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This is an example of one of the creative ways faculty members at Vanderbilt are using technology to enhance their students’ learning.In the scene described above, Owen Professor David Owens, along with Professor Bart Victor, use video conferencing to bring an international guest speaker to their organization studies seminar.Their professor announces that today they will be joined by a guest lecturer, a senior VP from a Fortune 500 corporation.
In addition to the initial purchase costs, there are costs for maintaining networks, maintaining the computers and routinely upgrading the hardware and software.
Though "bring your own device" policies may relieve the school of some of these costs, the policies shift to students and their families, who may not be able to afford the hardware and software.
Department of Biomedical Engineering Chair Tom Harris directs a new NSF-funded center focused on developing technology-based bioengineering teaching materials and curriculum.
He is collaborating with several partners, including Peabody Professor John Bransford.
“Yesterday afternoon my students had specific questions about classroom management, so at that point I said ‘let’s look at these scenarios that I have on a CD.’ The CD brought to life their questions.
I think seeing actual classroom scenarios related to their questions makes learning come alive for my students better than if I gave my opinion or told a story.” Professor Tomarken, who teaches advanced statistics and methods classes, says incorporating computers into class discussion can also make extremely difficult courses much easier for students to grasp.
Owen Management Professor David Owens uses videoconference links to bring in guest speakers and incorporates video and audio technology into most of his lectures.
Psychology Professor Andy Tomarken teaches methods and statistics courses in a computer lab, allowing him to integrate traditional lecture with demonstration projects using the methods he is teaching.
As they introduce more and more technology into the classroom, faculty are finding it raises the quality of class discussion and involves students much more deeply in their own education.
For this issue of the Teaching Forum, we spoke to four Vanderbilt faculty members, each of whom is using technology to enhance their students’ learning.