Promoting Interactivity and Collaboration in Online Courses Using Business Communications Tools
With the help of an incentive grant from the Fox School Computer and Information Technology Committee and senior technical support specialist Riu Baring, Darin Kapanjie, instructor in statistics and faculty coordinator for online initiatives in the Fox School, set out to improve the teaching of online quantitative classes. Using a new tool, a WACOM tablet to record student handwriting in Microsoft OneNote, as well as virtual calculators, online assessments with immediate feedback, desktop sharing, Web conferencing, Web cams, VoIP and WebEx, The Fox School of Business at Temple University now offers 100% synchronous online courses. The entire class meets live with Professor Kapanjie in the virtual world and benefited from all the interactivity and collaboration possible in a traditional classroom. This platform is going so well that John DeAngelo, Associate Dean for Information Technology, is making WebEx the chief delivery tool for synchronous online instruction. The Fox School will soon offer their entire undergraduate business core online in real time e-classrooms using WebEx. During in-class exams, these tablets allow students to handwrite their answers, in Microsoft OneNote and submit their solutions at the end of class, the same way they would in a traditional classroom. The tablets help address the process issue in quantitative courses; while the final answer is important, it’s more important to how an answer was achieved. Professor Kapanjie only accepts answers in natural handwriting through the use of tablets and a digital pen. WACOM tablets are also being used for live online collaboration. Professor Kapanjie is be able to "pass the ball" to students who can then share how they solved a particular problem with the entire class, promoting greater engagement and learning.
Keywords: Synchronous Online Education, Online Instruction, Collaboration, Web Conferencing, Webcams, e-Classrooms, VoIP
Faculty Coordinator of Fox Online Initiatives, Fox School of Business, Statistics Department, Temple University
Senior Technical Support Specialist, Fox Computer Services, Temple University