With the Association for Learning Technology Annual Conference fast approaching, appointments filling up and exhibitor trails in the planning, Gary Morrison urges learning technologists to have the user experience at the front of their minds……
Technology is exciting, if it works! Ever been over-excited to rip open the latest home technology or kitchen gadget, to still have your nose stuck frustratingly in the manual days later? While mobile, Web 2.0 and an array of exciting technological trends hit the headlines right now, nothing trumps ease-of-use when it comes to the user experience.
Ultimately, if technology is not simple to use, and the right support is not provided, people will disengage. Any supplier you choose to work with should have regular, open dialogue with you to ensure the solution is fit for your institution’s needs.
Go armed at ALT-C with questions about the flexibility of prospective technology partner solutions and how they will meet your institution’s individual requirements.
Keep it simple
Speaking with universities, two major reasons they have disengaged with previous learning technology solutions, includes the sheer number of features and a general lack of intuitiveness.
And it’s not only untrained professors that find some software difficult to get to grips with. Even the more tech-savvy student population are struggling to understand how some learning technologies work.
Close relationships with our university partners has now led to a new, simplified, web-based release of TurningPoint, covering just a handful of the solution’s most popular features.
Teaching in a digital age, it’s crucial that learning technologies keep pace with millennials. No, the solution should not become overly complex, but, providers should absolutely invest in new features and versions to ensure their solution is at the forefront of teaching and learning.
We will showcase two brand new features at ALT-C; a new web polling stand-alone app designed to create and deliver interactive questions online through a computer, tablet or even a smartphone, and scheduled polling; using TurningPoint web, instructors can now schedule surveys and assessments that provide interactive content at any time without the need for a live polling session.
No learning technology should ever be an island. The integration capabilities of any new solution you procure is paramount for the user experience. Top questions you should ask suppliers at ALT-C: can the software integrate with our current learning management system? How will this integration happen, and will it create a huge headache?
However intuitive and easy to use a solution is, a good supplier will provide round-the-clock support to ensure you’re never stuck unable to use it. Both staff and students will disengage quickly if left unable to resolve a technical issue. This is especially important for the less digitally-savvy, who have invested a great amount in accepting new technologies in their classrooms.
Taking this a step further, an excellent supplier should also provide training and resources to help you maximise use of their technology. From pedagogical approaches, to innovative ways to use the technology, they should encourage and support your continued development.
As our business evolved, and we made the step away from clickers to a learning solution, we’ve grown our supportand training offering to encompass three pillars. To help guide your discussions and explorations at ALT-C, keep these three ease-of-use trends front of mind…..
(1) Student success – how does your provider support the student’s learning journey and ensure they are engaged with the technology?
(2) Instructor success – how does your provider support and empower staff to make best use of the technology for learning?
(3) Campus support – how does your provider support the ongoing technical requirements of your institution and its technology stack?
To book a personal appointment with Matthew Moss, Turning Technologies’ International Business Development Manager at ALT-C, click here. The first 10 people to book a meeting will receive a complimentary Turning Technologies charging cable for power on the go.
Gary is Vice President: International Division at Turning Technologies.