The use of Technology in
the Provision of
Dr. Ciarán Mac an Bhaird
8th Annual E-Learning Conference.
University of Ulster
1. Description of how NUIM uses
technology to provide extra resources
and opportunities for students.
2. A demonstration of how to use these
technologies and a discussion of the
advantages and disadvantages of each
3. A quick look at other technologies and
► Students who fail Mathematics Proficiency
Test are enrolled on the Mathematics
► There is an additional Mathematics
Foundation Course principally for non-
Mathematics Students who are struggling
with the mathematical aspects of their
► Easy to analyse records, the course is very
easy to edit and maintain. Gives students
organised access to material which
otherwise would seem overwhelming and
► Difficulties maintaining high level of
participation, students do not always see
the relevance to their actual Mathematics
modules. Technical difficulties, e.g. being
able to view the videos etc. Courses are
‘faceless’, impersonal etc.
► Follow up workshops each week for
students struggling with course material.
► Students email tutor requesting issues to
be dealt with.
► Tutor uses ‘Sympodium’ to present the
material. Students can sit and listen to
the tutor, ask questions without having to
take extensive notes.
► Notes posted onto the moodle site for
students to access.
► Students highlight the benefits of this
approach, report an increased
understanding of the material because
they can listen. They highlight that they
can take notes of what the tutor is saying,
questions that other students ask etc.
► Others report that the handwritten notes
are easy to understand, less impersonal
than typed notes and the diagrams are
easier to follow as they can see how they
► This technology is also used in the First
Science Mathematics Workshop.
► This course is specifically designed to be
student directed and is principally aimed
at the weaker students.
► The tutor presents issues raised by the
students which are usually basic issues to
do with their course material.
► Recording of screencasts and podcasts.
► The main purpose is to provide extra
resources for students.
► Advantages: Re-usable Learning Objects,
students can have open access to
material, more ‘friendly’ medium, relatively
easy to use the software, relatively cheap.
► Disadvantages: Extremely time-consuming
to create, students can have technical
issues viewing the objects.
<€2000 (cheaper options for
► Alternatives e.g. tablet pcs (wide range of
prices), significantly more portable.
► Use technology to provide extra resources
and opportunities for ‘at-risk’ students.
► Advantages: re-usable learning objects,
students respond to perceived extra effort,
24 hour access for students, other
learning benefits for students, encourages
► Disadvantages: software and hardware
issues, internet access for students,
impersonal, expensive costs?
► Thank you for your time.
► Go raibh maith agaibh uilig.
► Any Questions?