ISSUE THEME - Teaching Via Technology - Experiences and Reflections
UPFRONT - "Teaching With Technology Today (TTT)"
FOCUS - "A Collaborative Course - Faculty Planning, Coordination and Reflections"
CAMPUS UPDATE - Add new information
DE CLEARINGHOUSE, NETNEWS - "Keeping Current"
FYI - News and Reminders
NEW ON THE LIST - Al Beaver, Interim Chancellor, UWEX; Laura Hansen, UW-Madison and Michael Kip, Frankfurt, Germany
ENDNOTE - "An Observation on the Distance Education Catalog and Profile and Inventory"
UPFRONT - Teaching With Technology Today (TTT) is a pilot electronic newsletter that highlights some of the current uses of Learning Technologies Across the UW System. The goal of the newsletter is to begin to relate how learning technologies are enhancing learning and teaching in the UW System by featuring and sharing some of the successes and perspectives of its students and faculty. Three newsletters have been issued in March.
Featured instructors to date are: Bernice Durand, a professor in the Physics Department at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, who teaches Physics 107, utilizing both cable television and video tapes; Professor Cheryl Prentice from the English Department at the University of Wisconsin-Superior, who teaches Developmental English 099 with the use of computers; and Professor Dawn Tommerdahl, University of Wisconsin- Madison Department of Norwegian Studies, who has developed a Beginning Norwegian course that will be taught this summer using a variety of technologies: compressed video, desktop video and computers.
The next featured professor will be Teresa Burns, UW-Platteville, who teaches Technical Writing and Literature. Professor Burns requires her students to learn to communicate and present through technology. The TTT articles are archived at: http://www.uwsa.edu/olit/ttt/index.htm and will soon become a part of the VITAL database located at: http://www.uwex.edu/disted/vital/
To subscribe to TTT contact: email@example.com. The TTT pilot project was proposed by the University of Wisconsin Learning and Technologies Development Council (UWLTDC).
"A Collaborative Course - Faculty Planning, Coordination and Reflections"
Kathleen Reilly, Project Assistant, Continuing and Vocational Education (CAVE)
Dick Jensen, UW-River Falls; Mark Zidon, UW-Platteville; Mike Douglah and Tracy Murphy, UW-Madison
In the Fall '96 semester agricultural education faculty from UW-River Falls, UW-Platteville and UW-Madison collaborated on a required 3-credit curriculum planning course for future ag-ed teachers. This was one of several courses identified by faculty for sharing across campuses in the UW agricultural consortium via distance education technologies. A USDA challenge grant, "The Virtual Classroom," provided funding for faculty development.
Faculty: Dick Jensen, UW-River Falls; Mark Zidon, UW- Platteville Mike Douglah and Tracy Murphy, UW-Madison
Project Director: Chere Gibson; Project Ass't: Kate Reilly
Compressed video on Monday and Friday from 2:00p.m. to 2:50p.m. combined with an e-mail assignment/discussion in lieu of the usual Wednesday class. The choice was based on both educational reasons such as providing options for interaction as well as pragmatic reasons such as cost.
It should be noted that at its inception, the planners assumed a level of connectivity that would be easily supported by the technology. As often happens, there were some bugs to be worked out that called for as much flexibility on the part of faculty and students as connectivity. River Falls transmitted via the WONDER Network, however it had to be converted at the Eau Claire latitudinum to a signal that could be received at Madison and Platteville. The connections were sometimes tenuous which caused some downtime in the class. Also, the original choice of FirstClass software for the computer mediated component of the course had to be revised to Eudora e-mail as that was the only commonly supported technology across campuses.
Audioteleconferencing provided the main vehicle for planning sessions prior to the course and for ongoing discussions among faculty as they evaluated the course in progress.
My first reaction is the power of synergy. It appeared to me that when three people seriously tried to create a positive learning experience for distant education, the result was truly an expanded result over what one could expect from three traditional classrooms in traditional settings. For example, when one of the staff would make a statement either in class, or e-mail, the opportunity to join the discussion was frequently done by one or two of the other staff. The end result was creating more complete explanations or more examples for the students. This was important since we had to address major issues such as how to deal with difficult topics like the role of female agricultural education instructors in nontraditional classes like mechanics; or how to deal with various student management/discipline situations, etc.
We had the opportunity to expand the learning base and accomplish a much higher level of inquiry and reflection by the students. However, we learned that it is critical to take the time up front to pace students through the phases of becoming comfortable with the expectations and procedures of these new modes of communication.
Mark Zidon, UW-Platteville:
Planning is extremely important. When you are team teaching it is essential. The audioteleconferences prior to the class worked well. The less need for flexibility during a distance education class, the better.
The technology presented more of a problem than I had expected in connect time. I think the students found this to be more of a problem than the teachers did. Learning to coordinate buttons, cameras, computers, document cameras, and at the same time try to teach and promote interaction was challenging. It was exciting to be a teacher in this position, but it was also very challenging and presented something of a "mental overload" on me as a teacher.
The e-mail aspect was one of the best and worst parts of the class. It seemed to be a "chore" to some of the students to meet the required number of messages. In meeting the requirements students often engaged in frivolous discussion (e.g. weather, sports). The e-mail could have been vastly improved by providing more guided discussion. The next time around, we would formulate discussion questions along with the syllabus when we planned the class.
On the other hand, e-mail seemed to be the single aspect of the class that prompted interaction and provided for the students getting to know each other. We decided to group the students randomly across campuses for on-line discussion sessions to promote a sense of community rather than three isolated classes. A face-to-face meeting later in the semester allowed for putting names to faces. We had spent much time visiting on e-mail but little time on classroom interactive video.
We entered this endeavor with the idea of trying to avoid the "talking head" syndrome. Yet we had some difficulty in promoting interaction. Inasmuch as one tries to encourage students to participate, the teacher cannot control the students' willingness to say something. Seeing oneself on the "TV screen" in front of unknown students at other campuses seemed to compound the usual factors that interfere with students' willingness to participate. The e-mail discussion, on the other hand provided time for students to formulate thoughts before they contributed to the discussion. Students were more relaxed about their e-mail discussion and were more casual (sometimes even a bit sloppy) about their contributions to e-mail discussion. We discovered that the key to good interactive video classroom discussion was to prime the students through e-mail discussion prior to engaging in live discussion. Having done this, the classroom discussion flowed much better.
I experienced team teaching as a great benefit. From a teacher's viewpoint, it provided an opportunity to view each other's teaching style. Teachers could also teach areas of their strengths. And teaching every third week provided time to work on your next lesson. In this additional time, you could improve your lesson and better adapt it to the distance education mode. From a student viewpoint, I hope the team teaching provided some insight to opinions from other teachers.
Tracy Murphy, UW-Madison:
The overall experience was enlightening - I could have read, studied and attended classes dealing with distance ed, and never learned as much as I did actually participating at this level. I do know that I will never teach the same again! Making certain adjustments for distance learning affected my non- distance methodology in several ways. It enhanced my preparation skills and made me more aware of students' needs and possible disruptions to learning. I also discovered how beneficial it is to have the students form bonds/relationships with one another, especially from one campus to another. They really do tend to learn more from each other and in groups than they do individually. Plus, I believe it gives them a sense of "family" which makes the class higher on their list of priorities.
I seriously doubt that I will ever teach a class without e-mail again. It starts out to be more laborious, but over all, it can really make a class come together. Many students do not keep the same study hours as the instructors' office hours - many messages I receive are stamped between midnight and 3:00 am! I believe that the student eventually grows comfortable with jotting down thoughts more casually, as they happen. And I can respond with more thought, too.
In the classes I am teaching now, I use the e-mail mode to throw things out there to the students - little bits and pieces of information that may not necessarily fit into the allotted time frame for class, but that are relevant to their studies. Some take the bait, some do not. But I find that the ones who do take it, appreciate the extra effort and the information, and usually make it a point to thank me.
The students who participated in the curriculum class via distance received many bonuses whether they knew it at the time or not. We were working with future teachers and if anything, they learned about learning styles, technology, methodology, and the benefit of forming relationships in classes! And hopefully, a thing or two about curriculum! :-)
UW CENTERS -
UW-EAU CLAIRE - UW-Eau Claire will be the site for one of two Technology Institutes for Educators - (A VITAL Project). The other Institute will be held at UW-Whitewater (see UW- Whitewater below). The Institute is a 3-Phase program exploring instructional technology integrated curriculum for grades 4-8.
Phase 1 is a Technocamp Summer Institute, July 8-10, 1997 at the Holiday Inn Convention Center in Eau Claire. In this phase, the teams will learn about design and assessment strategies for technology integration into the curriculum; explore technologies, develop a plan and create curricula projects. Phase 2 will include follow-up consultation with an instructor/facilitator in preparation for classroom integration of the projects during the Fall term. Phase 3, in early Spring of 1998, will showcase the projects, allowing each participating team to share their projects, assess their successes and challenges, evaluate student responses, elaborate on changes and discuss future projects. The teams will then serve as models/mentors for their students and colleagues.
For further information about the Eau Claire Institute, contact: Debbi King - Phone: 715-836-5400 or E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
UW-GREEN BAY -
UW-LA CROSSE -
UW-RIVER FALLS -
UW-PARKSIDE - UW-Parkside will host the April meeting of the Distance Education Committee (DEC). The meeting will be held in Tallent Hall on the UW-Parkside Campus on April 30. Mark Marlaire is the DEC representative from UW-Parkside.
UW-STEVENS POINT -
UW-WHITEWATER - UW-Whitewater will also serve as a site for the Technology Institute for Educators - a 3 Phase program exploring instructional technology curriculum integration for teacher/staff teams, grades 4-8. Phase 1, the Technocamp, will be held on the UW-Whitewater campus June 23-25, 1997 where teams will learn about design and assessment strategies for technology integration into the curriculum, explore technologies, develop a plan and create curricula projects. Phase 2 will include follow-up consultation with an instructor/facilitator in preparation for classroom integration of the projects during the Fall term. Phase 3, in early Spring of 1998, will showcase the projects, allowing each participating team to share their projects, assess their successes and challenges, evaluate student responses, elaborate on changes and discuss future projects. The teams will then serve as models/mentors for their students and colleagues. For further information about the UW-Whitewater Institute, contact: Kathy Gibbs - Phone: 414-472-5247 or E-mail: email@example.com
Do you need to find current news and information in distance education and related areas? One of the new sections added to the Distance Education Clearinghouse this month is a service which provides headline news in specialized topic areas.
Newspage Network daily assembles items of interest from hundreds of worldwide news sources. Users may scan today's headlines or link to the summaries provided by Newspage. Full text of some articles may also be available, or users may choose to subscribe to their premium services.
Others sources of distance education news can be found at EduPage (a summary of news about information technology which is provided three times a week by Educom) and Reuters Technology Summary (an up-to-the-minute coverage of the day's top stories).
As for news in general, countless newspapers, television networks, cable stations and local TV news programs also have webpages. If you need to find out today's news, the web is an excellent place to look.
Links to all of the above resources can be found on the Distance Education Clearinghouse Current News section at:
Project Coordinator, WWW
Distance Education Clearinghouse
Instructional Communications Systems (ICS)
University of Wisconsin-Extension
FYI - NEWS AND REMINDERS:
* The theme for the 82nd Annual University Continuing Education Association (UCEA) Conference scheduled for April 11-14, 1997 is "New Realities-Redefining Partnerships with Our Communities". The conference, to be held in Louisville, Kentucky, will focus on the challenges for education in the digital age. For further information call: 202-659-3130.
* The K-12 Distance Education Program at Penn State is scheduled for April 13-14 at the Penn State Scanticon Conference Center Hotel. Issues to be addressed are: learners and learning, teachers and instruction, instructional design and administration/management. To receive a brochure call: 1-800-PSU-TODAY.
* The 3rd Annual International University Consortium (IUC) and University of Maryland System Institute Professional Development Workshop is scheduled for May 19-21 at College Park, Maryland. The workshop theme is - "learning.teaching.interacting@hyperspace/The Potential of the Web". The workshop is limited to 250 participants with no exceptions made to this limit. For registration information contact ICU at: 301-985-7811.
* The 18th ICDE World Conference, May 29-31,1997 will be held at The Pennsylvania State University and will be presented in partnership with The World Bank. The conference is sponsored by The American Center for the Study of Distance Education (ACSDE) and the World Bank. Participation is expected from over 100 countries.
The ICDE World Conference will include the Fourth Pre- Conference Symposium on Research in Distance Education. The Symposium will focus on issues concerning distance education as a strategy in national development. Topics will include existing research on technology, program design, instructional methods and policy development with particular emphasis on Access and Equity, Cost and Quality, Cultural Identity and Technology Selection. A statement describing an agenda and strategy for further research focused on national economic and social development will be constructed by participants at the conclusion of the Symposium. Symposium leaders will be from the American Center, The World Bank UNESCO and the UK Open University. For further information and registration call: 814-863-3764.
* The NUTN Annual Conference, June 28-July 1, 1997 will be held at Marriott's Mountain Resort at Vail, CO and will focus on the theme "The Digital Millennium: Higher Education's New Paradigm". For further information contact NUTN at: 757-683-3012.
* The 3rd Annual Teaching, Learning, Technology Roundtable (TLTR) Summer Institute will be held in Phoenix, AZ, July 12-15, 1997. Pre- and post-leadership workshops will be held July 11 and 16. The Institute will include activities for identifying and training TLTR event facilitators, leaders and chairs of local TLT Roundtables. Tracks will include: institutional planning/administration/finance; changing curriculum and student/faculty roles; education, technology and the human spirit; evaluation, assessment and research and external relations/partnerships. Participants will also be introduced to national project-based workshops - Flashlight, Epiphany, Crossroads, Student Technology Assistants, Financial Planning & Management, etc. For further information and registration contact Amanda Antico at: 202-293-6440 ext. 38.
* NEW - Syllabus '97, a Conference and Workshops on "Technology in the Curriculum" will be held July 26-August 1, 1997 at Sonoma State University, Rohnert Park, California. The Conference features: strategic technologies in the context of academic curriculum, cross-discipline focus, cross-platform and cross-technology. For further information call: 1-800-773-0670.
* The 13th Annual Conference on Distance Teaching & Learning, "Competition-Connection-Collaboration" will take place August 6-8, 1997 in Madison, WI. To receive a brochure about the conference call: 608-265-4159.
* "WETC 1997 Conference" - Mark Your Calendars Now...for the Wisconsin Educational Technology Conference (WETC) which will be held November 4-6, 1997 at the Holiday Inn in Stevens Point, Wisconsin. WETC is cosponsored by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, the University of Wisconsin-Ex- tension, the Wisconsin Educational Communications Board and the Wisconsin Technical College System, along with over 70 endorsing organizations. The purpose of WETC is to advance the application of technology at all levels of education and training (PK-adult) in instruction, curriculum, learning resources, special needs, administration and planning. This year WETC is recommending that "institutional teams" be sent to WETC '97, so that upon returning to each institution or district, team support can be utilized. For further information call: Linda Connolly 608-264-9724.
NEW ON THE DESIEN-List - Al Beaver, new Interim Chancellor of University of Wisconsin-Extension; Laura Hansen, UW- Madison student and editor of the TTT Newsletter and Michael Kip of Frankfurt, Germany, owner of MPR Malkrab PR and consultant for Frankfurt Book Fair's Electronic Media and Teaching Software.
ENDNOTE - "An Observation on the Distance Education Catalog and Profile and Inventory"
In 1973, Instructional Communications Systems (ICS) published a four page newspaper tabloid about ETN audioconferencing and programming. The tabloid is now a comprehensive publication of 36 pages for students that high- lights programs and courses taught via many distance education technologies. The complete Catalog can also be found on the Distance Education Clearinghouse Website.
In 1993, the Distance Education Committee (DEC) and I compiled the first Distance Education Profile and Inventory - a small booklet of 15 pages that could convey to non-students what was happening in distance education in Extension and Outreach. The fourth Profile and Inventory, completed in January of this year, is now 68 pages in length and incorporates distance education special initiatives and technology charts and grids, as well as listings of programs and courses taught via technology throughout the UW System.
Together, the two publications illustrate the growing importance of technologies as critical tools for teaching and learning in the expanding educational environment. (Rosemary Lehman)
MARCH ISSUE CONTENT THEME - "Technology and Pedagogy"
DESIEN ARCHIVE: An Archive has been created for past issues and interaction comments. Located at:
DESIEN (The Distance Education Systemwide Interactive Electronic Newsletter) has been created to encourage information exchange and discussion of distance education issues concerned with: 1) UW Systemwide distance education progress and institution course/program development, 2) faculty/ team development, 3) technology, 4) policy, 5) funding and 6) research. List recipients outside of the UW System are also welcome to join in with information contributions and discussion.
Each monthly issue will focus on a "theme of interest", feature a regular column on the Distance Education Clearing- house by Michele Jacques, contain an FYI section, and list future areas of focus. Your continuous input through updates, features, questions and dialogue will be instrumental in helping DESIEN evolve and grow.
The coordinators of DESIEN are Rosemary Lehman and Pat Takemoto. The owner of DESIEN is Rosemary Lehman, firstname.lastname@example.org. Please contact Rosemary if you have concerns or problems. ListServ: DESIEN-List@uwex.edu
Distance Education Clearinghouse
Instructional Design at Instructional Communications Systems
Training for Videconferencing
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