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Classes should do hands-on exercises before reading and video, Stanford researchers say

A study from the Stanford GSE of how students best learned a neuroscience lesson showed a distinct benefit to starting out by working with an interactive 3D model of the brain.

by David Plotnikoff

A new study from the Stanford Graduate School of Education flips upside down the notion that students learn best by first independently reading texts or watching online videos before coming to class to engage in hands-on projects. Studying a particular lesson, the Stanford researchers showed that when the order was reversed, students' performances improved substantially.

While the study has broad implications about how best to employ interactive learning technologies, it also focuses specifically on the teaching of neuroscience and underscores the effectiveness of a new interactive tabletop learning environment, called BrainExplorer, which was developed by Stanford GSE researchers to enhance neuroscience instruction.

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