University of Michigan CRLT Study of LectureTools and Laptop Use


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A University of Michigan Center for Research on Learning and Teaching (CRLT) study about the use of LectureTools and laptops in college courses. LectureTools was shown to improve student engagement and attentiveness and to reinforce good pedagogical practices.

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  • “Using Laptops Effectively in Classrooms: Lessons From a Study of LectureTools” was presented at the 2011 Emerging Technologies for Online Learning Conference in San Jose, California.
  • The study was conducted by the University of Michigan Center for Research on Learning and Teaching (CRLT).
  • Intended versus unintended uses of laptops can lead to either improved student engagement for the former or increased classroom distractions in case of the latter.
  • The instructor interface of LectureTools provides simple prompts to make it easy for instructors to prepare engaging slideshows and publish content to students. Presenting lectures becomes interactive, as instructors can monitor incoming student questions, student comprehension on a per-slide basis, and preview student responses during interactive activities.
  • The student interface allows students to follow along with the lecture slides and take notes. Students can flag slides as “confusing” to relay comprehension problems to the instructor during class or bookmark slides for later review. Confusing and bookmarked slides can be filtered and accessed quickly for study purposes. The questions tab allows students to submit questions for the instructor or a teaching assistant to answer. Answered questions from the entire class become visible anonymously to facilitate peer instruction.
  • Three goals of this study: 1) Study how LectureTools is used in classrooms, 2) see how laptop use, student attention, student learning, and teaching change from use of LectureTools, and 3) document best practices for teaching with LectureTools.
  • The study compared a variety of classes that used LectureTools against a control group of classes that did not use LectureTools. Student responses were collected via online surveys. Faculty data was collected through both interviews and online surveys.
  • 98% of all students reported owning a laptop. The study had a sample size of n=595, where 259 students were in the LectureTools group and 336 were in the control group.
  • Response rates to student surveys averaged 33% for the LectureTools group and 37% for the control.
  • Students in the LectureTools group were much more likely to report using their laptops every class session.
  • All surveyed classes used slides with LT; only some classes used this feature (“pose questions”)
  • Over half of surveyed students reported following instructor’s slides, taking notes associated with slides, viewing animations, answering “clicker” questions, student inquiry channel, and recording understanding as somewhat or very important.
  • How has your use of a laptop changed the amount of time you spend on tasks unrelated to class?
  • There was no significant difference of laptop use on tasks unrelated to class between the LectureTools and control groups.
  • Students using LectureTools reported their attentiveness, engagement, and learning due to laptop use increased significantly.
  • Faculty reported using LectureTools because it enabled them to cover class material better, saves time, keeps course materials organized, improves student performance, and improves attentiveness during lecture.
  • What are common uses of LectureTools, what is distinct of LectureTools. LT use enables formative evaluation and engages students with critical thinking and reflection. Distinctively, LectureTools embeds students’ experiences into lecture and allows participation through anonymity.
  • What are good pedagogical practices for teaching with LectureTools?
  • Instructions find that LectureTools encourages them to think of the best way to make new material resonate with students and that it allows students to participate more easily with their slideshows.
  • LectureTools use fell into 3 levels: Presentation, Interaction, and Reflection.
  • Distraction is always present, with or without laptops, but sound pedagogical approaches can influence practice and minimize distractions.
  • How many classes provided podcast?
  • Student attentiveness increased significantly with LectureTools use, and even moreso for classes that taught more interactively or reflectively.
  • Student engagement increased significantly with LectureTools use, and even moreso for classes that taught more interactively or reflectively.
  • Students felt that their learning increased significantly with LectureTools use, and even moreso for classes that taught more interactively or reflectively.
  • University of Michigan CRLT Study of LectureTools and Laptop Use

    1. 1. Using Laptops Effectively in Classrooms: Lessons From a Study of LectureToolsJuly 13, 2011 - 11:40am Concurrent Session: 8<br />IngerBergom, Charles Dershimer, ErpingZhu <br />Center For Research on Learning and Teaching<br />Perry Samson<br />Professor of Atmospheric Science, LSA<br />University of Michigan, Ann Arbor<br />
    2. 2. Current State:<br />Survey of 1,415 U-M students - Winter 2010 <br />Over 50% of respondents reported bringing their laptops to class at least once per week<br />Our Question: <br />Tool for Engagement or Potential Distraction?<br />
    3. 3. Engagement:<br />Student Centered Learning Lecture and Problem solving experience, immediate implementation of new concepts or procedures, and immediate feedback (Barak, Lipson, & Lerman, 2006) <br />Discipline Centered Skills Enable searchable notes and quick look up course-related (Kim, 2009; Lindroth & Bergquist, 2010) Engage students in real time research, presentation, and critique (MacKinnon & Vibert, 2001)<br />Distraction:<br />Decreased Engagement- Unwillingness to become involved in the class discussion due attempts to transcribe everything said in class (Maxwell, 2007)<br />Competing Interests Lower class performance attributed to instances of off task use (Hembrooke & Gay, 2003)<br />Un-appreciated Distraction Other student’s Laptop use is reported as a main distractor (Fried, 2008) <br />
    4. 4. LectureTools (LT) – <br />Intentional use of laptops to support classroom instruction (Sampson 2005)<br />Today @ 1:40 <br />Sacramento Room<br />
    5. 5. Instructor Interface Slides and Interactive Features<br />
    6. 6. Student Interface-Slides, Note taking, Interactivity/Connectivity<br />
    7. 7. Exploratory Study Goals<br />1. Examine use of LectureToolsin classrooms<br />2. Compare laptop use with and without LectureTools on student attention, learning, and teaching<br />3. Identify effective practices/uses of LectureTools<br />
    8. 8. Methods and Sample<br />Sample<br />Classes that use LT <br />Control group: classes matched to LT group (with characteristics similar to LT classes)<br />Data Collection<br />Online Surveys (students and faculty)<br />Interviews (faculty using LT only) <br />
    9. 9. Timeline<br />Fall 2009 – Jan 2010 Data Collection<br />Early fall - recruited LT classes and requested student emails<br />Late fall - identified control classes and requested student emails<br />During Semester: Faculty surveys/ follow up interviews<br />Semester Break: Sent out the student surveys with reminders and incentives<br />
    10. 10. Respondents by Survey Taken (N=595)<br />98% report owning a laptop<br />336<br />259<br />
    11. 11. Courses Surveyed and Response Rates<br />
    12. 12. Survey: How Often Did You Use Your Laptop?<br />LectureTools N=259<br />Control <br />N=336<br />
    13. 13. Student Use and Perceptions of LectureTools<br />
    14. 14. Survey: Student Reported Use of LectureTools<br />Follow Along…<br />…Actively Question<br />How often did you follow along with the instructor’s slides using LectureTools on your laptop?<br />How often did you pose questions* using LectureTools?<br />*excludes students whose instructors did not use this feature<br />
    15. 15. Survey: How Did You Take Notes In Class? (Check All That Apply)<br />Class notes stored in cloud….<br />
    16. 16. Survey: Rank The Importance of These Functions<br />Familiar ……………………………….. Unfamiliar<br />*not all faculty used all features<br />
    17. 17. Perceptions About the Value/Impact Of LectureTools<br />1=Significantly decreased  5=Significantly increased<br />
    18. 18. Comparing Student’s Perceptions LectureTools Group vs. Control Group<br />A chance to explore <br />intended vs. unintended<br />classroom use…<br />
    19. 19. Survey: Amount of Time Spent on Tasks <br />Unrelated to Class<br />LectureTools N=259<br />Control <br />N=336<br />distractions occur…<br />
    20. 20. Survey: Use of Laptops Changed the Amount of Time Spent on Tasks Unrelated to Class<br />1=Significantly decreased, 5=Significantly increased<br />(No significant differences between LT and Control or Male and Female.)<br />
    21. 21. Survey: How Much Time Did You Spend on…<br />LectureTools Control<br />
    22. 22. Survey: How Much Are You Distracted by Other People Using Laptops?<br />Has no effect Somewhat or significantly distracts <br />
    23. 23. Not much gained at this point…<br />What might be different about<br />intended vs. unintended<br />classroom use…?<br />
    24. 24. Student Perceptions of Laptop Impact on <br />Attentiveness, Engagement, and Learning<br />Perceptions of impact...<br />*<br />**<br />*<br />1=Significantly decreased   5=Significantly increased<br />*p<.01, **p<.001<br />
    25. 25. Outcomes<br /><ul><li>Students report being distracted by having laptops
    26. 26. Also report being more engaged with LectureTool use</li></ul>! No significant differences <br /><ul><li>by gender in levels of distraction from laptops
    27. 27. between LT and control group in the amount of time spent on tasks unrelated to class </li></li></ul><li>LectureToolsFaculty Interviews<br />What are the characteristics of intended<br />classroom use…?<br />
    28. 28. Faculty Survey / Interview<br />Q: Why did you choose to use LectureTools? <br />Q: Agree or disagree? <br />I’m better able to cover class material when I use LectureTools. <br />LectureTools saves me time.<br />LectureTools helps me to better organize course materials.<br />LectureTools improves students’ performance on class activities and assessments. <br />LectureTools improves students’ attention during lecture.<br />
    29. 29. Interview Themes:<br />What is common across interviews?<br /><ul><li>Using student responses for formative evaluation
    30. 30. Goal of engaging students with critical thinking and reflection</li></ul>What surfaces as distinct to LT use?<br /><ul><li>Embedding student’s experiences into lecture
    31. 31. Participation through anonymity</li></li></ul><li>“Good" Instructional Practices Supported by Features of LectureTools:<br />Monitoring students’ learning <br />Teaching using a “rapid feedback cycle”<br />Reflection on learning - note taking, interactive responses, supporting student discourse<br />
    32. 32. LT Influencing Teaching Practices:<br />“I design some slides, I think about how to drive the point home before I move onto the next topic, then I go and look at options in LT for an activity to support this…”<br />“Must work harder than just giving lecture or just asking ‘Any questions?’ …Hardest part is fitting in the questions, instead of just going through content and getting through it all….”<br />“LT creates a framework for students to participate with the slides…”<br />
    33. 33. Three Levels of LT Use by Faculty:<br />
    34. 34. Coding of LectureTools Classes<br />(1) Assigned each of the 8 LectureTools classes one of the three levels of LT use, based on:<br /><ul><li>Faculty interviews about how they used LT
    35. 35. Student feedback about how their instructors used LT</li></ul>(2) Organized by codes: <br /><ul><li>3 classes* at Level 1: Presentation (32 students)
    36. 36. 3 classes at Level 2: Integration (93 students)
    37. 37. 2 classes at Level 3: Reflection (127 students)</li></ul>(3) Compared student responses by how the instructor used LectureTools<br />*two classes were graduate-level, taught by same professor<br />
    38. 38. Identified Perceptions of Levels<br />Perceptions of impact...<br />*<br />*<br />*<br />*<br />*<br />*<br />1=Significantly decreased, 5=Significantly increased<br />*p<.001<br />
    39. 39. Intended Use of Laptops – take away<br /><ul><li>Faculty will need to think about the pedagogical strategies for the use laptops – distraction is always present
    40. 40. Integrate sound pedagogical approaches into technology design and use – design can influence practice</li></li></ul><li>Discussion and Questions<br />
    41. 41. Using Laptops Effectively in Classrooms: Lessons From a Study of LectureToolsJuly 13, 2011 - 11:40am Concurrent Session: 8<br />IngerBergom, Charles Dershimer, ErpingZhu <br />Center For Research on Learning and Teaching<br />Perry Samson<br />Professor of Atmospheric Science, LSA<br />University of Michigan, Ann Arbor<br />
    42. 42. Dissemination Methods<br />On Campus<br /><ul><li>Record Article
    43. 43. Occasional Paper “Lecture Tools: A Case Study of Effective Laptop Use in the Classroom”</li></ul>Off Campus <br /><ul><li>POD Conference
    44. 44. Journal Submission</li></li></ul><li>Supplementary Slides:1) LectureTools podcasts, 2) Technical issues with LectureTools, 3) ANOVA tables comparing student responses by level of instructor’s LT use<br />
    45. 45. If yes, how often did you use them?<br />Podcasts available?<br />
    46. 46. Why did you use podcasts? (Check all that apply)<br />When did you use podcasts?<br />(Check all that apply)<br />
    47. 47. Technical Issues with LectureTools<br />
    48. 48. Technical problems in the beginning of the semester?<br />My instructor had technical problems<br />I had technical problems<br />
    49. 49. Technical problems during the semester?<br />I had technical problems<br />My instructor had technical problems<br />
    50. 50. ANOVA Tables Comparing Student Responses by Level of Instructor's LT Use<br />
    51. 51. Perceptions of LT Impact on Attentiveness, by Level of Use <br />*<br />*<br />
    52. 52. Perceptions of LT Impact on Engagement, by Level of Use <br />*<br />*<br />
    53. 53. Perceptions of LT Impact on <br />Learning, by Level of Use <br />*<br />*<br />