What’s Technology Doing for Students in Higher Ed?

I read the text very differently than you did and think it is worth noting a couple of things. First, the Professor, Ashok Goel teaches large on-line AI classes to ‘hundreds of students’ each semester. Even with eight TAs, he was still finding it difficult to respond to all the questions students were asking, so he set up an AI TA (Jill Watson) to respond to Frequently Asked Questions.
He did not tell the students beforehand, but when he did disclose that Jill was an AI program, most of his students were ‘very excited’. Goel has expanded his use of the AI program to other courses he teaches.

The article goes on to highlight a Campus Technology article describing a survey they conducted last August of 500+ professors’ use of technology in their classes: 55% of the respondents said they expect students to use online study materials before coing to class, and ‘more than 70% said they combine online materials and face-to-face teaching in their classroom.’

Link to article: https://campustechnology.com/articles/2017/03/07/when-virtual-reality-meets-the-classroom.aspx

Goel predicts that adaptive learning technologies just being rolled out for public use “will increase the availability of learning all over the world. But there are some concerns about how well the technology works.”

Other highlights from the article:

SRI Int’l conducted a survey of Ed. Tech. at 14 Colleges last summer and found that tech. ‘did little to help student performance.” But, there’s a caveat articulated by SRI Senior Researcher Louise Yarnall:  just like ‘regular’ instruction and assignments, if students don’t actually use the tools available (prepare for class or do their homework) they won’t gain any benefit. (read the article to find out more)

Jose Bowen, President of Goucher College in Baltimore, MD believes that while technology improves the availability of information, it doesn’t help students learn how to think about the information that is available. And, he adds, access is very often limited to those who have enough to pay for it. Bowen advocates for the interpersonal relationships between Educator and Student to guide and shape learning experiences based on what the student knows and wants to learn.

Additional Connections …

What’s more interesting than the content of this particular article is that it appears on a web site for adults to learn English by listening to a transcript of the article while reading it. Thus, the application of technology to further learning experiences seems to be of benefit to a broad group of learners that may not have direct access to native English-speakers.

Check it out: http://learningenglish.voanews.com/a/technology-in-college-classrooms/3589730.html

And a current article on Campus Technology outlines three benefits to having virtual reality learning tools at student’s disposal at Indiana University.

When (Virtual) Reality Meets the Classroom – 3/7/2017


Virginia Tech’s Cube


– First of its kind, full-scale (50’w x 40’l x 32’h), $15M data exploration facility
– Response to the U.S. initiative on “big data”
– Unlike traditional virtual environments, this collaborative research environment for augmented team exploration (CREATE) enables multi-person (social) collaboration with data


– Augmented reality (head-mounted display and tablet interaction interface)
– Wave field synthesis and holosonic sound display interaction
– Synchronized data capture, including Information Retrieval motion capture, audio/video, physiological, and interaction signals
– Real-time audio/visual rendering system


High-performance computing

Real-time interaction research

Virtual vs. real world investigations

Human performance modeling and studies

Distributed gaming and social environments

Multi-person “walk-through” of virtual buildings and environments

Education and training in full-scale virtual environments

Artistic installations/performances using multi-screen display and a 128-speaker system

Abstract data interaction and exploration, including bioinformatics, social networks, transportation, security, biological and veterinary science, and more