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Task force asks students about technology

Administration and SU have trouble gauging student opinion

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A new task force is asking students what kind of technology they want to use in the classroom. And so far, they’ve had little response.

The task force for teaching and learning was created to determine what type of technology will be used in future University of Calgary classrooms. As Students’ Union vice-president academic Emily Macphail explained, technology means more than just electronics.

“The discussions we’ve had have not just been about electronics necessarily. It was more around how technology could be and should be used in the institution,” Macphail said.

In order to make the plan, the committee sent out surveys to faculty and students. According to vice-provost teaching and learning Lynn Taylor, many faculty members filled out the survey, but few students responded.

“We had a very good response from faculty but one thing I would really ask from students is to please respond,” Taylor said. “We really need to know how students are using technology to help you with your learning.”

The survey was sent to students by the SU earlier this year. Macphail acknowledged that filling out surveys is not something most students are interested in.

“I understand that they might be overloaded with surveys, but I can’t represent students’ views that I haven’t heard,” Macphail said. “The more students we can get to fill out the survey, the better the overall strategy is going to fit for students.”

Taylor said the task force is doing a number of other things to get a good outcome.

“We’ve been looking at what other universities are doing and learning from them,” she said. “We’re looking at how they’re framing to support effective use of technologies in learning. And we’re also looking at what they’re not doing.”

The task force is still in its infancy, with most major decisions still to come.

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