If you’re a higher education professional, R3 will help you keep up with the latest learning-related research. If you’re new to teaching (welcome, by the way!), R3 will help you develop skills and knowledge that will be the foundation for your success from here on out. R3 is also a great way to get to the commentary that I write from time to time about issues facing higher education, and what individuals and organizations can do to help higher ed put its grandest ideals into practice.
I’m a professor of psychological sciences at a public university in the United States. I originally trained in cognitive psychology, psycholinguistics, and neuroscience, and now, I focus mainly on using the findings of these fields to help faculty choose and use educational technology and design engaging, effective college courses. I’ve written two books in the area, Minds Online: Teaching Effectively with Technology (Harvard University Press, 2014), and Remembering and Forgetting in the Age of Technology: Teaching, Learning, and the Science of Memory in a Wired World (WVU Press, 2022).
Who R3 is for, and how it works
The R3 Newsletter is for anyone who’s interested in the ever-growing body of research into how people learn, and who would appreciate having the latest highlights dropped in their inbox along with tips and tools for putting theory into practice. It is also for people who’d like to read my take on the issues that are facing everyone in education today: technology, inclusive and anti-racist teaching, engaging (or, re-engaging) students in their own learning, and what to do about systems badly in need of reform.
I’m glad you’re checking out R3, and if you do subscribe, here’s what to expect from here on out. The newsletter will arrive about twice a month. Most issues will spotlight recent research from psychology, education, or neuroscience that has clear applications to teaching and learning, especially (but not exclusively) at the college level. I’ll summarize the take-home points as concisely and with as little jargon as humanly possible, and offer my own take on what makes the work interesting or important. There will also be mini-reviews of books, links to applications, assignment ideas, and other resources. Lastly, I’ll let you know about longer pieces I write from time to time - like this one on why I left Twitter, or this one about the controversial and frequently-misunderstood research on taking typed versus handwritten notes.
Here are a few things that R3 will not be: First off, it’s not something that costs money – it’s free and always will be. It also shouldn’t be seen as a systematic review of the literature, comprehensive best-of list, or formal meta-analysis. The selection of research articles I’ll talk about will reflect what catches my eye as a researcher and writer in the field, and my own experiences as a cognitive psychologist, faculty developer, editor, and college teacher. And, it won’t be perfect! Because what I’ll say here flows from my own perspective – and because learning and the mind are inherently complex things to study – I’m guaranteed to sometimes get it wrong. When I do, I hope it sparks even more conversation.
If that sounds good to you, subscribe and please tell a colleague (or several!) about R3. Higher education, as we all know by now, is at a real crossroads. The more of us who can bring great-quality research to bear on the work we do, the better it will be for our institutions, our students, and (I believe), everyone. I’m excited to hear your feedback as I get the project underway.