Photo of classroom with Zoom screen in background

“I plan to leverage Zoom for guest speakers after we’re back face-to-face,” said Jones, assistant professor in the Department of Political Science and Public Administration. “During the pandemic, I was able to have some great guests join who wouldn’t have been able to make it to the physical classroom. I had U.S. Rep. Terri Sewell join from her D.C. office, and several state representatives visited our virtual classroom to talk with students.”

Lecture capture technology, installed in summer 2020 and over the December holiday break to help power hybrid classes, includes cameras and microphones in most classrooms. The project, a collaboration of the Center for Teaching and Learning, eLearning and Professional Studies and UAB IT, was funded by CARES Act money. The classroom refresh investment has brought 14-year-old classrooms across campus up to technology standards so that faculty can count on having access to the same technology, regardless of where they are teaching. 

For faculty looking to leverage classroom technology for the summer and fall semesters, CTL and UAB IT are hosting in-person workshops and one-on-one training sessions. Click here to learn more about the benefits of the updated and improved classroom technology.

Classroom technology improvements can help boost UAB’s competitive advantage even as the University moves beyond the pandemic. 

“Lecture capture technology can increase both student attraction and retention by allowing flexibility for students,” said Curtis A. Carver Jr., Ph.D., vice president and chief information officer. “Going forward, students who are not feeling well or have family or job responsibilities, as well as student athletes, for example, can listen to live or recorded lectures. Captions help with content review for all students and, more specifically, students needing accommodations and international students.”

The engagement tools like Zoom offered during hybrid classes helped bring students together, said Machelle Campbell, a student and education coordinator in the School of Medicine’s OB/GYN department.

“The faculty were able to use various options such as polling, PowerPoint sharing, and breakout rooms to have small class discussions to make us feel more engaged,” Campbell said. “To me, one of the best features of this experience was the ability to review any captured recorded lectures at another time, if I felt the need to review a portion of the class I missed or did not fully understand something in its entirety. Being able to attend virtual office hours with faculty members also created ease and accessibility.”

Dr. Jones plans to continue virtual office hours this year and involve technology in more projects.

“I like that we aren’t tied to one classroom anymore,” he said. “In my data management class, I might send students to different parts of campus to collect primary data, such as tree types or number of squirrels. We could reconvene via Zoom, share our surroundings, and then have a discussion about our data collection approaches.”

For faculty looking to leverage classroom technology for the summer and fall semesters, CTL and UAB IT are hosting in-person workshops and one-on-one training sessions. Click here to learn more about the benefits of the updated and improved classroom technology.