Stephen M. Kosslyn

President and Chief Learning Officer, Foundry College;

John Lindsley Professor of Psychology Emeritus, Harvard University

Primary Market: university and college professors & administrators; students in teacher

education courses; and teachers & administrations of grades 6-12

Courses:  Instructional Design, Educational Psychology, Foundations of Teaching, Distance 

Learning/Online Education, Learning Science, Active Learning, Learning & Memory



The massive disruption of the Covid pandemic offers limitless possibilities to improve education, and Stephen M. Kosslyn provides an excellent guide to show us how.

Active Learning Online,clearly explains the science behind the benefits of active learning theory and provides concrete examples of how to re-design learning activities to stimulate, engage, and motivate students in online environments.

We’ve been reading the research for decades about how lectures and rote learning are not as effective as active engagement. We know we can lose children academically when they aren’t interested in a particular subject or area of study. In this easy to read book, Kosslyn describes the five key principles to make whatever you are teaching better and more meaningful for your learners.

This book is a must-read for anyone teaching at any level and for parents to understand how their children learn best.  

More details...

This book summarizes the heart of the science of learning in a way that will help instructors teach online, both in synchronous (e.g.,  with Zoom) and asynchronous (e.g., with Canvas) settings. The material in this book can be used to inject active learning into existing courses or to design a course from scratch; in both cases, active learning will make the courses not only more interesting but also more effective.

Readers will learn key facts about cognitive functioning that form the foundation of effective learning. In particular, this book reviews the relationships between "learning" and "memory" and describes several different types of "memory stores" that exist in the human brain, and it explains factors that affect different phases of learning, from encoding, to storage, to retention, to retrieval of stored information.

The heart of this book includes five key principles from the science of learning that will help to ensure that that taught materials stick in students' minds: (1) deep processing, (2) chunking, (3) building associations, (4) dual coding, and (5) deliberate practice. (See the Contents tab for a description of each.)

You will learn strategies derived from theories of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation to help engage your students and inspire them to participate. The book concludes with many examples of specific active learning exercises and particular types of activities; all of these exercises and activities can be done effectively online, often both in synchronous and in asynchronous settings.

Dr. Kosslyn is not only a renowned scholar in the cognitive sciences, but he has also been an innovator in higher education instruction for decades. From the reimagining of the very design of the higher education curriculum through his research in the core cognitive science on how humans learn best to his focus on the inclusion of teaching skills that fit the real needs of the 21st-century workplace, he has dedicated much of his career to revolutionizing the higher education learning environments.