Teaching with technology

The Techology Integrated Learning unit can provide training in educational technology. Get help with:

We apply some guiding principles when developing, using, deploying and/or evaluating an instructional technology scenario:

We take a "pedagogy first" approach to integrating instructional technology into teaching and learning.

Following after Sasha Barab et al (2000 in Grounded constructions and how technology can help) we look at IT in a number of different ways, such as:

  • As a resource (e.g. online journal, course web page, online lecture slides, etc.)
  • As a contextualizer (e.g. situate the content in an experiential simulation, in a learning object, on a website, etc.)
  • As a communications medium (e.g. communication tool - email, listserv, instant message service, online phone service, blog, wiki, etc.)
  • As a construction kit (e.g. model and theory building software)
  • As a visualization/exploration tool (e.g. learning objects, simulations, games, etc.)

In this multi-faceted approach, IT doesn't "stand alone" - it is always closely tied to explicit learning goals.

Technology doesn't evolve in a vacuum, and the successful design and use of instructional technology requires expertise from a number of resources.

The Learning and Teaching Centre recognizes this, so we partner with the following groups for all our IT workshops, talks, presentations and hands-on demonstrations:

  • The Technology Integrated Learning unit's mission is to facilitate the introduction, development, and use of information processing, media, and communication technologies and services within the university and among its members so that they will derive full benefit from employing these technologies and services in the learning, teaching, research, and administrative activities of the university.
  • The UVic Libraries have great resources (both people and technical) for incorporating IT into learning and teaching. The William C. Mearns Centre for Learning expands the ability of the UVic Libraries to meet the increasing need for resources, services and space.
  • The mandate of the Humanities Computing and Media Centre is to further research, teaching and learning in the Faculty of Humanities, in particular the fields of Humanities Computing and Language Learning, and those aspects of other fields involving audio, video or computing technology.
  • Of course, individuals are also key in making this collaborative approach work. The Learning and Teaching Centre provides a venue where IT innovators can talk about their work to the broader university community.

After spending time developing and deploying an IT scenario, it only makes sense to evaluate and see if it works. But because instructors are often so busy, this guiding principle is frequently missed.

We encourage educators to think about evaluation early on in the IT development process, and on a ongoing continuum – all the way from one or two questions asked at the end of class to long-term research on instructional technology.

These evalution and research techniques will help inform your teaching, and expand scholarship of learning and teaching. They also make excellent content in a teaching dossier!

One example of a successful incorporation of scholarly evaluation techniques into the use, development, and deployment of an instructional technology can be seen in the research around "clickers" (personal response devices) in the classroom.

The LTC partially sponsored the research, and was instrumental in getting clickers introduced and evaluated in large first year classes. We've played a central role in developing campus-wide policy on clicker use. UVic is now a nationally recognized centre of expertise in the evaluation of clicker use in the post-secondary arena.

For a full report on clicker research at UVic, check out Clickers in the classroom.