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University Triples Classroom Participation to Nearly 100 Percent

By Paula Garcia,2014-07-09 03:52
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University Triples Classroom Participation to Nearly 100 Percent

     University Triples Classroom Participation to

    Nearly 100 Percent

     Overview “The information we get by using the Pocket PCs is Country: United States information we couldn’t get any other way. The Pocket Industry: Education

    PC allows us to ask open-ended questions and get

    Customer Profile results that really demonstrate what students think.” The University of North Carolina at

    Wilmington is consistently ranked as one of Charles R. Ward, Professor and Chair of the Department of Chemistry, University of North Carolina at the top 10 public universities in the south Wilmington by U.S. News and World Report. In science labs at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, Business Situation

    The university had encouraged laptop use laptops consumed precious counter space and were prone to since 1994but with only mixed results. damage. In lecture halls, they created barriers between students The machines were expensive, prone to

    damage and often not brought to class. and faculty. So, the university shifted to Microsoft Windows Powered Pocket PCs. Commercially available add-ons make them Solution

    Solutions based on the Pocket PC are now ideal “data acquisition” tools for recording temperature, acidity, being piloted in lecture halls and science conductivity and more. Students also use them to analyze results, labs. Add-on hardware makes them ideal

    data acquisition devices in the lab. create reports and submit them for grading. Meanwhile, lecture halls sport a Pocket PC-based solution that allows students to Benefits

    ; Triples classroom participation anonymously answer questions posed by the faculty members, who ; Gives faculty instant feedback get immediate feedback on their presentations. Even better, the ; Boosts lab productivity

     solution boosts classroom discussion to nearly 100 percent

    participation, enhancing the quality and process of education.

    Situation Solution “Once students have Since its founding more than half a century To facilitate learning in both the laboratory that high-speed ago, the University of North Carolina at and the lecture hall, UNCW in 2001 began Wilmington (UNCW) has grown from a small piloting projects in science and mathematics connection to the Web college to a university that is consistently with Microsoft? Windows? Powered Pocket over their Pocket PCs, ranked as one of the top 10 public PCs, including a mixture of HP Jornada, HP universities in the south by U.S. News and iPAQ, and Dell Axim Pocket PCs. they have access to World Report. unlimited resources.” Who Wants to be a Successful To achieve that growth, the university has Lecturer? Jimmy Reeves, Associate Professor of worked consistently to adopt technology Students and faculty in selected lecture Chemistry, University of North Carolina at innovations to enhance education. In 1994 it sessions have been piloting the Student Wilmington began using notebook computers in science Response System (SRS), which Ward labs. In 1999 it began implementing an describes as a variant on the “Ask the

    802.11b wireless network throughout the Audience” device on TV’s Who Wants to be a campus. Millionaire. On television, audience members

     tap a handheld device to indicate their In the university’s labs, notebook PCs were answers to a contestant’s question. At UNCW, an improvement over larger, desktop PCs, students use their Pocket PCs to indicate which took up too much precious counter-top their answers to a lecturer’s question.

    work space. But they weren’t enough of an

    improvement. They still took up considerable Students respond anonymously, with their space, were susceptible to damage from responses projected graphically on a display chemicals and other materials used in the screen in the front of the lecture hall. The labs, and cost too much for the university to result helps lecturers to understand just how supply to every student. Instead, groups of up much the class understands, so they can to four students would work with a single review a point to clear up confusion or move laptop. ahead if the class is up to speed.

    Elsewhere on campus, professors who hoped And unlike that TV quiz show, the SRS isn’t that students would bring laptops into limited to multiple choice answers. Instead, lectures to enhance note taking were equally the solution is used to give students a disappointed. completely free choice in their answers. In a

     geography class, for example, the lecturer “We had the idea that implementing a might display a world map on the projector mandatory laptop policy would empower screen and on the students’ Pocket PCs, and students,” says Professor Charles R. Ward, ask them to identify the location of Barcelona. chair of the Department of Chemistry at Students tap wherever they think the Spanish UNCW. “But evidence from other universities city is located and their responses appear on indicated that students don’t want to bring the projected map.

    laptops to class. They get in the way of

    listening to the lecturer. And, frankly, the In chemistry classes, lecturers might find out lecturer doesn’t want to look out over a sea if students are following the lectures by of raised screens with little bands of eyes showing graphs of chemical reactions and peeking out over the tops.” asking students to identify the equivalence

     point of a titration, or the point where

     equilibrium is achieved. In all of these cases,

    student responses can then form the basis manufactured by Data Harvest, which “The Pocket PC changes for class discussion. connects to the Pocket PC through its flash the way our instructors card slot. The device, called CF (for “compact “The information we get by using the Pocket flash”) Logger, includes the various probes teach. It improves the PCs is information we couldn’t get any other that students need to capture temperature, instructor’s skills at way,” says Ward. “When you ask multiple conductivity, and so on. Data Harvest choice questions, you telegraph the answer. software for the Pocket PC, called Sensing asking questions and The Pocket PC allows us to ask open-ended Science, manages the probes, and acquires leading discussion.” questions and get results that really and stores the data on the Pocket PC. demonstrate what the students are thinking.” Charles R. Ward, Professor and Chair of the When students have completed taking Department of Chemistry, University of North The solution runs on standard Pocket PCs, measurements, they continue to use the Carolina at Wilmington which come equipped with the Pocket Pocket PC to analyze their results. Pocket PC- Internet Explorer Web browser. To make the based software called Graph Data, written by solution work, UNCW has a backend server UNCW faculty member Russell Herman, hosting the SRS solution and running on allows students to plot their data on graphs Microsoft Windows Server? 2003, Internet and investigate their findings in more detail Information Server 6.0, and SQL Server? by applying mathematical formulas to them. 2000. While preparing their curricula, The students attach keyboards to the Pocket lecturers log into the SRS server over the PCs and use Pocket Word and Pocket Excel to campus intranet and use Web forms to create reports that they submit for grading.

    Pocket Hyperchem from Hypercube, create their question sets and store them in The reports are uploaded from the Pocket

    Inc. running on a Windows Powered the SRS database. PCs to a server over the wireless network.

    Pocket PC puts molecular modeling

    tools into the hands of UNCW Later, in the lecture hall, the lecturer calls up Pocket PCs have still more uses in the UNCW

    students. a question at an appropriate moment, using a labs. For example, students use the standard Pocket PC to communicate over the campus’ Pocket Internet Explorer Web browser on 802.11b wireless network with the SRS their Pocket PCs to access Web-based server. Students in turn rely on that same versions of texts such as the material safety wireless network to view the questions on the data sheets that they must review before Web browsers of their Pocket PCs and to using hazardous chemicals.

    submit their responses. Lecturers can also

    use generic question templates to ask “Once students have that high-speed

    questions on-the-fly during their classes. connection to the Web over their Pocket PC,

     they have access to unlimited resources,” Eureka! Pocket PCs in the Lab says chemistry professor Jimmy Reeves. Even Meanwhile, Pocket PCs have replaced unplugged from the Internet, the UNCW laptops in UNCW’s chemistry labs and they’re Pocket PCs are great scientific resources. The being used for everything from measuring university has loaded them with a molecular and recording data from experiments to modeling program—“the type of program that analyzing the findings and reporting on the was only found on a supercomputer 10 years results. Temperature, distance, conductivity, ago,” says Reeves—as well as a graphing

    acidity and light absorption are just some of calculator, periodic table, and utilities for the parameters measured by the devices. screen capture and file transfer.

To accomplish this, the Pocket PCs are

    outfitted with a “data acquisition” device

    Benefits student in the pilot labs. Over the coming

     year, it plans to roll out the Pocket PCs to all Real Discussion, Better Teaching chemistry students.

    When UNCW began piloting the SRS, faculty

    members thought they’d get a better sense of “The Pocket PCs are a tool that students can how well their students understood the use individually; we didn’t have that before,” lectures. They got thatand something they says Reeves. “Students can work at their own didn’t bargain for: real classroom discussion. pace and spend time exploring aspects of the With the Pocket PC-based SRS, participation experiments of particular interest to them. in classroom discussion has soared from 30 And we can still bring them together in groups percent to nearly 100 percent of the students. when group experiences are valuable. It’s a

     win-win.”

    “Without this technology, no more than 30

    percent of students contribute to classroom

    discussion,” says Ward. “Ask a question and

    maybe a few students will raise their hands.

    But use the Pocket PCs and everyone feels

    safe responding. Participation rates go

    through the roof. And that motivates the

    students to participate actively in discussion.”

    Lecturers not only get real classroom

    discussion, they also get challenged to teach

    differently.

“The Pocket PC changes the way our

    instructors teach,” says Ward. “It improves

    the instructor’s skills at asking questions and

    leading discussion because, perhaps for the

    first time, the instructor has a real discussion to lead. The instructor has to think about

    what students understand based on their

    Pocket PC responses and actual classroom

    discussion, and adapt the presentation

    accordingly. When 90 percent of the class

    offers wrong answers, or 30 percent offer the

    same wrong answer, you really need to think

    hard and fast about how you’re presenting

    your material.”

Low-cost Tool Promotes Broad Use

    When Professor Reeves’ chemistry labs relied

    on notebook PCs, up to four students had to

    huddle over a single machine; the university

    couldn’t afford to supply more laptops per

    class. But because Pocket PCs cost a fraction

    as much as laptop PCs, the university can

    and doesmake them available to every

For More Information Microsoft Windows Server System

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     Software and Services ? Microsoft Pocket PC

    ; Products ? Internet Information Server 6.0

    ? Microsoft SQL Server 2000

    ? Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Hardware

    Standard Edition ; HP Jornada

    ; Technologies ; HP iPAQ

    ? Microsoft .NET Framework ; Dell Axim ? 2003 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved. This case study is for informational purposes only. MICROSOFT MAKES NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, IN THIS SUMMARY. Microsoft, Windows, the Windows logo, Windows Server and Windows Server System are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and/or other countries. The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners. Document published November 2003

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