Industry 4.0 ushers in the prevalence of newer, smarter technologies that have greatly decreased the need for employees whose skills can be replicated by machines. Organizations are now more inclined to hire people with indispensable 21st century skills. Are universities today equipping their graduates with the right know-how?
Academia introduces several types of learning: synchronous, asynchronous, passive, and the like. But when it comes to instilling 21st century skills, blended and active learning come to the fore. What are they and why are they more effective? Assess if your curriculum is on par with other institutions that have adopted these approaches.
From slides to clickers to interactive projectors and displays, there are several available tools at a teacher’s disposal. Which ones are most effective? How can they be combined for the best classroom experience? Get an overview of today’s most commonly used classroom technologies and decide which ones best suit the needs of your class.
UCL’s Department of Science, Technology, Engineering and Public Policy (STEaPP) have come up with an active learning strategy toolkit with some practical activities that instill 21st century skills while taking full advantage of interactive technologies. See if these exercises are applicable to your classroom sessions.
Learn how UCL’s Dr. Alex Chung used the BenQ interactive display to transform a typical passive learning session into an immersive exercise. Ecosystem maps allow students to discover links between multiple elements that contribute to the formation and success of real-world policies and how they can be used to tackle wicked problems.
As part of a lecture series held by University College London (UCL)’s Science, Technology, Engineering and Public Policy (STEaPP) department, Dr. Alex Chung wanted to give students an opportunity to work on wicked problems. Wicked problems are any open-ended and hard-to-manage policy issues that are difficult to solve because of how interconnected they are with other public policy domains. To aid students, he presented an interactive policy map that was designed to illustrate the links between the UK’s cybersecurity policies and the specific government sectors responsible for creating them.
For his previous presentations using the map, Dr. Chung used traditional projectors. He found that this was not very effective in engaging the class since the setup was not ideal for student participation. When using projectors, he and his students had to take turns navigating the map using a mouse. With only one person controlling the discussion, he found that some of the students’ attention would be split, either because they were busy notetaking or were too focused on their personal devices. He needed a more interactive medium that would get students more involved in the discussion and would also allow them to navigate the policy maps more naturally.
BenQ interactive display, RM series
Using the BenQ interactive display, students got a full kinesthetic learning experience (using their hands to explore ideas). Its user-friendly interface, similar to that of a smartphone or tablet, made it easy to operate. Students were able to physically zoom in and control elements on the screen using hand gestures. And since the interactive display has multiple touch points, one or more students could interact with the screen simultaneously. This level of physical interaction with data points on the map as well as the cooperative nature of the setup helped them gain a deeper understanding of the specific policy areas being discussed. The students visibly got more involved in the session as they huddled together in front of the screen to exchange ideas. They were able to better exercise their communication, critical thinking, and collaboration skills.
In her research workshops at UCL, Dr. Ine Steenmans used narrative storyboarding to test her students’ ability to evaluate various research methodologies applied to different scenarios. This active learning approach proved very challenging using traditional teaching media. Learn how the BenQ interactive display transformed her sessions and made storyboarding a breeze.
For doctoral training sessions held by University College London (UCL)’s Science, Technology, Engineering and Public Policy (STEaPP) department, Dr. Ine Steenmans wanted to use continuous narrative storyboarding to encourage students to combine and evaluate different research and problem-solving approaches applicable to scenarios presented to them. Narrative storyboarding is an active learning method that uses an unfolding story to come up with results. For this approach to be effective, students must be able to keep track of the narrative being built until a final consensus is reached or until new ideas are revealed.
Teaching with a traditional classroom setup
Teaching with an interactive display
In the past, Dr. Steenmans used a traditional whiteboard, a projector, and a laptop for similar sessions. Not only did this setup prove to be time-consuming and personally distracting (with her having to go back-and-forth in between devices to control the presentation) it was also difficult to transfer storyboard content to different media every time the whiteboard ran out of space. The repeated breaks in the session made it challenging for students to closely follow the narrative they were building.
BenQ interactive display, RM series
On whiteboards, narratives have to be erased before you can continue
On interactive displays, you can continue narratives by adding pages
Since the interactive display allowed Dr. Steenmans to load her presentation directly on the display, annotate student contributions using the EZWrite whiteboarding software, and import supporting media such as images onto the board, they only needed one device for the session. This made it easier for both her and her students to keep the narrative flow going. And because EZWrite offers expandable whiteboard space, they could continuously write ideas across the board, making it a breeze to check the progress of their narrative without having to erase anything.
Three instructors. Three use cases. One interactive display. Find out how UCL’s Dr. Alex Chung, Oxford University’ s Dr. Ying Yu, and De Montfort University’s Dr. Tian Ma took advantage of the various features of the BenQ interactive display to present, brainstorm, and test ideas during their peer-to-peer learning sessions.
This case study has been shortened for the web. To read the full version and the other case studies in the series, download the full report, Active Learning in the 21st Century Classroom.
Oxford University’s Wolfson College housed a peer-to-peer learning event that brought together several researchers and PhD and Master’s students from across the UK. During the event, several subject matter experts hosted breakout group discussions on criminology and criminal justice. These knowledge-sharing sessions aimed to give students new ideas that could help them in their future careers and provide established researchers with fresh perspectives related to their current specializations.
The peer-to-peer learning event was divided into smaller segments, each facilitated by different lecturers who applied varying active learning techniques for their respective segments. They needed a collaborative solution that was simple enough to operate and had the functionalities and tools they required for the type of sessions they wanted to hold.
|Law, security, and justice||Organized crime research||Criminology and criminal justice|
|Dr. Ying Yu
|Dr. Alex Chung
University College London
|Dr. Tian Ma
De Montfort University Leicester
|Open discussion and consultation||Hands-on data analysis||Live brainstorming and consultation|
|The free-flowing discussion allowed participants to share their practical experiences in conducting research related to criminal justice and the challenges they faced while safely collecting firsthand data.||To help students better understand the connections among criminal actors, they were given an interactive sociogram to operate. The visualized sample data was based on a record of activities of a particular Asian transnational criminal network.||The session aimed to broaden students’ perspectives on criminology by discussing how it overlapped with other areas of study. Participants could share their research topics that they could further improve through live brainstorming exercises.|
|A solution that allowed participants to easily compare different modes of information gathering.||A solution that allowed the large sociogram to be displayed in full and allowed participants to physically interact with it so they could better analyze links.||A solution that allowed participants to brainstorm research topics whether in person or remotely.|
BenQ interactive display, RP series
The BenQ interactive display gave the instructors the flexibility they needed to transfer knowledge in a way that fit their individual teaching styles. They were able to pick and choose which features they could take advantage of to serve specific parts of their discussion.
|Interactive display features used|
|• EZWrite whiteboard
• Built-in web browser
• Network connectivity
|• Multiple touch points
• Built-in web browser
• Network connectivity
|• EZWrite whiteboard
• EZWrite Cloud
|Through whiteboarding, it became simpler for participants to assess the advantages and disadvantages of different approaches to information gathering and presentation. They were also able to look up information on the internet, which they then used to support their assessments.||Multiple participants were able to move nodes on the sociogram at the same time so that they could isolate specific connections relevant to their discussion.
Some of the nodes had links to online resources which participants could easily tap and open on the display’s built-in web browser.
|Students got to brainstorm freely on the whiteboard and then organize their ideas through color coding.
Remote participants were able to instantaneously add their ideas through the EZWrite Cloud interface.
Our interactive displays enrich your classroom sessions by helping students acquire 21st century skills while improving their learning experience. Learn how BenQ interactive displays can improve your current classroom setup. Contact our sales representatives for a demo or consultation.