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Teachers participate in Massive Online Open Course

Four teachers are participating in Stanford’s Massive On- line Open Course (MOOC), a program devoted to helping students develop better and more informational conversations with peers.

According to math teacher Megan Stauffer, the MOOC’s Constructive Classroom Conversations course, which in- volves more than 6000 students, is a course for teachers that focuses on creating classroom conversations that allow stu- dents to gain more academically. “Student-to-student learning is especially crucial so that students can gain knowledge via conversations with peers, and so that they can become experts together by learning together,” Stauffer said.

According to math Instructional Supervisor Kathy Hawes, past studies have shown that students who explain concepts to peers are generally more successful at retaining information. “Students often don’t know how to get involved in class, but if they just build up concepts and answers collaboratively, they can gain a lot more from every lesson,” Hawes said.

Math teacher Michael Bautista added that in small classes, the potential for great conversations is particularly pervasive. “We hope that this course will help teachers learn new strategies to help students develop productive conversation skills within the classroom,” Bautista said. “In math, we’ll emphasize that the process of discussing a problem with peers is a valuable part of the overall learning experience.”

The Stanford MOOC has educators around the nation record classroom conversations, which are then transcribed and analyzed. According to Stauffer, the results provide ed- ucators with valuable information as classroom interaction is not usually perceived on such a detailed level. Bautista adds that the data is then used to give feedback to educators so that they can continually improve their classroom curriculums.

For more information regarding the course, visit https:// novoed.com/common-core.

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