Build Mind Maps, Flashcards, Quizzes & Notes With This Popular Free Platform
Effective learning is not the outcome of encouraging students to passively consume and regurgitate reams of information verbatim. Rather than allow learners to simply become recipients of study notes and material, teachers need to encourage students to both physically and mentally engage in active learning.
When students learn by doing, their learning antennas become heightened and they receive a boost of energy. This improves the learner’s ability to retrieve what they have studied and deposits information in the brain’s long-term memory.
An evident limitation of the traditional classroom is that, for the most part, students learn by observing and listening to the teacher which is not entirely conducive to a creative mind-set and will challenge the attention span of any individual. Proactive studying is not highlighted in the classroom by conducting lessons in this traditional sense. ExamTime solves this problem by providing a web-based medium to engage students in active learning and independent thinking by participating in their own learning process. The classroom can be redesigned using these tools to ignite a passion for learning in every student, especially those who respond positively to visual aids.
The key advantage of using ExamTime is the improvement of student engagement in the classroom plus students’ ability to proactively direct their learning. This control over their own learning instils the motivation to establish and achieve personal academic goals as well as encouraging a lifelong learning outlook. The tracking and self-assessment features also propel learners to realize their study goals as highlighting learning progress boosts confidence.
Moreover, from a teacher’s viewpoint, adjusting teaching strategy to accommodate technology boasts a multitude of benefits. A more engaged class of students is an overall result of a number of ideas, activities and practices coming into effect. One way this can be achieved is by using technology to extend the classroom beyond the physical confines of the school.
Teacher Share Their Experiences with ExamTime
David Bayne, a teacher with over 13 years’ experience, outlines how he used the ExamTime tools alongside webinars running up to exams to boost student’s motivation and ensure his class were fully prepared for his subject’s test. This powerful teaching strategy “generated excellent questioning and analytical skills in students and allowed them to have constant access to resources on a platform they find convenient.” Linking these elements together demonstrates a holistic approach to modern learning which every teacher can accomplish.
Mike Sharples, a Professor of Educational Technology at The Open University, comments that developing a suite of tools for learners such as those on ExamTime complements lifelong learning. He also supports the premise that this technology can be applied to a number of current trends including social learning, mobile learning and the flipped classroom model. “Elearning complements classroom-based education. The real opportunity here is for blended learning where traditional and online learning can be used together.”
Sharples also noted that social learning will gain prominence in the future thanks to innovative tools who have integrated this technique into their development. The ExamTime platform encompasses social learning using the Groups function where a class of students and teachers or tutors can host discussions to share ideas plus share learning resources such as Mind Maps, Flashcards, Quizzes and Notes which can be created using the tools on the site.
“You can’t get this kind of work on paper….”
The innovative technology on ExamTime gives both teachers and students the power to use the tools in the way that aligns with their personal needs and goals as well as being able to implement elearning trends such as the flipped classroom. Rafranz Davis, an established educational blogger, discovered the ExamTime platform from her own students who gave her a tutorial on getting started. “You can’t get this kind of work on paper”, Davis comments while her students show her how easy it is to create a mind map online.
A potential hurdle with this tool, as with all technology, is the possibility of misuse by students. Any communication medium is open to abuse by the younger generation but this can easily be managed by monitoring student’s accounts for completed work and obscenities.
In many cases, teachers champion collaborative learning through group-work and the distribution of responsibility for grades. The sharing capabilities are being used to allow this type of learning to take place. Resources can be shared both internally and externally via email and social media. The premium ‘copy & edit’ feature also allows students to collaborate in real-time by building a comprehensive set of study materials.
The ExamTime web-app was announced as a GESS Education Finalist 2014. The site recently launched the official full version of the elearning platform with additional tracking, assessment and study management tools. Visit the site at www.examtime.com.
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