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2014:

Higher Pass Rates for STEM Courses Using Active Learning

In a paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and developed by lead researchers at the University of Washington, which included Scott Freeman, Mary Wenderoth, Sarah Eddy, Miles McDonough, Nnadozie Okoroafor, Hannah Jordt, and Michelle Smith, findings about STEM courses utilizing the active learning model illustrated higher pass rates than courses using a traditional lecture model.

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Enhancing Foreign-Language Learning with “Telecollaboration”

Having accessible technology provides many opportunities for enhancing the learning experience for students. In the case of learning a foreign-language, such as Spanish or French, what better way to learn the language than from an actual student from Spain or France?

The Chronicle of Higher Education recently posted an article about a Portuguese class at Virginia Commonwealth University that uses video-conferencing software, such as Skype and Google Hangouts, to connect VCU students with English-learning students in Brazil to facilitate “authentic language-immersion experiences.” Using teletandem, or telecollaboration, allows students from both countries to teach each other their native languages, creating a genuine and highly engaging language-learning experience.

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“Old Fashioned” Note Taking More Efficient than Computers

According to the Chronicle of Higher Education, students who take notes with a pen or pencil and paper is more likely to benefit in the classroom than those taking notes with their computers. The study will publish in Psychological Science titled “The Pen is Mightier than the Keyboard: Advantages of Longhand Over Laptop Note-taking.”

During the study, students received either a notebook and pen or a laptop (not connected to WiFi) to take notes then were tested on recalling facts and applying concepts. Those who did not use a computer earned higher scores on applying concepts than those who did. The fact recalling test had similar results.

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The Students are Not the Problem in Flipped Learning

In an article written by Robert Talbert for The Chronicle of Higher Education, Talbert carefully examines and explains the comments he received in a previous article he had written about the definition of Flipped Learning. He explains, with 6 main points, how and why students are not the problem when it comes to successfully implementing a flipped learning course. Here are just some of his points:

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Gmail Played a Role in Changing Higher Ed

Gmail celebrated its 10th birthday on April 1st. Reflecting back, they altered higher education more than we know according to Inside Higher Ed.

Transitioning from enterprise platforms to consumer platforms, Gmail is helping the technological world retreat from centralized technology control with a slick, free platform that any higher ed institution can use. UW Bothell has already gone aboard to using Gmail and other Google apps.

This transition is especially great for students who prefer to utilize their own technology at school. Remember only 10 years ago when schools rolled out carts of uniform laptops loaded with the same software? Now students have the option to stop relying on Outlook or Microsoft Office and use the wonders of Gmail, Google Drive, and other online applications. Because of these programs, schools no longer need to worry as much about mandatory software and their updates.

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