Client: Academic Computing, Student Assembly, DCAL
Project: Lecture recording represents a major paradigm shift for instructors and, ultimately, for education. Indeed, lecture recording may be to education what other innovative capture technologies, such as print and audio and video recording, were to storytelling and live performances — disruptive of old methods, and yet immeasurably enabling. But we need to understand what is gained by recording lectures, and what is lost. One thing is certain: access is improved when learners can view and review course lectures. However, several questions must be answered before we see widespread adoption of lecture recording. For instance, does access to recorded lectures improve learning? Does access to recorded lectures affect attendance? And, on a practical level, how do different recording methods measure up (e.g., audio only, audio and slides, synchronized audio and slides)?
We plan to run a Podcasting Pilot Program during the 2007-2008 academic year to being to determine the strengths and weaknesses of podcasting using iPods in different classroom situations. We seek funding through the Computing Technology Venture Fund to purchase 10 iPods to be distributed to faculty across campus. Each will be trained and supported by Academic Computing staff in the use of the technology. Each faculty member will also work with DCAL to assess the impact of lecture recording on their course. In this way we will gain experience with the technology and also measure its impact on the course experience.
Instructor: Roger Ulrich, Classics
Overview: Support from the Venture Fund is requested to introduce stereographic images (also known as “virtual 3D”) of ancient Greece and Rome into the classroom to enhance my courses in archaeology and ancient technology (CLST 24-26; CLST 11). Every course I teach at Dartmouth employs projected images. The introduction of 3D imagery adds a dynamic new element to the classroom, and for certain kinds of images offers a perspective that has previously been possible only by on-site visits. Stereographic imagery is the best way to replicate normal binocular vision and to restore the “space” to architecture and the volume to solid three-dimensional objects. It is this very concept of space — of buildings as spatial envelopes and how these voids are populated with inanimate objects and human beings — that is so elusive and difficult to convey in the classroom. I would like to create some images and projection technology that I can use in my History of Ancient Technology course (CLST 11: W08), and then regularly in classes from then on (first in S08 Late Roman Archaeology, CLST 26).
Instructor: Roger Sloboda, Biology
Overview: This application is being submitted on behalf of a group of four faculty members in two departments (Amy Gladfelter, Elizabeth Smith, and Roger Sloboda in Biological Sciences and Jon Kull in Chemistry). Our group is requesting funds to equip several Dartmouth classes per term with personal response devises to be used in a number of courses throughout the academic year. These devices enhance interaction between instructor and students, especially in large classes, allowing students to engage in problem solving individually and as a group, and provide immediate feedback about the learning process to both instructor and students. The power of such devices is that they allow both instructor and students to obtain an immediate assessment of the students’ grasp of a topic just presented or discussed in class. The interaction provides openings for the instructor to engage the class in active learning. Students feel more involved in the learning process, their participation in the course is rewarded by the immediate feedback, and this translates directly into enhanced learning and retention of information for much longer a period of time after the course ends. We propose to use this technology in eight sciences courses in the next academic year.
Instructor: Deborah Brooks, Government
Project: Many candidates and campaign consultants believe that politics can only be learned in the real world of applied political campaigning. Most professors of politics believe that politics can best be learned by studying politics in books. Both groups are about half right: politics — particularly political communication — can best be learned with a combination of both of those approaches. Across academic fields, studies have shown that learning is enhanced through a combination of traditional classroom learning and active learning through class simulations.
The requested project funding will be utilized for technology and technological support for the simulation component in a senior seminar in political communication offered through the Government Department at Dartmouth College. Specifically, Dartmouth Venture funding will allow for the acquisition of video technology that can allow for the production of television and radio advertisements, video newscasts, and media coverage for the simulated campaign. Moreover, the video equipment will be used for the taping of video segments of “advisors” (real candidates, journalists, etc.) that will be integrated throughout the course. The video equipment will also be utilized to capture footage that will be integrated into a short documentary of the simulation activities. This documentary can be used as a model for other professors or students engaged in these types of simulations in the future.
Instructor: Carl Renshaw, Earth Sciences
Overview: We seek to address the growing disconnect between the technologically-rich learning environment Dartmouth students enjoy in the classroom and the relatively “primitive” environment we provide them during field training. This disconnect exists despite the ever-increasing technical sophistication of the instruments that we use in the field and that students later use in their post-Dartmouth careers. The fundamental pedagogic issues, however, go beyond the desire for our students to be technologically proficient. Currently, the instruments we bring to the field largely work in isolation and thus hinder the sharing of data between students and limit their learning. The promise of mobile technology in the field is to connect and share data and ideas in near real-time in a manner that fosters, rather than impedes, learning.
We are requesting Venture funding to purchase field portable computers and software to be used on our off campus studies program. Our proposal immediately involves all six faculty who co-teach the off campus program and, ultimately, other faculty in the department who teach field-based labs as part of their regular courses. The specific Dartmouth courses directly benefiting from this proposal include EARS 45, 46, and 47, all offered each fall term as the Earth Sciences Off Campus Field Studies Program (the Stretch). When not being used during the Stretch, the equipment and software will be available to all faculty in our department for use in field labs that are part of a number of our regular Dartmouth-based courses, including EARS 26 (Hydrology and Water Resources), EARS 28 (Environmental Geology), EARS 33 (Earth Surface Processes and Landforms), EARS 44 (Structural Geology), EARS 64 (Introductory Geophysics), and EARS 66 (Hydrogeology).