As noted in the Project Details, one of the objectives of the Active Learning Catalyts project is to assess the overall and individual impacts of technological tools in an active learning studio classroom on the reform of STEM education. Though the project focuses largely on supporting and evaluating faculty adoption of technology-enabled active learning and on providing an appropriate active learning environment, it is also important to evaluate the impact that the learning environment has on students.
The financial cost of outfitting technology-enabled studio classrooms is significant. Evaluating the overall impact of the technology in the studio classroom will help determine the educational return on this type of investment. On a finer scale, the project is evaluating the impacts of individual technological tools. Knowing the pedagogical impact of specific tools will help determine whether their benefits justify the cost of including them in future studio classrooms.
Assessment methods include the following:
In addition, the team is also monitoring the durability of furniture, dry erase surfaces, and technology over the duration. Upon completion of the project, NMU will have produced and made available a compendium of facility recommendations, with a main focus on technology but also touching on other aspects.
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These short videos, created by NMU Instructional Design and Technology student technicians, introduce the active learning classroom from a student perspective.