Many people are aware that Georgia State University is an institute that is working hard to grow its innovation processes; however, many of us aren’t as familiar with exactly how Georgia State University is going about this innovation. Some of it is already being implemented and other parts are a work in progress. The Chief Innovation Officer, Phil Ventimiglia, and his office are focusing on four main areas as they look to the future of education at Georgia State.
Remember all of those group projects you have been assigned? It’s quite apparent that GSU already puts an emphasis on collaboration within classrooms. Now GSU is putting more of an emphasis on digital collaboration. Once we enter the work force, there are certain technological skills that are necessary for a student to develop and utilize to maintain collaboration with their boss, co-workers, clients, etc. Here are a few ways that GSU is implementing resources for students to engage in more digital collaboration:
- Physical Spaces
Have you been to the bottom floor of Aderhold Learning Center lately? If so, you have probably noticed the recent “makeover.” This newly remodeled space is open to all GSU students and it recognizes students’ growing use of technology. The renovated area is equipped with charging outlets, dual-screen monitors, a few secluded areas where groups can meet, and multiple, more open, meeting spaces.
- Collaboration Tools
GSU is also working on ways to provide more industry-standard tools for students to use and engage in more digital collaboration. One main tool is through our Panthermail (Office 365) accounts. You can do way more than just email people through this account. There is remote file storage and tools for groups to work together on documents, presentations, and spreadsheets.
2. Student Success
Going digital means students and faculty can get more relevant and frequent feedback about courses and learning status.
- Adaptive Course Material
Imagine this: a digital version of your textbook that has interactive links to videos embedded into the text, or integrated quizzes located at the end of each chapter that you can take immediately after reading the material. This is becoming a reality. As course texts begin to go from print to digital, texts can begin to adapt how material is presented in order to adjust to the needs of the learner. These adaptive digital texts can then report back to the student’s professor about what material the student may be struggling with, so that the professor can target class time towards covering the concepts students are struggling with most.
3. How GSU Teaches
Digital tools are changing how teaching happens at Georgia State University. Here are 3 ways on how GSU teaches:
- Inexpensive and Free Course Texts
Textbook costs are being reduced (sometimes even to free) by going to digital formats.
- Active Class Interaction
At some point, you have probably been able to download your professor’s lecture slides from D2L (Brightspace) before you discussed that topic in class, right? That is because many faculty members are posting lectures digitally, so that class time can be used to more actively engage in discussion and problem solving.
- Extending the Walls of the Classroom
Technology also allows faculty and students to be more accessible to one another when it’s needed most to increase flexibility. For instance, some math professors are posting extra help videos online so that students can watch and learn how to solve certain problems. Others are offering office hours online by using chat and video. This is convenient when students need that extra assistance, but cannot necessarily meet in person for on campus office hours.
4. What GSU Teaches
In an evolving, more digital world, GSU is reexamining what we teach.
- Digital Literacy
Coming up in the fall of 2015, GSU will be piloting a Digital Literacy Initiative with faculty in the Honors College. This pilot program will provide students with a set of personalized learning tools. These tools will include lightweight, personal-computing devices, online portfolio-development tools, open-source electronic texts, and learning materials that interactively adapt to meet the learning needs of individual students. Digital literacy concepts will be incorporated across a spectrum of core courses, with the intent of teaching students the most up-to-date skills and knowledge they’ll need for professional employment and post-graduate work.
- Creative Media Industries Institute
Some of you may have heard the news, but GSU will be revitalizing part of the former SunTrust Bank building. This space will house the new Creative Media Industries Institute, which will build on GSU’s strengths in media production, research, design, the arts, music management and digital publishing by preparing students for careers that transcend traditional degree programs.
If you want to stay updated on the innovation going on at Georgia State, check out the Chief Innovation Officer’s blog here.