Document Type

Planning for Active Learning

Publication Date

Spring 2015


The first principle discussed in How Learning Works is “students’ prior knowledge can help or hinder learning.” There is high probability that some, or, all of the students in your target course will have misconceptions and/or inaccurate prior knowledge that will actively inhibit their ability to learn course material. Unless you identify these misconceptions—also called learning bottleneck—and address them explicitly, students may be unsuccessful in mastering disciplinary thresholds. During the Teaching Academy, you will have the opportunity to apply the principles of smart teaching by designing a lesson to address an important misconception or bottleneck in your target course.