Student retention and success are particular challenges in general education classes in higher education. In most universities, GenEd classes are taught in big lecture halls filled with hundreds of disinterested students coming from highly different backgrounds. It is impossible for instructors to create a unique learning experience for every student and provide them with the individual support they need. But more and more tools are being developed to help instructors personalize their teaching even to such vast numbers of students – and one of those tools is Adaptive Courseware.
We have worked closely with a major US university to make this vision of personalized general education courses a reality and test whether Adaptive Courseware really makes a difference for students and instructors. And in addition to very positive quantitative figures, we have received immensely encouraging feedback from students and instructors alike. Watch the video above to see what some of them had to say.
ASU is a very innovative university. We provide a lot of new technologies and innovative services and we’re constantly experimenting. I think that’s part of the focus of the institution and part of the culture to constantly innovate. We’re trying to restructure general education to make it more personalized and to use technology to help us provide the students with a more engaging experience.
Susan Holechek: Before CogBooks, we used to spend a lot of time working in the lectures. Now, the students are able to watch the videos, to go and do interactives and go through the content before class. So when they come to class, we have as instructors the ability to check where they have questions, where they’re having more trouble. So we only cover those points instead of going through the whole curriculum.
Denise Bates: CogBooks has improved my teaching experience by giving me the opportunity to focus on more of the high-level critical thinking activities that I use to supplement the content from CogBooks. So it gives us more flexibility and time to dig into interesting activities.
Emily Graham: I feel like CogBooks had a really positive impact on my relationship with my instructor because CogBooks allows the instructor to look at really personalized feedback from me. I think that it gave her a new venue for communication and understanding my learning.
Denise Bates: There are students frankly that don’t have the confidence to reach out and ask questions even if they have them. The system reaches those students. It reaches every student. And I can count on it for that.
Emily Graham: CogBooks surprised me in a couple of ways. I think the biggest one was the design. It’s very nicely designed, sleek, modern and up-to-date. I think the second thing that surprised me was how well-explained some of the material is; where a lot of online courses fail to go into depth. CogBooks is really great about giving you extra information or extra help.
Denise Bates: CogBooks has helped me to be able to focus on the more interesting part of teaching history which is those high-level sophisticated conversations. Because I can count on the content in CogBooks to give the students what they need so they have that jumping off platform that they need in order to engage in a deeper discussion, which is where the learning happens. So it has made it a lot more fun for them and a lot more interesting for me.
Emily Graham: I think CogBooks is moving ahead in the right direction for online education because it is progressive. With technology especially in education, it needs to be flexible. And CogBooks is just that.
Susan Holechek: The nice thing is that the company is always behind the instructors so any issue that they may have, they are always going to have the tech support to back it up. So I would definitely recommend it.
Denise Bates: It’s difficult to reach every student. And with multiple learning styles and approaches and different levels of interest in the subject, CogBooks has really provided a way to reach more students than previously because of the adaptability and because of the student agency and the learning process. So I would, yes, absolutely recommend it.