Assumption utilizes Blackboard as its learning management system. We also have available two participant response systems, Turning Technologies “clickers” and Poll Everywhere. In addition, the College encourages the use of a variety of technologies to support the educational process. A summer institute for faculty, “Dive into Technology” is held each summer with an aim to introduce participants to new technologies they can use is support of student learning.
Assumption College has selected Blackboard as our Learning Management System. All members of the Assumption community have access to the system where they can access websites for courses they are enrolled in as students or are teaching. As an electronic teaching tool, Blackboard is part of the College’s “Green” initiative. Blackboard provides a robust set of tools to allow instructors to post electronic documents, provide a site for electronic submission of assignments, and can serve as an electronic repository for journals used in a variety of disciplines. Beyond being “green,” Blackboard extends the classroom. Using the online discussion tools, students and instructors can extend class discussions beyond the limits of the scheduled class meeting times. For online and blended courses offered through the Graduate and Continuing and Career Education divisions, Blackboard provides online testing, and web conferencing capabilities.
Participant Response Systems, AKA “Clickers”
A number of our faculty use clicker technology, which allows each student with a device to answer questions. Professors utilize this technology to assess student understanding, collect information about student opinions on specific topics, administer quizzes and increase student participation in the classroom. The College uses two systems, Turning Technologies “Clickers” and Poll Everywhere. The Turning Technologies system is based on each student having a specific, dedicated device to answer questions in class. We are currently transitioning to a system in which students purchase devices to use throughout their Assumption careers. Poll Everywhere is a device independent system which allows students to respond from mobile devices such as laptops, netbooks, cell phones and tablets.
Faculty Support for Technology in the Classroom
Dive into Technology – Each summer faculty can apply to participate in a week long summer institute, Dive into Technology. During this week we explore new and emerging technologies that hold promise for enhancing the educational experiences of our students. Participating faculty are typically offered either a stipend or some new tech device we are encouraging the community to use.
In past years topics have included:
- iPads and apps for learning
- Windows 8 tablets and mobile learning
- Participant response systems
- Interactive whiteboard systems
- Blackboard advanced tools
- Cloud-based technologies
- Video editing for student projects
Every spring we announce the topics for inclusion and solicit applications for participation. We generally make the announcement in Early April so we can announce who’s been accepted by the beginning of May. Dive into Technology typically runs the first week of June.
Faculty Computer Lab – Because we recognize that learning to teach with new technologies is often a daunting prospect, we have a faculty lab where instructors can experiment with new technologies. While small, the lab is equipped with a projection system similar to those in classrooms where any instructor can try out new presentation systems before facing a class. In addition, we have scanners for documents and slides that instructors can use to prepare course materials, a document camera, and interactive whiteboard system. We also have smaller devices for use by faculty including digital cameras, digital audio recorders, a drawing tablet, and electronic pen devices.