E.L. Resources - DIY

Effective Learning Resources - Do It Yourself

If you are intending to deliver/integrate effective learning strategies into your school yourself, this page may give you some new ideas and resources.  If you have any resource/theory links that you have found useful, please let us know using the contact form or email gareth@edufunduk.org 

EdufundUK do not specifically endorse any of the organisations/resources below - we offer them as information only for teachers to evaluate.

Effective Learning Blogs

Inner Drive Blog:  Blogs on a wide variety of E.L. techniques often based on educational research about what really works.  Lots of links to further information and resources (e.g.  videos, guides, infographics and research summaries).  Inner Drive offer training and text books.

The Learning Scientist:  A well-focussed set of blogs and guest blogs, many of which explain and elaborate on their six focus-strategies of:  spaced learning, interleaving, duel coding, elaboration, concrete examples and retrieval practice.

If you have time to search for some blogs yourself, try starting with these directories...

The Teach 100 Educational Blogs:  A regularly updated directory which ranks educational blogs using such criteria and "authority" (inbound links), "activity" (update regularlity), "social"  (shares and likes on social media etc) and their own "Teach Score" (how media is used throughout a blog, how topics in education are discussed, the timeliness of blog content, the capacity to inform, and overall presentation )

Top 100 Education Blogs in 2019 for Educators and Teachers:  Regularly updated directory of "The Best Education blogs from thousands of top Education blogs in our index using search and social metrics. Data will be refreshed once a week. Also check out Educational Podcasts and Educational Videos from Top 100 Educational Youtube Channels".  

 

CoRT Thinking

  • A good introduction to the thinking work of Edward de Bono with some interesting theory notes.
  • Introductions/summaries of Edward de Bono's thinking tools all aspects of thinking e.g. broadening, operations, interaction, creativity, dealing with information and frameworks.
  • 60 fully resourced thinking lesson plans and notes (to purchase) and training course information.
  • Here's a slide-share which takes you through understanding and applying some of the techniques.
 

Accelerated Learning

  • A brief introduction to Colin Rose's 7 learning intelligences (styles) and a free online test to assess your own preferred styles.
  • Also links to Rose's learning to learn system called CHAMPS
  • The rest of the site is mainly geared to selling their learning materials and courses but they are certainly worth a look.
 

Alistair Smith Learning

  • A well respected effective learning practitioner and author offering schools consultancy services (mainly to staff rather than pupil workshops etc).   A specialism in using technology for learning through his work with Frog Education.
  • Alistair is also a performance consultant for football who works with the FA and gives advice on performance coaching.
  • A learning blog, links to research papers and publications and some materials from his presentations.
 

The Learning Scientists

  • A site focussed on six simple effective learning strategies: spaced practice, retrieval practice, elaboration, interleaving, concrete examples and duel coding.   They have free downloadable posters, PowerPoints, explanations etc. about the strategies.
  • There are also blogs, videos, podcasts and links to other aspects of effective learning.
 

Learning Styles

  • A 70 statement quiz (answering disagree, agree, very much agree for each) to give an indication of your preferred learning styles plus some learning strategies for each style.
  • The importance of learning styles is up for debate in modern science of learning (example) but this is an interesting and easy introduction to the field. 
  • The site is a little advert-heavy
  • Alternative tests/sites are VARK and Accelerated Learning (see above)
 

Gamification

  • The idea that subjects and skills can be taught/learned in a fun way by adding game elements to lessons.  Much of this is now computer based but there are things you can do without involving I.T.
  • Six Factors of Games-based Learning
  • Board Gaming with English - non IT ideas for gamifying your lessons (the focus is on teaching ESL but the ideas are transferable to other subjects)
 

Learning and Technology

  • This is a huge area but here are a couple of links to get you started…
  • Edtechguides.com  Helpful guides to educational technology and step-by-step tutorials for various learning tools.
  • eLearning Industry   Software, concepts and general e-learning articles
  • Class Dojo:  A free resource for awarding/deducting behaviour/achievement points, setting tasks, communicating with parents and classroom management.  Students/groups/classes are awarded (or deducted) points for learning, behaviour, effort etc which are given to their cute avatars.  Parents can be linked in for notifications and messaging (teachers can set "communications open" times to suit them.)  Learning tasks can be sent to students digitally and photos of activities and work can be uploaded into a portfolio and shared with families.  It also has a toolkit including things like a timer, music player and group maker.  Here is an effective introduction video to explain it all quickly.
  • Classcraft:  Capitalising on children's fascination with computer avatars, Classcraft allows pupils to customise an avatar which can then be awarded (or deducted) various points by the teacher for achievement, effort, behaviour etc.  Their avatars can then power-up and be awarded gear, pets etc.  Children work in teams and their avatars can help each other.  The basic version is free, and you can upgrade to embed learning tasks etc to enable students to gain more points.
 

Learning Theories

 

Mike Fleetham's Thinking Classroom

  • Well organised theory and resources on thinking skills
  • Much is free and a low annual cost for full access to all resources.
  • Consultancy and teacher training is available
 

Retrieval Practice

  • Retrieval practice” is a learning strategy where we focus on getting information out. Through the act of retrieval, or calling information to mind, our memory for that information is strengthened and forgetting is less likely to occur. Retrieval practice is a powerful tool for improving learning without more technology, money, or class time.
  • Guide to retrieval practice and teaching strategies to achieve it. 
  • Also guides to other techniques such as application of knowledge
 

Teacher Tools

  • Lots of teaching tools, lesson plans and a section of links on thinking skills
  • A focus on identifying and stretching Gifted and Talented pupils
 

 

We also have a pdf of Effective Learning Explanations and Links which gives an overview of some effective learning methodologies.