The experience of learning

My friend and colleague Kat Bailey at APSU has some great observations on Lessons from the Game Culture for Education. For instance:

[E]xperience is the heart of learning, it is the best teacher. Flat knowledge in books or lectures are leap points for learning, but activity is the key to success in the learning cycle.

This shows something of why Second Life can be an important factor in teaching a variety of subjects, but it obviously goes much more broadly than that. It’s not so much that Kat gets at a reason to use games and game environments in teaching, but rather that she gets at the very nature of learning.

Here’s another one:

Too often, we define learning by objectives, assessments and due dates. The experience of learning can be described but not explained by statistics.

Amen, sister! Preach on! My take: this is not anti-assessment. Just a recognition that the really important stuff goes beyond assessment.

There’s an old story about a drunk searching for something around the base of a street light. A passerby says, “What are you looking for?”

The drunk says, “I lost my watch.”

So the passerby helps look for a bit, and then says, “Are you sure you lost it around here?”

“No, I lost it over there in that alley.”

“Then why are you looking for it over here under the streetlight?”

“This is where the light is. It’s dark over there.”

If we focus only on the stuff that is relatively easy to measure, we are going to miss the important stuff.

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