The Better Students Principles
Ever since Better Students was founded in 2007, we’ve been on a quest to find the best ways to maximize student achievement with multimedia instructions. On our way, we’ve written a lot of guides, tested many technologies and learning approaches, implemented a lot of user feedback and have consulted a vast amount of scientific research on learning.
The result of this work is four basic principles which we incorporate in all of our products.
We like to think our products are personal tutors. The structure, language, direct address, abundant examples and teaching techniques deliver the knowledge in a direct way, as if a teacher had a private lesson with a student. Being personal also requires us to research and analyze the curricula of all available subjects in a given school system in order to make guidelines that are perfectly aligned with the assessment criteria.
We incorporate a writing style based on cognitive language theory, which has the objective to make texts more clear and understandable. These guidelines include advice on how to build a sentence, how to structure a paragraph, how to outline the text and how to ensure coherence in the text.
Step-based and adapted granularity
Like any other good tutor would do, our guidelines take the student step by step through the process of solving the problem. The granularity of the individual steps is determined by what prior knowledge an average student has for the given subject. That means that guidelines for lower-level subjects unfold basic details with a higher granularity, whereas guidelines for higher-level subjects unfold more advanced concepts.
To support our guidelines, we offer worked examples illustrating what a success looks like. We truly believe that an example is worth a thousand words and there is scientific research that proves that examples are effective and valuable in the learning process. Cognitive load theory suggests that worked examples improve learning by reducing cognitive load during skill acquisition. The learning effect from integrating worked examples in instructions is named the “Worked-example effect”.
However, we are aware that published examples can be plagiarized. We do not, in any form, support plagiarism. Therefore, we have taken every measure we can think of to prevent plagiarism.
We always provide guidance to the students on how the product should be used correctly and we encourage teachers to utilise our examples by offering them free access.