Putting Students in the Driver’s Seat: Technology Projects to Decrease Passivity

An excellent article was published recently in Faculty Focus – Higher Ed teaching Strategies.

According the article, most college professors promote a very passive learning atmosphere in their classroom.  In other words, they are the “sage on the stage.” Even when they do use technology, the learning is still teacher-driven i.e. online exercises, watching a teacher-created podcast,  video or PowerPoint.

The author of this article, Dr. Ike Shibley, an associate professor of chemistry at Penn State Berks, proposes “letting students drive.” He suggests giving assignments where the students themselves are the co-creators of knowledge rather than the recipients and the students use technology as the vehicle to accomplish this.

Shipley also describes two projects that he assigned in his team-taught neurobiology course where the students used iMovie and Garage Band to teach their peers about course content.

It is mentioned, as well, that these technical skills are important for student to have when applying for jobs and students may even end up becoming more engaged with technology after having used it on their own to create learning content.

I know of some law students here, at Albany Law School, who have had to create PowerPoint presentations, others who have used wikis to create course outlines together, some who have used an online forum to lead discussions and one adjunct professor who had each of his students create a short video and submit it through TWEN.

Do any of your professors assign projects that have the students using technology? If so, which technology tool did the students use?


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