How did the new technology impact my class?

Date: 20 Mar 2017 Comments: 0

Hello everyone! If you read my previous post about using more advanced technology to support my students in my class during the Spring B term, I think you will like to see what I have found.

For those who missed it, I decided to use more technology to support the class I teach. I started this Spring semester teaching at Liberty armed with some new tech. I started to record weekly (or at least semi-weekly) videos with my face explaining the assignments in more depth. I also started using to allow my students a way to get a quicker response from me and for me to send them information quickly.

I have now completed an entire class this way and I must say the results are fascinating! Before I tell you the results, here are a couple of quick things that must be considered:

  • Every class is different and there are always overachievers and always those who struggle.
  • The fact that it is a Spring semester and not Fall or Winter may have some correlation to the results but not one that I can quantify.
  • I will begin collecting metrics each semester to give a broader scope.
  • Although I can tell you that I saw great results, I can’t promise that it will work for everyone.

The first thing I noticed is that my students were far less likely to have a late assignment during this recent term. There were a few late assignments but most of the time, the students let me know well in advance and there were really only a few late ones even then. Did Remind help? Possibly? I can’t say for sure just yet.

The second thing I noticed is that the average grades on many assignments seemed much higher than the previous terms. Even after reviewing Article 1 grades (the first assignment in my class and often the ‘crushing blow’ for new students), overall performance seems very high. I saw many less formatting and organization errors than I had previously seen on the first assignment and this continued to go down (for most students) as each Article Review came through.

The third thing I noticed is that I did not field anywhere near as many email questions over the class about formatting papers, acceptable choices for source material, etc. Yes, there were some who simply did not respond to my feedback (or at least their work indicated as much) but they were minimal. The few questions I did get were more like “Professor, after I watched your video, you said something about…” which greatly reduced the amount of questions I needed to ask to determine what the student needed help with.

Fourthly, and perhaps the most interesting of all – average final grades went WAY up! This was very pronounced! Due to various privacy rules, I can’t share how many grades and who scored what, but I can tell you that I saw many grades on the HIGHER end than I usually do. I also feel that my mid-range grades seemed tilted towards the upper end of the grade scale rather than the lower end. It’s possible that all of the extra technology has delivered unexpected (though quite welcome) positive trends. That makes all the difference in the world!

I hope to be able to see a similar result once this term completes so once it does, I will let you know if the performance stayed the same! God Bless!

Leave a Reply