Posts tagged Dr. Matt Goren

The Value of Discussion

As enrollment and class size increase, professors face more challenges in keeping students engaged. According to a study from the University of Sussex, students in large lectures become passive recipients of information because the fast-paced environment doesn’t give them an opportunity to actively engage with course content. Whether classes are in-person or online, professors are challenged with finding ways to empower students to take ownership over their own learning and relate course material to their lives.

After teaching psychology at the University of North Carolina Charlotte for 12 years, Dr. Kathleen West found that students who weren’t able to see how the material related to their other studies were the most disengaged students in the class. These students, who are often preoccupied with electronic devices and don’t utilize time outside of class to study or prepare for the course, can be challenging to reach.

One way Dr. West pulled her students away from their devices and into the classroom was by incorporating peer discussion. This interaction challenged students to explore the course content and formulate their own viewpoints. Dr. West used discussions to tie in relevant course information and help students make connections between their learnings, current events and their lives. Dr. West found that by opening up discussions and giving students an outlet to participate at their own pace, students engaged more in class and showed more of an interest to learn.  

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How Different Discussion Methods Affect Student Engagement

A professor at the University of Georgia performed an experiment comparing the effectiveness of Packback, Blackboard and written reaction papers.

When Dr. Matt Goren was presented with an opportunity to teach Introduction to Personal Finance at the University of Georgia, he wanted to engage his students and equip them to make smart financial decisions during and after college.

According to the Financial Health of Young America report published by Young Invincibles, young adults today are in much worse financial health than 25 years ago, earning significantly lower incomes and having a dramatically lower net worth. Knowing this, Dr. Goren emphasized a personalized learning environment where each student worked on a semester-long finance project. By the end of the semester, every student had an actionable plan to improve and sustain their financial health.

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Achieving Learning Objectives with Packback

Packback Questions is a tool used by professors to facilitate online discussions. With the help of AI, Packback allows professors to scale individual coaching, moderation and grading in any sized classroom.

Watch the video below to see how Dr. Kaston Anderson-Carpenter of Michigan State University, Dr. Matt Goren of the University of Georgia and Dr. Stacey Combes from the University of California, Davis use Packback to promote critical thinking and application in their courses.

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