Computer says no .. knowing when enough technology is enough!

Ryan, Barry (2013) Computer says no .. knowing when enough technology is enough! In: 5th Eurovariety in Chemistry Education, University of Limerick, 3rd – 5th July 2013. “Smarter Teaching-Better Learning, Limerick, Ireland..

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Abstract

The paper aims to describe the integration of several technologies into a First Year Foundation Organic Chemistry Module with the specific aims of improving communication, enhancing peer based learning, fostering a community of self-learning and providing the students with a real and virtual spaces to engage with each other and the content both synchronously and asynchronously. A further objective is to provide functional recommendations from practice for those interested in implementing such an approach in their own teaching. Finally, the majority of the technologies discussed are free to use and the paper will outline how these can be applied in other educational environments. Engaging first year students in large lectures halls and laboratories can be particularly difficult. Students are exposed to a myriad of distractions, principally technology-based and available through their laptop and smartphones. In this case study, to circumvent these distractions and in an attempt in enhance student engagement, technology was integrated into the learning environment. The various forms of technology were chosen to improve communication, enhance peer based learning, foster a community of self-learning and provide the students with a real and virtual spaces to engage with each other and the content both synchronously and asynchronously. Twitter provided a method of communication between students and the lecturer in the form of an in class back-channel and also a means of rapidly disseminating information to the class. Additional technologies were used, both inside (Clickers) and outside the classroom (PeerWise), in order to prepare the student for the inclass learning activities and also to provide a structured independent and peer-driven learning environment. In this case study it was observed that the in-class technologies were readily and enthusiastically engaged with by the students, however, the outside class technologies were less so. Only the technology that had an assessment weighting associated received continuous student interaction. Post module evaluation noted that, although students welcomed the use of technology in their learning, there was a sense of being overwhelmed with technology and that the students needed space to engage with their different technology based communities; social, personal and educational. In light of this, the paper concludes with suggestions for other practitioners that which to integrate similar technologies into their learning environments

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Depositing User: National Forum
Date Deposited: 06 Dec 2015 17:07
Last Modified: 06 Dec 2015 17:10
URI: http://eprints.teachingandlearning.ie/id/eprint/3627

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