West Virginia University at Parkersburg
300 Campus Drive Parkersburg WV 26104
Phone: 304-424-8203 | Fax: 304-424-8315
WVU Parkersburg conducting research in application of iPods in the classroom.
CONTACT: Dr. Rhonda Richards, executive dean of academic affairs, 304-424-8242.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Does iPod technology have a place in the college classroom?
West Virginia University at Parkersburg is conducting research on the use of the popular portable media player as a student learning tool.
In a student development class currently being offered at WVU Parkersburg, 15-minute video vignettes are being downloaded to iPods for students’ review. The videos cover study skills and other topics related to academic success.
The students can access the video-streamed content at any time on the iPods which are provided to the students as part of the class.
“We are interested in determining if course content reinforced through digitally-streamed video improves learning among non-traditional students,” Rhonda Richards, executive dean of academic affairs, noted. She is co-teaching the course with Danita Brown, interim dean of students.
The portable player is another means of applying technology to the teaching/learning process.
"We want to ascertain if content via podcast delivery is effective as a student learning tool," she said.
In addition, the Parkersburg campus is also exploring the application of an immediate response “clicker” system in the classroom setting as another technology enhancement related to student success.
Through “clickers,” which are small wireless response devices similar to a tv remote control, a faculty member can interact with students electronically and anonymously in an interactive learning experience. The students "click" their individual hand-held devices in real-time responses to questions posed by the instructor, thus introducing active student participation and engagement.
“The clickers permit an instructor to monitor and address on-the-spot needs related to content,” Dr. Richards noted. "The faculty member can poll the students and adjust the course content to match the needs of the class."
“It also provides a class profile so that the instructor can determine immediately if the delivered content was understood while maintaining students’ anonymity,” she added.
WVU Parkersburg received a $3,000 grant to research the project, “Reinforced Learning for Non-Traditional Students,” from the Council of North Central Two-Year Colleges and the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association.
Dr. Richards said the project is supporting development of digitally-streamed video for specific general education courses so that non-traditional students can review and reinforce material from their entry-level classes as needed to support learning.
"The outcome will be to create groundbreaking curriculum and instructional opportunities for faculty via digitally-streamed video with accompanying instructional materials for improved learning," Dr. Richards noted.
WVU Parkersburg will share its research findings at national conferences in the near future.