Author Archives: Ed Nuhfer

About Ed Nuhfer

Ed Nuhfer received his PhD in geology from University of New Mexico, and served as a geologist and researcher in industry and government before starting an academic career. He held tenure as a full professor at four different universities, authored publications on environmental geology, sedimentary geology, geochemistry, petrology and geoscience education, served as a mentor for hundreds of geology and reclamation students. He served as a regional/national officer for the American Society for Surface Mining and Reclamation, the American Institute of Mining Engineers and as national editor for The American Institute of Professional Geologists from which he received three presidential certificates of merit and the John Galey Sr Pubic Service Award. His book, The Citizens' Guide to Geologic Hazards, won a Choice award for "outstanding academic books" from the Association of College and Research Libraries. While on sabbatical on 1988-1989 in Colorado, he discovered faculty development and returned to found one the first faculty development centers in Wisconsin. He subsequently served as Director of Faculty Development for University of Wisconsin at Platteville, University of Colorado at Denver, and Idaho State University, as Director of Faculty Development and Assessment of Student Learning at California State University Channel Islands, founded the one-week faculty development program "Boot Camp for Profs," which he directed for nearly twenty years, received the national Innovation Award Finalist and the Faculty Development Innovation Award, from POD and served in his last full-time job as Director of Educational Effectiveness at Humboldt State University "years beyond when I thought I would want to retire" before finally retiring in 2014. He has authored over a hundred publications in faculty development, and served as an invited presenter and featured speaker of workshops for The Geological Society of America, POD, AAC&U, WASC, Lilly Conferences, and as an invited presenter of workshops and keynotes on faculty development and assessment for many universities and conferences. He continues to work from as a writer and researcher, as a columnist for National Teaching and Learning Forum for which he has written Developers' Diary for over twelve years --a column based on the unique theme of using fractals and chaos as a key to understanding teaching and learning. Ed remains on as a member of the editorial review boards for several journals and publishers and is winding up a seven-year project with colleagues as principal investigator in developing and testing the Science Literacy Concept Inventory.

Developing Affective Abilities through Metacognition Part 2: Going Granular

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In this post, Dr. Ed Nuhfer introduces the importance of global and granular forms of thinking before reporting evidence that metacognitive awareness of granular forms of understanding can be more effective in developing understanding of content. The distinction between global and granular forms of understanding can also aid in understanding more affective forms of knowing.

Developing Affective Abilities through Metacognition: Part 1

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In this post, Dr. Ed Nuhfer explores proposes a link between metacognition and development in the affective domain. He discusses theories of development by Benjamin Bloom and William Perry, and suggests that we are finally in a time period when affect and metacognition are being recognized as legitimate aspects of an educated person.

Collateral Metacognitive Damage

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In this post Dr. Ed Nuhfer discusses the odds that those we are tempted to label as “unskilled and unaware of it” is likely to be correct. Although “the consensus in the literature of psychology seems to indicate that they are, our investigation of the numeracy underlying the consensus indicates otherwise (Nuhfer and others, 2017).” Dr. Nuhfer shares highlights of their findings, discusses further dangers of holding an oversimplified, negative pre-assessment of others, and includes a link to a site where you can explore their self-assessment instrument.

Developing Mindfulness as a Metacognitive Skill

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In this post, Ed Nuhfer explores the role of metacognition and mindfulness in the enhancement of student learning. Both, Nuhfer argues, can help bridge the gap between traditional pedagogies and more student-centered learning experiences.

Quantifying Metacognition — Some Numeracy behind Self-Assessment Measures

In this post, Ed Nuhfer describes recent research that illustrates fundamental challenges of data interpretation, specifically with respect to data related to self-assessment of understanding, a key concept for metacognition.

Metacognition in Psychomotor Development and Positive Error Cultures

In this blog post, Dr. Ed Nuhfer makes parallels between metacognitive awareness of academic learning to the more intuitive learning that occurs in the psychomotor domain (e.g. learning from mistakes when learning to ski or play tennis). He also highlights the powerful influence of a positive error culture, where people are encouraged to acknowledge and learn from errors rather than hide them.

Developing Metacognitive Literacy through Role Play: Edward De Bono’s Six Thinking Hats

In this post Ed Nuhfer claims that “We can become aware of metacognition by reading about it, but we only become literate about metacognition through experiences gained through consciously applying it.” He shares how the Six Thinking Hats exercises are “overtly metacognitive—intentional, deliberate, and goal-directed.”

Self-assessment and the Affective Quality of Metacognition: Part 1 of 2

In part 1 of two, Ed Nuhfer urges us not to ignore the importance of affect, feelings, and emotions. More specifically, he argues that self-assessment “should include an aim towards improving students’ ability to clearly recognize the quality of ‘feels right’ regarding whether one’s own ability to meet a challenge with present abilities and resources exists.” In the upcoming second part of the post, he will consider how knowledge surveys might fine-tune that feeling.

Metacognition for Guiding Students to Awareness of Higher-level Thinking (Part 2)

Part II of Ed Nuhfer’s blog, Metacognition for Guiding Students to Awareness of Higher-level Thinking (Part 2), gives an overview of two exercises that “show how the research that informs what we should be ‘thinking about’ can be converted into metacognitive components of lessons.” He also includes a link to the full exercise modules, which contain detailed descriptions of why and how to incorporate the activities.

Metacognition for Guiding Students to Awareness of Higher-level Thinking (Part 1)

Part 1 of 2 posts by Ed Nuhfer, Metacognition for Guiding Students to Awareness of Higher-level Thinking, sets up a major short-coming of most college education programs and introduces Perry’s Stages of Adult Intellectual Development. This post hits me as a “Call to Action” that we need to all take to heart.