High or low tech approaches to teaching and learning?: The value of pedagogical soundness

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Byrne, Edmond P.
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This paper looks at the application of peer instruction via in-class concept questions, an approach based on a constructivist conception of learning (as opposed to a ‘transmissionist’ model) that facilitates the engagement of learners through active learning opportunities (Smith et al, 2009). This approach has been adopted using both ‘high tech’ (clickers) and ‘low tech’ (flashcards) approaches (Mazur, 1997, 2009), whereby crucially, ‘no significant differences were found in conceptual learning gains’ between either approach (Lasry, 2008). The current paper considers the use of flashcards to facilitate peer discussion and learning in a fluid mechanics module and elicits learner reflections on how this approach better facilitates learning relative to a ‘traditional’ lecturing approaches. It also reflects on how this approach compares with other technological innovations aimed at supporting learning. Conclusions are drawn around the need to place the pedagogical horse ahead of the technological cart when considering teaching approaches.
Pedagogical , High tech , Low tech , Teaching , Learning
Byrne, E. P. (2015) "High or low tech approaches to teaching and learning?: The value of pedagogical soundness", Research in Engineering Education Symposium (REES2015). Dublin Institute of Technology, 13-15 July.
Copyright © 2015 Edmond P. Byrne. The author assigns to the REES organisers and educational non-profit institutions a non-exclusive licence to use this document for personal use and in courses of instruction provided that the article is used in full and this copyright statement is reproduced. The author also grants a non-exclusive licence to REES to publish this document in full on the World Wide Web (prime sites and mirrors), on portable media and in printed form within the REES 2015 conference proceedings. Any other usage is prohibited without the express permission of the author.