Students using RedJade to participate in a discriminative test for the sensory evaluations of a food laboratory. (Taylor Johnson / The Poly Post)

Perspectives on using technology effectively in and out of the classroom

With the constant evolution of technology, there are many ways that professors are able to fuse elements of it into their courses. 

“I like it when professors are really engaging with technology,” said Fion Chan, a fourth-year microbiology student. 

While working two part-time jobs in addition to going to school, Chan said it is helpful when professors have technological resources available. One thing that has helped Chan better understand her course material is when lectures are posted online. 

Online lectures allow students to refer to the material at their convenience and they can serve as a useful study tool. 

After taking classes in larger lecture halls often, Smriti Sharan, a second-year psychology student, said having two projector displays really helps to ensure the presentation’s visibility. 

Sharan said it’s preferable when professors connect their personal laptops to the projectors so the projection to the class is in tune with what the professor is seeing. 

“If students can have a visual representation, then they can have a better understanding of what exactly the professor is trying to teach,” Sharan said.

Sharan said it’s much harder to understand the material when professors don’t use technology. Viral Shukla, a third-year food science and technology major, spoke about how much easier the software RedJade has made his classes. 

Students using RedJade to participate in a discriminative test for the sensory evaluations of a food laboratory. (Taylor Johnson / The Poly Post)

Before, he said he would find himself feeling stuck once he left the classroom, but the software is very accessible and has made the material much easier for him to understand. 

Another useful source of technology can be YouTube. Shukla said the popular video site is a visual way of learning that may touch on something professors don’t. 

Chan added that it is a lot more useful if the professor recommends videos so that students are not learning the wrong thing.

Many students said they see a big difference in their understanding of the course, as well as their grade when professors utilize technology.

Reflecting on how technology has allowed him to innovate his Introduction to Music course, Professor Vernon Snyder of the Music Department said it was the right direction for his class.

“[It] seemed like a necessary direction to move in if I really wanted to be a better teacher for them and improve the presentation of the course,” he said.

Professors can also utilize technology with online homework, something which Chan said he appreciates because it often comes with immediate results. 

For professors who may not find themselves very computer savvy, Shukla said they should first ask what students like. 

“With professors that aren’t using technology as much, you can definitely feel that there is an aspect missing,” Shukla said. 

Overall, students seem to appreciate a variety of technological aspects being incorporated into their learning experience. One word of advice Chan has for professors is to first make sure the technology is easy to use.

Verified by MonsterInsights