Best Practices 

Our products have been used in a number of classrooms ranging from dedicated spatial visualization courses to Introduction to Engineering or Computer Aided Design (CAD) courses at the college level and K-12.  We have gained some experience in implementing the tool in the classroom and provide some best practices below. Please contact us to discuss other ways to integrate our product into your class.

Our research has shown that student persistence and meaningful struggle, where students are provided with the right amount of hints to ensure they are learning productively but do not get overly frustrated or are handed out solutions too easily, is key to their learning. However, getting enough practice is also vital. Therefore, below we provide an implementation strategy that has proven very successful.

Recommendations:

  • It is encouraged to implement a standard pre and post assessment to be able to demonstrate learning gains. Please contact us for recommendations.

  • Students should do the entire app Introduction module to learn how the app works.

  • In the remaining modules, students should be assigned all of the ODD questions and the last three test questions (where hints are disabled).

  • Get Help – But Try On Your Own First! Students should be encouraged to get help from other students, the instructor or make use of the app “hint” features for guidance. However, our data has shown that students who rely excessively on these “hints” do not improve their abilities. We recommend encouraging students to use the “hints” early in a lesson when they cannot solve a problem after multiple attempts, but not to use these features as a crutch throughout a lesson.

  • One way to encourage persistence is by offering extra credit. To get full credit on the app, students must complete all of the odds and the test questions and earn 456 stars. 456 stars represents doing all of the required assignments without taking a hint or peek (where they would lose one and two stars, respectively).

  • Teachers should tell students that it is ok for them to take a hint for a problem they are stuck on because they can earn back stars by doing extra assignments. If students earn 600 stars on the app, offer them 1% extra credit in the class; 700 stars (2% extra credit); and 800 stars (3% extra credit) [Note, the amount of extra credit offered is left at the teacher’s discretion]. The stars encourage students to persist and keep trying until they get the assignment correct.

  • Our experience has shown that many students do most or all of the assignments in the app in order to try to get as much extra credit as possible. Practice makes perfect.