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Today with our first online/offline blended class, the concept of confusion was very present. I had told Janneke on Skype before we started that confusion is exactly the place we want to be in week one. Then, in a lovely moment of “kismet” a friend posted something super relevant in a blog comment conversation that I’ve been involved in the last few days. (You might enjoy the blog post and especially the comments that follow it here.)Here is the quote:
jennymacknessHi Nancy – re confusion – I listened to Eric Mazur’s opening keynote presentation to the ALT-C 2012 conference yesterday (they have not yet posted the recording, but Eric Mazur has posted his slides on his website (http://mazur.harvard.edu). In his research (he is a physicist) he found that confused students are twice as likely to be correct when answering a test question as those who claim not to be confused, that confusion doesn’t correlate with understanding, is not necessarily the result of poor teaching and is part of the learning process – in fact he said an ‘essential’ part of the learning process. He also said that teaching should be based on questioning (can’t remember his exact words), and that although confusion is discouraging – ‘to wonder is to begin to understand’. All this was backed up with numerous graphs and data. It was a fascinating session and it was great to see what I have always thought of as the legitimacy of ‘messy learning’ backed up with scientific data. Hope your session goes well. Jenny
It sure seemed to me that the questions you asked on our meetingwords pad were REALLY useful and generative. How are you going to use your confusion positively?