Ian Schnee Uses Technology in the Classroom as Part of Evidence-Based Teaching Study

Submitted by Britta M. Anson on
Ian Schnee

Philosophy lecturer Ian Schnee is helping to test new teaching strategies as part of the Evidence-Based Teaching Program, under the leadership of the Center for Teaching and Learning. His experience was recently featured in a UW-IT feature article called When Technology Engages the Mind.

The following is an excerpt:

Philosophy Lecturer Ian Schnee once had a firm policy of “no screens in my classroom.”

But adopting a classroom response system known as Poll Everywhere challenged his own assumptions about technology and encouraged him to abandon his no-screen policy. Poll Everywhere turned a traditional classroom lecture into a productive beehive of activity, with 200 students wielding an array of laptops, tablets and cell phones.

Students use Poll Everywhere on their personal mobile devices to answer questions and polls that Schnee sends their way throughout the class. And depending on how he sets up the system, their collective answers are tabulated and immediately displayed on the screen so students can compare their answers.

To outsiders, Poll Everywhere — the UW’s preferred classroom response system  — may seem an unlikely disrupter of the pedagogical landscape, but for Schnee and other faculty members at the UW, the app and other classroom technologies are helping them guide their students into becoming better critical thinkers — and making them better teachers too.

To accomplish those goals, they have partnered with like-minded UW colleagues, adopted evidence-based teaching strategies and brought evolving technologies into the classroom to enhance the teaching and learning experience.

“Faculty are hesitant to change the way they teach,” Schnee said. “They think they need to talk to students for 20 minutes straight. But with Poll Everywhere and other tweaks in my classroom, students shoulder more responsibility for their own learning.”

Read the full article for more details on how Professor Schnee uses the Poll Everywhere app to increase student engagement in the classroom.