Higher education is under considerable economic and societal pressure to change the way it educates students. One major focus of change is the integration of technology into the classroom. Although many faculty are interested in using more technology in their classrooms, they often simply lack the time and the support to be able to do so. Another area of emphasis is the restructuring of faculty and student roles. One manifestation of this restructuring is to have faculty and students become co-producers of learning with faculty acting as coaches or facilitators and students actively participating in their own learning through collaboration and realistic experiences.
The project described in this paper involved a psychology instructor, four psychology students, and a multimedia specialist at Maricopa Community Colleges in Arizona. The project was a pioneering effort to develop a collaborative teaching and learning experience which could serve as a prototype for both the integration of technology and the restructuring of faculty and student roles.
The end product of this faculty-student collaboration was a computer-based multimedia instructional program which teaches the concept of negative reinforcement. For motivational purposes, the faculty-student team designed the program with exploratory, game-like features so learners would experience relevant conditions in a simulated college environment complete with a Lecture Hall, Lab, and Testing room.
As part of the project, a formative evaluation was conducted to determine the effectiveness of this computer-based multimedia program and to identify potential areas for its improvement. Evaluation results indicate that the multimedia program may have a positive effect on learning. The program's effectiveness may be improved by providing more instructions at the beginning to guide learners.For further information, contact Karen McNally at firstname.lastname@example.org