No matter how many people you’re teaching, be it a small group of five or a large class of about 500, you will agree that it is not so easy to reach out to every single student. But things become easier when you make use of personalized tools to provide the students with all the necessary materials they need to succeed. That is what we do.
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Mastering Biology is a learning and teaching platform that helps you as an instructor to keep up with every student. Mastering Biology can be used in combination with other educational material and content that has been provided by well-renowned scholars across the curriculum. Its main aim is to give out the learning outcomes that the instructors and students aspire to get.
Features Found in Mastering Biology for Majors
There are a lot of exciting features that can be found in the Mastering Biology for Majors.
Mastering biology for majors can be seen as an online tutorial, homework, and assessment program that is designed to assist biology majors in mastering their concepts as fast as possible. The students gain a lot from the tutorials because it is designed to function at their own pace while also providing wrong answer hints and feedback to make sure that they are in the right direction.
The first action taken is figuring out how to make things better for the student who struggles to assimilate the key biology concepts being put out by the instructor. The students are able to interact with the material provided for them while they also are required to study complex processes within the textbook and also pay attention to the lecture.
Students are provided with an amazing method that engages them and allows them to learn challenging topics. The start of all the activities is marked by the presence of a 3-D, movie quality animation that introduces the topic by putting it in a real-world context.
It also helps a lot if the instructors put out these animations in class and then goes ahead to allocate interactive tutorials to them. These tutorials come with wrong-answer feedback that acts as a coach to make sure they learn from any mistakes they make while tracking and keeping their work for reference purposes in the Mastering grade book.
How Many Topics are Covered?
This is the part that explains how many biology topics can be accessed with the aid of the video and animations.
Some professors are not opportune to make out time to search for films that fit the classroom properly.
Even the students may have to source guidance sometimes to assist them in retaining their focus on teaching points instead of seeing it as a form of entertainment. The solution to that is the introduction of the new, Assignable Short Films made by HHMI’s BioInteractive.
These features are meant to help instructors both in using the videos as an engagement for students in biology class lectures and also to give out some of the video activity as homework to make them get familiar with some ideas.
The BioInteractive Short Films always come together with assessments questions that round off the concepts that are being talked about inside the films.
With this, many instructors are just searching for ways to make the classroom experience more engaging. Some of them want to turn the classroom around while some are on the lookout for ways they could use to boost student participation.
Learning Catalytics is a student response tools that interact with the students’ tablets, laptops or smartphones to make them take part in other sophisticated tasks and reasoning. The instructors can put out several open-ended questions that can make the students to increase their critical thinking abilities. The instructors also get the opportunity to make their findings on where these students are struggling so that the instructional strategy used for them can be adjusted in real-time. The instructors can also form a peer to peer learning group automatically and with ease with the aid of Learning Catalytics for the students. Whatever work the student does in Learning Catalytics is recorded in the Mastering grade book.
It is a known fact that not all students learn at the same rate or in the same way. The good thing about adaptive learning technology is that instructors are no longer forced to teach as though they do. Mastering makes use of data and analytics to focus on the concepts and point out each student’s strengths and weaknesses.
Dynamic Study Modules
Students use the dynamic study modules for their own personal study and the adaptive algorithms make adjustments of the content according to how each student understands the concepts.
The students are required to finish the first set of questions and the answer format is different because it asks for their confidence level. When that is done, the Dynamic Study Modules give explanations of the answer and the text serves as a source. The questions keep coming until the student is confident of the correct answer. These modules are compatible with smartphones, computers, and tablets and therefore the students can study anywhere at any time they want.
Adaptive Followup Assignment
The Adaptive Follow up Assignments and help in teaching the students while they do their homework assignment. This helps the students to conquer their doubts immediately before it is deep-rooted and they move on to another topic.
When the students finish their homework they are automatically connected to the Adaptive Followup. They are then presented questions from the adaptive learning engine to evaluate the lapses each student encounters in understanding. They then go through the question sets until they have shown that they know what the material is about or until they finish the number of questions specified by the instructor.
The adaptive learning engine works underground to find out which concept the student understands and which one they don’t know. It makes an analysis of previous performance in assignments and selects the type of questions that suited the student more on previous assignments together with the question types that other students with the same performance profiles preferred. The new question sets are built based on the results of previous sets.
Lastly, it is important to know that Mastering Biology can prevent instructors from wasting a lot of class time because they are trying to get the students to understand basic scientific skills. Students who major in biology should learn or relearn simple science skills, that can shorten the class time which would have been used to teach core biology concepts. Although some students still do well in basic exam questions, they still find it hard to scale through critical thinking and application skill questions.
The Assignable Scientific Skill-building Exercises help the instructors to make the students take it upon themselves to learn these skills outside of class in order to prepare them for class application. When this instruction is given, the students will find it easy to give answers to very difficult test questions that will need them to use scientific skills. They also find out that they now have the necessary skills that will help them finish and solve the more tedious “Solve it” lessons that can be found in Mastering Biology.