Technology Enhanced Learning
Technology-enhanced courses at Concordia refer to face-to-face courses that are supported by any number of technologies in or out of the classroom in order to enhance or facilitate the learning experience.
What are the benefits of using technology to enhance your face-to-face class?
Technology can play a key role in helping instructors facilitate learning and in students reaching course objectives. Research (Schmidt et al., 2014 & Tamim et al., 2011) shows that technology can have a positive impact on teaching and learning. The benefits include:
Overall, classes that incorporate technology have an average gain in achievement of roughly 10-12% over classes without technology use (Schmidt et al., 2014; Tamim et al., 2011). However, it's important to note that the effectiveness of technological interventions varies based on factors such as instructional goals, strategies for learning, the subject matter, and student age.
Many tools have the potential to increase engagement when integrated effectively. One of the most powerful in-class tools is clickers for allowing all students - even in large classes - to engage with the course material and each other.
Social interactions is an important factor in engagement, and in large face-to-face classes it is often impossible for students to interact with every other student. Online discussion forums in a Learning Management System (i.e. Moodle) provide opportunities for students to engage in discussions with multiple other students about course content.
Certain technologies can make course materials more accessible. Posting course materials on the Learning Management System (i.e. Moodle) means that students can access materials electronically at their own convenience. It can also save students a trip to campus if they are available online. Other technologies, such as lecture capture, make lectures more accessible to everyone inlcuding those with language barriers and learning disabilities.
In addition to helping you easily distribute materials like the course outline and readings to students, a Learning Management System (LMS) such as Moodle also lets you manage class-related communications. For example, it lets you send announcements to the entire class as well as e-mail messages to individual students.
One particular capability of Moodle that many instructors find helpful is its ability to promote communication among groups of students in classes. In a large lecture class, for example, you can establish online study groups so students regularly interact with the same group of students.
When students interact with their groups, they can do so in a variety of ways. One is an online discussion forum —which is series of going conversations, debates or other kinds of tasks related to a particular topic to which students contribute at their convenience. Another is a wiki, in which students work together to create a single work that appears to readers as if it were written by one person similar to the open-access online encyclopedia Wikipedia).
As the instructor, you are automatically a member of each group so you can follow all discussions, and you can also provide assign instructor privileges to a TA to monitor onlince discussions.
In traditional teaching, the presentation of instructional material is often split between homework (where students read the material) and the classroom (where instructors repeat and elaborate on the readings). Similarly, most problem solving happens as homework or in tutorial sessions. Digital learning provides a variety of options for changing these relationships, so homework and class time are used most effectively to focus on higher-order thinking skills and deep learning through carefully planned class activities rather than passive lectures.
Digital technologies allow instructors to change the way content is delivered to students. Lecture capture allows instructors to record lectures for viewing online, freeing up time for other kinds of in-class activities. In addition to digital readings, lectures and other videos, there are other types of media including branching activities, simulations, field-specific software and virtual fieldtrips that can all give students the opportunity to explore the content in ways that are sometimes not possible in the classroom.
The larger the class, the more challenges it poses for providing feedback to students. Digital technologies can assist with this challenge, as these technologies increasingly analyze individual student work, distinguish among correct and incorrect responses and, in some instances, diagnose errors in incorrect responses, so students can receive personalized, corrective feedback.
Means, B., Toyama, Y., Murphy R. F. & Baki, M. (2013). The Effectiveness of Online and Blended Learning: A Meta-Analysis of the Empirical Literature. Teachers College Record, 115(3), 1-47.
Schmid, R.F., Bernard, R.M., Borokhovski, E., Tamim, R. M., Abrami, P.C., Surkes, M.A., Wade, C.A., Woods, J. (2014). The effects of technology use in postsecondary education: A meta-analysis of classroom applications. Computers & Education, 72, 271- 291.
Tamim, R. M., Bernard, R. M., Borokhovski, E., Abrami, P. C., & Schmid, R. F. (2011). What forty years of research says about the impact of technology on learning: A second-order meta-analysis and validation study. Review of Educational Research. 81(3), 4-28.
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