Teaching Technology for Psychology

Project Title: Teaching Technology for Psychology

Project Lead’s Name: Cecilia Shore

Email: shorec@miamioh.edu

Phone: (513) 529-2417

Please Choose the Primary Affiliation: CAS

Are There Other Project Team Members?: Yes

Other Project Team Member: Amy Wilms

Other Team Member Email Address: wilmsab@miamioh.edu

Brief description of project: The Department of Psychology has several classrooms (227, 244, and 343) that are not registrar controlled and therefore are not supported by central university technology resources. The department has spent its own funds to provide computers and projectors for these rooms. These rooms are used for both graduateand undergraduate instruction. The current technology is unreliable and we seek funds to replace it.

Does this project focus on graduate student education or graduate student life?: Yes

If yes, please explain: These classrooms are used for graduate instruction, including some core courses in the graduate curriculum, such as Prosem (our professional development class for first-years) and graduate statistics (required for all our students). These rooms are also often used for mixed graduate and undergraduate research lab meetings for 5 hours per week. This supporting the experiential pedagogy of research engagement for graduate (and undergraduate students) and also provides crucial opportunities for graduate student to learn how to mentor undergraduates.

Describe the problem you are attempting to solve and your approach for solving that problem.: In a typical week, 227 is used for 25 hours of grad instruction and 12 hours of undergraduate instruction. It is also used for mixed graduate and undergraduate research lab meetings for 5 hours per week. 244 is used for 16 hours of grad instruction and 10 hours of undergraduate instruction, plus 3 hours of mixed grad-undergrad research lab meetings. 343 is used for 18 hours of grad instruction and 2 hours of undergraduate instruction. It is also used 5 hours for mixed grad-undergrad research meetings, and 1 hour for an innovative program of training undergraduate students to be peer mentors supporting our core undergraduate statistics and methods courses.

These rooms have the potential of being used more frequently if the technology is upgraded and easier to use. Faculty often request other rooms (even outside of our building) if 227, 244, and 343 are available because they are frustrated with the technology. Because we have equipped these rooms ourselves, the technology is either outdated or non-standard. For example, in 244 and 343, the projector does not have the same video input fittings that are on the computer's outputs. Newer laptops use HDMI cables and yet, our projectors do not have an input for this technology. This leads to continuous calls to the main office to fix the problem. In all the rooms, faculty will sometimes bring in their laptops, either because they are unfamiliar with the equipment or don't trust its reliability, and then don't re-attach the cords properly, leaving the next person at a loss. Even with instructions, they lose class time re-attaching everything. More often, they come in a panic to the main office staff asking them to fix things because we cannot call classroom services. In our first three weeks of class alone, we have had 15 calls to the main office with significant staff time trying to fix the equipment in these rooms. We propose replacing the computer in 227 with a standard teaching station. This will allow faculty to use up-to-date equipment with which they are familiar, The connections are either internal to the cabinet or there is a simple external connection if the faculty member prefers to use his/her laptop. It also will ensure access to AV functions such as DVD, speakers, wireless controls, a document camera, and a TV tuner. Again, the familiarity of the standard station will be an advantage in undergraduate capstone courses, which often call for students to do presentations, and students will be more at ease with equipment like that they have used in other classrooms for presentations. We propose replacing the computers and projectors in 244 and 343 with 65" wireless LED Smart TV panels and laptops. HDMI inputs also will be available. This would eliminate the problem of connecting the computer to the projector (and errors in re-attaching them). Faculty could wirelessly use either the room's computer or their laptop. Randy Mikesell has been instrumental in developing the technology plan for these three rooms. Randy and Amy have discussed the needs of the faculty and the importance of using IT best practice. In addition, Amy met one on one with numerous faculty who teach in these rooms to discuss their needs and options available to them.

The criteria state that technology fee projects should benefit students in innovative and/or significant ways. How would you describe the innovation and/or significance of your project?: These are relatively small rooms but the teaching that occurs in them is powerful, innovative and significant. In addition to the graduate purposes described above, these rooms are significant also for our undergraduate curriculum. They are often used for capstone classes and senior seminars. These discussion-based and writing-intensive classes are culminating experiences for our undergrad students. They are also often used for courses focused on experiential learning (e.g, the previously mentioned research lab meetings, First Year Research Experience Program, and discussion breakouts for our Introduction to Psychology) and leadership development (a sequence of courses that train students to be discussion leaders in in those Intro Psych breakout discussions).

Providing a teaching station in 227 is innovative in that it supports what is now becoming widespread engaged pedagogy in our classrooms. Faculty and students are all familiar with this equipment and can share leadership of the classroom, making truly collaborative learning possible. Upgrading these three rooms is significant because we will no longer waste class time (and stress both faculty and students) struggling to get the AV to work in some of the most important courses in our curriculum. It will also result in significant savings of staff time in our main department office--they will not be interrupted providing the important clerical services they perform, and faculty who teach over the lunch hour will not be stranded in their non-functional classrooms while staff are on their lunch break.

How will you assess the project?: The most obvious assessment of effectiveness would be a reduction in the number of times a week faculty ask for help from the main offIce. We could also carry out a short survey of faculty satisfaction, e.g., Has your experience of teaching in Room (227, 244, 343) improved with the introduction of the new equipment?

Have you applied for and/or received Tech Fee awards in past years?: No

Budget: Hardware, Contractual Services/Installation/Shipping/Maintenance

Hardware Title(s) & Vendor(s): All items will be purchased through Randy Mikesell.

Hardware Costs: $15,513.00

Contractual Services/Installation/Shipping/Maintenance: University employees will install.

Contractual Services, etc. Costs: $6,250.00

What is the total budget amount requested?: $21,763.00