The use of technology in course delivery is not a new phenomenon. Technology for learning has a lengthy history that includes the introduction of audiovisual media into United States schools in the early 1900s (Reiser, 1987). References can be found as early as 1908, when the Keystone View Company’s publication Visual Education directed teachers’ use of lantern slides and stereographs (Saettler, 1968).
Today, course delivery technologies are enabling and enhancing learning for college students in traditional and online classrooms alike. Successful courses leverage a range of technologies that are intentionally selected and applied by course designers and instructors, based on targeted course learning outcomes and the content being delivered. Courses often employ a complement of technologies, orchestrated by the instructor, to facilitate learning as well as interaction among students and their instructor.
A learning management system (LMS) is a common course delivery technology. An LMS is used to establish a course’s online presence. It provides a web-based container in which the course exists. Instructors build an online course via the LMS; students access the online course through the LMS.
Recent research suggests that lecture capture is a technology that students favour (Preston et al., 2010; Toppin, 2011; Veeramani & Bradley, 2008), and one that can support mastery of course outcomes (for example, Smith & Sodano, 2011). Lecture capture can be used to record the traditional face-to-face, or an online, lecture for future viewing and review by students.
Screencasting provides an easy-to-use technology for instructors who seek to design multimedia learning modules that combine audio and video. Using software, the instructor records his or her computer screen while providing accompanying narration. Screencasting can be used to visually record a set of PowerPoint slides with an explanatory audio track. Screencasting tools also provide for the editing of recorded programming so that instructors can quickly reconfigure or update learning modules.
An emerging technology for course delivery is the recently developed Learning Glass. This transparent surface was created at San Diego State University and provides a means for approximating the use of a whiteboard, while facing an audience of learners. The instructor writes or draws on a transparent piece of glass, which is captured by video and then modified through technology to display accurately on a monitor viewed by students.