Final Thoughts on Human Cognition and Instruction

Today was the final class in Human Cognition and Instruction, taught by Dr. K. I knew my final grade last week, and final evaluations were handed in at the end of session today.

It was the best class I have had at , and Dr. K is the best instructor I have had in any graduate class, ever.

While I only published my notes for the first half of class or so, in just those weeks we discussed

Dr. K invented the SOAR Cognition Loop. Developed independently of Boyd’s OODA loop, it is best thought of a OODA in a classroom setting. However, it’s not just a “special case” of OODA like Special Relativity is a “special case” of general relativity — rather, it is symbolic framework for mechanically modeling thought that, when combined with the triz creativity system, provides a breathtaking view of human cognition.

My biggest regret this semester, as far as this blog is concerned, is not doing the material in this class justice. In a sense, the tdaxp blog is just my public attempt to properly understand Dr. Barnett, Col. Boyd, and Col. Hammes. I have to add Dr K to that list. This was a first step.

In a recent post, Dr. Barnett asked, “We can either do or we can teach, now which is it going to be?” Dr. K does both. Superbly.

One thought on “Final Thoughts on Human Cognition and Instruction”

  1. hey Dan,

    Glad you liked your foray into Ed.psychland ;o)

    Do you have a graph or diagram link of the SOAR loop handy ?

  2. Edpysch was wonderful. I am taking at least one more class (on creativity) in the field next semester, and hopefully I can make it a real emphasis of my work at UNL. It overlaps very nicely with what I want to study.

    I will try to get more information up on SOAR. It is well worth it. I hope I can do it justice.

    Dr. Kiewra's text ( is available, but describing SOAR as a study strategy is like describing OODA as a nifty tool for fighter pilots. Both are equally generalizable.

    SOAR was central to everything done in class.

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