March 24, 2011

Module #1: Discussion Question #5: Should students taking face-to-face classes that have been enhanced with the use of technology be required to use that technology? What are the positive and negative consequences of your answer?

Posted in Module #1, MVCR Postings, Tech Tools at 6:45 pm by marylan2

I would say that here at my school if a course has been enhanced with the use of technology then, yes, the student should be required to use that technology. I would expect the instructor would explain how the activity will help the student achieve the goals of the course. Neither good or bad but many instructors would require assistance and training, as well as, instructional support, according to the article, Assessing Faculty’s Technology Needs.

At my school we have toyed with the idea of listing in our schedule an indication that a course is technology enhanced to inform students of expectations. But, within the last year, it was mandated that all instructors must post their electronic gradebook to Moodle or in Excel and submit that to the college, so all courses are technology enhanced in one form or another.

Positive consequences of requiring student to use technology in face-to-face classes:

  1. Using technology in the classroom is another form of teaching and learning that allows the instructor to not only reach auditory learning styles but provide for additional learning styles such as kinesthetic or visual.
  2. Using technology in the classroom reinforces and reiterates what the student hears in class.
  3. This provides students with additional interaction with course materials.
  4. It gives students the option of anytime/anywhere learning.
  5. This provides a comfort zone for some learners, either due to shyness or due to selection of location of study, etc.

Negative consequences of requiring student to use technology in face-to-face classes:

  1. The expectation is that the instructor will supply instructions for the assignment, as well as, directions on how to use the technology. This is going to be a sticky point for some faculty. I can hear them say, “Why should I train the students to use technology? Shouldn’t that be the responsibility of technology trainers?”   Who is going to do this?
  2. One objection of students will be, “I don’t have time to use these other technologies or tools.” On our campus, we have a computer lab that is open more than 80 hours a week so from an instructor’s perspective, that is not a viable reason to not use the technology.
  3. If the tool is required by the instructor and doesn’t require any installation by students, then the tool can be used on campus by the student. At home, if they are required to install the tool or application, some students don’t have the knowledge or skill to perform their own installations. Yes, I believe this could be a generational issue, as well as, a experiential issue.
  4. Some students don’t have computers at home. I would expect them to come to campus to work on their assignments. I have heard some students claim they lack transportation or time for extra time on campus.

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