By S. Joanna Bartlett-Gustina
As technology continues to evolve and change the way we live our lives, it also changes the way we teach and learn—enhancing how students connect with the course content and with each other.
The TLT Studio in the basement of Wallace Library is such a place where effective teaching strategies and technology go hand in hand to create an innovative learning experience. Transformed from an auditorium-style classroom—one of the original classrooms on the RIT campus, built in 1968—the TLT Studio now houses an array of equipment and flexible room furniture in a bright, modern space.
Several RIT faculty have taught in the renovated room since its launch last winter quarter, making use of the equipment it offers—including tablet PCs, multi-image projection capability and collaboration software. These courses span the spectrum of learning at RIT, encompassing science, writing, design, business, art, technology and philosophy. And they each use technology and the studio in a different way—some are taught in a studio-style, while others focus on using tablet PCs to collaborate or simultaneously work on problems.
According to Dick Doolittle, assistant provost for undergraduate education, the right use of technology can transform the way classes are taught and students learn. He’s taught Anatomy in the TLT Studio.
“In anatomy, a large part of students' understanding of structure is based on their capacity to understand relationships between a wide range of different types of tissues,” explains Doolittle. “Showing multiple views (anterior, posterior or side views) at the same time expands their learning potential.”
He extensively used the room’s three-screen projection capability to illustrate the structural makeup of the human body for students. Doolittle also uses Dyknow collaboration software to label diagrams projected onto the screen and encourage active classroom participation by having students take turns labeling them as well using tablet PCs. Students were also able to take notes on the tablet PCs, follow along with PowerPoint presentations and save the annotated slides for later review.
This interactive learning engages students, giving them a more thorough understanding of the course content. “From student feedback, I can say that they greatly appreciate the changes. I can’t imagine going back to a single-screen approach now,” Doolittle says.
Classes from all disciplines can benefit from the innovative environment in the TLT Studio, using the room’s multiple projection screens to display examples of best practices, Web sites, Twitter feeds, student poll responses and even the virtual world of Second Life.
Applications for use of the TLT Studio for winter quarter will be accepted until Oct. 31. For more information or to apply, visit the TLT Studio Web site or contact Damon Betlow at 475-5922 or firstname.lastname@example.org.