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Adopting a Cloud-Based Audience Response System
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About this session:

Iowa State University had standardized on a hardware clicker product in 2006, but saw a growing use of cloud-based products on campus. In order to keep student costs down while still meeting faculty needs, we launched an in-depth evaluation of cloud-based audience response products. This included multiple steps: making the case for change to the campus community; evaluating campus needs to accurately craft a procurement RFP; evaluating and piloting multiple products; communicating the results to campus; and finally the ramp up of adoption efforts including training and support.

As a collaborative effort between ISU’s Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching (CELT) and Instructional Technology Services (ITS) a white paper was published to argue for a comprehensive assessment of the then-current audience response tool spurred by the upcoming system update. The paper described the logistical, technological and support challenges associated with the mandatory technology update and presented several solutions that might be of a potential fit. The paper was shared with the local academic community receiving very constructive feedback from the faculty, students, support staff and administration.

A list was prepared of required and optional characteristics for a new tool based on the information in the white paper and extensive feedback from the university community. At this time we wrestled with a range of issues, the tool’s architecture and potential integration with the current infrastructure, costs and other considerations. Having narrowed the requirements for a new audience response solution, we proceeded with vendor identification, product piloting and collection and analysis of the pilot data.

In the session, we will share the successes and challenges of the entire process in which the representatives of CELT, ITS and the university’s leadership balanced the many opinions and teaching and learning experiences surrounding the selection. We will illustrate the advantages of the selected mobile cloud-based audience response technology for our institution and share key observations over the past year. Lastly, we will cover the logistics of communicating, training, and switching over an entire campus all at once.

Attendees will learn the details of this entire process, the case for a cloud-based ARS, and the lessons learned along the way.

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About the presenter:

Jacob Larsen, Iowa State University

Jacob E. Larsen is an Emerging Technology Specialist with the Iowa State University (ISU) Information Technology Services where he manages the emerging technology support efforts. This includes leading faculty support efforts and assistance for all IT Services Academic Technologies including software assistance and pedagogical support. He is also the primary communications agent for the Community of Educational Technology Support (ComETS) organization at ISU. Larsen’s current focus is on faculty engagement strategies, wireless content streaming and audience response systems (clickers). In addition to his experience as a college - level instructor Larsen has extensive experience with faculty pedagogical and technical support and blended and online learning.



Lesya Hassall, Iowa State University

Lesya M. Hassall is a program coordinator at the Online Learning Innovation Hub in Center for Excellence for Learning and Teaching, Iowa State University. Her professional responsibilities revolve around assessment and meaningful integration of learning technologies into teaching and learning, course design and development, universal design for learning and faculty professional development. Lesya received her doctoral degree in Instructional Technology from Iowa State University in 2006 and has since been involved in many teaching and learning projects, including pedagogical applications of virtual reality, mobile technologies, audience response systems and social media in higher education settings. Lesya also holds a MA degree in teaching English and German as second languages from Nizhyn State University, Ukraine.