Saturday, January 29, 2011

Social aspects of learning important for success of students at risk

Just finished reading an article by Suzanne Brahmia et al at Rutgers on the importance of social aspects of learning to foster success of students at risk. The paper notes a rise in the number of non-traditional students taking physics (females, students from ethnic backgrounds) and identifies common features for at-risk students: low confidence level, lack of community, weak academic preparation and unrealistic expectations. The paper presents a multi-faceted program that supplements lectures, recitations, experiments with group work and reports a significant reduction in drop-out rate. Could free web-based collaborative simulation tools from SimInsights provide yet another medium to bolster the social aspects of learning for at-risk students?

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