Call It A SMOC
Career College Central summary:
When two University of Texas at Austin psychology professors take the stage for the fall semester’s first session of Introduction to Psychology later this week, their audience will consist of a production crew and their equipment. The professors’ research shows their students benefit from computer-based learning to the point where they don’t even need to be physically present in the classroom.
The university styles the class as the world’s first synchronous massive online course, or SMOC (pronounced “smock”), where the professors broadcast their lectures live to the about 1,500 students enrolled.
The course is the result of almost a decade of research into how students learn. After teaching separate 500-student sections of the introductory course, the professors decided to schedule the sections back-to-back. They then began experimenting with adaptive learning, requiring students bring a laptop to class so they could take multiple-choice tests and receive instant feedback. The professors then built group chats that randomly paired five or six students together for in-class discussions. Last year, they moved one of the two sections of the course online. And with this change, the class will be taught exclusively online.
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