The LectureTools Blog

Receive a $10,000 Research Grant: LectureTools Clients Now Eligible for Echo360 Active Learning Grants Program

Posted by Christopher Machielse on Wed, May 08, 2013

As a current LectureTools customer, you have first-hand experience of how our digital tools help increase your students’ engagement and participation in the classroom on a daily basis.

Now that we’re part of the Echo360 family, you have a one-of-a-kind opportunity to explore new ways of using LectureTools and study its impacts, then share your findings with the global community through the Echo360 Active Learning Grants Program!

We’re delighted to announce that LectureTools customers are now eligible to apply for a $10,000 grant offered through this exclusive program. 

One of the new categories is a special LectureTools grant, reserved exclusively for schools currently using our solution in their classrooms. Whether you want to study how you use LectureTools to flip the classroom, boost engagement or assess student participation and understanding through analytics – the choice is yours. 

You can also apply for one of the other new categories making their debut in the 2013 program. For a complete list of grant categories, criteria and previous recipients, visit the website and start making plans for your proposal today!

We encourage all LectureTools customers to take advantage of this unique opportunity and submit their proposals by the deadline of Friday, June 28.

Topics: Active Learning, Benefits of LectureTools for Students, LectureTools News, Learning Outcomes, LectureTools Case Studies, Active Learning Grants

Dr. O'Kelly Sees More Student Participation With LectureTools

Posted by Christopher Machielse on Wed, January 02, 2013

Dr. Morton O'Kelly, an Ohio State geography professor, still remembers the days of lecturing with overhead projectors. This fall, however, he adopted LectureTools for his Geography of Transportation course. Times have changed. 

Increasing student engagement with technology

"[I] certainly notice a lot more student engagement in the class than maybe in the old pencil and paper and overhead projector days when maybe one or two students would constantly answer," said Dr. O'Kelly. "This time we know for sure that 60% of students at all times are giving us feedback."

LectureTools has provided an active learning platform for Dr. O'Kelly's students. Now, all of them are following along with his lectures during class. More importantly, multiple students are participating every day.

By incorporating poll questions, Dr. O'Kelly is able to break up his lectures, assess student comprehension, and engage students with the material. Professors have always been able to ask questions or have students solve example problems to test students on their understanding. But, particularly in larger lectures, it has been impossible to take answers from more than a handful of students.

Without fear of making a mistake in front of the entire class, over half of Dr. O'Kelly's students are now providing answers to his poll questions -- a huge increase over the handful of students who used to dominate such discussions. Increased participation on poll questions provides a larger sample size for instructors to get a better sense for what students are struggling with in real-time.

 

Getting Teaching Assistants more involved with the class

teaching assistants

In addition to providing feedback to instructors, LectureTools opens up communication between students and TAs.

"I feel a lot more involved in the class because I get to answer questions as we go along," said John Corvo, Dr. O'Kelly's teaching assistant.

Both instructors and their teaching assistants can answer questions students submit using LectureTools, making the question and answer anonymously visible to the entire class. Students no longer need to interrupt their professor or risk embarrassing themselves in front of their classmates to ask a question.

Because of this, students are more likely to take advantage of their TAs. It's the perfect balance between moving forward with lecture material and interacting with students on an individual level to clear up any confusion.

 

Read more at the OSU Digital Union.

 

Photo: Vandy CFT

 

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Topics: interactive classroom technology, Teaching with Technology, Student-Instructor Interaction, Engaging Students in the Classroom, LectureTools Case Studies

3 Ways Matt Stearmer Uses LectureTools to Engage Students Before, During, and After Class

Posted by Christopher Machielse on Thu, November 29, 2012

LectureTools provides an active learning platform that makes it easier for professors to teach more interactively, engaging students with laptops during class. Matt Stearmer, an instructor at Ohio State, however, finds that LectureTools helps engage his students not only during, but also before and after class.

Here are the 3 ways Matt uses LectureTools to teach his Introduction to Sociological Theory class:

1. Provide content before class

Matt posts the material the class will be covering for the week on LectureTools in advance. This provides students with the foundation to better understand the textbook reading and have the definitions before the first class of the week.

Giving students exposure to the concepts for upcoming lectures allows Matt to teach beyond a surface understanding. Rather than introducing concepts in class, he is able to allot more time in class to discussions, specific examples, and details.

 

2. Use in-class activities to create times for telling

Matt uses the interactive activities in LectureTools as a way to create times for telling. Asking students a question allows them to practice applying concepts from class. Even if students miss the question, it provides an opportunity for them to see that they weren’t alone in their answer choice and learn why their answer was perhaps partially, but not fully, correct. Such questions are a great way to spark a class discussion.

 

3. Measure understanding with practice quizzes

Because students see changes made to published lectures, Matt also uses activity slides to put practice quizzes online on Friday. He then notifies his students that questions are online, and reveals the answers the next day. About half of his class tries these optional practice quizzes before answers are posted.

The results help Matt identify where students are struggling and help students get an idea of what material they will be responsible for on Matt’s in-class quizzes. Matt is able to use the quiz results and questions that his students submit to prepare his slides for the next week, ensuring that he includes material to help clear up any confusion.

 

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Request a 30-minute live demo and learn how the active learning platform provided by LectureTools could help increase student engagement and attentiveness in your class.

 

Topics: classroom engagement strategies, interactive classroom technology, Teaching with Technology, Student-Instructor Interaction, Engaging Students in the Classroom, Classroom Response Systems, student engagement strategies, LectureTools Case Studies