Pilot Projects

technology in teaching

Academic Technology pilot projects:

Partnering with faculty to explore opportunities for innovation in technology integration.

Academic technology integration to support pedagogical goals and enhance the learning experience for faculty and students involves a partnership between the office of Academic Technology (AT) and interested professors. Each semester, three or four pilot projects are supported that explore the possibilities of innovation in Westmont's face to face, residential academic environment. In most cases, the project begins with a query or idea from a professor that leads to further discussion and planning. This is a process where the AT takes the initial goal and concept, researches and tests the project technology and then enables the faculty member to use the tool. Tech support and strategic planning that involves the professor, students and the AT continues throughout the project. Assessment and reporting also are done in partnership with the AT.

Here are the projects that we are working on. Contact us at oat@westmont.edu if you would like to explore and innovate together.


Fall 2015/Spring 2016

This Academic year we focused on multiple projects that explored the effect that mobile technologies had on how we live and learn together. This research included:

- Strategic plans for acadeic innovation utilizing mobile phones and tablets

- The psychology of mobile device use

- The path to unlock "Multiplicity of Place" that is inherent in mobile technology use

See PILOT PROJECTS page for more information.

Fall 2014/Spring 2015
This academic year, we are partnering with three groups of faculty to discover the potential of three different and innovative approaches to specific aspects of teaching and learning. Individual faculty projects will also be initiated to look the use of iPads in presentation and to take a look at how game learning strategies might be leveraged in the classroom.

LMS Pilot Project
This fall 2014 a small group of faculty and students will undertake this pilot project to discover the impact of the use of a learning management system that has a strong mobile integration. This group will assess the LMS tool but also look at the impact of this agile product on student learning experiences. Read the report

The Mobile Course Pilot Project 
- iTunes U Courses

The North Europe semester program is using iPad mini tablets as the sole tool for reading, writing and collaborating. They are using iTunes U Courses to distribute course materials, collaborate using the discussions feature and reflect on their experiences abroad. Read the report.

Academic Assessment Pilot Project 
- Live Text - This web based software is designed to digitize and streamline the submission of student academic works and their assessment. This year a pilot group of faculty, administrative assistants and students will use this program to assess some of the learning outcomes that are required by WASC for our college and departmental assessments. Read the report.

iPads and the Un-Tethered Professor
This project is looking at how the use of an iPad to wirelessly control a professor's Keynote or PowerPoint presentation impacts the learning environment. The hypothesis is that the interaction between students and a professor who is un-tethered from the laptop and lectern is enhanced. Read the report.

Fall 2013/Spring 2014

Mobile Writers
This was a Fall 2013 pilot project. The iPad mini was used in the Europe semester campus abroad program. The students loaded all of their textbooks on these mobile devices using the Amazon Kindle app, write and shared the papers they wrote for the course and used these tools to engage in the adventure at every turn. The hypothesis was that the mobility of this technology would enable knowledge building to occur wherever the students were. Read the report.

In this year long project, Twitter and Glassboard accounts were set up for 3 groups of students and their professors to discover the impact of these mobile technologies on their academic collaborations outside of the formal setting of the classroom. The focus of the collaboration for these groups were stated to be related to their academic work in building knowledge in the areas they were working on together. The hypothesis was that combining text and images would allow students to bring the learning that took place in their informal learning environments back into the formal learning environment of the classroom. Read the report.

Beginning with the professor's goal to explore a academic discussion where all members were not physically in the same location, we set up the technology and provided ongoing support for implementation and training for users. We will partner with professor and students to asses the learning experience of this project. Read the report.

Podcasting and the Flipped Classroom project
This year long project involved providing equipment and support for one professor to record his lectures in two sections of a course. The lectures were edited into short segments and posted to Westmont College's iTunes U page for students to review the lecture podcasts. The goals of this project were two-fold: to provide more access to lecture materials for students to view outside of class meeting times allowing more time for in class discussions and to enable future sessions of this course to experiment with a flipped classroom model. Read the report.              

This project is exploring how access to short videos of math equations including professor narrative will impact student learning in a math course. This began with the professor's goal to make this available to students. We researched and tested the process and now the professor is using the technology to find the best workflow for the course and students. Read the report.

Westmont College iTunes U library of video and audio recordings of lectures, chapels and events provide access to the rich history of college life. An archive of the last 42 years of chapel speakers along with current recordings of special events and lectures allow Westmont College to document and share the depth of this liberal arts experience with the world. Faculty and students access these recordings to support and generate more face to face academic discussions. Campus activities make their events available to alumni and others who are not able to attend their presentations. Anyone interested in Westmont College iTunes U ongoing project can visit us at Westmont College on iTunes U.