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Enabling interactive engagement pedagogy through digital technology

Author(s): Dan Madigan

Journal: ITALICS
ISSN 1473-7507

Volume: 5;
Issue: 4;
Start page: 109;
Date: 2006;
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Keywords: assessment | digital literacy | digital technology | just-in-time-teaching | learning outcomes | life science education reforms | student-centered learning environment | visual/spatial imagery

For most college and university faculty, there seems to be no shortage of digital tools available for use in teaching. Think for a moment about such technology as presentation and communication tools, the internet, the laptop computer, and personal response systems (i.e. clickers) and what such tools have done to change the classroom learning environment. Such change, however, begs an important question for faculty to consider: In what ways have digital technologies enhanced student learning? Such a question is addressed in this paper as the authors explore the overall impact of digital technology on student learning in undergraduate biology courses in the U. S. More specifically, this paper weaves a historical, theoretical and philosophical perspective about life science education reform efforts aimed at providing undergraduates with interactive learning experiences, and in doing so offers readers a framework for a more focused understanding about how digital technology can lend itself to good teaching that is interactive and dependent upon well thought out learning outcomes. Further, the authors provide readers with descriptive examples of practical applications for digital technology use in the interactive biology classroom, and conclude by positing some key questions that serve to guide faculty who wish to use their research skills to understand how their own use of digital technology affects student learning.
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