NEC Display Solutions Pilot Project Education

MORE FUN AND SUCCESS IN LEARNING

DÜSSELDORF STUDENTS EVALUATE THE USE OF TECHNOLOGY IN LECTURES

In lectures at colleges and universities, there is now an even greater need for improvement in the use of innovative presentation techniques. This is the conclusion of a project study in the Industrial Engineering degree programme at the University of Applied Sciences in Düsseldorf. Eight students interviewed fellow students and lecturers extensively on the use of modern presentation techniques in lectures. The project was supported by NEC Display Solutions. The company supports a variety of research and education projects in order to allow evaluation of innovative teaching methods.

In the process they evaluated in particular, possibilities using the DisplayNote solution which would make individual seminars and lectures more engaging and purposeful. Multiple devices can use a WLAN router connected to the lecturer’s PC with DisplayNote: Tablets, PCs, Notebooks and smartphones can be networked. This works perfectly across platforms and saves educational institutions the costs of expensive new acquisitions or the commitment to a single vendor.

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With DisplayNote the same software runs on all devices with a single user interface, this whiteboard-like software is thus available to every student. Using this they can link to the lecturer’s teaching notes on the Tablet, add their own notes, and save them. All marking and labelling methods which are offered by traditional whiteboards or PDF editing programmes can also be found here.

Because these tools are only virtual slides of the material presented, it does not matter what output format they have. Consequently lecturers have the freedom to choose whether they should rely on their own PowerPoint files, a blank document as a Tablet replacement or special learning software.

Therefore they do not need to rework their digital teaching materials, but can reuse existing material. Through the use of an integrated message function, messages can be sent directly to individuals or to groups of students. Furthermore the projector can be fully controlled by the NEC Edition, allowing lecturers full control to freeze images or change the input for example, even without the remote control.

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In the unanimous opinion of the students, the annotation function has a particularly significant value. This allows the students to record their thoughts immediately without having to wait until the lecturers have their materials ready to download on the university server. This advantage in terms of time has a verypositive impact.

Even the simple collaborative exercises performed by the students proved positive, in particular, the respondents liked the easy exchange of working materials. The possible collaboration on groupspecific or individual tasks or the presentation of results from a group project without interruptions caused by media or equipment proved to be especially helpful in practical tests.

Respondents unanimously praised the ease of opportunity to exchange ideas in a straightforward manner and to share and discuss results within the group. “Students, especially in the first terms of their studies, prefer to work in groups. In their everyday life at the university they feel more comfortable in groups, and value the exchanges with other students”, says Karin Ziegler, research associate of the University of Applied Sciences in Düsseldorf.

Overall, the students want a less traditional teaching approach, the methodology used by the likes of DisplayNote suits them better. In practical applications it turned out that the subject matter was much better understood and it was easier for the students to keep in mind what they had seen and heard.

The students also still appreciate, projection on a large screen. many respondents indicated that it was important to be able to follow the gestures of the professor. The combination of an intelligent whiteboard and a modern tablet solution thus appears to provide the best alternative.

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Since the majority of students already own a Tablet or a laptop, there are scarcely any practical limits set in the use of innovative solutions for teaching activities. “Students now use very different devices for the communication and technical needs of life.

The fact that these cannot be integrated into their principal occupation, namely studying at the university, is an exasperating anachronism for many of them”, Professor Kati Schmengler of the University of Applied Sciences in Düsseldorf reports. “DisplayNote can now make them much happier and offer greater opportunities for learning”.

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