It has been just over a year since Tegrity was rolled out across the three campuses of the University of Washington and the findings of a recently released report by UW-IT indicate that a majority of faculty and students found Tegrity to be helpful in enhancing student learning in the classroom. Tegrity is a lecture capture tool that gives instructors the ability to record classroom activity and upload these recordings on a student accessible site to review later on. These recordings consist of of a combination of on-screen recordings of the computer and live audio/video feed of the class via webcam. By using this technology, instructors were able to provide additional resources to students who wish to review course material and catch up on lectures without much additional effort.
As technology begins to direct itself more towards education and learning, the adoption and integration of tablet devices in the classroom, as either replacements for traditional textbooks or additional tools for the curriculum, becomes a pioneering solution in the enhancement of education for students and instructors.
Earlier this fall, The Boston Globe’s Billy Baker reported on the increasing and popular uses of iPads in the classrooms of Cardinal Spellman High School in Brockton, Massachusetts. Each student was issued their very own iPad, making the dramatic move from textbooks and paper assignments, to a more digital and interactive alternative. Some students felt that they were much more organized, engaged, and excited about their learning. Many teachers saw that their students were more collaborative with each other and interactive with their assignments.
Inside Higher Ed reported yesterday that the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will fund an 18-month project assessing the impact of MOOCs in selected public universities in Maryland. The project will cost $1.4 million and will be run by nonprofit research group Ithaka S+R.
The goal of the project is to determine the effectiveness and efficiency of MOOCs, to see if they make a difference in student learning. Because MOOCs are comparably inexpensive to costs associated with traditional face-to-face classes, there could be great benefits to using MOOCs in a university setting. If the research results show equal or improved student learning, they could open many new doors for MOOCs and influence academia to rethink their role in formal education.
Ithaka S+R will watch these courses closely and measure their effects with, according to Robinson, “rigorous assessment[s] of how students fared using these technologies”.