Study showing that intermittently breaking up online lectures with quizzes reduced the occurrence of mind wandering, increased the frequency of note taking, and facilitated more efficient learning (by Harvard psychology professor Daniel Schacter and former fellow Karl Szpunar).
Diane Moore, Senior Lecturer in Religious Studies and Education, collaborated with HDS and FAS colleagues to produce a six-module, online course offering through HarvardX called World Religions Through Their Scriptures. They designed all digital material for optimal engagement of the 130,000 enrolled students: “It’s essential to provide language and tools in order for students from diverse worldviews, religions, experiences, ages, and regions of the world to constructively interact around topics that often divide us.”
The benefits: Enabling interaction and discussion augmented the course experience for the 36,000 enrolled in her module. Moore was surprised by the quality and thoughtfulness of online threads: “The students—their voices, experiences, and contexts—became course resources. Engaging with others increased their retention of the content.” Read more about Online engagement: Designing a learner-centered HarvardX course
This site is designed to show some of the ways in which we have used Canvas and other tools to enable blended learning in a course at the Harvard Kennedy School: Professor Dan Levy's API-209 Advanced Quantitative Methods I course.
One paper articulates how questions and prompts for students to generate explanations—administered before, during, and after online learning—can improve cognitive processing by providing students with direction while allowing them to take charge of their learning.