Monday, 3 November 2014

Fascinating Education - TOS Review

We've spent the last month reviewing Fascinating Chemistry from Fascinating Education, it's an online curriculum that uses audio-visual techniques to teach science in an engaging way. Created by Dr Margulies (a neurologist) as a way to introduce and teach science to those with no previous knowledge - he presents the information slowly, in plain english and following a structured story line.

Each lesson has a series of slides/images displayed whilst Dr Margulies explains the concept in a clear, easy to understand manner - there is an option to print the script of the lesson, which is great for note taking.

He has created three courses, aimed at middle to high school ages, Biology, Chemisrty and Physics.

We chose Fascinating Chemistry which is a collection of 18 in-depth lessons and some accompayning labs. Each lesson consists of the video followed by a quiz. There is also a tab to review glossary terms and definitions on the sidebar. Labs are password protected so the student can’t access them without you (a great safety precaution) and use materials that are readily available.

The Quiz comes up as a series of multiple choice slides - once you have entered all your answers it marks the work for you - you need 80% to pass and progress. If you score less you can review your answers and retake the test until you pass. It can take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour to complete a full lesson.

The site is straight forward to navigate, once logged in the girls clicked on the lesson and away they went. I did print out the script which provided a great way for the girls to highlight and make notes whilst they were watching. With the lessons where there is a suggested lab, the girls would complete the lesson and quiz prior to starting the lab.

Both Lilly (12) and Sunflower (10) used this programme and I watched it alongside them. Even though Sunflower was younger than the recommended age, she found the lessons engaging and fairly easy to follow while both Lilly and I found them fascinating, it was wonderful to sit and watch them be so engaged and see the breath of knowledge they devoured. Down the sidebar of each lesson are the slide headings, so if there was an area the girls didn't quiet understand, it was really simple to click back and rewatch that section. 

I was very impressed by this programme, the lessons are explained simply enough for younger children to understand whilst containing content suitable for high school exams. 
Its great that he specifically designed the course with no pre-requisite science knowledge and I think it perfect for anyone who wants to learn science the easy way.

Fascinating Chemistry is available for $79 for a year’s access (Biology and Physics are the same price). You can combine any two courses for $125 a year, or have all three for $175 for two years. You can also see the course outlines and get a free sample lesson for each course.

You can see what my crew mates thought of this and the Biology and Physics courses over at the TOS Blog

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