Daily Bookmarks 02/04/2009

  • Interesting use of Animoto (which creates music videos from a collection of images) with text to create a presentation about the author of a book. Includes a description of how the presentation was created. This does raise some questions of copyright though. Does this count as a sufficiently transformative use of the song to be included here? I’m not 100% convinced; I probably would have found something from Magnatune or elsewhere that was CC-licensed.

    tags: animoto, animation, video, multimedia, MEGA, copyright

  • 4 inexpensive tools for doing usability testing

    tags: usability

  • A checklist of criteria for picking Web 2.0 tools for learning, most of which would apply to any technology

    tags: web2.0, education, e-learning, MEGA

  • Comparison of online version of an introductory psych class to the traditional large lecture format. Not surprisingly, when students can work at their own pace and get individualized support, they do better than passive students in a lecture with several hundred other students. The most interesting part about these results to me is that traditionally disadvantaged students were most helped by learning online.

    tags: e-learning, education, highered

    • Professor Diane Reddy has replaced the traditional lecture format with an online version of Psych 101. Students learn at their own pace but also have to obtain mastery, demonstrated by passing a quiz on each unit, before they can move on to the next.

      Along the way, students get help from teaching assistants who monitor their online activity, identifying weak spots and providing advice – even if the students don’t seek it.

      Initial evidence says it works: In a study of 5,000 students over two years, U-Pace students performed 12% better on the same cumulative test than students who took traditional Psych 101 with the same textbook and course content, even though U-Pace students had lower average grades than those in the conventional course.

      The online model, the study found, was particularly successful for disadvantaged or underprepared students – low-income students, racial and ethnic minorities, and those with low grades or ACT scores. And students in general do better in the class, too, earning a higher percentage of As and Bs than students earn in traditional Psych 101.

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

2 thoughts on “Daily Bookmarks 02/04/2009

  1. Anna, I think that makes a lot of sense. At the K-12 level, there does seem to be a focus on online learning primarily for alternative schooling and at-risk students. I haven’t seen as much of that at the college level before though, and I’m encouraged by the bookmarked article above that the advantages you talk about carry through higher ed too.

  2. A few months ago I spent a few days in an alternative school classroom, substitute teaching a Spanish language class.

    I had mixed feelings when I found out that the class was run completely online. Students were expected to go at their own pace and avoid the distracting temptations of the internet for three hours. Admittedly, I was also a little disappointed that I wouldn’t be exercising the Spanish skills I’d been cultivating.

    At the beginning of the class as we waited for everyone to show up, I asked the students what they thought of the online course. They responded 100% positively. It was their favorite class, they said. And they did seem very content (although I did catch them taking breaks to check email etc) and made a great deal of progress despite the absence of their normal teacher.

    I know that in many alternative classrooms–and traditional ones, for that matter–the hardest task is getting students engaged and invested in the material. Many at-risk youth have so much going on at home and outside the school walls that academic material just doesn’t make the top priority list. Or a socio-economic disadvantage has discouraged them or made them less likely to contribute in class. Many students strongly need a space to feel confident and self-motivated, and self-paced e-learning is able provide that space for them and help them succeed.

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