While Cerego has long been used successfully at Cairn University, both students and faculty are continuing to explore more ways to expand their knowledge and build long-term retention with Cerego’s suite of tools.
This summer, two students decided to take on an independent study course, but rather than reviewing material created by their professor, Angela and Sheila Kamau built their own content using Cerego’s create suite. In so doing, they not only built a stronger knowledge of the information, but also of the adaptive learning approach that Cerego uses to drive better student outcomes.
Cerego: How were you first introduced and what stood out to you most when you first tried Cerego?
Angela Kamau: Cerego makes learning engaging and fun for students, so it really is a win-win platform for teachers and students alike. A good mark of learning is being able to teach to others what you know in a simple and direct way. Cerego allowed for us to take complicated concepts and simplify them so that they could be understood by undergraduate students, who did not have as much exposure to our course content.
I was first introduced to Cerego a few years ago—I loved the platform because of how it replaced testing. I do not consider myself a good tester, and often I find that students only cram the information they need to know for the test, forgetting it shortly after sitting down for the test. This is not learning, and for a long time, this traditional approach to education has not been challenged. Cerego challenges it correctly.
Cerego: You mentioned that the test group all benefited from the use of Cerego—what was some of the feedback from the students and the instructor?
Angela Kamau: One of our students had just finished her first year of college in Business Administration. She was taking a summer class in entrepreneurship as she practiced our Cerego sets. At first, she would say that she did not see the point of Cerego because she was learning high-level concepts that she did not understand in practicality. Nevertheless, she had to memorize charts and ideas—all which would go in her long-term memory.
One day, she came back to me excitedly saying, “Cerego really works!” She had been working on a project for her entrepreneurship class, and said that the concepts she had learned in our class had helped her better understand the material and even think creatively as to how to solve problems. See, even though students may not fully understand the benefits of the material they learn in Cerego, by putting that information into their memory, it becomes useful for when they need it. This is what learning should be!
The professor’s feedback was great. He had not been a student before and had only created sets. He decided that he would be a student for the sets we created in the course. As a business professional in the field, the information in our sets was not new to him. But he said that it changed the way he saw certain concepts because of how they were presented, and he was impressed by how Cerego can simplify concepts and present them in a way that is easy to memorize and remember.
Cerego: Have you used Cerego's mobile app(s) in addition to the desktop platform? If so, how was your experience? Do you think that the addition of mobile makes a big difference for the student market?
Angela Kamau: I think the mobile platform makes a huge difference to students—it's way easier to engage consistently with it when it is in your pocket. I actually like the app better than the desktop platform because it becomes like a game. At moments when I’m bored, I open up Cerego as I would a game of Sudoku on my phone. It's like a game. It's easy to use Cerego anywhere and anytime for as long as one wants to do it. I study it in parking lots while I wait, at night right before sleeping, and when I’m waiting for class to start.
Cerego: One thing you mentioned in the video is the ability of Cerego to drive strong retention at the conceptual level, which helps foster meaningful discussions in subsequent classes. In your experience, what are some examples of how developing a baseline understanding has allowed you to think more creatively or analytically?
Angela Kamau: Often, the ideas I’ve been presented with on Cerego just skim the top of deep concepts that can be much further explored. What Cerego can do is allow for you to set your frame of thinking in the right place so that you can head in the right direction. I am currently doing Cerego sets for a Negotiations class I’m in. We are presented with negotiation concepts and strategies, but it’s up to us to learn how to creatively apply these ideas in a negotiation to get to the result that we are wishing for.