Classroom Services Assists Faculty with Instructional Technology Innovations

Article by Emmett Crawley
Originally published in a different format

Gerald Frankel

Gerald Frankel, a professor of Materials Science and Engineering, is the first OSU faculty member to use an innovative instructional technology provided through the Office of Information Technology's (OIT) Classroom Services.

Classroom Services assists faculty and staff with instructional technology to enhance teaching and learning. As a result, new instructional technology is constantly being tested and added to the pool of equipment available for faculty use.

One of the newest technology aids is the wireless Windows XP tablet and projector kit. The tablet program enables faculty to annotate PowerPoint presentations, as well as a host of other applications, during lectures by using a pen-enabled notebook computer. With this technology, simultaneous audiovisual computer recording of the lecture, including the annotating of notes, can be captured and made available to students online via streaming media.

Brian Newcomb and Frankel with the tablet and projector kit

Frankel began using the wireless tablet for his MSE 205 class lectures, beginning midway during winter quarter. Subsequently, he decided to continue using the technology for all of his spring quarter classes, which included more than 120 students ranging from freshmen to seniors.

Frankel says he is pleased with the technology. Among the benefits, he notes, "By omitting selected information from a PowerPoint lecture presentation and then adding the information during class, I am forced to slow down, and my students become more engaged by participating in the annotation process. However, the usual advantages of a PowerPoint presentation, such as animations and clean graphics, are maintained." He says, "This technology clearly has applications for online learning, as well."

Students in Frankel's winter quarter classes evaluated the technology-only component of the course; students in his spring quarter MS205 classes evaluated the technology as part of the overall course assessment. Results from both winter and spring quarter evaluations indicate that more than 75% of students prefer this technology over traditional PowerPoint-only slide presentations.

Brian Newcomb, OIT systems developer/engineer, says, "We are using feedback from Dr. Frankel to refine our classroom technology services to meet the needs of faculty and students." Additionally, Newcomb says other faculty has expressed an interest in using this technology beginning fall quarter. He notes that departments can borrow the wireless tablet and projector kit from Classroom Services and they can also provide information to departments desiring to purchase the kit.

Classroom Services is working with faculty to introduce new technology in classrooms, including additional videoconference-friendly learning environments and high bandwidth, digital delivery of educational media. For more information, contact OIT Classroom Services at 292-3131.

For a look at how Frankel has incorporated this technology into his lecture presentations, visit http://streaming1.osu.edu:80/ramgen/media/mse205sp04/example.rm.

(Note: You need RealPlayer to view the clip. Download a free player at www.real.com).

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