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Coastal Bend College Leverages Digital Technology to Improve Outcomes for 21st Century Learners

Karl Clark (Coastal Bend College & Alice Campus, USA)
Session Information
July 7, 2015 - 4:30pm
Teaching & Learning Effectiveness
Major Emphasis of Presentation: 
Innovation and Experimentation
Institutional Level: 
Multiple Levels
Audience Level: 
Session Type: 
Information Session
Governor's Square 11
Session Duration: 
50 Minutes
Concurrent Session 3

Attend this session to learn how Coastal Bend College empowers students to think critically, engage with concepts, and take an active role in learning.

Extended Abstract

To improve learning outcomes for students, Coastal Bend College is leveraging advances in digital learning technology to better engage learners. In the fall of 2014, Karl Clark, History Professor at Coastal Bend College, began a pilot program with an immersive learning technology platform called REVEL. After utilizing the technology in Clarks U.S. History since 1865 (U.S. History 1302) course for a mere three chapters, students positive feedback led to Clarks utilization of the technology for the remainder of the course.

A number of internal factors that led to a desire for change in the classroom included a decrease in students ability to retain course content, a lack of student preparedness for class discussion, and a steady decrease in students writing quality. Students simply were not comprehending the textbook content _ be it because they were not reading the material, or more commonly, because students were reading the textbook, but not retaining the information.
Furthermore, in the fall of 2014, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board required a statewide implementation of the Core Curriculum for all incoming freshmen. The initiative requires that six objectives _ critical thinking, communication skills, empirical and quantitative skills, teamwork, social responsibility, and personal responsibility _ be integrated into the core curriculum courses offered by all higher education institutions in the state of Texas.
Combining the need to increase student comprehension of course content, while also embedding the six core objectives of Texas Core Curriculum, Professor Clark came to the conclusion that like many other aspects of life, traditional textbooks and lecture style teaching were in desperate need of a 21st century makeover.
The use of educational technology embraces the way todays students consume information. Acting as a one-stop-shop for his U.S. History 1302 course, Karl Clarks students utilized educational technology to consume his course content and complete assignments and quizzes, while he used the built-in performance dashboard to provide himself with a real-time report on students performance, which told him which areas were a point of struggle and where he could focus his teaching efforts.
When the short pilot program came to an end, Clark was inspired by the improvements he saw. Students were not just attempting to memorize history facts, but also thinking critically about the nations past, having in-depth, engaging conversations during lecture discussions, and working as a team to evaluate how the past can affect their current social and personal responsibilities within society.
From an educators point of view, use of educational technology positively affected improved learning outcomes, while facilitating the new Texas Core Curriculum. After the pilot, Clark let his students become the decision-makers, letting them decide if the class would continue to utilize the technology for the remainder of the semester. The decision was simple. Students practically demanded to continue to use it. Some of the most common reasons why his students wanted to keep the technology in the classroom was because of their improved ability to comprehend course content, with its digestible, bite-sized content and interactive audio and video capabilities. In addition, his students liked that it was very affordable.
Inspired by the evident success of his U.S. History 1302 course, Clark began to share his students feedback and improved learning outcomes with fellow faculty and staff at Coastal Bend College. Inspired by the encouraging results, the entire History and Political Science Department made the decision to implement REVEL for the Spring 2015 semester in all department courses, reaching up to approximately 1,400 students. Additionally, other departments within Coastal Bend College are considering the use of the educational technology platform in the future.
Attend this session to hear from Karl Clark, as he shares best practices for evaluating and exploring emerging technologies that enhance the learning environment and improve learner outcomes.
Learning Objectives:
Learn about a technology that provides course content in bite-sized portions and is integrated with narrative, interactive activities and videos.
Learn more about an immersive, online learning tool that brings study materials to life to keep students engaged.
Hear from a professor as he shares the benefits of embracing a 21st century digital format that delivers content in a manner that facilitate true comprehension of course materials, and builds the foundational skills that lead to lifelong success.
Presentation Track: Teaching & Learning Effectiveness.

Lead Presenter

Coastal Bend College

Teach freshmen and sophomore college students in survey courses in Federal and Texas government in order to illustrate the structure of the political system, and promote an understanding of how authoritative decisions are made and executed for society.
Teach freshmen and sophomore college students in survey courses in American history with emphasis on cause and effects of events throughout history.
Department of State, International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL)
Department of State, Washington DC

Advisor To the Assistant Secretary of State INL: On policy issues relating to Colombia and regional spill over countries (Ecuador, Venezuela, Peru, Bolivia and Brazil) with interagency counter narcotics and crime community, to include DEA, DOD, Coast Guard, Customs, AID, ONDCP and the NSC. Develop knowledge of political, military, economic, and social and foreign policy factors that affect U.S. narcotics control policy goals in the region
Executive Office of the President
Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP)
The White House