An Investigation into the Use of Classroom Management Software as a means of Instruction Delivery in a PracticalComputer Module

O'Loughlin, B. (2010) An Investigation into the Use of Classroom Management Software as a means of Instruction Delivery in a PracticalComputer Module. In: EdTech 2010.


This paper describes the use of classroom management software as a means ofinstruction delivery in a computer laboratory environment to enhance the learningopportunities of students on practical computer modules.Computer laboratory classes can act as a challenge for an instructor. With studentnumbers increasing, the time an instructor can spend beside a student in demonstrationmode has reduced significantly. While video tutorial files can reduce the negativeaspects of this “lost time” it leaves the students very much in self-instruction mode – amode in which some students suffer. Technology can help to solve this problem to alarge degree namely in the use of classroom management software. This softwareprovides a significant amount of functionality but most importantly the ability for all, ora selection of students to see the instructors screen on their own monitors. This allowsthe instructor to provide a demonstration of, for example, an element of a computerapplication to all students at the outset of a class. Following this, students whounderstand the demonstrated element can then work ahead on a practical questionposed that requires using the functionality demonstrated. Students who require seeingthe demonstration again (and perhaps in more detail) can continue to have theinstructors screen displayed on their monitors and a new demonstration can beprovided.This research has been conducted using an action research approach. Students in thefirst year of a Bachelor of Arts in Accounting course have been the key subjects in theresearch. The module used to deliver this technology-enhanced instruction is anapplication module (Computer Applications) delivered in a computer laboratory.Student feedback to date has been very positive. Physical layouts of computerlaboratories are not as issue as students can see the demonstration on their own screensrather than having to look at output from a data projector. Students whom are confidentin a particular area can work ahead at their own pace while remaining students can viewa more detailed demonstration.Questions that still remain to be answered include:1. What impact, if any that this new approach will have on student’s marks inexams?2. What other classroom management software functionality can enhance both thestudents’ learning and the instructor’s delivery?

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