Dr. Sarah McLean
What has changed in 20 years of TELE?
This blog post goes over case studies that I watched in my MET course. To be honest, I was disappointed with the quality of the tech that was being presented for us to analyze. One thing that I noticed that hasn't changed is how a lot of technology adoption by faculty is expected to be taken on as a solo pursuit. Hopefully I can enact change in my institution to change that narrative.
For this assignment I watched Case studies 6 and 7, as they related most closely to my experience teaching undergraduate science courses. In podcast 6, the teacher talked about how he used different types of learning technology for assessments and assignments for the students. For example, he gave a clear overview of how he used podcasts as a way for students to share their knowledge about the eye and also evaluate other podcasts (such as one from CBC). One question that was raised in this video for me was when the teacher was asked where he learned the technology from- he noted that he “learned it on his own”, that it was a personal desire for him to use the technology. I thought this was interesting and certainly resonated with my own experience in higher education. While most of my colleagues know how to use PowerPoint, few of them have delved into other types of technology, such as vodcasting, online learning modules, or weblogs. I think that some of this has changed with the pandemic, but I am struck by how much we rely on instructors to “teach themselves”. This is something that I am hoping to change at my institution by providing a centralized resource accessible to faculty within my unit. I do not think that most faculty have the desire (or time) to become experts with technology, yet, our students expect us to use tech effectively. The other video that I watched was Case 7, evaluating a classroom response system in higher education. To be honest, I was quite disappointed with the selection of this technology and this case study. Clickers are quite an outdated practice- while classroom response is always good, there are many different ways of doing it now, and there has been a large body of literature published on different types of “audience response systems”. I have colleagues that have used clickers in their classes, but I prefer to use polls in my synchronous classes and breakout groups. One thing that I thought was great about the interview was that the instructor mentioned the value of peer instruction and the way that clickers can allow more introverted students to participated and provide feedback. I think that this is an issue of accessibility and equity, and while clickers are not the perfect solution (and are quite outdated) I do think that considering ways in which all students can feel comfortable participating in a class is useful, and that technology can help with this issue.