iPads for Learning Labs

Project Title: iPads for Learning Labs

Project Lead’s Name: Christina Carrubba-Whetstine

Email: whetstc@miamioh.edu

Phone: (513) 529-8741

Please Choose the Primary Affiliation: SAF

Are There Other Project Team Members?: Yes

Other Project Team Member: Gary Ritz

Other Team Member Email Address: ritzga@miamioh.edu

Brief description of project: With the Rinella Learning Center's move to the new space in the Shriver Center, we have had the opportunity to re-envision all of our processes and procedures of how to meet the learning needs of our student populations. This transformative process has allowed us to reconsider how students come into and transition out of our tutoring space, how tutoring sessions are conducted (expanding from primarily one-to-one tutoring to more flexible group models), and how learning resources are utilized by both tutors and students seeking academic support. Historically, our tutoring space has been fixed (i.e. we had a finite amount of space that could not be easily changed). Now, our tutoring center is flexible and modular with the ability to easily transition from individual tutoring cubicles, to small group spaces, and even has the ability to expand to facilitate large group instruction. The new space has also allowed the Rinella Learning Center to provide studying space to students (not necessarily interested in subject specific tutoring) seeking a positive learning environment for independent, self-directed learning. To maximize our flexibility and enhance our learning support to students, the Rinella Learning Center aims to provide iPad Pros to enhance tutoring engagement and independent learning. The iPad Pros would be used in our check-in and evaluation processes (connecting with our tutoring management software), during the tutoring appointments (serving as graphing and scientific calculators, interactive whiteboards, interactive graphing boards, foreign language dictionaries and resources), and by students interested in using learning enhancement software (e.g. Rosetta Stone, math labs). The Rinella staff hopes to purchase the 12.9" iPad Pro with Apple Pencil so tutors and students can interactively and dynamically use the learning tool.

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

If yes, please explain: Both undergraduate and graduate students seek services and support through the Rinella Learning Center. Graduate students frequently use our space for independent and self-directed learning due to the positive learning environment.

Describe the problem you are attempting to solve and your approach for solving that problem.: Currently, we are relying on "traditional" and fixed ways of engaging with our students throughout the tutoring process even though we are in a new, innovative, and flexible space. Tutors are still primarily using whiteboards and markers, scraps of paper, outdated foreign language dictionaries and learning resources, and typically an outdated textbook that we have been able to find. While all of these resources help us meet the needs of our students, they are limiting. If a tutor wants to access online course materials they have to rely on their own or the student's laptop. New additions of textbooks (with online resources and tools) are constantly coming out, but tutors are relying on older, hard-copy editions that we have obtained. Though the stand-alone whiteboards serve their purpose in a tutoring appointment, with the number we have in the tutoring space, accessibility and mobility becomes limited. Additionally, up to this point we have not had the space for independent/self-directed learning so have not yet invested in learning enhancement software like Rosetta Stone.

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?: As described previously, this entire project is innovative (utilizing technology to enhance the tutoring experience) and is the direction our learning center should be going. Historically, the Rinella Learning Center has been a national leader in the arena of learning centers in higher education and the proposed technology project will allow us to continue to move in an innovative direction. In terms of significance, our tutoring center continues to expand our service. In fall 2016, our tutors engaged students in 4,680 tutoring appointments. This number is up by almost 1,000 from the previous fall. In the first two weeks of spring semester 2017, we have witnessed a 74% increase in tutoring usage from the previous spring. It is projected that by the end of the 2016-2017 academic year we will have had roughly 9,000 tutoring appointments, serving almost 1,500 Miami students.

How will you assess the project?: Each semester we conduct assessment with both our tutors and the students utilizing tutoring support. We will incorporate questions about the role of the new technology into that ongoing assessment to determine impact on their interactive learning process. In addition, we will evaluate any increases in kinds of service (i.e. individual, group, self-directed) to better understand how the technology is being used.

Have you applied for and/or received Tech Fee awards in past years?: Yes

If funded, what results did you achieve?: We received funding for Dragon Natural Speaking Software to help students with some diagnosed disabilities. We witnessed an increase in usage, directly impacting academic performance of students. We also received funding for SmartPens. We have more students using SmartPens to enhance their learning while taking notes.

Did you submit a final report?: Yes

What happens to the project in year two and beyond? Will there be any ongoing costs such as software or hardware maintenance, supplies, staffing, etc.? How will these be funded?: The Rinella Learning Center is committed to maintaining the enhanced technology that we are proposing. Ongoing costs (including replacements and new fees associated with new software) will be covered by existing gift funds and/or new gift funds.

Budget: Hardware

Hardware Title(s) & Vendor(s): 12.9" iPad Pros, Miami University Bookstore

Hardware Costs: $9,188.80

What is the total budget amount requested?: $9,188.80