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How to pick the right tool for your course, and apply it with the right population. Best Practices for dependable technology choices to improve learning.
A host of popular technology tools abound today, and decision-making regarding the appropriate selection and application of these tools is often a challenge at the instructional, course design, and administrative levels of implementation. How do instructors select between technology tools that are (1) useful, (2) engaging, and (3) relevant to the learning experience? Discussion based on recent research conducted by the author, leading to the development of a set of Best Practices for Technology Tool Selection, will be presented. Using an analogy of the shape-sorter from days of old, we will see that these Best Practices effectively illustrate the importance of 2 major areas of emphasis in tool selection: student-instructor interaction and student engagement.
Further applying these principles, we will see that in the modern classrooms of today, applications of learning-focused technology tools from one discipline to the next may vary significantly. Repurposing of the tools across student groups without consideration for unique variables of learner distinction may render the tools ineffective or even detrimental to the students' overall learning experience and satisfaction with the course. Furthermore, considerations for student as well as faculty member training in the proper use of these tools must also be carefully weighed in when evaluating the value of the technology tool's implementation within the learning scenario. Further, students' course satisfaction and achievement, as outcome measures, may be useful in ascertaining that the technology adopted is not impeding the student's ability to learn and collaborate.
This presentation will:
Dr. Sherri Restauri Carson works in Distance Learning at UAHuntsville. Her mission in DL includes a focus on growth in quality of educational technology and distance education across campus, with investigation and integration of highly effective technological tools across all disciplines of study in Higher Education.