Unitclass's mission is to help people build creativity and learn more every day with others who want to learn together.

Our Approach

Unitclass integrates student question creation and peer feedback to provide instructors with a system that can use social motivation to encourage students to think deeply about the course material. The following reviews some of education research that justifies each part of the Unitclass system.

Student Question Creation as an Deep Learning Activity

Student question creation activities have been tested in classes as young as 6th grade to university level courses (Yu et al, 2005; Fellenz, 2004; Denny et al, 2008). In contrast to answering multiple choice questions that mostly involves understanding and applying the material, creating a question is an activity that moves up Bloom’s taxonomy (Bloom, 1956) to the highest level of evaluating and creating. Moreover, the process gets the student to consider the learning goals relevant enough to warrant a question, as well as the common misconceptions to come up with good distractors. In all cases, student report improved learning and increased engagement with the course material. In terms of the quality of the questions, Denny et al. (2008) reported that the question quality is good enough that students subsequently voluntarily use the created question bank extensively for exam reviews.

Peer Feedback as Cooperative Learning

Peer feedback, a form of cooperative learning, has been shown to be very beneficial for student learning (Graf and Bekele, 2006). Furthermore, peer feedback provides more meaningful individualize feedback from multiple sources without overburdening the instructor (Kappell et al., 2006). For the student providing the feedback Liu and Carless (2006) conclude that student also benefit from practicing critical reflection while providing the feedback. Therefore, if properly organized, peer feedback can provide great benefits to the feedback provider and the feedback recipient at minimal cost to the instructor.

Reference

  1. Bloom B. S. (1956). Taxonomy of Educational Objectives, Handbook I: The Cognitive Domain.
  2. Denny, P., Luxton-Reilly, A., and Hamer, J. (2008). “The PeerWise System of Student Contributed Assessment Questions”, ACE2008.
  3. Fellenz, M. R. (2004). “Using assessment to support higher level learning: the multiple choice item development assignment”, Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, Vol. 29, No. 6.
  4. Gaustad, J. (1993). “Peer and Cross-Age Tutoring”.
  5. Graf, S., and Bekele, R. (2006). “Forming Heterogeneous Groups for Intelligent Collaborative Learning System with Ant Colony Optimization”, ITS2006. LNCS, Vol. 4053.
  6. Hruschka, D. J. (2010). Friendship: Development, Ecology, and Evolution of a Relationship.
  7. Keppell, M., Au, E., Ma, A., and Chen, C. (2006). “Peer learning and learning-oriented assessment in technology-enhanced environments”, Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, Vol. 31, No. 4.
  8. Liu, N.F., and Carless, D.R. (2006). “Peer feedback: the learning element of peer assessment”, Teaching in Higher Education, 2006, Vol. 11, No. 3.
  9. Slavin, R. E. (1981). “Synthesis of Research on Cooperative Learning”.
  10. Yu, F.-Y., Liu, Y.-H., and Chan, T.-W. (2005). “A web-based learning system for question-posing and peer assessment”, Innovations in Education and Teaching International, Vol. 42, No. 4.