods are widely adopted for education research, is undergoing a severe replication crises. That’s to say, it turns out that many published research papers have results that cannot be replicated, methodologies that are full of holes and conclusions that aren’t justified.
Even if you have never heard of a “smile sheet”, it’s almost certain that you’ve seen one or had to complete one.
Instructional design is somewhat of a black art at the best of times. Much of what the best training designers do is more a result of experience and intuition as opposed to strict adherence to theory or models. Of course, in order to break the rules you have to know them in the first place. This is why instructional designers who are starting out should pick a design model that they feel is a good match for their style, subject and workflow. This will act as scaffolding upon which to build a logical structure that students can interpret and internalize.
We have all heard the term “learning style” bandied about at conferences, in magazines and in conversation with educators of every stripe. It represents the idea that each student is “equal but different”, and needs to be taught in a way that accords to their unique minds.
To say that no two learners are the same is almost an axiomatic statement. This is clear to anyone who cares to think about it for a moment. If you take a classroom full of learners, give them the same instructions, under the same conditions while using the same assessments, you’ll get very different results.
Neuroscience is a multidisciplinary field that aims to understand the workings of the nervous system, which of course, includes the brain. The sub-discipline of educational neuroscience is a rather recent development in the field that aims to understand the relationship between the biology of the brain and related structures with the learning process, framed inside an educational context.