June 26, 2011
June 26, 2011
June 29, 2011
Educational Research and Methods
22.220.1 - 22.220.12
Applying the Innovation in Engineering Education Framework: Assessing the Impact of Instructional TechnologyOne component in systematic educational innovation is examining the use and impact ofinstructional technology within the engineering undergraduate curriculum (AmericanSociety for Engineering Education, 2009). Instructional technology such as laptops, usedin conjunction with software such as OneNote and Dyknow, course managementsystems, and social networking platforms can provide students and faculty access toshared learning spaces and allow for mobile learning. Regular use of these tools withinthe engineering curriculum by a cadre of faculty trained to use them effectively canprovide students with opportunities to challenge traditional ways of thinking (Dori &Belcher, 2001; Dori, Belcher, Bessette, Danzinger, McKinney, & Hult, 2003). Nationalattention has been directed at the need to examine the use of instructional technologymore closely, including whether use of these tools has the desired effect on the teachingand learning process (American Society for Engineering Education, 2009).This paper describes the assessment methods currently being employed at a Research Iuniversity that are designed to examine the effectiveness of an undergraduate Tablet PClaptop requirement as it relates to systematic change in the nature of undergraduateteaching and learning. The assessment approach uses constructivist learning theory as aconceptual framework and is outcomes driven, focusing on how students use the Tabletas well as the relationship of that usage to important learning behaviors. How facultyemploy the Tablet and related instructional technology and the pedagogical implicationsfor the classroom environment and student learning is an integral component that is alsopart of this framework. The assessment efforts are quantitative and qualitative in nature,including: a college-wide survey of all engineering undergraduates, focus groups amongstudents that include both first-year students and graduating seniors, individual facultyinterviews, a faculty survey, and a faculty focus group held with one engineeringdepartment. Given the focus on instructional technology evaluation of the infrastructureincluding classroom space, support personnel, and policies are also examined.Discussion will focus on the assessment process used over a five year period, efficacy ofthe materials being employed including the design, refinement of assessment materials,and current method of implementation. We will also share how the findings are beingused to inform curriculum and pedagogy, leading to systematic change in the educationalenvironment. Others can use the information to consider how to assess the impact ofinstructional technology on the learning environment and how to use informationcollected to inform initiatives underway to support usage and implementation.
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