July 3, 2012

Is Technology Changing Teaching Models?

We often hear that technology is changing the way we teach and the way students learn, but that doesn't always seem evident. In an article titled "Technology Driving Widespread Shift in Teaching Models" the indicators are that change is occurring. The article was in THE Journal (which is focused on K-12 education) but certainly much of this applies to us in higher ed too.

Their main point is that, according to the report referenced, "over the last two years, nearly half of faculty have moved away from a traditional lecture model and adopted a range of technology-driven teaching practices."  That report, "Learn Now, Lecture Later," was done for the tech vendor CDW-G.

They found an increase in the adoption of classroom-based technology use which resulted in a variety of changes to teaching and learning.

The vast majority of faculty and students, for example, now use notebooks and netbooks as classroom learning tools (75 percent of students and 72 percent of faculty overall), as well as digital content (69 percent of students and 73 percent of faculty).

Learning management systems were in use by a smaller majority, with 56 percent of students and 58 percent of faculty members reporting they use an LMS in the classroom.

What changed in the pedagogy? The increase of tech led to an increase in the use of non-lecture-based instructional delivery methods during class time. Those were identified as s hands-on learning, group projects, guided independent study, distance learning, and one-on-one instruction.

The majority of students participating in the study indicated they'd prefer a mix of delivery models, including:

    Distance learning (the choice of 11 percent of students);
    One-on-one tutoring (8 percent);
    Independent study (14 percent);
    Group projects (12 percent); and
    Hands-on projects (17 percent).

Additional findings included:

    69 percent of students reported they want to see more technology used in the classroom;
    26 percent of students reported they have used tablets in the classroom;
    34 percent of faculty have used tablets in the classroom;
    33 percent of students have used telepresence in their classrooms; and
    31 percent of faculty reported used telepresence.

No surprise that 76% of campus IT pros reported that teacher requests for classroom technologies have increased over the last two years.

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