Learn how some world-class organizations are using Tidebreak’s products to transform the nature of interactive learning on their campuses.
At Winona, ClassSpot PBL is being used to foster cross-disciplinary work as part of an effort to “flip” classroom instruction. Students in computer science, mass communications, and art classes come together in the Visual Media Studio to do group projects involving graphic design, advertising, and mobile app development. Ken Graetz, the school’s director of teaching, learning, and technology services, says the studio is so popular that his team now leaves it open for students because they want to come back on weekends and evenings to work in groups. “That is the sign of a great technology,” he notes, adding that Winona will likely add more ClassSpot sites to new buildings and other campus spaces such as the student union.
Flagler County Public School District was looking for cost-effective ways to improve student performance and inspire students to take an active role in their education. The district, located in Bunnell, Florida, developed a unique strategy designed to change how curriculum is presented and promote an active learning environment. By shifting from a teacher-led classroom to a student-led classroom, they hoped to create a learning environment where students would learn problem-solving skills rather than simply memorizing facts. In the new lab, called the “Sandbox,” teams of five to six students work together on group assignments, and teachers are now designing lesson plans around the interactive nature of their Tidebreak products.
The faculty at UMKC realized they needed to refocus their teaching to create collaborative environments that emphasized developing team-building and problem-solving skills so their students would be better prepared for the realities of modern law practice. Existing teaching methods that were successful in helping teach students analytic, research and writing skills unfortunately encourage an environment where students work independently and compete against each other. UMKC deployed Tidebreak’s ClassSpot PBL software in a new team-based learning classroom and has seen immediate impact. Faculty noticed how it changed their teaching style so that they can lecture less and instead be more involved with the students. It also changed the way students work together for group presentations, as they are now much more engaged with each other and with the faculty.
Faculty and staff at St. Joseph’s University consulted with students to collaboratively conceive of what an “ideal communications classroom” would include. The result was a team-based learning studio that allowed students to work together in small groups, facilitated by Tidebreak’s ClassSpot PBL software. “Saint Joseph’s is among the leaders in our region in creating collaborative learning environments such as this classroom,” says Aimée Knight, Ph.D., assistant professor of communication studies. “Having a resource this advanced will help students apply the concepts they learn in class to real-life contexts.”
The University of Southern California (USC) is three years into an initiative intended to remodel all 210 general-access learning spaces within five years. Some of the first learning spaces developed as part of the program were a Project-Based Learning Space (using ClassSpot PBL) and a Mobile Learning Space (using TeamSpot) in the Salvatori Computer Science Center. Tidebreak’s software was selected in response to the needs that faculty and students expressed during design discussions. “We’re really focused on evidence-based design,” explains Dr. Joseph Cevetello, director of learning environments for the technology-enhanced learning group (TEL) in the Department of Information Technology Services. “Informal and formal learning can coexist (in the new spaces),” he noted.