Welcome to The CITE -- a blog on Course materials, Innovation, and Technology in Education, created by Mark Nelson and now part of the Publications Department of the National Association of College Stores. CITE is a pun with multiple meanings - referring to cite as in citation, something people reference; site as in location, website, or place people go to; and sight as in foresight or looking ahead to what is coming. Comments, discussion, feedback and ideas are welcome.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

A New Way to Provide Proactive Learning

A study from the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences reported that students learn better when they use active forms of learning.

The group found students with no access to active learning methods, such as peer discussions and group work, are 1.5 times more likely to fail. In addition, students taught with active learning outperformed those taught by lectures by six percentage points on exams.

To provide more avenues for active learning, a tech firm has launched a video classroom that allows students to create and control live video study rooms. The tool, created by Newrow, allows students to form their own online study groups and instructors to create on-the-spot, in-class group video discussions.

Students will be able to use the tools to start learning conversations on their own that can last throughout the semester. The videoconferencing will be similar to face-to-face study groups with text chat functions and real-time resource sharing.

The tool also allows instructors to generate breakout groups of up to 10 students during online lectures. The sessions can be recorded and stored in an online learning library for future reference or group project management.

“Our goal is to remove learning barriers for students by giving them a seamless way to facilitate the discussions they want and need to have with peers,” said Rony Zarom, founder and CEO in an article in eCampus News.

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