Leveraging evidence-based teaching strategies and research into workplace learning
The HOW2 platform bridges the gap between research and practice. It gives faculty access to a plethora of practical techniques to learn, adapt and apply in the classroom, lab or workspace. The depiction of each of the HOW2 techniques incorporates the following six core principles of cognitive or workplace learning, which dictate that the combination of still visuals with text is by far the most effective way to present a procedure.
Split attention effect
Dealing with information that has split visuals from its associated text, presents a challenge to our limited working memory resources. The HOW2s are designed to avoid this pitfall. Text is integrated into the infographics and presentations, providing an efficient, effortless and productive learning experience.
Imagination and self‑explanation
Imagining a process helps you to understand it and store it for later use. It also speeds up the transfer of knowledge to your long term memory. Explaining a process to yourself, or to another person, deepens our understanding even further.
The visual nature of the HOW2 techniques aids the ‘imagining effect’ as faculty easily picture themselves putting the techniques into action. The sequential nature of the guides prompts clear and concise discussions about the techniques.
Cognitive load theory
The visual nature of the HOW2s helps the educator to overcome the limitations of their working memory architecture by reducing the effort associated with the three main types of cognitive load; intrinsic, which is associated with learning new topics; extraneous, which refers to the way information or tasks are presented to a learner, and germane, which refers to the work required to create a permanent store of knowledge.
When faced with new material, we are constrained by the limits of our working memory. The modality effect, also referred to as 'dual coding' cheats working memory limits by exploiting the fact that visual and auditory channels work separately. Consequently, we double the amount of information we can take in. The HOW2s utilise this effect with their use of integrated text and visuals.
HOW2s are worked examples of teaching techniques, with each step of every teaching technique conveyed precisely and explicitly. Known to be just about the most effective way to learn how to solve problems, worked examples provide us with ready-made schemas we can store in our long term memory.
Transient information effect
When a trainer speaks, their words quickly disappear. This inefficient yet common communication and coaching method forces the listener to use their limited working memory resources to process the spoken words as quickly as possible.
The HOW2 mix of visuals and text, turns these fleeting words into something visible and concrete, aiding a shared, permanent, longer-term understanding.