Enhancing Undergraduate Learning with INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY

A WORKSHOP SUMMARY

Margaret Hilton, Editor

Center for Education

Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education

National Research Council

NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS
Washington, DC



The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement



Below are the first 10 and last 10 pages of uncorrected machine-read text (when available) of this chapter, followed by the top 30 algorithmically extracted key phrases from the chapter as a whole.
Intended to provide our own search engines and external engines with highly rich, chapter-representative searchable text on the opening pages of each chapter. Because it is UNCORRECTED material, please consider the following text as a useful but insufficient proxy for the authoritative book pages.

Do not use for reproduction, copying, pasting, or reading; exclusively for search engines.

OCR for page R1
Enhancing Undergraduate Learning with Information Technology: A Workshop Summary Enhancing Undergraduate Learning with INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY A WORKSHOP SUMMARY Margaret Hilton, Editor Center for Education Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education National Research Council NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS Washington, DC

OCR for page R1
Enhancing Undergraduate Learning with Information Technology: A Workshop Summary NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS 2101 Constitution Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20418 NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance. This study was supported by Grant # ESI-0002231 between the National Academy of Sciences and the National Science Foundation. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the organizations or agencies that provided support for the project. International Standard Book Number 0-309-08278-1 Additional copies of this report are available from National Academy Press, 2101 Constitution Avenue, NW, Lockbox 285, Washington, DC 20055; (800) 624-6242 or (202) 334-3313 (in the Washington metropolitan area); Internet, http://www.nap.edu Suggested citation: National Research Council. 2002. Enhancing undergraduate education with information technology: A workshop summary. M. Hilton, editor. Center for Education, Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education. Washington, DC: National Academy Press. Printed in the United States of America Copyright 2002 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.

OCR for page R1
Enhancing Undergraduate Learning with Information Technology: A Workshop Summary THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES National Academy of Sciences National Academy of Engineering Institute of Medicine National Research Council The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Bruce M. Alberts is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Wm. A. Wulf is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Kenneth I. Shine is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy’s purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Bruce M. Alberts and Dr. Wm. A. Wulf are chairman and vice chairman, respectively, of the National Research Council.

OCR for page R1
Enhancing Undergraduate Learning with Information Technology: A Workshop Summary This page in the original is blank.

OCR for page R1
Enhancing Undergraduate Learning with Information Technology: A Workshop Summary PLANNING GROUP FOR THE WORKSHOP ON THE ROLES OF INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY IN IMPROVING TEACHING AND LEARNING IN UNDERGRADUATE SCIENCE, MATHEMATICS, ENGINEERING, AND TECHNOLOGY EDUCATION Marshall S. Smith, Chair, Education Program Officer, William and Flora Hewlett Foundation Martha Darling, Educational Consultant, Ann Arbor, Michigan Deborah Hughes Hallett, Professor of Mathematics, University of Arizona Jack Wilson, Professor of Management, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and CEO of UMassOnLine* NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL STAFF Jay Labov, Associate Director, Center for Education Kevin Aylesworth, Senior Program Officer, Center for Education Margaret Hilton, Program Officer, Center for Education Terry K. Holmer, Senior Project Assistant, Center for Education *   At the time of the workshop, Wilson was Professor of Physics, Information Technology, Engineering, and Management Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

OCR for page R1
Enhancing Undergraduate Learning with Information Technology: A Workshop Summary This page in the original is blank.

OCR for page R1
Enhancing Undergraduate Learning with Information Technology: A Workshop Summary Reviewers This report has been reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise, in accordance with procedures approved by the National Research Council’s Report Review Committee. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the institution in making the published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. We wish to thank the following individuals for their participation in the review of this report: Lara K. Couturier, Brown University Martha Darling, Consultant, Ann Arbor, MI Alan Lesgold, University of Pittsburgh Evelyn T. Patterson, U.S. Air Force Academy Barbara Sawrey, University of California, San Diego Although the reviewers listed above have provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the conclusions or recommendations nor did they see the final draft of the report before its release. The review of this report was overseen by Nicholas J. Turro, Columbia University. Appointed by the National Research Council, he was responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with institutional procedures and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content of this report rests entirely with the authoring committee and the institution.

OCR for page R1
Enhancing Undergraduate Learning with Information Technology: A Workshop Summary This page in the original is blank.

OCR for page R1
Enhancing Undergraduate Learning with Information Technology: A Workshop Summary Preface Information Technology (IT) enables exciting new approaches to undergraduate science, mathematics, engineering, and technology (SME&T) education. Cognitive research has begun to illuminate how students learn (National Research Council [NRC], 1999a) providing a basis for design of more effective learning environments and teaching practices (NRC, 1999b). At the same time, personal computers with Internet access, as well as other IT tools, are becoming ubiquitous on many college and university campuses (Web-Based Education Commission, 2000). Encouraged by these developments, small but growing numbers of faculty are transforming traditional SME&T lectures and laboratories into more active learning environments that hold the promise of enhancing undergraduate learning. Scientists, policy makers, and researchers discussed these developments at a workshop, held at the National Academy of Sciences in June 2000. Presenters described innovative undergraduate courses in a range of SME&T disciplines. Using IT, these courses have been transformed in ways that appear to enhance learning for a diverse spectrum of undergraduate students. However, workshop participants noted that the full educational potential of IT has not yet been realized. Several factors, including the difficulty of assessing student learning in technology-rich environments, the state of current technology, and cultural and institutional factors could pose barriers to rapid deployment of technology in SME&T classrooms. The breathtaking pace of change in IT makes it virtually impossible to accurately predict its future impact on teaching and learning in undergraduate SME&T education. Nevertheless, many workshop participants felt that it was not only possible, but also essential, to begin planning for what the future might hold. Some presenters identified steps that could be taken to speed development of the educational potential of

OCR for page R1
Enhancing Undergraduate Learning with Information Technology: A Workshop Summary IT and support a promising future for SME&T education. This workshop evolved from a planning process begun in early 2000, when the National Academies created a new Center for Education (CFE). The new Center includes the Academies’ Center for Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Education (CSMEE), Board on Testing and Assessment, and Board on International Comparative Studies in Education. To define directions and priorities for future studies, CFE established a Strategic Planning Advisory Group. This advisory group gave high priority to the Center’s undertaking studies of the impact of IT in education. As the first step toward such studies, the CFE convened a planning group to develop a workshop on the role of IT in undergraduate SME&T education. The goal of the workshop was to inform the Strategic Planning Advisory Group, workshop participants, and the public about some issues surrounding the use of IT in education. To reach this goal, the planning group invited workshop presenters to pay particular attention to the following issues: What educational technologies currently exist, and how they are being used to transform undergraduate SME&T education; What is known about the potential future impact of information technology on teaching and learning at the undergraduate level; How to evaluate the impact of IT on teaching and learning; and What the future might hold. The planning group identified topics and speakers for the workshop, and developed the agenda, but did not participate in writing this summary. Both the agenda and this summary build on earlier research into the role of IT in pedagogy and learning, produced by CSMEE’s Committee on Information Technology. That committee analyzed and synthesized research about the ability of IT to enable new educational approaches, and identified many examples of such approaches. This synthesis of earlier research was sent to all workshop participants as background reading, providing a broader context for the presentations at the workshop, which focused on a few selected case studies. It is included in this workshop summary as Appendix A.

OCR for page R1
Enhancing Undergraduate Learning with Information Technology: A Workshop Summary Contents     PREFACE     1   INNOVATIONS IN PEDAGOGY AND TECHNOLOGY   1     The Role of Technology,   1     Case Studies of Innovative Courses,   5     Evaluation and Assessment Challenges,   11     Cultural and Institutional Constraints,   15 2   PLANNING FOR UNCERTAINTY   19     A Framework of Givens and Unknowns,   19     Steps Toward Diffusion of Innovations in Pedagogy and Technology,   21     Continuing the Dialogue,   27     REFERENCES   29     APPENDIXES         A WORKSHOP BACKGROUND PAPER   35     B WORKSHOP AGENDA   92     C WORKSHOP PRESENTERS AND PARTICIPANTS   95     D PLANNING GROUP BIOSKETCHES   97

OCR for page R1
Enhancing Undergraduate Learning with Information Technology: A Workshop Summary This page in the original is blank.