Students Assess Computer-Aided Classroom Presentations

By Sammons, Martha C. | T H E Journal (Technological Horizons In Education), May 1995 | Go to article overview

Students Assess Computer-Aided Classroom Presentations


Sammons, Martha C., T H E Journal (Technological Horizons In Education)


This paper describes the results of a pilot program conducted in the College of Liberal Arts at Wright State University during the 1993/4 school year in which students judged their instructors. The overall purpose of this project was to motivate faculty to prove teaching and learning through use of technology-based classroom presentation tools. Student assessment information is highly useful to schools considering purchasing presentation equipment. Their comments also provide useful suggestions for faculty designing computer-aided presentations.

* Project Overview

The specific goals of this project were to:

* Assess faculty interest and needs;

* Improve the teaching and motivation of all faculty in the College of Liberal Arts;

* Enable faculty to try using new technologies in the classroom;

* Challenge faculty to find ways to integrate technology into the curriculum;

* Encourage faculty teaching common subject matter to develop common educational resource material;

* Investigate strategies to motivate and reward faculty for improving teaching presentations;

* Investigate strategies to integrate new with traditional teaching methods;

* Improve student note-taking and learning by improving the quality and availability of classroom resources (text, graphics, video, and audio);

* Assess the effectiveness of this program on improving student performance;

* Determine which new technologies are appropriate to individual teaching styles and academic disciplines;

* Investigate approaches to reduce human and technical barriers to implementing technology in the classroom;

* Investigate new computer-enhanced audio-visual technologies and continue to explore emerging products;

* Allow more classrooms to be equipped for presentations using new technologies;

* Find a way to equip classrooms with portable, cost-effective and easy-to-use equipment; and finally, to

* Seek ways to create a "democratic" environment for our combining of technology/educational resources.

As a reward for participation and use of the computer in the classroom, faculty would be given portable notebook computers plus related equipment, software and training.

* Participants & Equipment

Liberal Arts faculty were encouraged to submit proposals that described their familiarity with, and access to, computers. They also were asked to describe ways they would use a computer both on and off campus, as well as detail how it could be used in current courses.

A task force, appointed by the dean of the College of Liberal Arts and representative of a broad range of departments and faculty, established requirements for participation in the project, then evaluated faculty proposals and selected participants. Most new faculty were required to participate.

Various criteria were used to select 15 faculty members. Participants had to represent a variety of departments, be fairly computer literate and be good teachers. They also had to have little access to a computer in the office or at home and demonstrate a need for a computer for off-site presentations and for research. Most important, they had to display a desire to improve their classes while currently using few visual aids in class. Classes were, in general, fairly large general education courses. Faculty had to agree to attend workshops, use the equipment in class, and provide all necessary assessment information.

Equipment provided to each faculty member included a 486 notebook computer, external monitor, inkjet printer and Asymetrix' Compel multimedia presentation software. Other equipment purchased for group use in this project included a color scanner and color inkjet printer, two LCD panels with overhead projectors, a scan converter, a portable CD-ROM drive and a portable external sound device.

After faculty were selected, I began a training program for them to become familiar with the hardware and software. …

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