Digital Learning Blog

Book Bytes Bringing the Neuroscience of Learning to Online Teaching

June 28, 2023  / Digital Learning  / Tags: Technology, Online Learning, Online Teaching, neuroscience, Book Bytes


Tokuhama-Espinosa, T. (2022) Bringing the neuroscience of learning to online teaching: An educator’s handbook. Moorabbin, Victoria: Hawker Brownlow Education.

What is the topic?

Using findings from neuroscience to purposefully choose online teaching techniques that will motivate, support, and challenge students.  Like High Impact Practices. 

Why is the topic important?

By drawing on insights from neuroscience, the author presents practical strategies to optimize online instruction, manage cognitive load, and foster emotional engagement. This book serves as a valuable guide, equipping educators with the knowledge and tools necessary to create effective and engaging online learning experiences for their students.

Who can use this information?

    • Tech-enhanced instructors
    • Online instructors/faculty
    • Instructional Designers

Top three takeaways

    1. Neuroscience-Informed Strategies: Tokuhama-Espinosa synthesizes the latest findings from neuroscience research and translates them into practical strategies for online teaching. By understanding how the brain processes information, faculty members can make informed decisions about course design, content delivery, and assessment methods that align with the brain's natural learning processes. 
    2. Cognitive Load Management: One of the challenges in online teaching is managing the cognitive load experienced by students. Tokuhama-Espinosa provides valuable insights into the cognitive load theory and offers practical techniques to optimize learning experiences. The book explores strategies for chunking information effectively, providing clear and concise instructions, and utilizing multimedia resources strategically to avoid overwhelming students. 
    3. Emotional Engagement and Motivation: Creating a sense of connection and fostering student motivation are crucial factors for successful online teaching. The author explores the impact of emotions on learning and offers strategies to cultivate emotional engagement in virtual classrooms. By addressing the emotional aspects of online education, faculty can enhance student motivation and satisfaction, leading to improved learning outcomes.

All of these ideas and more are accompanied by templates, tools, and practical ideas that you can use right away.  Great resource for choosing online design and teaching strategies that will support and motivate students.