Why Professors Should Ask Students For Feedback Long Before the Semester Is Over

About a month into each semester, Gayle Golden sets aside a little time to ask her students about their learning. The journalism instructor at the University of Minnesota keeps the process simple, with brief questions similar to these: What should keep happening in this class? What should we start doing in this class? What should … Read more

Can an XPrize For Learning Science ‘Lure’ New Types of Researchers Into Education?

The field of education research is usually pretty sleepy—marked by small one-off trials isolated from the work of other research projects. That frustrates Mark Schneider, the director of the Institute for Education Sciences at the U.S. Department of Education. So he’s pushing to bring a little flash—and more experimentation on the big-name education platforms that … Read more

How to Empower Teachers as Learning Engineers (Without Adding More Work)

When we reflect on how the pandemic disrupted education, we’ll think about the resiliency of our teachers, who were challenged like never before to connect with students in new ways to keep learning going in the face of nationwide school closures. But it hasn’t come without a cost. A recent NEA survey found that 28 … Read more

When Virtual Animations Are Teaching, Can They Make an Emotional Connection?

Studies have shown that students learn better from instructors displaying positive emotions—in other words, an upbeat lecturer is more effective than someone delivering in monotone. But when video lessons are led by computer animations instead of live instructors, how much do their simulated emotions matter? That’s the subject of a research project at the University … Read more

Do Instructional Videos Work Better When the Teacher is On Screen? It Depends.

As the pandemic has forced more teaching online, plenty of instructors have been trying to figure out the best way to keep students’ attention and interest with lecture videos or Zoom sessions. Meanwhile, learning scientists have been taking a more clinical approach, using experiments to test the question: How important is it for the teacher … Read more

How Professors Can Use AI to Improve Their Teaching In Real Time

The original version of this article appeared in Toward Data Science. When I started teaching data science and artificial intelligence in Duke University’s Pratt School of Engineering, I was frustrated by how little insight I actually felt I had into how effective my teaching was, until the end-of-semester final exam grades and student assessments came … Read more