Minerva’s educational methodology is also far more intentional, dynamic, and effective than traditional techniques. Over the past seven years, we have developed and refined an instructional approach, using decades of research into how people learn best, while utilizing more recent advances in interactive technology. Comprising a host of pedagogical best practices and curricular design principles, the methodology is enabled through a highly-engaging learning environment, called Forum™. With live, multi-stream video classes, integrated course development and management tools, and rich data collection and analysis features, Forum is purpose-built to facilitate Fully Active Learning, Cross-Contextual Scaffolding, and Systematic Feedback & Assessment.
The Fully Active Learning pedagogy is based on well-established science. Minerva has systematized this cognitive and behavioral research into a set of instructional practices that keeps learners engaged in every class, leading to improved understanding and enhanced learning outcomes.
Rather than the traditional focus on lectures and information dissemination, Fully Active Learning promotes a deeper grasp of the concepts being taught. Classes are constructed using a range of collaborative activities, including Socratic discussion, live polling, breakout groups, debate, role-playing, and simulations, among others. Instructors guide each session, emphasizing learner participation, group discourse, and project-based applications.
By incorporating deliberate, spaced practice, across multiple contexts, all Minerva curricula are designed to foster both depth of understanding and the ability to apply learned concepts broadly. This structured progression—or scaffolding—is based on scientific evidence and means courses foster the development of mastery over time.
Specific outcomes are introduced early, then reinforced throughout each course, with intentional overlap among courses. As learners progress, concepts become more complex, challenging, and interwoven. Through explicit and implicit prompts, learners are encouraged to transfer their knowledge to diverse contexts and novel situations.
The Minerva approach also allows student progress to be carefully tended and evaluated, during class, in conversation with instructors, and through formal assessments. The robust tracking and assessment tools Forum provides empower instructors and institutions to deliver formative feedback, both in-the-moment and over time.
The data can be shared across courses, instructors, and departments, leading to better integration of critique, support, and grading. Students can also follow their own performance and progress, encouraging self-reflection, intellectual growth, and skills development.