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Forum

Minerva Forum™ is the only learning environment designed purposefully for fully active learning, integrated course development, and outcomes-based assessment. The live, multi-stream video platform enables instructional techniques based on the science of learning — including fully active learning; deliberate, spaced practice; and far transfer of knowledge — that are proven to yield improved student outcomes. 

Forum also facilitates all aspects of the intentional creation of courses, including collaborative curriculum design; course management; interactive, real-time student engagement; and outcomes-driven assessment. For institutions that seek to use dynamic, research-based instructional techniques, Forum provides unrivaled functionality for class sizes from small tutorials to 20-person seminars to sessions as large as 400 students.

Fully Active Learning

The fully active learning pedagogy is based on decades of cognitive and behavioral research into how people learn best. Minerva has systematized this research into 16 principles under two maxims: Think it Through (the more you think something through the more likely you are to remember it) and Make and Use Associations (associations not only help us organize material in memory but also give us hooks to recall the material later). Using these principles, Minerva classes are highly interactive; students truly learn the material because they are paying attention and engaging with others throughout.

In addition, learners have the opportunity to build upon their prior knowledge and apply it to new domains. Class activities are constructed using engagement tools, such as live polling, breakout groups, advanced mathematical and coding applications, and many more. Forum supports these activities with shared document editors, virtual whiteboards, and screen sharing. Students are further able to express themselves in class with animated emotion reactions and text-based chat. Also, by making interaction and engagement the focus of every learning session, Forum allows students and instructors to forget that they are in a virtual setting.

Intentionally Structured Curricula

Forum is not only a classroom but also a curriculum management system that facilitates the development of courses which build on foundational concepts and utilize spaced practice to reinforce learning. Its collaborative tools allow teams of instructional designers, faculty, and administrators to deliberately design curricula, starting from high-level course objectives, down to syllabi, and further to individual assignments and lesson plans. These lesson plans then synchronize with the Forum class environment, making it easy to configure and manage, which allows professors to focus on leading dynamic and engaging classes.

Outcomes-Driven Assessment

As part of structured curriculum design, course developers focus on learning outcomes that are trackable and reusable across courses. Incorporating these outcomes throughout classes and over time engenders spaced practice, improved student retention, and transfer of knowledge across disciplinary fields. Professors and teaching assistants can then grade student performance across various metrics, including polls, chat messages, recorded videos of classroom performance, and assignments, all using the same learning outcomes. These evaluations are then accessible via dashboards, so both students and instructors can track their performance over time. 

Fully Active Learning

Intentionally Structured Curricula

Outcome Driven Assessment