Campus Technology magazine recognizes NC State’s MyTech App as a 2017 Campus Technology Impact Award recipient in the Teaching & Learning category.
It has been a work in progress since Colleen Countryman, Ph.D., applied for her first DELTA Grant in 2014. She was seeking assistance to develop a Physics app to increase her students’ understanding of the experiments. Bringing the lab to a device students are familiar with was the essential to her success.
The idea for the “Measurements using everydaY TECHnologies” or MyTech App came to Countryman when she noticed how much time it was taking students to learn the expensive equipment in the Physics labs. Saving money for her department and bringing better understanding to the students was key to her success.
A DELTA team was organized to provide assistance in meeting Countryman’s learning objectives and to create the app. Current team members along with Countryman include David Tredwell, project lead/developer (app development); Yan Shan, instructional designer (instructional design, evaluation planning and support); Samantha McCuen, project coordinator. Original team members included Michael Paesler, physics professor and research advisor; Laurie Gyalog, project coordinator; Chrissie Van Hoever, multimedia designer (UI design, storyboarding, branding) and Kelly Fish, student multimedia designer (UI design, initial concepts and iterations).
Countryman received another DELTA Grant to expand the functionality. MyTech 2.0 was released in February 2017 with a new gravitational toggle.
Associate Vice Provost Donna Petherbridge says, “I am so proud of the recognition DELTA is receiving for the innovative solutions we consistently create to meet educational challenges head on. These scalable projects, which improve learning and have far-reaching impact, are both fun and challenging for our team to undertake. Thinking outside the box to collaborate with our faculty in accomplishing their course learning objectives with the ultimate goal of increasing student engagement and success is what DELTA is all about. This impact award is validation that we are doing a lot right.”
According to Countryman, the largest growth in use of the app has been around North Carolina as a result of presentations she’s made across the state. Many high schools and a few colleges to date have begun using the app.
Petherbridge added, “This is an amazing app in supporting physics education. Physics is such a tough subject for students that we have to find ways to engage students in learning the concepts. This app is a great way to support hands-on, cost-effective engagement in physics lab activities.”
Project Lead/Developer David Tredwell adds advice for others, “When working on a cross-discipline technology project, make sure your team incorporates perspectives of the subject matter, visual design, instructional design and technical development. This encouraged us to ask many questions throughout the project and helped us make good decisions earlier.”