Before I attended this Innovate! presentation, I was excited by its title, and looked forward to finding out about new learning technology at the session. Its three facilitators included Jason Aubrey, Director of Customer Experience, Sales and Marketing at LectureTools, as well as a professor and an instructional designer from Ohio State’s College of Veterinary Medicine (see below).
Jason explained that LectureTools is a content-delivery and digital lecture management tool that has real-time capability to facilitate polling, assessment, feedback, chat, and backchannel via a student’s laptop, smartphone, or tablet. I am attracted to possibilities offered by this technology, such as ways students can interact with each other and the instructor without impeding others’ class engagement.
The other two presenters were from Ohio State’s College of Veterinary Medicine. Professor Mary Jo Burkhard and instructional designer Ken Matthias gave a demo of LectureTools, detailing how they use the product for their classes and describing ways that the technology assists with learning. Some features that they liked:
• They were able to answer online questions while lecturing.
• Students can browse the slide deck independently.
• Students can mark slides and indicate if they are confused about something.
I was surprised at some of the findings Mary Jo and Ken were able to uncover during the quarter they used LectureTools. For example, they reported finding that while students with technology tend to be less attentive and engaged during lecture, an active tech-engaged lecture will increase student participation. They also found that though students have different learning styles, for the most part, they will only use “bits and pieces” of the tech-lecture most relevant to them. Thus, Mary Jo and Ken recommended including multiple levels of engagement in the class design (e.g., note taking, e-questions, and visual markups). They also reported that students like being able to induce a near real-time response from the instructor, and greatly appreciate a “mini-feed” that allows everyone to follow all the questions that are posted.
Overall, I was not disappointed with this session. Initially I thought it was going to be a “sales seminar,” but it turned out to be more than that. I was glad to learn about actual Ohio State deployments of this product and to hear real world feedback. As a student myself, I would like to see more adoption of similar technologies, which would provide more value and a richer learning experience to students.
For more information about using LectureTools in your classroom, contact LectureTools support. Contact JAubrey@lecturetools.com for information about a free pilot of LectureTools at Ohio State through December 31, 2012.