Active Learning Online – More Ideas from Prof. Steve Joordens

If you missed it on TVO, take a look at the online archive of a recent interview segment with UTSC’s Prof. Steve Joordens discussing the theoretical underpinnings of his exploratory work in development of active learning strategies. You’ll find the video online at: The Agenda with Steve Paikin: Steve Joordens: Critical Thinking on the Web. Prof. Joordens, in partnership with grad student Dwayne Paré, has developed “peerScholar,” a web-based environment that targets large university classes, with the goal of developing critical and creative thinking skills and improving grades.

About Peer Scholar:

PeerScholar is available to UofT faculty for use in their courses and may be incorporated into curriculum design as an online pedagogical tool that facilitates assignment work flow and peer assessment through a series of three phases: writing, evaluating, and reflecting.  For more details on the process, visit the peerScholar web site for an explanation of What is peerScholar? and also a take a look at the Research and Publications that explain the pedagogical principles behind the tool. In addition to The Agenda interview, Prof. Joordens’ work was also featured recently on the Contact North web site in a profile entitled: Peer Assessment and More with peerScholar.

About Digital Labcoat:

Prof. Joordens is moving on to new territory with his most recent project, an online learning tool called “Digital Labcoat’ recently created in collaboration with graduate student Ainsley Lawson.  Once again piloting a web-based application to facilitate active learning in a large introductory Psychology course, this new utility simulates data collection, development of a hypothesis,  replication of the process and also application of statistics formulae that are foundational to research within the discipline. Digital Labcoat takes what might otherwise be a dry explanation of the scientific process and brings it to life for the learners. TVO also has provided a blog post entitled “What is Digital Labcoat?” for further reading on this project. Development of  Digital Labcoat was undertaken in conjunction with design of a fully online version of the UTSC Introduction to Psychology I and II funded through the Online Undergraduate Course Initiative this past year.

Professor Steve Joordens is a member of the University of Toronto Teaching Academy and recent recipient of the OCUFA Teaching Award in 2012. Find him on Twitter @stevejoordens)  or on Facebook you’ll find steve.joordens .

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