Employing cognitive seductu-cation in the classroom (Typology of Cognitive Pleasures in the Classroom)

No, I'm not talking about seducing your students! I'm talking about Kathy's Sierra's newest mind blowing post entitled, Cognitive Seduction (a Typology of User Experience Pleasures) in which Kathy profiles several books including the book Rules of Play, by Katie Salen and Eric Zimmerman.

In this book, game designer Marc LeBlanc defines 8 categories of experiences in a “typology of pleasure”. Kathy summarizes them for those who design experiences for users in the corporate world. I'd like to take this Typology of User Experience Pleasures and put them in the context of the classroom.

These are the things about games that make them so addictive to students. We must use them to addict them to lifelong learning. Kathy Sierra is unbelievable!

Typology of Cognitive Pleasures in the Classroom

1. Discovery

This is why Socratic teaching is so very powerful, in my opinion. When you teach by asking questions, the STUDENT gets the light bulb experience. Even if the question is leading, they have the cognizance that THEY discovered it. THEY brought it to light. THEY then take it places I never could if I was just lecturing.

Educational Techniques that harness this: exploratory projects using wikis, Socratic teaching using Google, experiments (online and offline)

2. Challenge

Kathy defines this as:

User experience as obstacles to overcome, goals lying just beyond current skill and knowledge levels

You must get past the “helpless handraising” that you enable when you tell students everything.

If you only teach students to follow instructions in a book, then guess what? You've taught them to read instructions in a book. Again, producing mindless robots fit for a production line but not for the new thinking skills required to keep America competitive!

Push them to intuitive learning. Force them to use “hot tips” in Microsoft Office and use the help features and go online to find answers. Challenge them and push them a little past what they know how to do. Give them just enough information and push them past it.

Don't just tell them all the answers, guide them.

And remember the golden rule of Challenge:

Under no circumstances are you to ever touch, move, or enter any input into the mouse or keyboard of your student. Never allow them to do it for one another. It is theirs.

If I show them by doing it, I undo and then save. This makes it so they cannot just redo. They must learn by doing!

3. Narrative
Character identification.

4. Self-expression
User experience as self-discovery and creativity

I am grouping #3 and #4 together because I believe that blogging as something that is read but also something that is written follow so very well into these.

For example, blogging your experiences and your journey through a new technology chronicles your opinions, your progression, and reminds you that if you journeyed through ignorance to knowledge once that you can do it again.

Blogging about literature and commenting on others who are doing the same creates online conversation.

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Vicki Davis

Vicki Davis is a full-time classroom teacher and IT Director in Georgia, USA. She is Mom of three, wife of one, and loves talking about the wise, transformational use of technology for teaching and doing good in the world. She hosts the 10 Minute Teacher Podcast which interviews teachers around the world about remarkable classroom practices to inspire and help teachers. Vicki focuses on what unites us -- a quest for truly remarkable life-changing teaching and learning. The goal of her work is to provide actionable, encouraging, relevant ideas for teachers that are grounded in the truth and shared with love. Vicki has been teaching since 2002 and blogging since 2005. Vicki has spoken around the world to inspire and help teachers reach their students. She is passionate about helping every child find purpose, passion, and meaning in life with a lifelong commitment to the joy and responsibility of learning. If you talk to Vicki for very long, she will encourage you to "Relate to Educate" or "innovate like a turtle" or to be "a remarkable teacher." She loves to talk to teachers who love their students and are trying to do their best. Twitter is her favorite place to share and she loves to make homemade sourdough bread and cinnamon rolls and enjoys running half marathons with her sisters. You can usually find her laughing with her students or digging into a book.

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1 comment

Edward Roy Krishnan July 10, 2006 - 2:31 am

The article touches so many aspects of classroom engagement and active learning. I am reminded of younger children at home…way before they end up in classrooms. They are actively moving, scheming, planning, constructing, modifying, changing, developing, analyzing, etc…all for FUN. At school, children are REQUIRED to sit and do NOTHING. And to add up to all these, they are rewarded for doing nothing. How SAD! I remember the many times our teachers praised us for being well-behaved, quiet kids. That’s why students in Asia are not expressive and audible. They rather shut their minds down and not engage in the process of thinking. Thank you for the article.

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