Our August 2015 article New Ways of Teaching Lead To First Year Students Scientific Breakthrough

looked at educational initiatives, including flexischools and teaching thinking skills. Two June 2016 ScienceDaily articles report on further initiatives.

A New York University article, Grade-school students teach a robot to help themselves learn geometry notes that “Up until very recently, mainstream educational software for computing devices in the classroom has been designed based upon a style of interaction utilizing the traditional WIMP (window, icon, menu, pointing device) paradigm. Student engagement is then an isolated one-on-one experience, individual student to individual machine.”

New York University researchers “teamed up with researchers from Arizona State University and Carleton University to study the implementation of a tangible learning environment that utilizes teachable agent framing coupled with a physical robotic agent–Robo-Tangible Activities for Geometry (rTAG).”

The article describes how the LEGO® robot named Quinn navigates a Cartesian plane projected onto a white floor mat. “An iPod Touch mounted on top of the LEGO® components displays Quinn’s face and outputs its voice, through which it can give affective responses. The iPod also provides the entry point for interacting with Quinn. The final component is the mobile interface, another iPod Touch, held by a student when interacting with the system.”

The rTAG implementation showed that “Student engagement was, by far, perceived as one of the strongest assets of the system. When the time came for students to rotate stations, every time a facilitator asked which group wanted to use the rTAG station next, students would eagerly raise their hands. Furthermore, on group rotation, students who didn’t get a chance to interact with Quinn in the rTAG group would loudly express their discontent.”

Based on the feedback from the teachers and the twelve class sessions, the researchers made four design recommendations:

1) target multiple learning objectives,

2) emphasize the collaborative affordances,

3) optimize for training, and

4) innovate the use of known system components.

“Researchers also note barriers to rTAG implementation, including lack of time for setup, lack of training for instructors, student intimidation by the rTAG setup, and limitations related to the number of students per station.”

Story Source:

The above post is reprinted from materials provided by New York University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.

Journal Reference:

  1. Victor Girotto, Cecil Lozano, Kasia Muldner, Winslow Burleson, Erin Walker. Lessons Learned from In-School Use of rTAG. CHI ’16 Proceedings of the 2016 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, 2016 DOI: 10.1145/2858036.2858454

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New York University. “Grade-school students teach a robot to help themselves learn geometry.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 June 2016. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/06/160630214509.htm

The other ScienceDaily article is from Penn State College of Engineering, titled Flipped classrooms turning STEM education upside down. This article describes the limitations of traditional lecture-based educational methods which “spend class time walking through content and then assign homework problems to supplement that learning.”

The article quotes Stephanie Butler Velegol, instructor in environmental engineering “It’s difficult for an engineering student to extract the technical information from a book on their own. Students need to hear the problem-solving out loud; they need to hear the way the professor works through the solution to the problem.”

The article notes that “In a flipped classroom, students gain technical knowledge through online videos that prepare them to participate in in-class activities, which may include problem-solving, discussions, brainstorming, design work, guest speakers, or field trips.”

The research is international. ” Velegol recently helped develop a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) titled, “To Flip Or Not To Flip — Discover the flipped classroom methodology,” which was a collaborative effort between METID, the service of Polytechnic University of Milan in Italy devoted to e-learning and e-collaboration, and the Digital University of Engineering and Technology in France.”

Story Source:

The above post is reprinted from materials provided by Penn State College of Engineering. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.

Cite This Page: MLA APA Chicago

Penn State College of Engineering. “Flipped classrooms turning STEM education upside down.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 June 2016. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/06/160607151512.htm