Skip to main content


We wanted to kick this week's issue off with a big thank you to all of our new subscribers! Hello and welcome!! 🤩


Picture This

We know that teaching others can enhance our own understanding of a topic (see Fiorella & Mayer, 2013), but what if we incorporate art into that teaching? Researchers at the University of Georgia (go Bulldogs!) tested whether creating drawings helps learners generate higher-quality oral explanations during learning by teaching, thereby enhancing learning outcomes. Results showed that the group that created drawings in conjunction with an oral explanation significantly outperformed their peers who only created either a drawing or an oral explanation.

Key Takeaway: Give your learners an opportunity to teach their peers, and don’t ignore the benefit of drawing to enhance the outcomes of learning by teaching.

Read More: Fiorella, L., & Kuhlmann, S. (2020). Creating drawings enhances learning by teaching. _Journal of Educational Psychology, 112(_4), 811–822.‍

What We’re Reading

This week we’ve been diving into Evidence-Based Training Methods: A Guide for Training Professionals by Ruth Colvin Clark (2020). The amazing RCC has issued her third edition of this book, published by ATD, and it’s chock-full of research-based best practices for trainers. She provides a key caveat: “Remember that the effectiveness of many instructional methods have qualifiers such as background knowledge of the learners or the instructional goals. There are few universal guidelines” (p. 383).

FOMO... but for Work

We covered this article in our first issue, but wanted to revisit it for the new folks; it felt relevant as many of us are (still) working from home and missing a lot of water cooler conversations, thanks to COVID-19. In this study, psychologists established a new construct, Fear of Missing Out at Work (FoMOW), that predicts higher work burnout. If you find yourself constantly checking Slack and worrying that you’re missing out on relationships, information, and potential career opportunities, you could be experiencing FoMOW. (We'll add that this may be learning science-adjacent but still important for many of us who are in charge of employee learning programs.)

Key Takeaway: Having flexible work schedules and mandatory time off might reduce negative effects of high FoMOW.

Read More: Budnick, C.J., Rogers, A.P., & Barber, L.K. (2020). The Fear of Missing Out at Work: Examining Costs and Benefits to Employee Health and Motivation. Computers in Human Behavior, 104, 106-161.

Word of the Week: Metacognition

Metacognition, or thinking about thinking, refers to a process in which learners reflect on their current thinking, evaluate what they’ve learned, identify their learning gaps, and monitor the changes in their own thinking. At LSW, we’re big fans of metacognition, and this guide from Vanderbilt University explains how you can implement a metacognitive approach to your instruction. You’ll want to adapt it a bit for corporate training, but the value stands.

Student in Focus: Gautam Yadav

We were super excited to meet Carnegie Mellon METALS student and future learning engineer Gautam Yadav on LinkedIn recently. He’s working on some cool evidence-based learning projects (check out his portfolio for proof) and has experience in backward design, intelligent tutoring systems, and data analysis.

Do you know (or are you) a student doing something fun and interesting in learning science? Let us know!

We're saying "thanks" to David Porcaro at the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative for his time this week. He's doing some cool things at CZI!

Pets of Learning Science Weekly

This week we're featuring Mr. Pickles, whose overwhelming cuteness is only enhanced by his personal hygiene habits. Our thanks to Chip for sending this one in!

Have a cute pet? Send us a picture!

Wondering why we’re including animal photos in a learning science newsletter? It may seem weird, we admit. But we’re banking on the baby schema effect and the “power of Kawaii.” So, send us your cute pet pics -- you’re helping us all learn better!

The LSW Crew

Learning Science Weekly is edited by Julia Huprich, Ph.D. Our head of growth and community is Julieta Cygiel.

Have something to share? Want to see something in next week's issue? Send your suggestions: