Succeeding in the online environment is a broad topic with tremendous implications. One perspective that college leaders debate is educational technology: how can students leverage technology, and what technology do they need to succeed in online courses?
Just look at students holistically, and it is apparent they are on the move with work, family, friends, financial obligations and college. Educators and administrators must parse this movement to understand where and how online education can be more accessible to students so they can succeed, even while on the move. New technologies can help support students to reach success on their academic journeys.
When TCC implemented the virtual campus—TCC Connect—for the College, it was quick to identify student support services as paramount to the success of its students.
“From online readiness assessment to online student orientation, and from tutoring services to online advising, the people who deliver these services provide our students with the necessary encouragement and ‘scaffolding’ to progress through their degree or certificate programs,” said TCC Connect President Carlos Morales.
So, what are students carrying as they move through their days? Technology is on them and with them—“wearable technology.” The notion that wearable technology is only for fashion is no longer valid. Echoing these thoughts about technology, Emory Craig and Maya Georgieva say it best: “Higher education needs to explore and innovate technological student success strategies. We should encourage educators to use wearable technology like smartwatches, fitness gadgets, biometric electronics, technologically enhanced glasses, smart rings, smart necklaces and, wearable video devices, to create mobile learning environments for their students.”
The benefits of wearable technology are endless. First, these wearable technologies empower students to expand their learning experiences, giving instructors endless possibilities to connect with their students. Fast-paced students have increased access to their online learning higher education by utilizing wearable technology, allowing them to engage in their studies while on the move.
How would the use of one of wearable technology help students navigate support services? Here is an example. While shopping for groceries, a student remembers a lesson in her Marketing course that she could complete while shopping. The assignment is to find a product with unique marketing, take a picture and upload it to the Blackboard assignment area. She finds a product, takes the picture with her smartwatch and uploads it to the assignment. The second part of the task is to conduct a critical analysis of the product’s marketing effectiveness.
The student uses her smartwatch to record her thoughts and will type the notes later. This student was on the move grocery shopping for her family and used her wearable technology to begin an online course assignment.
Another example of how students wear technology in online class happens in Kinesiology. All students are required to wear a Fitbit-style tracking device so instructors can monitor their students’ physical activity. Each student purchases, then wears the device to record his or her activities; this information then is provided to the course instructor. All the students’ data is fed into a centralized data base so faculty can see all students in one location. Since the student owns the device, they know how to track their own physical activity data to keep them fit and healthy once they have completed the class. Students using wearable technology can create innovative educational experiences that give them the learning edge to succeed in their courses.
One viable way to succeed in an online course is to utilize wearable technology for class assignments. The student moves quickly from one life obligation to another; therefore, leveraging technology that helps them stay on the move can increase their chances of success. This innovative method for completing an online assignment is as easy as a tap, swipe, click, record and upload. All these actions can be completed with wearable technology to engage and succeed in an online college course.
Leveraging teaching and learning through wearable technology can help faculty members align the student learning outcomes with assignments. Innovative instruction can boost student motivation to peel back the layers of curriculum concepts and theories, study them using the wearable technology and develop a deeper understanding of the course material.
Find more information regarding TCC Connect, the College’s virtual campus.