The COVID 19 pandemic threw us for a spin with Online Learning – but after two years, it’s clear that Online Learning is here to stay. The good news is that more and more research is making its way to the classroom, giving us more information on the pros and cons of different teaching methods and how it impacts student learning. This all leads to one question: How can teaching be more effective during these tough times? Let’s discuss the research done and how it relates to Maple Learn. As a note, I do not claim to be an expert on this topic. I am simply a student attempting to improve online learning for myself and my peers.
There are three main styles of learning, in this context, agreed upon by psychologists: Passive, Active, and Interactive Learning. However, today we’re only going to focus on Interactive Learning. Interactive Learning is where the student acts as “a subject of educational activity” (Kutbiddinova, Eromasova, and Romanova, 2016). What this typically means in practice is the student collaborates with peers. This piece is much more difficult when classes are online and/or asynchronous. I know I struggled to make connections with my peers while in school online, as our main form of communication was discussion board posts. Let’s talk about the advantages of Interactive Learning first, and then discuss how Maple Learn can be used within the Interactive Learning model.
The main advantage of Interactive Learning is that it encourages the active participation of all involved. When encouraged to interact with peers in smaller groups, this allows more participation of the members of the group, compared to asking questions to the entire class and asking for them to raise their hands for answering. At the same time, Interactive Learning creates more engagement in the material, along with more student initiative (Ibid).
In one example discussed by Anderson in 2014, the students got into pairs and discussed their answer to a question. The students, in the exercise, had to commit to one answer and then discuss their reasoning behind the answer, in an attempt to change the other student’s mind. This created understanding of the material, along with emotional investment in the topic.
So, how can Maple Learn help to facilitate Interactive Learning in an online environment? Let’s start with recreating Anderson’s example, but online and with a slight twist to accommodate a math class.
Using Maple Learn, the student can go through all their steps, copying from their paper notes, or solving the equation as they type. They can also use text to explain their reasoning behind taking each step, or to place formulas beside the math they’ve used.
From there, the student can use the snapshot share feature to swap documents with someone else in the class. This allows both students to see the other’s work, and reasoning, without having to read scanned handwritten notes. This also means the review can happen asynchronously, allowing students from different places and/or time zones to discuss. In contrast to the original example, since we’re discussing Math, the student is not necessarily trying to convince the other student. The comments on the math are used more for giving targeted feedback, and understanding either other ways of solving the problem, or the correct way if originally solved wrong.
Taking a step away from the example, this method can also be used for peer marking. Maple Learn offers many different text font colors, allowing students to leave comments on the document, then generate a new snapshot to send back to the original student.
There are many other ways Maple Learn could be used for Interactive Learning, but we’d like to hear your ideas too! Please let us know in the comments if you’ve used Maple Learn in other Interactive ways, or if you have any questions or suggestions for us.
Anderson, Jill. “The Benefit of Interactive Learning.” Harvard Graduate School of Education, 2014, https://www.gse.harvard.edu/news/14/11/benefit-interactive-learning.
Kutbiddinova, Rimma, et al. “The Use of Interactive Methods in the Educational Process of the Higher Education Institution.” INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF ENVIRONMENTAL & SCIENCE EDUCATION, 2016, Accessed 2022.