Professors are looking at new technology options to improve the classroom experience.
The last session of the Fall 2017 Student Engagement Series focused on technologies and techniques Nov. 6 in the University Center. Instructors received an up-close and personal look at different technology they can implement in the classroom to create a learning environment that encourages student engagement.
“I want to find new ways to help [his] students learn course material,” said Chemistry Lecturer John Grutsch, who came to update his teaching techniques.Groups rotated through three rooms, each of which different highlighted technology options professors could use in class such as TurningPoint Cloud, GooseChase and Google Drive.
TurningPoint is similar to the popular online group question service, Kahoot. TurningPoint is an app allowing students to submit short answers, respond to polls and answer true-or-false and multiple-choice questions.
The application engages students in class that may not normally feel comfortable with participating in class discussions. Professors can also use the service to get attendance by tracking responses. Students can also participate in class activities outside of the classroom.
GooseChase is an interactive application that gives students more creative options for in-class activities. Tasks can include taking photos or videos of specific things, travelling to locations for credit or in-app puzzles and riddles students can solve. Within the application, students receive points for completed tasks and compete with peers for the high score. GooseChase live-updates its users on their standings, creating a more active and engaging learning environment.
Although more well-known than the other two, Google Drive still is a very useful alternative to Microsoft Office products. The free online applications allow real-time editing of documents, presentations and spreadsheets. It’s great for group facilitation tool because as long as a participant has email, they can use the service.
Although Google Drive is free for anyone to use, GooseChase and TurningPoint require licensing fees for individual instructors to use in the classroom.
“Since its inception, LEARN Center programming has resulted in more than 5,000 contacts with the university’s approximately 400 faculty and full-time instructional staff,” according to the Learn Center’s website.
The series is co-hosted by the Learning Enhancement, Assessment, and Research Network (LEARN) Center, which looks at various programs and services outside of the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater.