Workshop Recap: Technology Fellows Curricular Innovations II

Our second presenter at last week’s Technology Fellows presentations was Joe Schroeder from the Psychology department. Joe focused on two experimental changes he is trying this semester.

First, instead of relying on a textbook, Joe has replaced the textbook with freely available online educational resources (OERs). The materials he selected, such as animations produced by the Association of American Medical Colleges, teach neuroanatomy and demonstrate neurophysiology processes in a way that a static textbook does not. An unintentional result of using OERs is that students are learning more content than they did when using a textbook. Surprisingly, on a recent exam, the mean score was 82, equal to the previous year, but students learned 50% more material.

The second half of Joe’s presentation focused on replacing a multiple-choice test with a video assignment where students must show, through video, neurophysiology processes. He gave students the option of replacing one part of an upcoming exam with the creation of a video. One group of students chose the video option, and reported that they spent more time creating the video than they would have studying for the test. However, they reported understanding the process that they demonstrated through video better than if they had studied for the test! For future iterations of the course, Joe may make the video assignment mandatory rather than optional, have groups create shorter segments of neurophysiology, and allow a full lab session devoted to working on videos.

Tomorrow I’ll post about our final presentation from Anthony Graesch!

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2 thoughts on “Workshop Recap: Technology Fellows Curricular Innovations II

  1. sshoemak2014 November 6, 2014 / 12:02 pm

    These are highly interesting findings! I did find myself wondering about what happens to the status of “reading skills” when video becomes the more prominent instructional medium.

    • Jessica McCullough November 6, 2014 / 12:07 pm

      Steve, great question. I don’t think video could replace all reading. The purpose of “reading” a textbook is to learn/ memorize information. Maybe be delivering content via video actually leaves more room for deeper and/or more challenging reading?

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