Todd D. Zakrajsek is an Associate Professor in the Department of Family Medicine at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he serves as the Associate Director of the Faculty Development Fellowship Program. In addition to his work at UNC providing resources for faculty on various topics related to teaching/learning, leadership, and scholarly activity, Todd serves on several educationally-related boards. In recent years, Todd served on boards charged with creating resources and opportunities related to teaching and learning: Education Research Initiative (Lenovo Computer); Technology Enriched Instruction (Microsoft); and Communicating Science in K-12 (Harvard). Todd is an elected core committee member for the Professional Organizational Developers Network and the National Academies Collaborative. His current academic work and publications pertain to faculty development, effective instructional strategies, and student learning. His most recent books include The New Science of Learning (co-authored with Terry Doyle; Stylus; 2013) and Teaching for Learning (co-authored with Claire Major and Michael Harris, Routledge Publishing; 2015). Todd has been a visiting professor/workshop facilitator and delivered keynote addresses at approximately 250 campuses and teaching conferences.
Bringing it Together: How Learning Works and Higher Educational Practices that Promote Student Learning
Researchers are identifying exciting trends in higher education with respect to increasing student learning. Just a few decades ago higher education classrooms typically had a faculty member at the front of the classroom and students sitting quietly learning what they were being taught. In addition, researchers in the areas of psychology, neuroscience, education, and many other areas are now finding models of human learning and memory that better explain how students learn and recall information. In this plenary Dr. Zakrajsek will present foundational information on how humans learn, looking briefly at ways that faculty members may include this information in any classroom. Topics included in the plenary will be cognitive load, human information processing, and human memory. In addition to a foundation on how humans learn and remember, educational practices that have shown enhanced student learning will also be presented. These educational practices have consistently shown positive gains for students. Overall, the goal of the session will be to show delegates both how students learn, and also ways to teach that enhance that learning. Much of this presentation will be drawn from Dr. Zakrajsek’s upcoming book on educational psychology and best practices in higher education.