May 2017: MFLP Featured in EdSurge: Robot Students? College Classrooms Try Letting Far-Away Students Attend Via Remote-Control Stand-In

MFLP Pilots Robotics in the Classroom

In 2014, Jean Bouchard, Director of the Center for Language and Learning and Coordinator of the Modified Foreign Language Program (MFLP) launched a three-semester pilot of her hybrid modified Spanish sequence using the Zoom video conferencing platform.  The 2014 pilot was developed in answer to the Chancellor’s 2013 call to improve retention and graduation rates.  By scouring student grade data for the foreign languages, Jean identifies students at-risk for failure in foreign language and provides them a means to complete their degrees despite having left the university and the area.  “While our 2014 pilot of this hybrid classroom model was a great success and effectively brought the classroom experience to the digital frontier by using applications such as Groupboard, a virtual white board allowing all students to write on a common classroom board,” said Jean Bouchard, “we envisioned even more interactive opportunities between our in-class and our dial-in students (affectionately called “Roomers” and “Zoomers”, respectively).  We believe the integration of robotics (Kubis) for our dial-in students, which allows these “Zoomers” to be seated adjacent to our in-class “Roomers”, will promote even more collaborative opportunities and will simulate better small group interactions and activities.”  Check out the video!

In Fall 2016, we will continue to observe the benefits of hybrid classroom learning with two additional features:  1.  the introduction of robotics (Kubis) and, 2. the flipped classroom design.  Thanks to a development grant from ASSETT, Jean will launch a pilot this upcoming fall using Kubi robotics to bring six distance students into her modified Spanish 1010 class.  Please stay tuned for updates on the progress of this unique model on the MFLP website!

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