In February, npj Science of Learning Community authors presented an interesting array of strategies to combat the effects of distance learning brought on by the pandemic.

New research has identified how the experience of learning is enhanced when lessons are designed with fun activities. npj Science of Learning author, Bianca Hatin, recalls how her learning experiences as a student were made more memorable because of her teachers’ novel teaching strategies and innate enthusiasm for the subjects they taught – a strategy she has adopted to ignite her students curiousity. Read Bianca Hatin’s interview with Behind the Paper in The key to learning is fun.

One of the issues distance learning poses for teachers is maintaining student engagement. Determined to motivate students’ interests, teachers at Genazzano FCJ College took advantage of the new learning environment to create a unit where student agency and identity featured prominently. With the content grounded in psychology and art, the students’ main challenge was to look inward and reflect on their creative and cognitive selves. Chris Muir explains how the mix of neuroscience, psychology, art and film sparked the imaginations of students in lockdown. Read Going inside.

The pandemic has changed the way schools and universities across the globe instruct students, with many transitioning to online learning. When courses are delivered to students, it is important to harness the attention of learners through stimulating activities. Rebecca Petronzi, Dominic Petronzi and Kay Owen discuss how a clever mix of blended learning elements can meet students’ social and cognitive needs, while augmenting the sense of isolation students are experiencing in Putting learning first.

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