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Universities Should Update Their Course Code

Online higher education programs have seen a significant growth due to the rise of massive open online courses. An estimated 5.8 million students are enrolled in online courses, says the reports of the Online Learning Consortium (OLC). The Conferences at New Prairie Press reports “The quality of faculty and instruction are critical to the success of any program, and even more so in an online based program, therefore, having an effective evaluation method that functions to both evaluate and mentor those who teach in an online setting is vital to the success of the program.” With the growth of more higher education programs, there does need to be even more faculty evaluation of the effectiveness of the instruction of that course.

OLC has maintained a Quality Scorecard Suite to establish benchmarking tools and standards to help schools evaluate the quality of their online courses. In December 2016, they announced the creation of three more scorecards to evaluation course design, instructional practice and digital courseware. OLC will continue to expand the Quality Scorecard Suite to support the efforts of educators in the pursuit of quality in the learning environment.

Online Learning Insights, says that surveys have found that many believe online courses are lesser quality than face-to-face courses. Online educators can and should handle their quality issues in the courses holistically. With OLC’s original scored, which focuses on administration of online programs, universities are able to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of their courses. Using evaluation tools regularly have helped online programs flourish in recent years, president of Baker College Online says. OLC has a greater amount of scorecards in their system that will help them identify the areas of improvement.

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Custom Learning from an App

Article Source: Campus Technology at https://campustechnology.com/articles/2016/12/21/building-an-app-store-for-learning-tools.aspx?admgarea=News

 

Gone are the days where the teachers or professors stand in front of a large class and lecture for hours on end. Gone are pencils and pens and replaced with all new high tech tablets and small computers. While many look at how to improve the students’ learning by giving more and more new tech, the University of North Carolina (UNC) has a different approach. They want to focus at the core issue, how to teach.

Why make it a cookie cutter design to learning for faculty when students want and need custom learning? UNC developed a custom-made app store for their faculty members called “Learning Technology Commons”. The idea behind this is to help give and promote innovation via custom education. Matthew Rascoff, one of the creators of this idea states “the enterprise model of a single system adopted by a campus and imposed on educators is the wrong way to think about supporting it in scale.” AKA, what is in place now doesn’t work. He also states that technology moves at a fast past where everything that is current can become obsolete the next day. This is very true, look at any of the new smartphones or computers that came out last year and compare them to today. Two or more years ago, are considered old technology. His idea is to make education the same way. Have faculty use this app store to up vote ideas that have been tested and work in the classroom and bring in that custom education aspect, and to change and develop new ideas at the same time. An example of this could be one professor might need help explaining a difficult principle of chemistry and find someone who has a better way to explain it but also has pre-made learning tools that can help the students succeed.

To learn more about this please visit the main article on Campus Technology.

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Image Source: https://openclipart.org/detail/227637/shadowed-modern-minimalist-mobile-icon

How VR Can Change Your Education

Article Source: EdTech Magazine – http://www.edtechmagazine.com/higher/article/2016/11/how-virtual-reality-could-change-way-students-experience-education

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Image Source: http://www.vrs.org.uk/virtual-reality-military/

Virtual Reality (VR) continues to grow in popularity as finances start to hinder students’ abilities to travel and practice medicine in real world applications. The world has seen a rise of educational software that help elders retain memory, pilots fly planes, and hikers to virtually climb the most dangerous mountains. The real reason why Virtual reality is a booming industry is because of its classroom applications and the way it allows them to learn. Through hands on experience, students can avoid the risk of destroying expensive equipment or wasting time traveling hundreds of miles away to study their subject.

One such example of VR technology so far through the anthropology major has allowed students to travel as far as China to inspect the Great Wall of China. Students in other fields would also be able to explore the great reefs or watch evidence bleaching up close. These are some minor applications of VR that give students the ability to travel without spending large amounts of money or watching delicate procedures.

VR’s sole purpose isn’t meant to travel but also to teach. You might be able to explore other cultures from the comfort of your own classroom but institutions hope to teach students critical thinking through these devices. Metacognition, for example, would allow students to grasp a better understanding of their research and really reflect on the work they have just done. Needless to say, VR technology has only just begun to have an impact on the educational world and the options for furthering education are becoming limitless. Students may even experience what it’s like

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From 2D Designs to 3D Models

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Oklahoma State University’s (OSU) department of Design, Housing and Merchandising has created an innovative club to help its students visualize their designs in 3D. With recent advancements in virtual and augmented reality, OSU has created their first Mixed Reality Lab which incorporates Oculus, Razer, Samsung, and HTC VR technology inside of a 1,600 square-foot facility. “I was just introduced to 3D printing this semester” says Ashtyn Shugart, an interior design student.

VR headsets combined with 3D printers allows the students to transform their 2D designs into real physical objects making it easier to test the flaws or physics of their product.  One student even expresses their gratitude at how simple it is to find the center of gravity of their product or explain a prototype using models of their product. Dr. Chandrasekera, an assistant professor of the department of Design, Housing, and Merchandising foresees practical uses of this technology in the workplace. “Our students will have an advantage, because they will be familiar with not only what these tools are, but also with their place in the design workflow” says Dr. Chandrasekera.

Since 2015, the lab has high hopes for further expansion and have already started collaborating with other departments such as Human Development and Family Sciences, Graphic Design, Business, and Mathematics. This form of collaboration also prepares the students for real world working environments where they will have to collaborate with other departments in order to complete a task.

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Technology Can Help Expand Creativity

The next generation of college students, Generation Z, has had technology as part of their life since birth. It should come to no surprise that 93 percent of students in an Adobe Education survey said that technology in the classroom was essential for their career preparedness. Eighty-nine percent also believe that creativity will also be a big part of their success. Colleges are already preparing for the needs of Gen Z students with programs that combine creativity and technology. Technology in higher education can help expand creativity in higher education and one way is helping designers innovate through engineering.

Staff from Parsons School of Design has already started reaching out to show how technology can help with problem solving in art and design. Noelia Bautista made a music box that could communicate with a computer using the Arduino open-course computing platform, which in turn inspired her to study to be an interior designer. She said that by engaging in the iterative design process, as well as user testing, sketching, and prototyping, she was able to cultivate the skills needed to tackle a wide range of design challenges. Tech-filled spaces also encourage new ideas and collaboration. Clemson University works on a partnership with Adobe to open a digital studio in their library to create a teaching, training and collaborative environment. Adobe even gives access to students to the Adobe Digital Studio, which gives an open access earning space on the Creative Cloud to ensure that students get the best digital tools needed to succeed.

Technology creates an entirely new Artistic experience. Rochester Institute of Technology announced the launch of their MAGIC Spell Studios which is a new building dedicated to supporting game development, film and animation and other digital media. The ways that people engage with games and interactive content is rapidly changing and the industry is more multi-faceted than ever. The school of interactive games and media will challenge students to build into new horizons that expand into the ever changing industry.

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