Technology can be used to assist teaching and learning in many ways. Below is a list of useful strategies together with the learning outcomes they are likely to lead to.
1. Consolidating viewpoints through debating
Debate enables students to learn actively as they are required to develop, argue and reinforce their own opinions on a particular topic. Students have to accurately define the problems at hand, evaluate the credibility of information sources, and identify or challenge assumptions. Through the tasks, students will be able to fully understand the issues and to think critically.
Running debates in the class time can be very time-consuming. We suggest that technology can be used in various ways to make better use of time.
2. Application of knowledge by going through real cases
A case study is the study of a complex past event, which aims to provide students with an understanding of important concepts through the use of real-life examples. For instance, story of a particular company or product can be employed as a case study to examine any marketing issues and dilemmas in an authentic situation. Technology can enhance case-based activities in many ways.
3. Learn more when you teach (peer teaching)
Students can learn effectively with and from each other. Peer teaching improves learning because students need to truly understand a topic or a particular piece of information if they are to “teach” it to the whole class. Besides, students have to present material in ways that are comprehensible to classmates and this trains their presentation and communication skills.
Examples of peer learning are student-led teaching sessions, study groups, and even peer feedback sessions in class. Technology can assist the peer-teaching processes in many ways.
4. Understand viewpoints through role play
In role plays, participants are informed of the situation beforehand and are assigned different perspectives or roles to act out within the scenario. Role play promotes working in groups, and enhances students’ enthusiasm and interest. It also provides an opportunity for participants to practice what they have learned through analyzing the context of a situation. Technology may help role playing in a number of ways.
5. More learning opportunities through provision of learning videos
More and more we understand that students are able to self-learn through quality video resources. The availability of such self-learning resources can benefit your courses in many ways. For example, these resources can be good revision materials. They can be resources for students who missed understanding something in the classroom. They can also be additional resources, either too basic or too advanced to be covered in the normal class time and thus are good for catering students’ individual differences and needs. They can also be a golden opportunity for teachers to redesign how to use their class time more effectively. It is the ‘flipped classroom’ idea – students learn the foundations from watching the videos before going to class and so in the class time they work on the more demanding learning activities instead for much higher learning outcomes.
6. Test own learning through online exercises
Quizzes can be good tools to examine the level of understanding among students and whether they are keeping up with the progress of a course. Quizzes provide students with immediate answers and explanations pre-set by teachers, which may facilitate the process of learning as immediate feedback tends to reinforce long-term memory.
Online quizzes, an example of eLearning, enables students to examine their understanding of a subject despite the constraint of time and space.
7. Enriched interactions in the classroom with technology
Many teachers are looking for ways to better interact with their students in the classroom. For example, many teachers would love to know whether students have understood a certain topic but checking students with a students does not help as only a few best and outspoken students would raise their hands up. Many teachers would also love to receive students’ queries and questions but seldom do they hear such questions in the class perhaps because students do not like speaking out in front of the whole class.
Technology certainly helps classroom interactions in the above contexts. uReply is a system that allows instructors to receive immediate responses from students through their keying in replies on their mobile devices.
8. Learn at the exact locations where you need learning (Location-based learning)
Learning outside classroom is highly motivating for students. It provides students with a chance to consolidate their understanding by interacting with the material they are learning. Examples include a trip to a museum, or a visit to a business firm. They may span a morning or afternoon, or stretch for a week or more.
Students are more likely to retain acquired knowledge because of the closer interactions with the real objects in the real world. Activities outside the classroom also provide a lot of opportunities for team-spirit building and students and teachers also often find more chances to interact and build relation in a more informal manner.
9. Better explanation of concepts through graphics, animations and simulations
Some concepts can be quite difficult to explain with text alone, such as knowledge about continuous and accurate movement of various parts, or phenomenon that are often too big, too small or too rare to observe in everyday life. Technology can assist in their explanations.