Gem of the Day 5/7: Blinn Honored for Cutting-Edge Approach to Education

Blinn College was recognized as one of the nation’s leaders in using innovative educational technology recently when it accepted a pair of awards from Tegrity Inc.

Tegrity, the makers of lecture capture software, presented Blinn with a pair of awards at the Seattle Space Needle, recognizing the College for having more recording users and more new recordings than any college or university in the nation. Almost 1,500 Blinn instructors and students posted 11,803 videos as part of their classwork.

This is the second time Blinn has received both awards. Blinn has been using Tegrity since 2008, and Michael Welch, dean of academic technology services, said Blinn’s usage of the technology has grown each year.

Blinn instructors use Tegrity software for online and blended courses, in which at least some portion of classwork is completed online without requiring the student to travel to campus, and as a supplement to their more traditional classroom study. Instructors can record their lectures and students can post videos in response asking questions. Students can also record speeches or presentations for the instructor to grade.
Welch said students are often using the technology to view specific points of information within a lecture as they prepare for exams.
“Students can tag a part of the lecture while watching it real-time for later review,” Welch said. “We see a slight increase in viewings about every four weeks during a semester, which coincides with major exams.”

Using Tegrity, students can view sections of the instructor’s lecture over again or slow down the lecture if the instructor is going too fast for their note-taking. Students can view the material using their home computers, laptops, tablets and smart phones.

“At the conference, Tegrity told everyone that Blinn is one of their shining stars because we’ve been using the technology for so long and we always use it so well,” said English Professor Audrey Wick, who travelled to Seattle along with Government Professor Brian Cravens to attend the conference. “It made me proud to work at Blinn, where people embrace new technology. Blinn is definitely on the cutting edge.”

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