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Applying the Science of Learning, 1st edition

  • Richard E. Mayer

Published by Pearson (February 3rd 2010) - Copyright © 2011

1st edition

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Applying the Science of Learning

ISBN-13: 9780136117575

Includes: Paperback
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$53.32 $66.65

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  • Paperback

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A concrete guide to the science of learning, instruction, and assessment written in a friendly tone and presented in a dynamic format.


The underlying premise of Applying the Science of Learning is that educators can better help students learn if they understand the processes through which student learning takes place. In this clear and concise first edition text, educational psychology scholar Richard Mayer teaches readers how to apply the science of learning through understanding the reciprocal relationships between learning, instruction, and assessment.


Utilizing the significant advances in scientific learning research over the last 25 years, this introductory text identifies the features of science of learning that are most relevant to education, explores the possible prescriptions of these findings for instructional methods, and highlights the essentials of evaluating instructional effectiveness through assessment. Applying the Science of Learning is also presented in an easy-to-read modular design and with a conversational tone — making it particularly student-friendly, whether it is being used as a supplement to a core textbook or as a standalone course text.

Table of contents



            1.  The Big Three: Learning, Instruction, Assessment

            2.  Rationale for Applying the Science of Learning

            3.  What Is Applying the Science of Learning?

            4.  Historical Overview of the Relation Between the Science of Learning and the Science of Instruction

            5.  Viewing the Relation Between the Science of Learning and the Science of Instruction as Overlapping Goals

            Suggested Readings and References

How Learning Works

            1.  What Is Learning? 

            2.  What is the Science of Learning?

            3a.  What Changes: Behavior or Knowledge?

            3b.  What Changes: General or Specific Transfer?

            4.  How Learning Works: Three Metaphors of Learning

            4a.  A Closer Look at Response Strengthening: Thorndike’s Law of Effect

            4b. A Closer Look at Information Acquisition: Ebbinghaus’ Learning Curve

            4c.  A Closer Look at Knowledge Construction: Bartlett’s Assimilation to Schema

            5.  How Learning Works: Three Principles from the Learning Sciences

            5a.  A Closer Look at Dual Channels: Paivio Concreteness Effect

            5b.  A Closer Look at Limited Capacity: Miller’s Magic Number 7

            5c. A Closer  Look at  Active Learning: Wittrock”s Generative Processes

            6.  How Learning Works:  A Cognitive Model of Learning

            6a.  Three Memory Stores in Meaningful Learning

            6b.  Three Cognitive Processes in Meaningful Learning

            7.  The Mighty Ms: Motivation and Metacognition

            7a.  Motivation to Learn

            7b.  How Motivation Works

            7c.  Metacognition in Learning

            8.  Learning in Subject Areas

            9.  Eight Things We Know About Learning from Word Lists

            References and Suggested Readings

How Instruction Works

            1.  What Is Instruction?  

            2.  What Is the Science of Instruction? 

            3.  What Is an Instructional Objective?

            3a.  Three Levels of Instructional Objectives

            3b.  Five Kinds of Knowledge in Instructional Objectives

            3c.  Six Kinds of Cognitive Processes in Instructional Objectives

            4.  How Instruction Works: Three Demands on Cognitive Capacity

            5.  How Instruction Works:  Three Instructional Scenarios        

            6.  Twelve Instructional Design Principles for Lesson Learning

            6a.  Evidence-Based Principles for Reducing Extraneous Processing

            6b.  Evidence-Based Principles for Managing Essential Processing

            6c.  Evidence-Based Principles for Fostering Generative Processing

            7.   Eight Instructional Design Principles for Effective Studying

            7a.  Evidence-Based Principles for Studying by Practicing

            7b.  Evidence-Based Principles for Studying by Generating

            8.  How to Guide Cognitive Processing During Learning

            8a.  Instructional Techniques for Selecting

            8b.  Instructional Techniques for Organizing

            8c.  Instructional Techniques for Integrating

            9.  Three Popular But Questionable Principles

            10a.  How Active Teaching Methods Can Go Wrong

            10b.  Two Kinds of Active Learning

            References and Suggested Readings

How Assessment Works

            1.  What Is Assessment?

            1a.  Three Functions of Assessments

            2.  What Is the Science of Assessment?

            2a.  Using Instructional Objectives in Assessment

            2b.  How to Construct a Useful Assessment Instrument

            3.  What Is Research on Instructional Effects?

            3a.  What Works?  Using Randomized Controlled Experiments

            3b.  When Does It Work?  Using Factorial Experiments

            3c.  How Does It Work?  Using Observational Analysis

            4.  A Closer Look at Experiments

            4a.  Using Effect Size to Assess Instructional Effects

            4b.  Six Reasons for No Difference Between the Treatment and Control Groups           

            5.  How to Assess Learning Outcomes

            5a.  Two Ways to Measure Learning Outcomes

            5b.  Three Kinds of Learning Outcomes

            6a.  A Closer Look at Meaningful Versus Rote Learning: Wertheimer’s Parallelogram Lesson

            6b.  A Closer Look at Assessment of Learning Outcomes: How Much or What Kind?

            7.  Broadening the Domain of Assessment

            8.  A Closer Look at Broadening the Domain of Assessment: Attribute Treatment Interactions

            8a.  Attribute Treatment Interactions Involving Prior Knowledge

            9.  What Can Go Wrong with Assessments?

            References and Suggested Readings  



About the Author


Author Index

Subject Index

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