June 26, 2011
June 26, 2011
June 29, 2011
22.1464.1 - 22.1464.17
The iCollaborate MSE ProjectThe overall objectives of the research proposed in the iCollaborate MSE [Materials Science andEngineering] project are to measure if improvements in student learning outcomes, studentengagement, and successful course completion are possible if the structure in basic materialsengineering courses are transformed from primarily deductive practice to an InformationCommunication Technology (ICT) enabled inductive teaching and learning environment. Thespecific innovations that are proposed in the project are the development of MSE educationapplications for the iPod Touch that are designed to facilitate and support collaborative learningopportunities which target specific student learning objectives which are known to bechallenging for many students in MSE courses. It is hoped that the combination of specificlearning objective targets, completed in collaborative groups, and supported by conceptuallycontained data, visuals, audio, and information from the iPod Touch, will lead to specificimprovements in learning outcomes for students.The support of classroom environments with computer technology is not new, nor is the idea thatdistributed cognition improves learning. However, the combination of a collaborativeenvironment with a multi-touch, multi-functional, group “personalizable” device affords newopportunities to stimulate cognitive development to enhance student outcomes. The devices arepopular with students and the multi-touch features in the interface are easy to use, so the barriersbetween the use of the device and students are negligible. The applications written for the iPodTouch will make it easy for each group to switch among peer learning vocabulary and conceptquestions, exploration of materials properties, recall type self-quizzes or web investigations. Inaddition, the materials within the applications will be conceptually contained so that whileexploration and higher order connections are still encouraged, the students will not beoverwhelmed or have no contextual basis for judgments. The multi-media format of the iPodTouch will also allow applications that accommodate different student learning styles. One of thegrand challenges of engineering (National Academy of Engineering) is to advance personalizedinstruction/learning methods and there is no reason that collaborative groups should not be ableto customize their own learning environments. Individual groups can continue theirdevelopment outside scheduled class time since the applications will allow the groups to tracktheir own progress and new applications can be added to individual devices.But, important research questions remain. Are the new learn anywhere, multi-touch, multi-mediadevices going to change education in ways yet to be understood just as PCs and the internet haveand continue to do so? What role will these smart, multi-touch devices play in distributedcognition? Can the devices facilitate collaborative learning? Will learning outcomes be differentfor the collaborative groups using these smart devices? Will their use engage students in newways? What is the cognitive impact engendered of these devices in learning activities? Thispaper is intended as an overview of the iCollaborate MSE project, its theoretical foundationwhich is based upon engineering education research, and the work completed thus far. TheNational Science Foundation is providing funding for the project (NSF CCLI Project XXXXX).
Kitto, K. L., & Jusak, D. S. (2011, June), The iCollaborate MSE Project Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--18985
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