CTE iPad Pilot Project
Touch screen computing devices, like the Apple iPad, have introduced new opportunities for the use of digital technologies in education. Early views of the iPad as a laptop replacement have given way to more careful thinking about the perceived affordances of these devices as supports for new forms of creativity, interaction, and collaboration. Faculty members in higher education have only just begun to explore the ways in which iPad technology, related "apps", and specific educational uses might support teaching and learning.
The CTE's iPad Pilot Project has been designed with these core aims in mind:
Introduce iPad technology into the classroom setting to provide faculty members
and students with the opportunity to explore potential learning value.
Support innovative teaching projects that seek to use digital technology to enhance learning. Identify and examine specific teaching practices and related "apps" that support student engagement in a course. Collect and showcase the guiding rationales, course-related activities, and evaluations of these iPad-based projects for the VCU community and beyond.
Faculty members who share a commitment to these aims are encouraged to submit a proposal for consideration as a pilot project.
Support for the development and implementation of pilot projects is outlined in the sections below.
Members of the CTE will partner with faculty members to assist with conceptualizing project ideas, identifying "apps" that can support learning goals, and provide ongoing training in the effective instructional use of iPad technology. Consultation on instructional design approaches to align learning goals, course activities and uses of the iPad is also available. Faculty members are encouraged to take advantage of consultation services at all phases of the project – proposal development, implementation and evaluation.
The IT staff of the faculty member's home school or department serves as a sponsor of the project to provide technical support for the duration of the pilot. Technical support should include setup, deployment, management and maintenance of iPads that are distributed to students. In addition, the sponsoring IT staff will serve as the key point of contact to resolve technical issues that might emerge during the pilot project. A letter of support from the IT Director of the sponsoring unit is required for all project proposals.
Pilot Project Timeline
The following represents a general timeline for pilot project implementation: Call for proposals (February – April, 2013)
- Selection of pilot projects (May, 2013)
- Pilot project planning & preparation (June – July, 2013)
- Pilot project implementation (August – December, 2013)
- Pilot project evaluation (Ongoing + December, 2013)
- Presentation of pilot project results (Spring semester, 2014)
Pilot Project Continuation
iPads are awarded for use in the target course described in the proposal for the Fall 2013 semester. Faculty members may request a continuation of the pilot project for a different course within their home school / department by submitting another proposal. If conducting an additional pilot is not desired, all iPads must be returned to the CTE at the end of the Fall 2013 semester.
The resources below provide additional information about the use of iPads in higher education:
Project Evaluation and Research
A very important element of the CTE's iPad Pilot Project is the evaluation of how iPads can be used in meaningful ways to support student engagement and learning at VCU. Through a combination of surveys and focus groups, the CTE staff will work closely with faculty members to explore ways of answering the following general questions:
- Which uses of the iPad are most/least useful in helping students achieve learning goals in the course?
- What behaviors / practices are identified by students as increasing their engagement in the course?
- Is there unique functionality of the iPad that presents new learning opportunities?
- To what extent does the integration of iPads in the course result in any changes in teaching practice?
- Does the use of iPads encourage any changes, in existing modes of teaching and learning valued by the students' or instructors?
Expectations of Participants
- Faculty members participating in the iPad Pilot Project will be expected to engage in some inquiry related to the implementation of their project. The CTE will partner with faculty members to provide guidance and support for conducting research studies they are interested in pursuing in connection with their pilot projects.
- Participants will be expected to attend scheduled meetings to share experiences and ideas about their ongoing projects.
- Faculty members will also be expected to contribute to a report about iPad Pilot study.
- Faculty members will participate in an end of project talk to be offered to the wider VCU audience.
Submit a Proposal
Please submit the following materials in your proposal:
- A completed iPad Pilot Project Proposal form.
- A signed letter from your dean or department chair acknowledging support for your proposal. This letter should also include reference to any funding the school or department is willing to commit to support the implementation of the project (purchase of apps, peripherals, etc.).
- A signed letter from your school IT Director indicating that they will agree to provide technical support for the pilot project. (Technical support should include setup, deployment, management and maintenance of iPads that are distributed to students. In addition, the sponsoring IT staff will serve as the key point of contact to resolve technical issues that might emerge during the pilot project).
Please send completed proposal materials to Stan Anamuah-Mensah (email@example.com) at the CTE by 13 April 2013.
Announcement of supported proposals is expected by 1 May 2013.