An undergraduate student in his electrical engineering class had been struggling to understand an error with his programming. To utilize class time and turn this student’s issue into a collaborative learning moment, the instructor invited him to share his screen with the whole class. By entering a code on his laptop, the student projected from his desk without getting up and connecting at the podium. As the other students debated where things had gone wrong in the programming, the instructor noted how easily the class had switched from his presentation to the student-led problem solving without any fumbling around or long delays. What made this moment of active learning possible is a screen-sharing system called Solstice.
Solstice enables multiple users to connect simultaneously to a shared display using a range of devices over an existing WiFi or Ethernet network. With a Solstice-enabled display in the room, any number of users can instantly connect, share and control content on the display, facilitating wireless presentations, collaboration and decision-making.
Solstice is currently deployed to all 33 classrooms in the Technological Institute. It is also installed in The Garage and will be deployed to all the seminar rooms and classrooms in Kresge Hall when it reopens in Fall 2016. It is available for use by anyone with a valid NetID.
Instructors liked how Solstice could encourage collaboration among the students in larger classes. Tracy Hodgson, Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences said, “I used Solstice in two different classes this year. It seems best suited to classes with 15 or more students, as smaller classes didn’t really need it. Having students display their graphs for a neurobiology exercise was very useful, and allowed the students to compare answers with each other, and let me give immediate feedback about the students' answers.”
“It was easy for the students to install and use. And they really enjoyed it,” added Mike Peshkin, professor of Mechanical Engineering.