Preparing Students for Technology-Enhanced Learning Environments

TitlePreparing Students for Technology-Enhanced Learning Environments
Faculty/College/UnitLand & Food Systems
Duration1 Year
Project Summary

This project’s goal is to improve the quality of student learning by increasing their skills in using digital tools and electronic communication environments. It will help assure that they are well prepared to take full advantage of the active, learner-centered environment we are providing. Specifically, the objectives and methods are to 1. Create an on-line “Technology Workshop” site (“myAgSci Learning Technologies”) that will let students determine what technology applications they do know, what they don’t know, what suits different learning styles, what to do to improve their skills, and where to go, virtually or in person, to upgrade their skills. They will be able to choose an individualized study plan from an array of activities. 2. Create opportunities for students to experience digital educational spaces and authoring environments. Specifically we will create a WebCT “course” that provides a training environment for using WebCT tools to manage discussions, collaborate on-line, use self-quizzes, make presentations on line, and more. Sessions will emphasize practice, feedback, and reinforcement. We will also provide on-line and face-to-face (F2F) workshops on creating web pages and using such multimedia authoring tools as Photoshop, PowerPoint, Acrobat, InDesign, Dreamweaver, and iMovie. 3. Create an on-line module fostering advanced information skills (with the MacMillan Library, see Additional Information).

Rationale: We have discovered in our enthusiasm to be nimble in employing Learning Technologies to create active, student-centered learning, we are leaving some of our students behind. “Group norms” are becoming evident in students’ orientation to the tools and technologies of e-learning. That is, some find them easy to use, some find them difficult, and the majority are somewhere in between. We have been training our faculty in the effective use of Learning Technologies but we have not been as effective in preparing our students for this e-learning world. We need to better assure learner-readiness in the adoption of Learning Technologies by de-mystifying the technology so that it is “transparent”. Then students will not be distracted by the technology itself but rather will be fully immersed in the content learning experience. This project replaces the planned renewal of the 2002-2003 TLEF project "Training for Adoption of Innovative Learning Technology Environments: E-Learning, PBL On-line and More". The initiatives of that project will carry over and be maintained but it has become clear to us that students should now have higher priority in Learning Technology training. This project will effect that.

Funding Details
Year 1: Project YearYear 1
Year 1: Funding Year2003/2004
Year 1: Project TypeSmall TLEF
Year 1: Principal InvestigatorMaureen Kent
Year 1: Funded Amount15,000
Year 1: Team Members

Maureen Kent, Learning Centre, Faculty of Agricultural Sciences
David Shackleton, Associate Dean, Students, Faculty of Agricultural Sciences
Lorna Adcock, Librarian, McMillan Library