Shenandoah University’s Pharmacogenomics and Music Production & Recording Technology (MPRT) programs received recognition enhancing and extending teaching and learning with creative and effective implementations of technology.
The Apple Distinguished Program designation is reserved for programs that meet criteria for innovation, leadership and educational excellence; and they demonstrate a clear vision of exemplary learning environments. Shenandoah’s two academic programs were renewed for 2013-15, a recognition first achieved in 2011.
“For two of our academic programs to continue to receive recognition for their cutting-edge use of technology is a great honor,” said Director of Shenandoah University’s Center for Teaching & Learning Anne Marchant, Ph.D. “The selection of these programs as Apple Distinguished Programs as Apple Distinguished Programs highlights the university’s success at creating rich and compelling learning environments that engage students and provide tangible evidence of academic accomplishment.”
Through Shenandoah’s iMLearning technology program, incoming undergraduate students, full-time students in designated graduate programs and faculty use MacBook Pros and iPads in their daily work.
Earlier this fall, the university distributed a number of Apple devices to its campus community, including 1,030 iPads and 1,100 MacBook Pros. Students and faculty use the tools to gain 24/7 access to information, both in and out of the classroom, helping to facilitate more effective teaching and learning.
“Education is a two-way street, where teachers and students use technology as a bridge to deeper learning,” said Dr. Marchant. “We are just beginning to realize the importance of the role mobile learning devices have in facilitating collaborative learning. We are also finding that the iMLearning program is one of the reasons many students choose to come to Shenandoah.”
The MPRT program, in which students learn how to produce and record commercial music, uses Apple devices to give students hands-on experience with the technology they will encounter in the industry. Each student uses this technology to enhance his or her own learning experience in a unique and personal way.
”Without the use of technology to enhance the learning experience and provide real-world training, the MPRT program simply would not exist,” said Associate Professor of Music and Director of MPRT Golder O’Neill.
Students in the MPRT program use their Apple devices to collaborate on projects, do research, and record their private music lessons for later reference. Students create and record their own musical compositions on their laptops, present them to their class and receive immediate feedback from the instructor and classmates.
Faculty members in the MPRT program frequently give presentations that walk students through the completion of difficult tasks in programs and applications that students will encounter in the industry.
The pharmacogenomics program, which teaches students to understand how an individual’s genetic makeup affects a body’s response to drug therapy, uses progressive instructional technology to educate and train students and pharmacists to become ethical, compassionate health care professionals, who serve their patients and community with optimal pharmaceutical care and advance the pharmacy profession.
Pharmacogenomics students use Apple devices for mobile assessments, polling and quizzes within the lecture hall and as an extension of class via recorded lectures. Student-captured video using iMovie and observational assessments using the iPad are featured in the program’s Patient Assessment class.
“Our annual student technology satisfaction surveys indicate students overwhelmingly approve of the use of the iPads for assessments in lab settings,” said Assistant Professor of Biopharmaceutical Sciences Richard Pierce, Ph.D. “It’s no coincidence that a large majority of our students feel the use of these devices has increased their general and specific understanding of course content.”
A rapidly expanding tool base available through the iTunes Store allows pharmacogenomics faculty members to improve their practice and effectively mentor students using powerful and authentic tools. The combination of iOS devices and Apple TV facilitates wireless streaming to display devices, which in turn, promotes flexible learning spaces and nimble communication practices.