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Can Computer Technology Improve the Quality of Science Education at Urban Universities?

By: Maryam Bamshad, Gina Rae Foster, Paul G. Krauzer


Research has shown that technology can be a powerful educational tool in facilitating a constructivist approach to teaching science. Research also shows that academic support for students and faculty development activities are positively linked to supporting science teaching and learning. However, despite the availability of these resources at many urban universities, instructors rarely engage students in collaborative learning. This article uses a case study to describe both the challenges and results of implementing a constructivist model of instruction at a mid-size urban college. The article demonstrates the successful implementation of an online interactive course management system and Supplemental Instruction in large classrooms, with the caveat that such practices require extensive training for instructors, staff and students to be feasible. At Lehman College of the City University of New York, both Title V grant and college administrative support has enabled the creation of a model of collaborative engagement that has successfully fostered partnership among instructors, students and staff in constructivist learning and active use of computer technology at an urban college.