Online tech crucial for student learning

November 7th, 2014

Online practice is a major part of the way students learn about their chosen fields of study. A recent paper by Sebastiaan Koole suggested that students who go online to learn and interact outside of class are more prone to do well in class versus those who go to classes that don't offer an online component. Students who speak up more and study more online will do better in the classroom during the lecture portion.

To determine if online content and discussion groups help student learning, Koole separated two students and had one group learning in the classroom through discussions led by a professor, while the other had a discussion group along with an online portion that included a message board where students could talk. In the online class, student participation was much higher.

Dental school software can lead to a faster learning process
Another school that offers software to students who want to earn medical degrees is based in Wisconsin. The Medical College of Wisconsin has begun providing the latest medical school technology, including software that helps students study online, USA Today reported. The professors who run the school are adamant that learning programs that feature online components help students study better without sacrificing the rigor of a classical medical school education.

"We want to provide as many students as possible with a high-quality, low-cost medical education," said College Dean Matthew Hunsaker to USA Today. "The curriculum delivery is a little different, but the standards and educational materials are identical."

The college will record lectures and post them online, and it will also have coursework students can access from their smartphones and laptops. The technology is similar to that employed by many dental academic software programs, which feature online content that constantly updates with new information about the latest dental and oral care studies.

The college also works to help students study more efficiently, allowing them to get through their general medical classes faster, so that they graduate on time – or even ahead of time.

"We are moving further away from the traditional lecture," Hunsaker said. "We'll now have the ability to present a higher quality of medical training with the use of meaningful technology."

Online content such as what can be received through oral hygiene academic software means students receive the most up-to-date research by the leading experts of the day. They won't waste time in classes taught by lecturers who can't compare with some of the best minds that currently disseminate dentistry papers to the Internet.

Software in the classroom works
A recent study of how students use software indicates those who use it frequently score higher grades than those who don't. Of those who used a Web portal with access to lectures by professors, the ones who accessed the software every week to hone their skills were the most successful in the class, scoring grades that were well above what average students were earning, according to Computers and Education, cited by Campus Technology.

The more we can get students to regularly integrate lecture capture into their study habits, the better off they appear to be — at least in second-year STEM classes!" the report said.

Analytics is still in its infancy, but research suggests that the software really works. Students who have the benefit of such tools as dental school software can read about information pertaining to their classes. They can also use the same software as professional dentists when they book appointments and practice running a real dentistry clinic once the students reach the higher-level classes.

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