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Jan Broussard


Publications by Jan Broussard (bibliography)

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Broussard, Jan and Mbarika, Victor (2011): Impact of multimedia case studies. In: Proceedings of the 2011 iConference 2011. pp. 647-648. http://dx.doi.org/10.1145/1940761.1940853

Undergraduate education in the United States has been repeatedly criticized for failing to develop students' higher-order thinking and problem-solving skills necessary for success in an information and technology-based economy. According to Katajavouri, Lindblom-Ylanne, and Hirovonen (2006), it is important for people to continuously update their own knowledge and to apply that knowledge to work situations. Therefore, unlike the traditional lecture-based classroom, students need to be given the opportunity to not only recall information, but also to apply that knowledge to authentic situations in an effort to prepare them for their roles in the workforce. It is the responsibility of educators to offer students the opportunities to develop and hone their higher-order thinking and problem-solving skills. In recent years, the use of multimedia instructional materials, particularly in the form of multimedia case studies, to convey real-world technical concepts and applications such as those taught in engineering and information technology courses have been advocated increasingly in the educational technology literature (Raju&Sankar, 1999; Raju et al., 2002; Mbarika et al., 2004). The National Science Foundation (NSF) sponsored the LITEE technology project in an effort to assist instructors in the challenge of communicating information technology concepts to non-technical students to improve achievement. The LITEE technology project has lead to a series of published academic and industry award-winning multimedia case studies. The research currently being conducted is an effort to examine the LITEE case studies and their impact on students' learning of information technology concepts and problem solving skills, both perceptually and actually. The study also focuses on the role of learning styles in the success of the use of the case studies, the frequency and depth of the online communication processes among group members in the discussion of the cases, and any changes in attitudes toward the technical subject matter after engaging in the use of the case studies. Gender, GPA, program of study, and level of study are all variables that will be used to analyze and interpret the results from the study. The participants in the study are students from several universities in the southern United States enrolled in undergraduate and graduate management information systems courses. All data is collected in the same manner through a course management system created for students participating in the study. Two LITEE multimedia case studies 2010 Institute for STEM Education&Research) are being used in the study. The Powertel case study contains live interviews with managers and engineers who worked on the actual Powertel case study project. Students learn about cell phones, cell site erection, and wireless technologies throughout the case. The second LITEE case, the Telemedicine case study, familiarizes students with telemedicine, which uses communications networks for delivery of healthcare services and medical education from one geographical location to another, primarily to address challenges like uneven distribution and shortage of infrastructural and human resources. The students work in randomly assigned teams to evaluate the cases and determine solutions for the problems posed in the cases. Discussion forums are created for students to communicate with one another about the cases until they are able to agree with a solution to the problems posed in the case. Students are then required to present and defend their solutions in the classroom. Several instruments are being administered to collect data during the course of the research: 1-Learning Style Assessment: This instrument is used to determine where students are located on the spectrum of various learning styles. This information will be used to understand if there is any difference in achievement or attitudes in relation to learning style preferences. 2- Knowledge Tests: The knowledge assessment test was developed by Dr. Mbarika of Southern University and contains multiple choice questions pertaining to the material discussed in the cases. Students are administered the test prior to and after the case studies are completed. Increase in knowledge is determined by these pre and post tests. 3- Student Perceived Learning Survey: A survey was designed to assess students' perceptions of learning with the case studies. The evaluation focuses on three key constructs: Learning Driven, Content Driven, and Higher Order Cognitive Skills (Goodhue&Thompson, 1995; Hingorani et al., 1998). The learning driven factor measures how the multimedia instructional materials are used to challenge the end-user in learning difficult IT and engineering topics, connection theories and practice, improving students' understanding of basic concepts, and in providing the students a platform on which to learn from one another. The content-driven factor measures how easy it is to use and locate information contained in the instructional materials and how the design of the instructional materials help to make it easier and more feasible to complete assigned tasks in a timely manner. The higher-order cognitive skills factor measures how an individual has acquired a skill set that could be used to make decisions within a specified period of time, thereby improving one's ability to identify, integrate, evaluate, and inter-relate concepts within the multimedia case study, and thus make the appropriate decision in a given problem-solving situation. 4-Attitude Toward Management Information Systems (MIS) Questionnaire: A 40 item questionnaire is administered in a pre and post format. The questions assess attitudes in several areas: general attitude toward subject matter, relevance to life and society, impact on cognitive domain of learning, impact on positive aspects of affective domain, impact on negative aspects of affective domain, impact on teamwork, and communication skills. 5- E-Journal: Students are being asked to complete e-journals throughout the semester. Data from the e-journal should provide support for any changes in attitude noted in the Attitude toward MIS questionnaire. 6- Discussion Forum: Students are encouraged to discuss the case with their group members in the group forum created on the course management system. This can also be evaluated to see the types and number of interactions among students as they progress through the cases.

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