The latest edition of the Magna Publications newsletter Distance Education Report discusses the Teaching Online Pedagogical Repository (TOPR) at the University of Central Florida. It’s a public resource for faculty looking for online teaching strategies - content in TOPR is licensed under a Creative Commons License. Check it out at http://topr.online.ucf.edu/index.php/Main_Page!
Happy New Year!
As we prepare for a next week’s first new semester of 2012, I’d like to thank all of our Illinois Tech students who took the time to complete our Fall 2011 IIT Online survey.
A record-setting 540 students responded! That’s the largest response since IIT Online started formal semester-end surveys after the spring 2010 semester.
And to toot our own horn, most of the response ratings are overwhelmingly “satisfied,” “very satisfied,” or better yet, a combination of the two. Credit goes to our staff who each strive to ensure an excellent online experience for every student. Take a peek at the results and see for yourself: IIT Online Fall 2011 User Survey.
Where the responses and suggestions are not so overwhelmingly positive, please know that we take them all seriously. Suggestions help us to improve our workflows, processes, and technology, and bring you the best service possible.
So once again, thanks for ending 2011 on such a positive note – look for even better and bigger things in 2012!
SLATE ’11 – photos, videos, notes, handouts, and reflections shared by participants at 2011 SLATE Conference, October 13-14, 2011
Last week a few IIT faculty and staff attended the SLATE (Supporting Learning And Technology in Education – Midwest Blackboard User’s Group) Conference held in downtown Chicago, at the University of Chicago’s Gleacher Center. The conference provided forums for all participants – faculty and staff from several neighboring institutions -to connect and learn from each other, by discussing best practices and implementation strategies for not only the Blackboard LMS, but for online learning in general.Â As an institution moving toward the next generation of Blackboard within the next year, IIT Faculty and staff took the opportuntiy to learnÂ more about what to expect and what to plan for, and how to make the transition a successful transitionÂ forÂ everyone involved. Check out this year’sÂ notes, conference run-down, and commentsÂ from the link above.
SLATE not only discusses issues and concerns related to Blackboard, but also fosters discussion of broader issues in areas like online learning and pedagogy, program integrity, and faculty development. Meetings are hosted regularly throughout the year by member institutions. For more information about SLATE, visit SLATE at http://slategroup.uchicago.edu/.
Bboogle? With so many things going on at the start of semester, the last thingÂ faculty need is a new word… So, what is Bboogle? Blackboard (Bb) + Google.
Our colleagues on the north side, at Northwestern University, have been developing a free building block for Blackboard integration with Google apps. Here at IIT, we may want to take a closer lookÂ - especially in light of our transition this semester to Gmail for students and Google Apps for Education for everyone.
This past year IIT Online has taken an active role in becoming part of the larger Chicagoland education community around Blackboard andÂ technologies inÂ education, by participating in SLATE, http://slategroup.uchicago.edu/. Today’s meeting was hosted by Northwestern and gave IIT Online a chance to network with and learn from other institutions. One result was a discussion of Bboogle and its possibilities.
Take a look and let us know what you think!
Also too – Faculty, please be on the lookout for our IIT Online survey of faculty needs and best practices. As we’re looking to deliver innovative and excellent education to our students, we need to better understand the needs of our faculty. If you don’t have the link, please let me or Brad Katz know.
Wishing all of our faculty (and students) the best for the new semester!
InÂ association with the book Empowered by Josh Bernoff and Ted Schadler, Forester Research provides an online tool for helping companies define their clients using a set of seven overlapping categories. They call this “Social Technographics.”
This tool is really directed at B2B and B2C, rather than an educational context but the underlying taxonomy makes sense when narrowly considering individual students and faculty behavior using technology, and more broadly in examining the underlying dynamic in the classroom.
Bernoff and Schadler’s categories are
They organize this as a hierarchy, with the following explanations of what defines the behavior in each category.
One reason this descriptive model seems so apt for the educational context is the loose correlation it has with models which advocate for greater participation, collaboration, and application. This is the whole argument behind the power of Web 2.0 technologies, where passive consumers become active creators. It also echoes the underlying argument against purely lecture-based models of teaching in lieu of more collaboration and student-centered, interactive work.
One of the critical areas we are going to be asking faculty at IIT as we reach out to work more closely with them is how this kind of hierarchical description applies:
- Where do faculty themselves fall, both personally and professionally among peers?
- Where do faculty think their students fall and what are their expectations?
- What kind of environment do faculty cultivate to meet those student expectations about being able to participate and collaborate?
Scientific American is backing a new STEM education initiative that tries to connect scientists, mathematicians, and engineers with public school teachers and classrooms.
The mission is to “seek scientists who are willing to volunteer to advise on curricula, answer a classroom’s questions, or visit a school”for instance, to do a lab or to talk about what you do.” The initial goal is a directory of STEM professionals by the 2011-12 school year and say “How much you choose to participate will be up to you.”
Overall they want to make “it easier for scientists and teachers to connect.”
Website of Bill Hammack — engineer, educator, and advocate for innovative engineering education.
Worth a look.
If you are a current student or an alum of one of IIT’s distance learning programs offered through IIT Online, IIT Online wants to hear from you!
Why did you choose distance learning in general and IIT Online in particular? How does the distance learning program or coruses help you in ways that the were just not available in our traditional face-to-face classes?
We will gather replies, post a summary, and use your comments as we continue to improve our programs.
7 Things You Should Know is a monthly series on emerging learning technologies published by EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative (ELI).
The latest brief discusses Android, the Linux-based open-source operating system for mobile devices andÂ competitorÂ to Apple’s iOS. Learn how Android isÂ bringing mobile technology even more into the learning experience.
Check out 7 Things page in the ELI ResourcesÂ section by EDUCAUSE to see all ofÂ the monthly topics in this long-running series from its most recent on Android (Dec 2010) to one of its first,Â Clickers (May 2005).
LoyolaÂ University Chicago has done a really nice job putting togetherÂ their “Teaching with Technology Guide.”
As with any resourceÂ designed to serve a specific institution, external folks should be aware that certain policies may not be applicable and particular tools may not be supported.
In general, though, an impressive and fairly comprehensive resource.