Final Report

 

Task Group D1

Newest pedagogical approaches, equipment, and software


Dennis Hostetler, convener

Steve Huffstutler

Susan Morgan

Pat Williams

Jerry Weinberg

March 20, 2001

 

Task Force Goal

To recommend to the TLTR a plan for an ongoing effort to recognize, evaluate, and publicize new technologies in teaching and learning.

·                    Because of SIUE’s commitment to excellence in teaching, it is critical that we establish a formal process for reviewing and then incorporating into new technologies into our teaching and learning.

·                    The plan needs to include a process for identifying new technologies that show promise, to systematically evaluate these applications, and then to inform SIUE educators of their potential uses.

·                    The plan needs to be geared to the end users - faculty members and students.

o       Tasks and Goals: Each group of potential users has a specific set of activities and goals. Any new technology must enhance these activities if they are to be adopted.  For example, faculty members are concerned with delivering educational content and creating stimulating educational experiences. Students seek help in doing their assignments, communicating with their classmates and instructors, and improving their time management.  New technology that does not address these tasks will be ignored or at best underutilized. 

o       Barriers: Each group of users also has specific barriers that restrict their use of technology. These barriers need to be identified and reduced wherever possible.

o       Approaches to work: New technologies must fit into the way users work if they are to use it.

 

 

 

Recommendations

·                    FTC should manage the identification, evaluation, and distribution of new applications.

o       FTC should be expanded to include the staff time, space, and resources to carry out these functions.

o       To help the FTC carry out these functions, a Faculty Advisory Board should be created.  The purposes of this board would be to aid the FTC in the discovery and evaluation of new technologies and to provide faculty input into the operation and direction of the FTC. 

·                    The membership and responsibilities of the Faculty Advisory Board (FAB) are as follows:

o       FAB members would help to identify the tasks, goals, and barriers that any new technology must address.

o       FAB members would serve as subject matter experts while the FTC staff would act as the technical experts.

o       FAB members should come from a wide range of disciplines and be motivated to foster collaboration across departments.  They should also recognize how technology influences disciplines in different ways and should respect those differences.

o       FAB members should be the pioneers currently experimenting with cutting edge technologies. 

o       To recruit FAB members, the FTC might offer them better access to technical support or access to the newest equipment and software in the FTC production lab.  With these incentives, the technology pioneers might be willing to invest their time and expertise in helping the FTC perform these new functions.  .

·                    The FTC and the FAB need to address the following tasks:

1)      Horizon Scanning: monitoring what is new in technology and then identifying specific technologies that might be implemented at SIUE.

2)      Evaluation: testing pedagogical applications so the university can rationally decide which applications might be supported on a university wide basis.

3)      Publicizing These Efforts: distribution of information to the faculty as a whole on what is new and what the university is able to support.

4)      Support: training people in these new technologies.


 

·                    Horizon Scanning

o       The FTC and FAB would set-up a process to gather information about new technologies and their educational uses. This should include a way in which any SIUE faculty member can contribute when they come across something they think would be of interest.

o       The FAB would take a leadership role in identifying teaching applications that would support SIUE’s educational mission.

o       The FTC would serve as a clearinghouse for new developments in teaching applications.  They might start by subscribing to all the free publications such as Converge, Syllabus, Journal, etc.  This collection of publications would serve as a small library for faculty members to peruse when interested in finding out what is new in their particular field.

o       FTC with the help of the FAB needs to build a web page of annotated URL’s that link the end user to the expanding resources covering online teaching and learning. These links might be grouped by discipline and cross-indexed by the technology used.

o       The FTC needs to build a web page with links to exemplary online courses, especially those using “cutting edge” technology.

·                    Evaluation

o       The FTC should serve as a test bed for new applications. To perform this function, it would need a budget for buying new software and financing faculty experimentation.

o       First, FTC would research and evaluate the technical side of any proposed application.  If the application were technically sound, FTC would then initiate faculty testing.

o       FTC would recruit a faculty member to test the technology in the context of an actual class over the course of a semester. To recruit faculty members willing to learn and test a new technology, FTC will need to offer some economic incentives.  Examples of such incentives might include a one-month summer stipend, a copy of the software, travel to a university using the software, attendance at a workshop where the software can be quickly learned, online instruction in the software, etc. (The size and type of incentive would depend upon the size and duration of the experiment).

·                    Publicizing these efforts

o       The FTC would be responsible for informing all faculty members of the new technologies on the horizon, the tests sponsored by the FTC, and the new applications ready for university wide implementation. 

o       FTC should place all this information on its website.

 

 

o       The staff of FTC, the members of FAB and faculty members engaged in testing new applications might attend department meetings to showcase new technologies and answer questions about training and the wide range of projects sponsored by the FTC.

o       The FTC should widely publicize its activities in campus newsletters, promotion pieces, and various campus listserv’s.

o       Pioneering faculty members should be enlisted to write some of these promotional pieces. 

o       The staff of the FTC might set up a series of brown bag lunches (perhaps a couple times a semester).   The staff could invite a faculty member who has been keeping up on a particular development to lead an informal discussion.  (These brown bag lunches may be tied into Bill Hamrick’s lunches at the Student Center.)

·                    Support

o       FTC would create online tutorials and FAQ’s and publish them on its website.

o       FTC would continually add new technologies to its training sessions.

o       FTC might create an online resource of new developments in teaching and learning.

o       Members of the FAB might be enlisted to help the FTC carry out these functions. 

 

Remaining Questions

·                    Are there other ways to create more awareness of what is available in training, services, technology, etc.?

·                    Faculty Advisory Board issues:

o       Who should be involved?

o       How do we get people involved?  Incentives?

o       Length of service?

o       Could it be linked with FTC’s Summer Institute?

·                    How do we achieve all of this in such a comprehensive way that all faculty benefit.  The faculty is a heterogeneous group of users with different expectations and experience levels, from CS professors to people uncomfortable with Windows.

·                    How does FTC do this with the current staff of 3?  How much more space, resources and staff will be required?