About Bret Norwood

Bret Norwood is a staff blogger for Learning Laboratory in addition to other roles, including UI design and content development for Study Putty, our free memorization tool for chemistry and many other course topics. He is also a published writer of literary fiction--see BretNorwood.com

How to Make an Oppia Exploration (Ed Tech Reviews)

Welcome graphic from Oppia.org

What is Oppia? Find out about Oppia.org in my previous post, Oppia: Opportunity for Progressive Learning or Open-Content Muddle?

Creating the Dimensional Analysis Exploration

As I left off in my last post, I tried out Oppia.org by creating an exploration called “Dimensional Analysis for Chemistry.” In short, while the creation process is a little laborious depending on the complexity of the exploration, I was rather pleased with the content creation tools. In particular, I was impressed by the powerful options for setting the feedback rules for user responses. In my opinion, Oppia may have a place in a teacher’s tool belt–or it can just become a creative hobby. Here’s the good and the…almost good, to consider when you look at Oppia.org. Continue reading

Oppia: Opportunity for Progressive Learning or Open-Content Muddle?

Welcome graphic from Oppia.org

Welcome graphic from Oppia.org

While aboutst the Web for other purposes, I had the pleasure of stumbling upon Oppia.org. Developed by some Googlers in their 20% side-project time, Oppia provides an open-source engine for educators, tutors, or anyone really to easily create learning “explorations” on about any topic.

The ability and versatility in the framework behind these explorations makes Oppia ideal for guided inquiry. What really makes it special is the ability to script advanced feedback rules to guide the learner toward correct responses. Continue reading

Memorize Polyatomic Ion Charges — Free Game at Study Putty

How Do You Memorize the Polyatomic Ions’ Charges?

New in our growing list of Study Putty learning games is a game for memorizing the charges of the polyatomic ions. You can test yourself here (match chemical formulas to charges) and here (match names to charges), or visit the Study Putty homepage to see all our topics.

Click the screenshot to play the game!

Buckets Polyatomic Ions Charges

And if you’re just looking for a quick reference, here’s a list of the polyatomic ions, including the charge. Continue reading

PDF Formula Sheet: Geometry–Coordinate Geometry, Shapes, and Solids

Distance Midpoint Formula

The distance formula & the midpoint formula

Looking for a shapes/solids or coordinate geometry formula PDF? You are in the right area, alright. Coordinate your studies with this high volume of formulas.

Three puns of that caliber in row and I’ve found the midpoint of self-loathing.

Geeze, I can’t stop. I’m on a downward…slope. Continue reading

Students: Cram Cranial Nerve Knowledge into Your Cranium

Learn the Cranial Nerves

Store Your A&P’s Intercranially at Study Putty

What do you (or your students) need to learn? Need a memorization game? Let us know.

Cranial Nerve Functions at Study Putty

We now have memorization games to help you study the cranial nerves on Study Putty! Memorize the numbers and functions of each nerve, and also whether each is primarily sensory or primarily motor. Head on over and select either A&P or Nursing and you’re on your way to cranial nerve mastery.

Here are some additional study aids, courtesy of our passion for making cramming less sucky:

The Top Twelve Cranial Nerves of All Time

…presented in order of…their order. Continue reading

Learn the Endocrine System at Study Putty

The StudTake an Endocrine System Siesta

Our memorization suite, Study Putty, is secreting new content all the time. We’ve squeezed our brain-glands in order to produce learning tools on the topic of the oozy ol’ endocrine system.

Here you can memorize the names and locations of the endocrine glands. You can test yourself: given certain organs, what is endocrine and what is exocrine? You can also match important endocrine hormones to the glands that chiefly produce them.

Study Putty Gland Locations

A game of gland locations. Notice only four show at once–hit “new game” for a new set.

Acne and Angst from This Way Come: Endocrine Hormones

If that wasn’t enough cramming for you, there are tools for memorizing Continue reading

Worked Examples in Math Ed: Theoretical and Empirical Support

WrongAnswer-isoIn preparing our Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) proposal on the topic of developmental math games aimed at community college students, we’ve partnered with, and sought feedback from, several experts in math education, notably Dr. Michelle Chamberlin of the University of Wyoming. Dr. Chamberlin volunteered to write a short briefing on the theoretical and empirical support for worked example problems (click to see our first post on the topic).

What follows is Dr. Chamberlin’s sketch on the background of worked example problems, which she has kindly agreed to let us publish here.

Worked Example Problems: Theoretical and Empirical Support

by Michelle Chamberlin, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Department of Mathematics, University of Wyoming

Worked examples have a strong theoretical foundation in the field of cognitive science Continue reading

Tell Us What You Gotta Cram and We’ll Give It to You Pronto

Let Study Putty Be Your Study Buddy Tonight

It’s a free memorization tool!

If you are a student looking for a new way to memorize the crud you have to cram for class, Study Putty would like to help.

Why do we beat quizzing yourself on that crinkled cheat sheet another twenty-seven times? Why do we top reading the same table in your textbook on endless repeat? (With prospects that thrilling, do I even need to say?) Well, let me tell you. Nay, let me show you. Does your normal way of studying look like this?

Screen shot 2014-02-18 at 11.01.46 AM

Demonstrating our “constructive feedback” feature running in Shakespearean English.

Continue reading