Luma Connection #42: Using Prior Knowledge to Build Cognitive Connections

Collaboration and connection are important for our social-emotional well-being. Importantly, Luma has conducted research and published the benefits for creating learning communities remotely. This year, Luma will provide specific strategies you can implement to connect learners remotely. We are calling these strategies our Luma Connections.

Teaching Tool: LumaLive®
Nugget the MascotThis is Luma’s synchronous or same time meeting tool. This online tool allows learners to interact with each other to explore a topic and to discuss key concepts, share experiences, interact with each other, and to ask questions in real time. Interactions are in real-time and can be mentor-learner, learner-to-content, learner-to-self, and learner-to-learner.

Using Prior Knowledge to Build Cognitive Connections

Did you know that when you learn something new, your brain will immediately connect the new knowledge with existing knowledge by identifying similarities and differences between the information? Online discussions are a great way to build these cognitive connections.

Here are some tips for building cognitive connections during online discussions:

  • Ask learners to identify similarities and/or differences between related topics. Use graphics organizers such as Venn diagrams and three-column tables to depict the similarities and differences.

  • Ask learners to identify how new information and prior learning are related.
  • Introduce the topic and ask learners to brainstorm skills and knowledge they already acquired that they need to know to understand the current topic.
  • KWL: Present the topic and ask learners to brainstorm what they already know about it and what they want to learn. At the end of the discussion, ask learners to identify what they learned about the topic.
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