2013-05-30Columbus, OH – Ohio Dominican University (ODU) Mathematics students are taking a new approach to learn material like they never have before. Anna Davis, Ph.D., associate professor of Mathematics at ODU, has developed a cutting-edge interactive database concept, txt-ure, which is aimed to make the teaching process more effective and efficient, while making education more affordable. The name, txt-ure, is derived from combining the words “text” and “lecture.” “Personalized education and face-to-face interaction between faculty and students is at the heart of this approach,” said Davis. “In addition, txt-ure enhances the traditional classroom experience by utilizing the internet, social media and video.”
Davis says txt-ure, when fully implemented, could allow small colleges and universities to offer additional academic opportunities, while keeping the cost of education down. Often, specialty classes cannot be offered on a consistent basis due to low enrollment. Utilizing txt-ure could eliminate that problem, as it allows professors to conduct several small classes in the same classroom at the same time. Students still attend class in a traditional setting; however, each “class” is comprised of groups of students enrolled in different courses. Within these groups, students discuss the material and solve problems, as the professor is available to answer questions. “Last semester, I had eight students in one course and two students in another course in the same classroom,” said Davis. “We dubbed this our One-Room Schoolhouse (ORS).”
The ORS approach utilizes the flipped-classroom model, in which students complete reading assignments, practice problems and watch videos on their own, and attend class where they discuss the material and get help from the professor and peers. By utilizing txt-ure, students work from an electronic textbook that includes links to videos of the professor discussing and explaining concepts and examples. It also incorporates a database component, which ultimately will house videos produced by professors in a variety of disciplines. These videos can be shared with students who are studying a variety of subjects.