"Instructional technology" refers to any tools used to enhance the educational process. Instructional technologies are often used in distance education, but can also be used in face-to-face courses. Technologies need not be complicated or "flashy" to be beneficial; in fact, some of the best instructional technologies are very simple. To be considered worthwhile, instructional technologies need to do one or more of the following:
- Help students learn
- Increase student access to courses and/or course materials
- Save faculty time
Teaching and Learning Statement
The University of Michigan School of Nursing believes that active participation of the students in the learning process leads to better understanding of concepts, reinforces retention of knowledge and builds the foundation for life-long professional learning. The school fosters the use of innovative, experimental and emerging pedagogies and technologies to engage students in the learning process. To achieve its goals the school has developed flexible physical and virtual learning spaces and a highly integrated information technology support system. The aim is to facilitate creative teaching and learning activities for faculty and students through the use of technology, community and global outreach.
Technology Enhanced Learning
The University of Michigan is a leader in the area of technology enhanced courses, and currently, the School of Nursing's IT group supports several online classes in the School. These technology enhanced courses have seen a lot of success: student enrollment has steadily increased over the past few years, indicating increased interest in technology enhanced courses; student grades have been steadily increasing; and, in one of the courses offered in both face-to-face and technology enhanced learning formats, the students in the technology enhanced learning section fared much better than their face-to-face counterparts.
A technology enhanced learning format is not a suitable format for all courses. Faculty and staff are invited to consult with IT in determining their technology needs related to technology enhanced learning for their classes. School of Nursing's IT staff is trained to support faculty and students in technology enhanced learning products such as web conferencing with Centra, screen capture with Camtasia, CTools, and many more.
Many instructors with large lecture courses are now recording and posting their lectures on CTools as review material for students who can download and watch them at anytime. Formats can be video, which students can watch either online or on portable media devices, or audio only, which students can listen to on any mp3 player. Recordings can be captured either live, in-class or pre-recorded using software like Camtasia that captures both voice and a PowerPoint presentation. For more information, contact School of Nursing's IT by sending an email to email@example.com.
Audience Response System
The School of Nursing uses clicker technology from Turning Point which allows audiences, namely students, to participate in presentations and lectures by submitting responses to interactive questions via a hand-held device. This technology integrates easily with PowerPoint and can be useful for pop quizzes, taking attendance, and impromptu feedback checking comprehension, etc. In addition, studies have shown that this type of virtual participated improves student engagement in the lecture and with the material. School of Nursing's IT has 150 clickers available for use; however, they should be reserved well in advance to ensure availability.
Learn more about available instructional technologies by downloading: Tips & Technologies: In Class and Beyond.