First, let me express my appreciation for the Center for Teaching Excellence and this small grants program. As you know, often relatively small amounts of money can have a big impact on the educational experience of our students. In this case, I think you will see a tremendous impact in a short amount of time as well.
To refresh you memory, as a representative of the School of Mass Communications, I applied for a grant of approximately $3,500.00 to replace some outdated computer monitors in our audio production facilities. The old monitors were so small, that many students had trouble seeing the information being presented by the instructor in our radio labs. For some students, this meant that they had to struggle more than necessary to complete assignments for our introduction to broadcast writing course – a class that I teach and that all our journalism majors must complete.
With the purchase and installation of our new computer monitors, many students report being much more satisfied with the instruction they are receiving, and much better able to complete their assignments.
I conducted a survey of 26 students who took the introductory radio production lab or the advanced radio reporting course to get a feel for the impact of this purchase. Here are some of the highlights of what we found:
- All 26 of the students surveyed say they have had a chance to work with the new monitors. Comments from the students about the monitors include the following:
- It is much easier to see all the work at once – also the large display makes editing easier.
- It provided a bigger space so that we could see what we were doing. Wide screens really do rule!
- Easier to see/work with and instructor can demonstrate techniques more effectively to the entire class.
- I could see radio waves more clearly to adjust levels and clips.
- 22 of the students actually did some of their coursework in the radio production bays (the 4 other seniors had already completed all their lab work). Comments from the students about the improvement in instruction include the following:
- I am a true believer in 90% of what you see you retain. Large screens are great.
- I could see what the instructor was talking about and instruction was more clear.
- It really did help a lot, before you couldn’t even see anything.
- Made the teacher’s demonstrations easier to see.
I have attached a copy of an Excel spreadsheet that provides more comments and detail on the impact of the new monitors. As you can see from the comments detailed above, the monitors have been a big success from the students’ point of view, and they have clearly improved the quality of instruction students are receiving.
Thank you again for making this program available to us. Please let me know if you have any questions.
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