Complex Made Simple

Texas A&M University at Qatar hosts Teaching Innovation with Technology Competition

Texas A&M University at Qatar’s Academic Affairs Office and Information Technology Services department hosted the Teaching Innovation with Technology Competition on 3 December at the Texas A&M at Qatar Engineering Building at Education City. The competition was created to stimulate the innovative use of technology for better teaching and learning experiences.

Dr. Hamid Parsaei, professor of mechanical engineering and associate dean for Academic Affairs, noted the importance of technology in the classroom as a motivator for greater student achievement, saying, “Classroom technology has a positive effect not only on learning, but also on students’ motivation, on the classroom atmosphere and on teachers’ willingness to experiment with new and innovative instructional approaches. In sum, teaching with technology transforms the entire learning experience, and Texas A&M at Qatar is a leader in this area.”

In the current competition cycle, three proposals were awarded for implementation, and a faculty–ITS partnership was created to develop these proposals. Dr. Nasser Alaeddine, director of Enterprise Applications & Educational Technology at Texas A&M at Qatar, said, “The Teaching Innovation with Technology Competition provides an excellent opportunity to prototype and assess the impact of emerging learning technologies and facilitate educational technology innovations.”

Texas A&M at Qatar’s faculty presented three competitive projects in which promising results were shown to improve learning outcomes. The projects also surveyed student participants and these results indicated favorable experiences and keen interest in using the tools implemented in the competing projects. These projects were active learning via smart student response system in an engineering classroom by Dr. Bilal Mansoor; interactive and collaborative mobile learning platform for engineers by Dr. Konstantinos Kakosimos and software visualization tool for learning 3D objects by Dr. Bing Guo. All three projects showed promising results in improving learning outcomes, and surveyed student participants indicated favorable experience and keen interest in using the tools implemented in the competing projects.

The selection committee announced Dr. Konstantinos Kakosimos as the competition winner for his project ‘Interactive and Collaborative Mobile Learning Platforms for Engineers’.

Mr. Curtis Farmer, Texas A&M at Qatar lecturer and selection committee representative, said, “Teaching requires constant instructor creativity to keep pace with the ever-changing world of the student. Innovative technologies that encourage exploration of important ideas in new ways infuses excitement and genuine fun into the hard work of education. The winners of our first competition not only showed us ways to engage students before they even enter the classroom, but also suggested how to make real-time assessments of progress without breaking stride. And that is the kind of atmosphere that every teacher hopes for.”

Texas A&M at Qatar is looking to develop this competition to evolve into a fully collaborative effort open to all Hamad bin Khalifa University partner branch campuses in Fall 2014.

Nehal Maher
Texas A&M University at Qatar
[email protected]