Here at Slooh, our education team recently spearheaded an effort to gather information about how our students are benefiting from Slooh’s learning platform and identify areas to enhance their learning experience. For those new to Slooh, our learning platform centers on curriculum-aligned, project-based learning activities we call Quests.
We gathered data using informal means, using surveys and talking to educators, and drew a series of insights.
Here are some highlights from the surveys we distributed.
When combining responses from the elementary and middle school grades, 86% of students indicated that their learning on Slooh has increased their interest in Science, at least a little (N=43).
From all grades, here are some highlights from students:
Students enjoy the interactivity and game-like feel of the learning platform.
They enjoy not only observing objects through the telescopes, but also learning about the very objects they observe.
They appreciate the opportunity to look at a variety of celestial objects through telescopes in real time.
They appreciate the ability to look through telescopes from the comfort of their home.
Students also shared:
They seek ways to better manage the information they are learning.
They seek ways to engage with the learning beyond interacting with text.
All educators (N=8) stated they would recommend Slooh to other educators.
Here are some highlights from educators who responded to our survey:
Educators shared that students overall seemed more interested in Astronomy as a result of their studies at Slooh and that some of their students go beyond the minimum class requirements or even pick up learning Astronomy as a hobby.
They shared that they have gotten positive input from other educators and as a result of their experience on the platform, recommend it to other educators.
They shared they seek ways to more easily navigate the online platform.
Here are some quotes from educators who responded to our survey:
Please tell us a little more about your selection above [response to the following question: “Would you recommend Slooh to other educators?”].
"I was introduced to Slooh by my ex-colleague so I introduce to the new teachers whenever I can."
"[I got] positive feedback from pupils"
"[Slooh is] great for remote observations"
"It's a cool way for students to control their own learning"
How have your students responded to the learning program? For example, are they engaged/disengaged? More/less interested in astronomy?
"My students that are engaged are very interested and have actually gone above and beyond to do additional Quests on their own."
"[My students are] engaged and more interested"
"They do enjoy, some take it up [learning astronomy] as a hobby"
From the college surveys, we didn’t get enough data to draw lessons from, but survey responses appear consistent with the data we gathered from other educator and student surveys.
We also held a round table event with educators to gather input. For those new to Slooh, we call these types of community events Star Parties. Check out our upcoming Star Parties here (you can find information on the bar at the top of the main page).
Educators shared how project-based learning and the ability to place students in the shoes of scientists, collecting real data, has made a big difference in how students engage with Astronomy and Science.
They shared they see high value in lessons that celebrate the diversity of people who have advanced our understanding of Astronomy.
They shared they see a lot of value in community events, and hope to see more community events for students and educators.
We are using the feedback we received to inform updates to our learning platform. We’re working on integrating Math for students to practice and better understand concepts, adding interactive visuals and models, and we’re incorporating customizable infographic posters.
If you have any questions about what’s contained in this blog or are an educator with Slooh who would like to be part of our curriculum development efforts as we update our learning platform, please reach out to me at email@example.com.
About the author: Aaron Lopez is Slooh’s Director of Learning Experience. He has a background in teaching Mathematics and Special Education, extensive experience in education research, and specializes in learning design. A core part of his formation was teaching with Teach For America and the Fulbright program. He earned his M.S.Ed. at the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education.