Educational Affordances that Support Development
of Innovative Thinking Skills in Large Classes
Julaine Fowlin, email@example.com
(Instructional Design and Technology)
Dr. Catherine Amelink and Dr. Glenda Scales
(Dean’s Office, College of Engineering)
Research Funded by NSF TUES Grant # 1140425
Share how a modified educational model was used to
examine how innovative thinking skills can be developed
in large lecture classes.
Describe implications for designing innovative learning
Educating Undergraduate Engineers
High school to university transition
Larger class size
Generation gap between
teacher and students
Teaching with technology
“Teaching is a complicated practice… an example of an ill-structured discipline, requiring
teachers to apply complex knowledge structures across different cases and contexts.”
(Koehler and Mishra, 2009 p. 61)
Developing Innovative Thinking
“Industry needs engineers who can think globally and work in teams; society needs
engineer-entrepreneurs who can start their own companies and create jobs.” (Lumsdaine
and Lumsdaine, 1995 p. 200)
What are the
Can these skills
be facilitated in
Developing Innovative Thinking
Identifying new words and concepts, use of rehearsal strategies to
Organizing information and concepts so that they can be integrated into
designing of new ideas and information.
Summarizing known information; ability to reframe content.
Application of previous knowledge to unknown, ill-defined and/or new
situations; generation of new ideas.
Ability to determine own level of understanding; ability to question
ideas and information being presented.
Ability to seek and entertain new ideas from peers and instructors;
ability to utilize peers as a means to check new ideas and concepts.
Use of team members to determine what creative ideas can
become valuable innovations; effective presentation of new ideas to
Affords: Support or make possible (Koehler
and Mishra, 2009 )
• Characteristics of the educational
environment that support or make
possible specific learning outcomes.
• Relationship between learner and
properties of the educational
Tripartite model based on “Teacher Understandings of Technology Affordances and Their Impact on the Design of
Engaging Learning Experiences,” by Foo et al., 2008, Educational Media International,42(4), p. 305.
Method and Analysis
3 Separate focus groups (N=15)
• Purposeful Sampling: Students enrolled in courses taught by 3 faculty members that
taught large lecture classes and used very different pedagogical approaches.
Students’ motivation for using technology or other learning tools
Instructor’s pedagogy that they perceived helped them with innovative thinking and
learning in general
Tools they found helpful in the learning environment
An a priori coding scheme, based on the educational affordances conceptual framework
posed by Foo et al. (2005), and indicators (derived from social constructivist theory) of
innovative skills, was used to identify themes that emerged.
Findings: What Worked for Innovative Skills Development
Access to PowerPoint slides before class
Maximize presentation features of available technology
Work problems in class step by step using tablet and/or
on paper using ELMO and different color markers
On demand access to recorded slides from class
Pull students work anonymously in class and give constructive feedback
Ability to sync electronic files using applications like, Google Drive, Dropbox and
Ability to use technology to collaborate and communicate
Office hours especially virtual
Text book tutorials or other online resources
Findings: Additional Themes
Balance between instructor support and learner autonomy especially for using
software like Mathematica and Matlab
More opportunities for collaboration and entrepreneurialism
More qualitative feedback on assignments
Under utilization or ineffective use of technology affordances
• Students actually suggested that their be a minimum standard of use
among faculty regarding technology use
Effective use of
Foo Seau, Y., Ho, J., & Hedberg, J. (2005). Teacher understandings of technology
affordances and their impact on the design of engaging learning experiences.
Educational Media International, 42(4), 297-316.
Kirschner, P. A., 2002. Can We Support CSCL? Educational, Social and Technological
Affordances for Learning. Retrieved from
Koehler, M., & Mishra, P. (2009). What is Technological Pedagogical Content
Knowledge (TPACK)? Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education,
Lumsdaine, M., & Lumsdaine, E. (1995). Thinking preferences of engineering students:
implications for curriculum restructuring. Journal of Engineering Education, 84(2),