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Group Project Proposal

Group Members

Malte Winkler, Kirill Kireyev, Nate Campbell, Lisa Doan



Specific Topic

Enhancing the Student Learning Experience in Large Lecture Halls

The Project

We want to develop a tool to help students in a typical 300-person lecture hall. Currently, students in these environments are relegated to the role of passive learner. If a student has a question, it is difficult and disruptive to interrupt the professor. The advent of clickers to the classroom can keep the professor aware of any widespread misunderstandings the class may have, but individually, students can get lost and fall behind the rest of the class. Professors are already strained as it is, and creating more distractions will not result in a more positive classroom experience. Therefore, our project will provide tools to empower the students.

Our project aims to take advantage of certain characteristics of a large classroom. Teaching Assistants (TAs) are often present in the large lecture halls, and they are an invaluable resource that is, as yet, untapped. Our proposed system will also use the wireless networking that is available in most classrooms here on campus. The system will allow students to pose questions to their TAs using the "Virtual Classroom" network on their laptops. From here, students can access the professor's slides and take timestamped notes directly on the slides. Students will also be able to flag the notes with questions they might have, and their TAs will be instantly notified. The TAs will be monitoring their students and watching for any immediate issues. They can respond quickly to individual questions and make note of concepts that are confusing to several students which can later be covered in recitation.

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