School of Government Case Study
Lectures in large auditoriums and books may be part of the hallowed traditions of higher learning, but some instructors at UNC understand that students of the new millennium have grown up with different traditions—ones that focus on multimedia as a format for learning.
In an effort to tailor the learning process so that it fully engages students who have grown up using their computers for research, communication (chat programs, Facebook) as well as instruction (Blackboard, YouTube how-to’s), some instructors have begun using a program called VoiceThread.
Student access to laptops at UNC-Chapel Hill enables departments to offer some courses in alternative formats that accomplish important educational objectives and accommodate students’ needs.
In an effort to bridge the gap between students’ demand for introductory Spanish courses and adequately staffing, the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures found a solution in technology through a progressive process of course redesign.
At UNC-Chapel Hill, over a third of all undergraduates take Chemistry 101 and 102. Before the laptop requirement, students spent valuable lab time manually recording information. Now, with laptops being utilized in the lab, students and instructors spend their time working together to analyze the data and draw meaningful conclusions.
In the fall of 2007, 25 UNC-Chapel Hill students received a loaner Tablet PC for the 2007-2008 academic school year to explore the value of tablet PC technology in teaching and learning at UNC-Chapel Hill.
Students were required to participate in a basic orientation program, follow-up training sessions, regular blog postings and focus group meetings.