At Rice University, we have a team focused on embedding technology into our OpenStax textbooks to improve student learning outcomes. This free tool, called Concept Coach, will be embedded in the web view of OpenStax’s college textbooks. As students read, they will be asked questions to reinforce their understanding of the content. Concept Coach automatically incorporates proven cognitive science principles — spaced practice, retrieval practice, and feedback — to increase students' long-term retention. Concept Coach is designed to easily integrate into a professor's existing workflow and is not a replacement for traditional or online homework.
SpacingSpacing the exposure to content across multiple episodes produces better retention than massing content into a single episode (Carpenter et al. , 2012; Dempster, 1989). Concept Coach uses a custom spacing algorithm that automatically spaces content while still adapting to the unique workflow of the student.
FeedbackThe type and timing of feedback is critical for effective learning (Hattie & Timperley, 2007; Shute, 2008). Concept Coach provides immediate and informative feedback to ensure effective processing.
RetrievalIt is critical to incorporate retrieval opportunities in the learning process. Actively recalling information produces powerful effects on retention and comprehension (Karpicke & Grimaldi, 2012; Karpicke & Roediger, 2008). Concept Coach promotes retrieval by encouraging students to actively construct short-answer responses instead of passively selecting among multiple-choice options.
Students see a visual representation of their understanding by topic and faculty can view individual student or class progress.