"[BYU-Idaho is to be a place of educational innovation--permanently."
--Elder Henry B. Eyring
Attached to this document are two visual representations illustrating how the principles might be
incorporated into models for learners and teachers. These flow diagrams are sparse representations of a very complex process and are not meant to be exhaustive in their detail. The descriptions in the model are intended to assist learners and teachers in applying the Principles, Applications, and Examples to diverse learning and teaching experiences. Learning and teaching tools and methods will be shared, developed, and made available to assist in every phase of the visual model.
THE LEARNING MODEL: STUDENT PROCESS
Figure 1 lays out a process that students might follow as they apply the principles of the Learning Model. The student process has three steps: 1) Preparation, 2) Teach One Another, and 3) Ponder/Prove. These steps occur in sequence, but there is a feedback or return loop that connects step 3 back to step 1, thus creating a cycle that students repeat over time.1 The boxes in the model contain activities that define each step of the process.
Step 1, Preparation, has three parts. There is first an ongoing, underlying spiritual preparation for each student. That spiritual preparation is critical to learning by faith and being guided and taught by the Holy Ghost. It requires daily attention to prayer and scripture study, and a commitment to obedience.
The second part of preparation is individual. Here the student prepares to learn and to teach by organizing required readings or assignments; by reading and studying and writing or solving problems; and by thinking about questions the material raises, and how he would answer those questions.
The third part of preparation is a group activity. The process assumes that students have been organized into small learning teams or study groups (5-7 members). These groups “meet”2 for a short period (e.g., 30 minutes) on a regular basis (before class—daily or multiple times a week) either online or face-to-face to discuss assignments, to try out ideas, and to test understanding. The groups may also be required to complete a group assignment or project.
With this kind of preparation, students come to class ready to learn and to teach.
2. Teach One Another
Step 2, Teach One Another, occurs in class. There may be a wide variety of different methodologies, styles, and techniques used in the class; but there are some common elements: everyone is on time; there is prayer; students are actively engaged—listening, speaking, thinking, discussing, presenting; the Spirit is present; there is a feeling of charity; all are edified of all.
Step 3, Ponder/Prove, occurs after class and may involve individual or group activities. In this step students ponder what they have learned in class. They keep a learning journal and write down impressions and insights they have received. Students pursue unanswered questions and discuss the class with their study group. In this way, step 3 blends in a natural way into step 1 in
preparation for the next class.
1 In the spirit of Elder Bednar’s talk on learning by faith, the repetitive cycle ought to take students to higher and higher levels of understanding and knowledge, and thus could be represented as a helix. Although not depicted here because of a lack of requisite artistic ability, readers should imagine such a helix rising out of the page.
2 The word “meet” is in quotes to indicate that such interaction may not be synchronous. Students may interact by posting comments on the assignments and by responding to the comments of their teammates.