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Using Student-Centered Technologies to Enhance the Curriculum. Chris E. Penniman Director of Instructional Technology & W. Lee Hisle Vice President for Information Services and Librarian of the College Connecticut College. October 24, 2007 EDUCAUSE 2007. Connecticut College.

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using student centered technologies to enhance the curriculum

Using Student-Centered Technologies to Enhance the Curriculum

Chris E. Penniman

Director of Instructional Technology


W. Lee Hisle

Vice President for Information Services and Librarian of the College

Connecticut College

October 24, 2007


connecticut college
Connecticut College
  • Small, private, highly selective liberal arts college
  • New London, CT
  • 1950 students
  • Committed to

teaching excellence

  • Collaborative


  • Focus on

Strategic Priorities

staff and faculty partners
Staff and Faculty Partners
  • Information Services (IS) is a merged computing and library department
  • Center for Teaching

& Learning (CTL)

  • IS staff and CTL faculty

plan and implement

instruction and programs

to integrate technology

into the curriculum

digital enhanced learning initiative deli
Digital Enhanced Learning Initiative (DELI)
  • Collaborative effort of IS and the CTL
  • Explore how student-centered technologies can be used to enhance student experiences
    • Within specific courses

designed or redesigned

to incorporate them

    • In other courses
    • Outside courses
call for proposals
Call for Proposals
  • In Spring 2006, we sent a brochure to each faculty member who would be teaching a Freshman Seminar in Fall 2006
  • The brochure described
    • Program goals
    • Participation requirements
    • Support services
  • We asked each applicant to tell us how they expected the technology would enhance their course
  • Five proposals were accepted
the deli courses 2006 2007
The DELI Courses2006 - 2007

Using a Video iPod

  • Dropping the Bomb
  • Recent English Fiction and Culture from 1980 to the Present

Using a Digital Camera

  • Food in Art, Culture, and Cinema
  • Identity: Psychological and Literary Perspectives
  • Designing the Body

Freshman Seminars

planning the courses
Planning the Courses
  • Each course was assigned a project manager and assistant from the Instructional Technology team in IS to provide technology instruction and support
  • A faculty fellow from the CTL provided pedagogy guidance
  • Assessment workshop for faculty and staff teams
    • One-day in spring, to learn how to develop assessment tools for instructional technology projects
    • Taught by the Teaching, Learning, and Technology (TLT) Group
  • Technology workshop for faculty
    • One-day in summer for digital camera users
    • One-day in summer for iPod users
    • Taught by IS staff and CTL faculty
deli distribution kits
DELI Distribution Kits

iPod Kit:

  • Video iPod
  • Belkin microphone
  • Marware case
  • Power supply

Camera Kit:

  • Nikon Coolpix P4
  • Nikon mini-tripod
  • Lowepro case
deli distribution day
DELI Distribution Day
  • Introduction to DELI
  • Introduction to the technology
  • Meet the

project manager

and assistant

  • Discuss support
  • Complete the

DELI kit

distribution form

food in art culture and cinema
Food in Art, Culture, and Cinema
  • Department: Art History
  • Description: This is a seminar in the emerging field of food studies exploring food in visual culture from Medieval Europe to contemporary American Art. How is gender, social class, ethnicity, authenticity, and transnationalism inscribed in the preparation, display, consumption and representation of food? Films with food themes will be screened. Meals from diverse historic culinary traditions will be prepared.
food in art culture and cinema11
Food in Art, Culture, and Cinema
  • Read about food; viewed films; prepared meals
  • Camera use
    • Documented Thanksgiving meal at home
    • Recorded everything

they ate for two weeks

    • Created projects

presented to the class

Student Food Diary

identity psychological and literary perspectives
Identity: Psychological and Literary Perspectives
  • Department: Psychology
  • Description: This seminar explores identity as a central focus of contemporary life. It emphasizes identity development in adolescence and young adulthood with attention to race, gender, religion, class, and sexual orientation. Psychological theory and research are highlighted, drawing on perspectives from literature, theater, and film
identity psychological and literary perspectives13
Identity: Psychological and Literary Perspectives

Excerpt of Student

Identity Presentation

  • Used traditional resources: many readings
  • Camera use
    • Interviewed family; collected and created audio, video, and images to convey their personal stories
    • Created a project and

presented it to the class

faculty reaction 2006 2007
Faculty Reaction2006 – 2007
  • The pre-course workshops for faculty should be reduced in time and scope
  • Technology instruction and support for students was non-invasive and appropriate
  • Using the technology contributed to the course but didn’t require a major time commitment on the part of the faculty member
  • The students were engaged in the subject matter
  • The student presentations were powerful
  • It was an enjoyable experience
  • It was rewarding to have the students share their presentations with each other
student survey 2006 2007
Student Survey2006 - 2007
  • Do you think your use of a digital camera (or iPod) enhanced this course? If so, how?
  • Before the course began, what experience did you have with a digital camera (or iPod)?
  • Did you feel you had adequate technology instruction or could you have used more? If so, what type?
  • Would another type of technology been helpful to have in the course?
student survey 2006 2007 cont
Student Survey2006 – 2007Cont.
  • Did you use this digital camera (or iPod) for work in another class this semester? If so, how?
  • Do you think that you might use the digital camera (or iPod) in a future course? If so, how?
  • If this same Freshman Seminar is taught again, would you recommend providing digital cameras (or iPods) to the students?
student reaction 2006 2007
Student Reaction2006 - 2007
  • Every student opted to keep the technology and participate in the focus groups over the next four years
  • Most felt the technology strongly enhanced the course experience for them. They felt that the technology helped them better engage in the subject matter
  • Almost everyone either owned a technology similar to the one they used in class or had used one before
  • They felt the technology instruction and support were good, but wanted more in-depth instruction on specialized topics to complete projects
student reaction 2006 2007 continued
Student Reaction 2006 – 2007 Continued
  • Several said a digital camcorder would have been helpful for creating longer videos, particularly those who were doing interviews
  • Several students used the technology in other courses in the same semester
  • Many saw future uses in other courses
  • Students in every class felt the technology should be provided to future classes, but that the technology should be loaned instead of given to the students
deli the next course what s new in 2007 2008
DELI: The Next CourseWhat’s New in 2007 - 2008
  • The call for proposals was open to all faculty teaching any course
  • The technology is loaned to students
  • Included a new technology: a digital camcorder
  • Five proposals were accepted
    • 10 individual courses are included
    • Some courses span two semesters
    • Some courses are offered both semesters
deli the next course what s new in 2007 2008 continued
DELI: The Next CourseWhat’s New in 2007 – 2008Continued
  • Pre-course instruction for faculty was an individualized two-hour session taught by IS staff and CTL faculty
  • Faculty are given more support on developing creative and pedagogically-sound concepts for using the technology to complete course assignments
  • Students are given ongoing instruction on developing multi-media presentations and on presenting them
  • Better assessment will be developed
the deli courses 2007 2008
The DELI Courses2007 - 2008

Using a Video iPod

  • Elementary Russian Fall 2007, Spring 2008
  • Elementary Japanese Fall 2007, Spring 2008

Using a Digital Camera

  • Environmental Psychology, Fall 2007
  • Dimensional Color, Spring 2008

Using a Digital Camcorder

  • Seminar in Critical Pedagogy: Secondary Education, Fall 2007, Spring 2008
  • Student Teaching in the Secondary School, Fall 2007, Spring 2008
deli distribution kits22
DELI Distribution Kits

Digital Camcorder


  • Canon ZR800 Camcorder
  • Tripod
  • Custom carrying case
  • Headphones
  • Shotgun Microphone
  • Wireless Lavalier Microphone
introductory russian
Introductory Russian
  • Department: Slavic Studies
  • Description: This course is an introduction to Russian language and culture with emphasis on active learning. Students will master the basic structures of Russian grammar and be able to converse with native speakers by the end of second semester.
introductory russian24
Introductory Russian
  • Classroom language learning, TRIP to Russia
  • iPod use (custom-loaded and periodically updated):
    • Audio materials accompanying text book and workbook

Textbook lesson

    • Russian history and geography materials

Tour of St. Petersburg

Authentic cultural materials (popular songs, stories, podcasts, folktales, newscasts, and music videos)

FolktaleMusic VideoAnimated Music Video

preliminary feedback on introductory russian
Preliminary Feedbackon Introductory Russian
  • This group of students has stronger speaking and listening comprehension skills at this point in the year than have any other group of previous students
  • The students are very excited about the materials and are sharing new resources with each other
  • The faculty member’s teaching is energized
  • Students should be well prepared for their spring TRIP to Russia
  • The course is providing valuable ideas for using technology to enhance the college’s international programs
what s next
What’s Next
  • These pilot courses have allowed us to explore
    • Ways in which student-centered technologies can enhance learning
    • What resources are required
  • Many of the courses have been designed or redesigned to use the technology and now require the technology
  • Expanding and endowing a fund for DELI is a college strategic priority

Excellence in Teaching: Supporting innovative teaching and the adoption of new technologies

for more information
For More Information