September 10, 2018
Technology-Enhanced Learning Center Revolutionizes Teaching and Learning Outcomes
Distance learning, apps, data-driven research and cloud-based tools — in a rapidly transforming digital world, learners and classrooms are evolving alongside every other facet of modern life. At Carnegie Mellon University, innovations in educational technology help faculty learn about learning and teach about teaching.
In the Technology-Enhanced Learning (TEL) Center — a new location with expanded space in the David A. Tepper Quadrangle — the Eberly Center for Teaching Excellence and Educational Innovation will extend its reach to study and disseminate teaching methods and technologies that improve learning outcomes.
"Our goal is to combine what we know about learning and innovations in educational technology to improve student outcomes at CMU and beyond," says Marsha Lovett, associate vice provost for teaching innovation and learning analytics and director of the Eberly Center. "The TEL Center will support collaboration with faculty and graduate student educators to combine their expertise with exceptional pedagogy, learning science and technology to create meaningful educational experiences that measurably increase student learning."
As a partner to CMU's Simon Initiative, which seeks to create an ecosystem across multiple disciplines to transform learning, the Eberly Center develops and applies new evidence-based educational technologies, which enhance the university's position as a world leader in learning innovation and in connecting the university to researchers and practitioners around the globe.
One way is by providing faculty with access to technologies that focus on both teaching and data collection, allowing them to leverage data to innovate and improve teaching methods. For example, in the Legendary Entertainment Innovation Studio, faculty and graduate student educators will work on the design and development of instructional resources and tools. In the Jack and Brigitte McGrath Learning and Teaching Research Lab, two instrumented classrooms enable faculty to conduct learning science research and utilize new technologies within real course contexts.
"We have several courses that are meeting in the classroom throughout the semester to pilot test these technologies," Lovett says.
Both classrooms are equipped with interactive monitors situated around the room and expansive white-board space, allowing students to work together in classrooms that facilitate interactivity. Special sensors collect data via video input, capturing students' posture and facial recognition.
With one in four CMU faculty members utilizing the Eberly Center, undergraduate students will benefit from the research of their instructors. Outside of the CMU campus, the center will share information and provide resources to support other universities and corporations.
The new facilities also will enhance online degree programs, informing targeted enhancements that result in a more efficient online learning experience.
"It is a whole new way of teaching and learning in higher education," says Lovett.