Students say they prefer lectures, but “active learning” is more effective

A recent study measured differences in student learning, comparing the results of traditional lectures (where the students sit passively while the instructor connects all the dots for them) and active learning (where the students get guidance, but have to connect the dots themselves). Students gave lower ratings to instructors who made them think harder and taught them more. They preferred an instructional method that actually taught them less. In a…

The history of Tetris randomizers

A pleasantly detailed analysis of how the various editions of Tetris chose what piece was next. In 1985, Alexey Pajitnov and Vadim Gerasimov released Tetris to the public. This fun and highly addictive game challenged players to fit pieces together that were dealt in a random order. Since then, over 150 licensed versions of Tetris games have been released. Varying in game modes, rules, and implementations, they all play slightly—or very—differently. In…

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Yellow Journalism Did Not Cause the Spanish-American War (Role of Sensationalized Headlines Often Exaggerated)

When a correspondent sent to Cuba to cover a possible war telegraphed that there would be no war and he wanted to come home, Newspaper mogul Willam Randolph Hearst is said to have replied, “Please remain. You furnish the pictures, I’ll furnish the war.”   It’s a story I remember learning in middle school.   But there’s no contemporary evidence of this exchange, which would never have been permitted by…

Me (glares in iambic pentameter)

Me: I need to post the opening lecture for my online Shakespeare class. Also me: I should compose it in blank verse. Me (glares in iambic pentameter): Also me: O for a Canvas of fire, to surpass The farthest distance of instruction. SHU tech is cool, but can a Macbook hold A seminar discussion? Can we cram Within an LMS the self-same class That does engage the students on campus?…