In Lindsay Duncan’s class at El Camino Creek, one fourth grade student looked up the definition of “blubber.” One girl found a suitable picture of a whale and attached it to her presentation about marine life.
Books, paper and pencils weren’t in the hands of any of Duncan’s students — only iPads. These days, it’s a common sight in classrooms throughout the Encinitas Union School District (EUSD). Every third through six-grader at EUSD has an iPad, and the district is looking at rolling out more iPads for younger students. Meanwhile, researchers are looking at how the rapidly growing technology is impacting learning.
Duncan is among those researchers. She recently wrote a thesis on iPads in schools after surveying 120 fourth-graders and their parents last school year, when the pilot program debuted. Further, the University of San Diego is slated to release a study this summer on the use of iPads in the district.
“Most people think all technology is great,” Duncan said. “Without rushing to that conclusion, my question was: How might this affect kids? Are they (the iPads) motivational? And I was interested in how students and parents perceive the iPads.”
Duncan’s research indicates students largely believe the iPads are a valuable tool. Parents also see the iPads as beneficial, but some have some reservations with the technology.
Notably, 90 percent of students said the iPad aided their learning. For one, they liked the instant feedback that comes with iPads. Students no longer have to wait days for test results — now it’s a matter of minutes.
University instructors are achieving important academic milestones such as increased student engagement and improved grades due to lecture capture technology according to a Fall 2011 survey conducted by Tegrity, a unit of McGraw-Hill Higher Education. The survey polled nearly 300 instructors across 21 American universities using Tegrity Campus to record class time as well as supplementary course content. Instructors using Tegrity report an overall increase in course satisfaction due to a more focused, engaged and enthusiastic student body and also credit Tegrity with improving their students’ learning comprehension and grade performance. As a result of this academic success, more than 80 percent of the instructors polled committed to using Tegrity for future courses.
Lecture capture solutions enable professors to record lectures, supplemental materials and classroom discussion so that students can access them “anywhere, anytime, on just about any device,” ultimately providing a more flexible, efficient and effective learning experience. The instructors surveyed were drawn from a range of public and private two and four-year institutions across the U.S. Instructors used Tegrity to record traditional face-to-face teaching instruction or tutorials, recording as much as 100 percent of class time.
Across the survey findings, instructors reported that lecture capture had a significant impact on their course satisfaction and outcomes. The survey revealed:
60 percent of instructors believed Tegrity played an important role in helping students focus on important learning objectives
70 percent found student comprehension was improved
Nearly half of the instructors polled felt student engagement and enthusiasm was improved
More than half of the instructors using Tegrity experienced an improvement in student grades
70 percent of the instructors surveyed said that using Tegrity increased their own overall satisfaction with the course
Often with new technology or classroom procedures, instructors are challenged to find more time in their day to integrate the new tools. However, the survey results conclude that the majority of the instructors did not have to invest any additional time or change their pedagogical approach or classroom routine if they didn’t want to when using Tegrity. In fact, three out of four respondents agreed that using Tegrity didn’t require them to make any changes to their course pedagogy and that it helped enhance the effectiveness of their existing programs. Almost 80 percent of the instructors surveyed stated that Tegrity made them a better teacher and four out of the five instructors committed to using Tegrity again for future courses.
“Surveys consistently show the benefits of lecture capture for students, but few have focused on the impact on instructors. These results clearly demonstrate the fact that instructors significantly benefit from the use of Tegrity, without being forced to change their style of teaching,” said Michael Berger, senior director of Tegrity. “At the same time, for instructors looking for new approaches, Tegrity has opened up new instructional possibilities through flipped classrooms and other cutting-edge pedagogies that can provide a more satisfying learning experience as well as improved outcomes.”