March IIS Meeting Welcomes UNC Guests

DELTA’s Instructional Innovation Services Team hosted Instructional Technology Consultants and Information Technology Services Liaisons Bob Henshaw and Aiya Williams from UNC Chapel Hill March 3. The IIS Team and UNC staff members discussed various educational projects and advancements occurring at NC State and UNC.

After a round of introductions, DELTA’s David Tredwell, multimedia specialist, and Yan Shen, instructional designer, began their discussion on MyTech, an app created for PY205. The pair explained technological issues students faced in the physics lab and the development of an app capable of performing the same tasks as traditional technologies. They then moved into why and how the app’s effectiveness in the classroom was evaluated and specific evidence and questions that would help them form conclusions to these questions. Tredwell and Shen reported findings that state a majority of students liked using the app to conduct experiments and that students attempted recordings repeatedly in order to collect more or better data for their experiments.

The following presentation was led by one of DELTA’s lead instructional designers, Cathi Dunnagan, who discussed her work with organic chemistry labs CH222/224. Dunnagan, along with a host of other DELTA faculty and university staff, has been evaluating organic chemistry labs on campus since January 2015. As a critical path course redesign, Dunnagan and her team looked at the effects of student-generated instructional videos for organic chemistry labs and evaluated the labs themselves to see the impact of the videos in the classroom. She highlighted the project’s timeline, evaluation plan, the plan for Operation Evaluation Observation (OEO) and research regarding the project in her presentation. Dunnagan also covered challenges the team faced and overcame such as technical issues with equipment.

Henshaw and Williams, impressed by DELTA and NC State’s ability to fund and effectively evaluate various projects, then shared a bit about what was happening on their campus. Henshaw explained UNC is currently approaching different types of active learning classrooms. In order to transform these classrooms, a number of changes have occurred varying from furniture modifications to structural innovations.

Henshaw also shared a photo of a new active learning classroom at UNC that has been converted from traditional seating to six learning zones, each equipped with rolling desks. Although possibly not all in this same manner, a total of eight classrooms have been changed. To collect data, cameras captured photos of the classrooms every five seconds and feedback from faculty teaching in the active learning classrooms was gathered. Although UNC has this information, it is still determining whether the redesigned classrooms are helping student learning.

Overall, the IIS meeting was beneficial for all parties and served as a great way for both universities to discover the challenges and advancements happening at NC State and UNC.