HP awards Canterbury Uni $110,000 technology grant
1 August , 2006
HP awards University of Canterbury a $110,000 technology grant to transform education
AUCKLAND, 1 August 2006 – HP New Zealand has awarded the University of Canterbury a $110,000 grant as part of its Technology for Teaching Initiative.
The grant will help the University of Canterbury’s College of Engineering to implement an Intelligent Tutoring System (ITS) for 500 students studying Mechanical Engineering. The project team consists of Dr Antonija Mitrovic, the project leader, Dr Charles Fleischmann and Dr Brent Martin.
To be eligible for the grant, the University had to demonstrate it could use mobile technology to transform teaching and learning models to positively impact student learning. The University of Canterbury entered the ITS solution with the support of HP New Zealand – a founding partner in the NZ ICT Innovation Institute, which is being established at the University.
The ITS replaces traditional tutorials where students present homework to a tutor who then gives advice on problem areas and suggests an approach to problem-solving. It is challenging for a tutor to provide one-on-one tutoring to every student. The ITS combats this problem by using artificial intelligence to simulate one-on-one tutoring that improves the students’ problem-solving skills when applying the fundamental Newtonian mechanics to engineering examples.
An ITS analyses an individual student’s problem-solving behaviour and develops a model of the student’s abilities and needs. On the basis of this model, the ITS adapts instructional sessions by generating feedback on the appropriate level and selecting problems that are challenging but within the student’s ability.
Jeff Healey, Corporate Enterprise Marketing Manager, HP New Zealand said, “The University of Canterbury is a truly deserving recipient of the HP Technology for Teaching grant. The ITS project will transform teaching and will help create the classroom of tomorrow, today, on its campus.”
Students will also enjoy individual support through an e-learning system, which allows online submissions of homework, tutorial help and individual feedback. The web-based access means students can use the ITS at any time either in University labs or on laptops through wireless Local Area Network (LAN).
The ITS will provide reporting on students academic progress and the University will survey students to capture their feedback on using the ITS. This information will form the basis of research papers which will be presented at international conferences and in academic journals.
About HP Technology for Teaching Initiative:
The HP Technology for Teaching Initiative is aimed at supporting the development of mobile technology in higher education, to transform teaching and learning models; integrate learning technology into campuses; engage faculty in adopting and implementing these models; and foster opportunities for academic leaders to understand the potential of mobile technology in university environments.
Five universities in Asia Pacific receive a total of US$350,000 in grants to integrate mobility technology and infrastructure campus-wide. The five winning universities are: Anna University and Jadavpur University of India; the University of Tokyo from Japan; Yonsei University of Korea; and the University of Canterbury in New Zealand. The winners were picked from a field of 15 universities from the region that were invited to take part.
Each university will receive approximately US$70,000 worth of technology such as HP Tablet PCs, external storage and optical drives, wireless networking cards and printers, as well as a stipend for staff to work on the projects, which have to be completed in 15 months. The five winning universities have shown much creativity in their proposals: The Plaque, presentation and the grant itself will be presented at the HP Worldwide Technology for Teaching conference in 2007.
HP is a technology solutions provider to consumers, businesses and institutions globally. The company’s offerings span IT infrastructure, global services, business and home computing, and imaging and printing. For the four fiscal quarters ended April 30, 2006, HP revenue totalled $88.9 billion. More information about HP (NYSE, Nasdaq: HPQ) is available at www.hp.com.
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