Editor’s Note: This video, produced by NGLC and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, is the next in a series called “Profiles of Next Generation Learning.” Follow NGLC on Vimeo to stay up to date with new videos.
Most students can tell you about a handful of teachers who made a positive impact on their lives and who taught them in a way that they could understand. However, ask them about a textbook that had the same impact and you are unlikely to get the same kind of response. Founded in 1997 in Austin, Texas, Thinkwell believes that great learning begins with great teaching and therefore strives to reinvent the textbook by bringing great teachers to all students.
Thinkwell offers college level courses such as biology, calculus, algebra and economics. In order to be able to advance to higher level courses and eventually earn a college degree, students need to understand these fundamental courses. Too often textbooks are intimidating and the content is static. Consequently, professors spend valuable classroom time re-teaching what the textbooks failed to transmit effectively. Thinkwell aims to transform learning into an engaging and dynamic experience by bringing great teaching to all students right from the very beginning.
Thinkwell shares the voices of passionate professors who are committed to reaching all students in a way that makes their subject-area engaging and easy to understand. The professors, who have been selected, in part, based on student evaluations, are able to teach to different types of learners by incorporating demonstrations, visual representations, storytelling, guiding questions and real-life scenarios into their online video lectures.
Results have demonstrated Thinkwell’s positive impact on students. At University of Texas at San Antonio, the Thinkwell Biology course reduced the number of students who withdrew or failed by more than 60%. These students are now one step closer to college completion. By combining the benefits of engaging video textbooks, the passion of great professors and the relevancy of real-world examples, Thinkwell has created a path for students to succeed.
Want to learn more? Watch the next installment of our “Profiles of Next Generation Learning” video series to hear from Thinkwell co-founder Amy Bryant, CEO Carl Tyson and Director of Professional Development Sam Webber, as well as Economics Professor Steven Tomlinson.