We all love chunks! Chunky peanut butter, chunky salsa, Chunky Monkey ice cream…
…and now your students can enjoy chunked textbooks through Massage Mastery Online!
Chunking refers to the process of breaking down information into bite-sized pieces to help the brain assimilate and apply new information. The reason the brain needs this assistance is because working memory, which is where we manipulate information, has a small capacity and a short duration. By chunking information, we reduce the load on working memory, making it easier for students to process, understand, and remember textbook material.
If you look at a traditional textbook, the pages typically look like this:
READING IS A DAUNTING TASK: When you look at a wall of text like this, typical of most printed textbooks, it’s no wonder why students don’t do their reading assignments.
Because of space limitations, printed textbooks have text that is small and dense. Who wants to read pages of this?! There may be visual aids like images and tables to break up the monotony, but these are never in context. You need to flip through pages searching for Table 5-B or Figure 14.
At Massage Mastery Online we recognize the importance of chunking information for student learning. We take into consideration:
- Chunk organization
- Chunk size
- Chunk sequence
- Chunk activities
Chapters are divided into Lessons and Topics and the chapter outline on the righthand side of each page is always visible, making it easy for learners to see relationships and connections in the content.
To avoid walls of text, which can appear intimidating or time-consuming, a student reading a Massage Mastery Online textbook will see:
- Headings and subheadings that clearly contrast with the rest of the text
- Clear visual hierarchies with related items, like images and tables, grouped together
- Short paragraphs with white space to separate them
- Short text lines of text (always less than 75 characters)
- Bulleted or numbered lists
- A brief summary at the end of topics
Because we are not confined by the limits of physical design, text and related videos, images, tables, flashcards, quizzes, tips, technique boxes, and other elements are grouped together so students see them in context and don’t have to search through other pages or other documents to find them.
The sequence of chunks is logical and is designed for the learner’s needs. For example, we present foundational information such as terminology and underlying concepts before moving into more complex information. It seems logical, but the majority of textbooks miss this simple principle.
Lastly, we reinforce the chunked information by providing quizzes, activities, or concept checking questions. This engages students’ brains on a deeper level requiring them to recall and process the information they’ve read. This not only helps move the information from working memory to long-term memory, but also helps them identify gaps in their understanding which can be addressed before moving on to more complex concepts.
And the benefits of chunking don’t stop there!
Chunking information also has the benefit of facilitating scanning and skimming, which is the preferred method of reading online. If a student does nothing more than skim through a page in one of our textbooks, looking at headings and subheadings, first sentences, images, and captions, they will have a basic understanding of the Topic content. We invite you to do this yourself in our books to see how much information you can take in quickly.
Lastly, chunking also makes it easy to study on the go. Education research shows that people learn most effectively when learning goals are clearly defined and achieved in under 30 minutes. Users can complete a topic well under that time, usually in 10-20 minutes. This allows students to study in the margin of their lives while waiting for a friend at a café, riding the bus to school, or taking a break at work. Students today live on their phones, and our textbooks are mobile-optimized for them. If learning is just a swipe away, they’re likely to study and complete study assignments.
CHUNKING A TEXTBOOK: Massage Mastery Online textbooks are chunked, making it easier for students to process, understand, and remember textbook material, as well as helping students fit learning into the margins of their lives.
If you’re a school owner, the director of education, or are responsible for textbook adoptions, request review copies of our textbooks and discover for yourself how making the transition to our unique digital textbooks can enhance learner outcomes and make your job easier.