Active learning with technology: bringing students, faculty, and information together
Miami students join a community of people devoted to creating and sharing information—activities that can be enhanced by information technology. Find out how technology is used to support learning and collaboration in individual areas of interest.
Technology is an integral part of teaching and learning at Miami. More than half of the courses at Miami use technology in the classroom at some level. For example, clicker technology, supplementary podcasts, and web-enhanced courses are designed to increase active learning; communication spaces such as wikis and blogs are used to facilitate project-based, collaborative learning; and computer-based animations and simulations help develop critical thinking skills.
Approximately 89 percent of instructors use a web-based course management system to extend the academic experience outside the classroom. Faculty can post announcements, course outlines, syllabi, handouts, assignments, and grades; conduct online-mediated discussions through discussion boards, chat, and email; and allow online submission of assignments. Miami's course management system, Niihka (pronounced nee-ka), is configured in Sakai, an open source collaboration and learning environment.
Nearly 100% of the centrally scheduled classrooms on the Oxford and regional campuses are configured with a standard technology to meet the needs of faculty and students. Minimum technology in these classrooms includes ceiling-mounted digital projector, instructor station with resident computer, USB connections, iPod jacks, DVD/VHS player, laptop interface, auxiliary video inputs, and Crestron touchpad controls. Many rooms are also equipped with document cameras or digital whiteboards. The standardized control system and integrated data network allow instructors to move easily between classrooms on all campuses.
Many classrooms are equipped with additional technology to address specific course requirements. There are also several large auditorium and theater venues for guest performances. Miami supports a variety of video conferencing, digital media labs, and computer instruction classrooms.
All academic and residential buildings have wireless network capability.
Technology is accessible to all students, regardless of their major. Students can use technology in the following ways to collaborate on projects:
Miami University may accept transfer credit for courses taken electronically if all requirements pertaining to transfer credit are satisfied. Students are strongly encouraged to consult their advisors or the Office of the Registrar prior to enrollment to ensure credit will transfer.
The Miami Libraries' Center for Information Management (CIM) provides a variety of hardware and software for working with digital image, audio, animation, and video files. Assistance is available on an individual basis during the academic year. Faculty may request tours or demonstrations for their classes as well. Libraries on all campuses offer hardware checkout for items such as laptops, digital cameras, iPads, digital audio recorders, microphones and tripods.
The Miami Libraries own numerous licensed electronic reference materials, including many searchable research databases, electronic books and electronic journals, and magazines. The Libraries provide access through a proxy server to make all licensed electronic reference material available to anyone with an Internet connection and a Miami UniqueID (username) and password, whether on campus or off. (Those accessing the materials off campus will be asked to log in using their UniqueID and MUnet password.)
Through the Libraries' website, faculty, staff, and students can complete the following tasks:
Sometimes, the Libraries provide access to a digital copy of articles requested through interlibrary loan or from their remote storage facility.
Currently, there is no charge for use of interlibrary loan services at Miami. However, there are costs associated with the process of receiving materials from other institutions, such as labor, photo duplication, copyright compliance, and postage and handling. Faculty, staff, and students are encouraged to use this resource judiciously.
In addition to interlibrary loan, the Libraries use digital delivery for several services, including digital copies of library items and the following special collections and archives:
The Miami University Libraries provide individualized assistance in person, by phone, by email, via text message, and through live online assistance. Service hours vary; consult library hours and directions for more information.
Adaptive technologies for students with disabilities have become an essential component of post-secondary education. Miami's Office of Disability Resources provides alternative media production, as well as hardware & software technologies, for students who need such services. Assistance includes, but is not limited to, voice-recognition software, large monitors, screen readers, text readers, and procedures to access and convert print materials.
The University Libraries also provide a variety of hardware and software, including JAWS, ZOOMTEXT Magnifier, and Kurzweil 3000.
For more information about adaptive technology options at Miami, contact the Office of Disability Resources at (513) 529-1541.Back to top