A recurring theme in Professor Andrzejewski’s teaching is student engagement and empowerment. Her teaching and research is intertwined with student input and feedback. “One of the things I’m mostly looking forward to, is what the students would like to bring in terms of technology in the classroom,” Professor Andrzejewski says. This perspective has helped her create an environment where student input is appreciated and incorporated. A synergistic atmosphere has emerged as evidenced by some of the activities she designs for her students. iPads, clickers, Skype, and the Blackboard learning system are a few of the technologies Professor Andrzejewski has integrated into her teaching and research.
Her projects have been successful both before and after incorporating technology. The difference is in the logistics. As a business educator, Professor Andrzejewski sees effectiveness and efficiency as the key ingredient to successful processes. “It [the iPad] cuts out all the time that it takes for us to manually take the information from the paper and pencil survey and enter into the statistical software package,” she remarks. This past summer, she and two F&M student collaborators completed a survey project that relied on querying participants in real time. In the past, paper and pencil proved to be cumbersome. This increased the margins of error while reentering data into a statistical software package. This new streamlined process enabled data entry and analysis in real time while in the field. There is also an added dimension of intrigue Professor Andrzejewski confesses. Somehow administering a survey via an iPad proved more enticing to the participants than paper and pencil.
It's often difficult to gauge consumer perceptions on sensitive and/or personal topics; the same is true of students. To circumvent this, she has introduced live polling in her classroom with clickers (student response systems) playing a vital role in generating honest and anonymous student feedback on the fly. Those who were once shy or non-responsive in class now have a voice. This use of clicker technology has captivated her students. In an unprecedented break from the norm, Professor Andrzejewski’s students are now using this technology in their own projects and presentations.
Professor Andrzejewski and her students utilized clickers to query fellow students in their Issues in the 21st Century: Gender & Advertising course presentations.
Access to a space where students and faculty can experiment with technology is essential to student growth. Such resources are provided in the eLearning Lab, a state-of-the-art space supporting flexible teaching styles and collaborative student learning. “The eLearning Lab is an incredible resource for faculty and students in terms of presentation skills that students didn’t necessarily have when I was in college,” says Professor Andrzejewski. She plans on utilizing this and other technolgy-related resources as she continues to look for effective ways to augment and enhance her own teaching and research.
Regarding technology, she sees a future where students and instructors utilize technology to complement learning. “There are so many outlets where students see that [technology] can complement the learning that takes place in classroom and outside the classroom,” she says. Whatever the future may hold for her students, one thing is certain; they’ve already began to apply what they see in class to their own lives.