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Information about education provided online, with recent results of scientific research and useful information for teachers, parents, students and the general public. Contributing to an informed debate.
Educational videos: do they work?
Educational videos proliferate on the Internet, but they might not be good pedagogical tools. A very recent study indicates that, in mathematics, educational videos only provide superficial learning. However, combining videos with effective learning strategies, such as retrieval practice, might increase the instructional value of the videos.
In education, those with prior knowledge often reap the benefits
Answering questions and receiving feedback can help students learn, but are these tactics equally helpful for all students? Students with higher prior knowledge in a given field might benefit more from such approach than students with lower prior knowledge. Students’ curiosity, rather than their ability to learn, appears to be a key factor to understand why students with more knowledge within a domain can learn better than those with lower prior knowledge. We still don’t know which attribute came first: was this curiosity sparked by the students’ prior knowledge, or was this curiosity the reason why they acquired their prior knowledge in the first place? Notwithstanding, the benefits of providing students with a solid base of knowledge to be used afterwards appears undeniable.
Motivation is important but it's not enough
Students who are more motivated, feel safe in their school environment, know how to manage their feelings and behaviors, and whose parents are involved in their education can have better educational outcomes than their peers. A new study supports this old idea. However, this study also indicates that these factors, not very related with intelligence or school aptitude, appear to benefit more the students who already have a good achievement than the students who still must develop a solid knowledge base.
Four strategies to boost student’s transfer and application of their knowledge to new contexts
Retrieval practice—taking practice tests—is a powerful study strategy. However, does the learning gained from the test transfer to other contexts and contents different from the ones tested? A meta-analysis indicates that, under the right circumstances, using practice tests can indeed lead to a transfer of learning to different contexts and contents (i.e., using prior learning in a novel context).
“Zoom Fatigue” or how virtual meetings are leading to burnout and how to avoid
The need to work and study remotely that came with COVID-19 also brought us the widespread use of videoconferencing. On one hand, using video calls allows people to feel more connected bu, on the other hand, the constant use of these forms of communication can lead to exhaustion. This phenomenon was dubbed “zoom fatigue.” What causes it and how to avoid it?
To attain the highest levels of knowledge, does one really have to start from the bottom?
Do students have to practice and acquire the most basic factual knowledge separately before analysing and applying knowledge? Contrary to what one might expect, the answer is "no", especially if they test their knowledge along the way. Students who practice content retrieval at a high level or a mixture of content at low and high levels can achieve good results.
Grit: Is it important to Teach Passion and Perseverance?
School performance is influenced by several factors. In recent years a new concept has gained attention in that context: grit" or willpower
How to design – or choose – the best educational videos?
At a time when teachers are looking for ways to teach their classes online, videos can be allies. Even more so when there are already materials online that can be easily used. Scientific research has been lefting some clues on how to choose or build videos that best help students learn.
Resources and strategies for effective online education
Numerous strategies can be used to take full advantage of the possibilities that online education allows for, while avoiding the risks it can cause. Richard Clark (2001) emphatically argued that the learning process is generated by the methods of instruction (the strategies), and not the means (online or face-to-face). If the best strategies are used, declines in learning can be avoided.
Online education: a need that may have its advantages
The closing of schools to mitigate the spread of Covid-19 has placed online education in the limelight. In a time when online classes have become a forceful option, two relevant questions arise: How can students learn remotely, and what are the advantages of online education?
Focus is good but varying its target is even better: when and how to use interleaved study
Switching between ideas and exercises during a study session is a powerful way of improving learning. It is especially effective in enhancing inductive learning, such as mathematical concepts or learn visual materials. And it can be used in the classroom.
Does retrieval practise improve learning in real-life classrooms? A recent database will help us answer this question
Recalling prior knowledge and information to be learned is a well-established strategy to improve long-term learning and memory. However, in what circumstances might retrieval be helpful? A systematic review of research on retrieval practise, conducted in classroom settings, help us answer this question.