Technology for Teaching and Learning

UBC faculty are more likely than their peers to agree that students are prepared to use institution specific and basic technology. However, they are less certain about student ability to transfer that knowledge. As one faculty member said,

My guess is that students could be better at using technology as a tool to solve a specific problem. I think they have trouble imagining alternative ways of using technology e.g. most cell phones have cameras and video capabilities. Students use these to take pictures of board notes and sometimes to record parts of lectures but they often don’t think of using their phones as tools to record observations as part of an experiment in the lab.

UBC faculty believe they would be more effective if they were better skilled at integrating the LMS, online collaboration tools, e-books, free web-based content, lecture recordings and games (or simulations). They are less sure about integrating e-portfolios, mobile devices and social media.

Professional Development

Most faculty want to learn more about effective use of the LMS, other learning technologies such as video and classroom tools. Some faculty members indicated that they would like flexible, personalized support, preferably one-on-one. Many comments related to Connect specifically, with one faculty member suggesting that Training is useless if the LMS is broken, which it is at my institution.

Faculty want to be trained by professionals, who are able to identify the technologies which have been shown to be effective for student learning. One said it this way:

I would argue that it is two-fold:   1. What is possible? My pedagogical/technological imagination is limited, and I would be interested to know what is even possible to do or not do in the context of my course subjects.   2. What is the evidence? Is there evidence to support better learning outcomes by changing the way classes are taught through integrating technology. If so, what does it suggest are the best ways to use technology?

Motivating Factors

Faculty were asked to rank the top three factors that would motivate them to integrate more or better technology into their teaching practices or curriculum. By far, the highest ranked item for all faculty who participated in the survey is:

1. Clear indication / evidence that students would benefit.

Other items are more closely clustered.

  1. Release time to design / redesign my courses.
  2. Direct assistance from IT staff.
  3. Confidence that technology would work the way I planned.

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