Examples of Technology Used to Enhance Teaching & Learning

by Tonia Malone on April 1, 2010

Technology can enhance teaching and learning by:

  • Providing extended access to materials
  • Providing multiple material types for all learning styles
  • Enhancing communication between faculty/student and student/student
  • Promoting constructivist and active learning
  • Enhancing collaborative teaching and learning
  • Providing asynchronous and synchronous communication
  • Promoting higher expectations via peer review and feedback
  • Providing prompt progress information
  • Enabling stronger group collaboration
  • Promoting and fostering life long learning

Extended access to materials within Blackboard or on a web site allows students to repeat and reflect until they are comfortable with their level of understanding. A detailed course calendar listing readings, homework, online assignments, and tests can improve and emphasize students’ time on task.

Presentation applications (PowerPoint, Keynote, Captivate, Camtasia) web sites, and Learning Management Systems (Blackboard, Moodle, Desire2Learn) allow instructors to provide multiple types of resources (text, images, graphics, links, audio, video, animation, discussion, chat and file sharing) to enhance learning for all types of students – no matter if their learning style is visual, aural, read/write, kinesthetic, or multimodal. Allowing students to communicate about their knowledge within Discussion Forums or Wikis allows them to build on their knowledge and learn from each other. Discussions or Wikis can be provided for a course, all sections of the course, and even across disciplines.

Using the Discussion Forum to post Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) is a great way to improve instructor/student and student/student communication. Having one place to address general course questions will save time. Some students are unable to communicate in the classroom and need more time to process and organize their thoughts. Discussions and Wikis allow students to participate at their own pace. Many instructors complain that students do not come to their office hours.

Video conferencing and instant messaging tools (e.g., Elluminate, iChat, Skype, Adium, AOL) can allow instructors to extend office hours outside of the campus M-F 8-5 timeline.

Students should be able to practice and assess their understanding multiple times throughout the quarter. Low-point online quizzes, tests or activities allow students to evaluate their understanding and enable instructors to see where their students are lacking understanding. If a majority of the students demonstrate they don’t understand a key point, these low-point activities help make instructors aware of these problems more quickly so they can adjust their lecture and activities to improve understanding before the big exam. Protected Learning Management Systems can display grades for students. Students are able to follow their grades throughout the quarter and adjust their effort, when needed, to improve their overall grade. Posting grades online will save time for the instructor since the students are responsible for their own viewing and are not asking the instructor for their grades during class or office hours.

Group assignments can be greatly improved with collaboration tools (e.g., Wikis, file sharing, group email, group chat). Groups are able to work asynchronously and instructors are able to view the level of participation.

Providing students with active and constructive learning tools can promote the students’ ability to be more learner-centered. Developing such skills to pursue their own understanding, communicate with others, and revise/analyze information can be useful throughout their lives in both education and in their future careers.

Chickering, Arthur & Ehrmann, Stephen., (UN). Implementing the Seven Principles: Technology as Lever. Received from: http://www.tltgroup.org/programs/seven.html

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