Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Virtual reading program complements student learning

Designed to quickly improve students’ reading performance, using innovative technology, the online program MindPlay was introduced to 96 students of the Bahamas Technical and Vocational Institute (BTVI) during the spring semester. Shown here from left to right are BTVI President, Dr. Robert W. Robertson, students Lakyrah Roberts and Jedda Sears and Chair of English, Michelle Wildgoose.
Photos: BTVI

The trial version of a virtual reading program that analyzes individual students’ reading strengths and weaknesses was introduced at the Bahamas Technical and Vocational Institute (BTVI) during the spring semester, resulting in it possibly being implemented in other English classes in the fall.

MindPlay gives students a pretest, builds a unique plan for each student - teaching to the student’s specifics gaps – and a post test for each level. Eleven students participated in the seven-day trial, followed by 85 additional students.

Student, Jedda Sears admitted to initially being timid about using the online educational software, but expressed gratitude for being introduced to the program.

“I was anxious and very concerned at first, but I saw an increase in my comprehension skills, reading, speech and I had a successful mid-term pass. I am craving for more. This is Jedda approved,” exclaimed the student who completed six levels of the program.

Her fellow student, Barbara Cooper, completed nine levels of the program; she considered it a “refresher” course in basic grammar.

“It is helpful in making students of all ages open up to learning. This is so important in our society where technology and social media are taking students away from the classrooms,” said Barbara.

BTVI President, Dr. Robert W. Robertson (R) congratulates Chair of English, Michelle Wildgoose on the success of the virtual reading program, MindPlay, which she introduced on a trial level for 96 BTVI students. 

Chair of English, Michelle Wildgoose, thanked the students for being willing to think outside the box.

“During the trial, we saw good results and it is to help prepare you to (close) the skills gap. I look back over the last three years working with a group of educators whose primary objective is not about themselves, but about you,” she told the students.

“We still have challenges, but we are making progress and I thank the Academic Affairs department for that. We look at the glass as half empty, but the glass is half full,” said Ms. Wildgoose.

Academic Dean, Dr. Pleshette McPhee lauded Ms. Wildgoose and her team for their efforts.

“Today is a red letter day for BTVI and is indicative of the faculty’s drive to create a 21st century learning experience for you. I implore you students to take advantage of it and spend the time to see the success,” said Dr. McPhee.

This was echoed by BTVI President, Dr. Robert W. Robertson, who described the program as “phenomenal,” adding that BTVI has transformed into an institution that embraces technology.