A superficial understanding of new technologies, and zealous advocacy of their use, has often resulted in a haphazard approach to their adoption in learning programmes. Interactive Cultures worked on a pilot study to deepen Birmingham City University’s understanding of how best to implement interactive technologies within its teaching.
The CETL Interactive Technologies for Active Learning project considered the difference between the deployment of technology because it makes a genuine and exciting contribution to the learning and teaching process, and the deployment of technology simply because it is present, new or popular.
The project was delivered in partnership with BCU colleagues within the School of Secondary and Post-Compulsory Education and the Centre for Research into Quality.
Existing data, from the Centre for Research into Quality’s previous examinations of the university’s systems, indicated that when staff are competent at selecting and using appropriate technological solutions to learning aims, students’ satisfaction with the technology was far higher. This project extended this work by investigating effective ways of using other online, interactive, and distribution technologies as part of teaching and learning.
The project took the form of a pilot study focused on the work of PGCE Secondary programme lecturers. These lecturers aimed to understand how they could best use new technologies with their own students, as a means to encourage the thoughtful use of the same technologies in the classroom environment.
Staff from Interactive Cultures assessed the requirements of the pilot group and recommended appropriate technology to meet identified needs. Staff from the Centre for Research into Quality evaluated the experiences of staff and students as outcomes of the implementation of these technological solutions into learning and teaching practice.
The aims of the pilot project were:
- develop appropriate use of new technologies for the support of specific learning and teaching activities;
- develop lecturing staff’s awareness of, and expertise in, e-learning and podcasting technologies and how such technologies can best be utilised;
- equip staff with the necessary competence to enable them to introduce innovative practice into the workplace;
- capture the process through which university academic staff and student teachers engage with new technologies as learning tools;
- capture the views of staff and students on the process and experience of using the technology in university education and school classrooms.
For further information, please read Enabling digital participation in Higher Education, a paper which reports on this project.