For the last decade, there have been great shifts in the ways students study and learn, as education companies have developed new digital learning platforms. Educators say that content is more engaging and interactive now, and the benefits of these changes have been far reaching.
Recently, the Association of American Publishers hosted webinars where educators discussed digital learning platforms. Here are a few of their insights about the way new technologies and course materials are improving higher education:
1. Increase student engagement with assigned material. “I’ve got all these digital tools that make the classroom more exciting and help solidify students’ knowledge to bring material to life. It’s not just pushing information out; it actually kind of pulls them in to the material.” – Patty Worsham, Accounting, Norco College (California)
2. Quickly gauge how students are progressing. “I have more data about what my students don’t know and what their strengths and weaknesses are. I know exactly what objectives they have the most trouble with and where they need more practice with concepts I am teaching.” – Lynda Haas, Rhetoric and Composition, University of California Irvine
3. Build skills for developmental students. “Students in developmental education need skill-building opportunities. Instead of doing that in class, I use a digital platform in my developmental reading class, and students can go online on their own time and complete activities that help them build skills they need.” – Kristi Barker, Developmental Reading and College Success Strategies, South Plains College (Texas)
4. Focus on more difficult tasks in class. “I’m doing harder stuff in the classroom. But the way that I use digital stuff outside of class, there’s often room for application and real world headlines and the messiness of the macro economy in the classroom.” – Solina Lindahl, Economics, California Polytechnic
5. Encourage more faculty-student. “One of the biggest changes has been better communication with my students. It builds a rapport, enables them to ask more questions and really focus on the way they’re thinking. If we have an issue that needs to be changed, I can continually adapt my course so that it’s interesting and engaging to my students.” – Kelly Dreier, Reading, Richland College (Texas)
6. Provide instant feedback. “Students are able to complete something and get feedback immediately. They’re getting that moment of cognitive dissonance where they’re trying to figure out a problem and they get it incorrect. They’re able to get that piece to help build a stronger foundation.” – Dr. Phil Janowicz, Chemical Education, California State University Fullerton
7. Target student needs in the classroom. “With the adaptability features of these systems, I’m able to focus on what my students need and target the areas that need work. Then I’m able to tailor my instruction so we’re working on what the students need to work on.” –Nathalie Vega-Rhodes, Mathematics, Lone Star College (Texas)
For more information about digital learning materials visit aapbacktocampus.org.
Where digital technologies and classrooms intersect, educators and students are seeing improved learning experiences, conclude experts.