Theme 1: Empower Learners

4 4: Manipulation — Let them try things

The MANIPULATION principle emphasizes the importance of giving students embodied control of their learning space for deeper experiential learning. While research on Learning Styles has specifically been debunked, research is also clear that when we are meaningfully engaged through multiple senses (audio, visual, kinesthetic, etc.), we learn better. When we are able to control and manipulate those sensory prompts, our bodies and minds together are better able to make sense of the underlying systems.

MANIPULATION strategies in teaching

  • Use multimedia to engage students with more than text and bullets.
  • Allow and encourage students to learn by designing and making multimedia/tangible representations of their learning beyond papers.
  • Student-response systems, such as TopHat or Google Slides Q&A help physically activate learners.
  • Manipulables are big in K-12 Math, and are huge in many STEM courses. What are the manipulables in your field?
  • Add a few strategies that might work in your course, and see others’ ideas here.

MANIPULATION strategies in Canvas

  • Maintain simple course interface so students can navigate easily (this implies the distributed knowledge of the instructor knowing good design principles to reduce cognitive load)
  • Include hints/tips in wrong answers of quizzes
  • Use discussions and allow videos/podcasts
  • Provide links to credible Internet sources (e.g., OER Commons app can be integrated in Canvas)
  • Add a few strategies that might work in your course, and see others’ ideas here.

Knowledge Check


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