THEME - A Multipart Series: Looking at Effective Practices
UPFRONT - Cornerstone of the Next Millennium
FOCUS - Ideas for Successful Technology-Assisted Meetings
FROM THE DISTANCE EDUCATION CLEARINGHOUSE: NETNEWS - What Are the Costs of Distance Education?
UW CAMPUS HILIGHTS - UW Campus Information
FUNDING - WATF Grant Awards Issued
DE AND IT SPECIAL NEEDS - ADA-IT - a 3-Credit Course
NEW TECH TRENDS - Robots Help Perform Open Heart Surgery
DE AND IT ISSUES - "Access to Research is in Danger" - Says Big 12 Plus Library Consortium
NEW ON THE LIST - New Subscribers This Month
FYI - News, Conferences and Institutes
ENDNOTE - If You Stay Confused, You May Start Making Sense
JUNE ISSUE FOCUS - The June Issue Begins a Multipart Series: Issues of Support
Cornerstone of the Next Millennium
(UW-Extension News & Ideas)
An exciting milestone in UW-Extension's journey to achieve a state-of-the-art distance education and conference facility is coming up on Thursday, June 4. A festive ceremony is planned to re-lay and re-inscribe the 40-year old cornerstone for the Pyle Center (formerly the Wisconsin Center) for 11:00 am on the front steps of the building. A time capsule set, in 1958, will be opened and memorabilia from 1998 will be added before resetting the capsule as the Pyle Center cornerstone. The next significant event for the Pyle Center, one of the oldest and busiest conference centers in the nation, will be when it reopens for business on November 2, 1998 with greatly expanded technological capability to keep pace with the 21st century advances in education and training. The Pyle Center is a physical example of UW-Extension's historic commitment to access. The building will be formally dedicated when UW-Extension hosts the Regents meeting in February 1999.
Technology dissolves the boundaries of time and space and brings us together into "virtual rooms." Using technology forces us to "rethink" old ways of doing things and, taking many variables into consideration, nudges us to create new ways that expand and enhance our methods. Articles in past DESIEN issues have focused on the educational uses of technology for courses and programs. There are many other uses (as you will note in the section on the WATF grant awards): sharing information, briefing staff and other executives, holding meetings, conducting interviews, carrying out varied types of examinations (medical, technical, etc., demonstrating products or projects, etc.) This FOCUS article looks at meetings and Ideas for Successful Technology-Assisted Meetings. (Rosemary Lehman)
Ideas For Successful Technology-Assisted Meetings
Kathleen A. Paris, Office of Quality Improvement, UW-Madison
Mathew J. Cullen, Sr., President, Station 1, Inc., Madison, WI
Technology can be immensely helpful for streamlining and improving meeting productivity. This article is intended to help you think about how four technological tools might be useful to your organization and to suggest some strategies for success. The four tools include: discussion data bases, electronic meeting systems, video conferencing and e-mail.
Discussion Databases - are useful when participants are available at different times. Also referred to as groupware or threaded discussion or forums, they are asynchronous, enabling participants to work at different times. (They are ideal when different time zones or work schedules make even phone conferences difficult.) Examples include Lotus Notes, Netmeeting Collabra, Hypernews, WebCaucus, Facilitate.com, The Soft bicycle Company's Consensus@nyware(r), PushPin(TM) and Ceilidh(TM).
A discussion database is more "orderly" than an unstructured list serve because participants nest their replies, comments, questions and hyperlinks under the message to which they are responding. This provides a visual map of the discussion. For anyone who has been overwhelmed by the volume and perhaps chaotic structure of a free-for-all e-mail discussion, these applications are worth a second look. The visual "map" of responses means that discussions can be focused and refocused, analyzed and summarized with relative ease. The chief advantages are that all these products are or soon will be configured for use on the World Wide Web and Internet. This means that regardless of the operating system, people can work collaboratively on-line in ways never before possible.
Videoconferencing - is an alternative for collaborative efforts that occur at the same time with participants in different locations. The technology can range from a fully-equipped studio to a tiny video camera mounted on a desktop computer (soon the camera will come with the computer.) Instructional Communications Systems (ICS), UW-Extension offers videoconferencing training and services, making it possible to "try it" without necessarily having the on-site technology. Commercial businesses such as Kinkos, AT&T, Sprint, Omni and others also provide these services.
Electronic Meeting Systems (EMS) - usually support meetings in which participants are together at the same time and place. Research studies on EMS show that meeting time can be reduced by 71% and a study by Boeing showed a 170% return on investment for groups using EMS (Marsh, 1996). One type of EMS is a network of personal computers set up in a room and guided by a facilitator using a "chauffeur" computer. Participants have their own computers (often laptops) and enter their ideas, questions, comments via their individual keyboards. All the ideas are shown on the front projection screen. The items can be discussed and quickly sorted with the results displayed graphically within a few seconds. The fact that everyone contributes at once can create great time savings. Depending on the task at hand, EMS voting and prioritizing can be used to narrow choices, select alternatives or focus the conversation to reach consensus. Participants can leave with meeting results in hand. Some examples include Meeting Works(TM) for Windows and Ventana's Groupsystems. (You can download MeetingWorks (TM) or Windows free for up to 8 participants from: www.entsol.com.)The second type of EMS utilizes electronic keypads which enable participants to vote or submit numbers. The polling results are shown immediately on a projection screen. This keypad technology can be used with groups as large as several hundred. Examples include Leadership 2000 Conexus and Options Technologies.
Challenges - Each of these technologies has its own advantages and limitations. Following are some challenges they all share. Some people may be reluctant to use the technology. Communication is not as complete in the absence of non-verbal cues and paralanguage that accompanies F2F encounters. Technology can easily shift the balance of power within a group, moderating the impact of high verbal, high status members. Participants from different cultural and ethnic backgrounds may respond differently to the technology, especially at the beginning. Organizational culture may not support sharing of information and effort. Speed, availability and dependability of the hardware and software may also be issues. Participants with disabilities may need special accommodation in materials design.
To Increase Productivity - Markowitz (1998) says, "In general, groups who have worked together before get the best results using computer mediated communications." She suggests that if participants have not met before, send photos and personal/work biographies on each person. This gives participants information they might have learned through other means in a F2F meeting. (Soft Bicycle's Consensus@nyware(r) has the bonus of including small photos of meeting participants next to their comments.) The fundamental requirement for a successful F2F meeting holds true for technology-assisted meetings: a clear purpose for the meeting is essential. To ensure that the purpose(s) can be achieved, every meeting assisted with technology requires advance planning (e.g. What are the intended outcomes? How many issues can we reasonably handle? What do we need to do ahead of time?) Involve some of the meeting participants in planning the agenda and identifying key questions.
Facilitation greatly enhances technology-assisted meetings and is essential for videoconferencing and EMS. Facilitators help keep the activity on track, ensure that the full spectrum of ideas is explored, and ensure full participation and access to the tools (Holt, 1998). The facilitator can also assist the group in developing ground rules for working together.
Keep the technology as simple as possible, especially at the beginning. The software may have the capacity to do more than the group is able to do. Palloff and Pratt (1998) suggest that all on-line meetings should be viewed as learning experiences. Acknowledging them as such creates a sense of community which can enhance a groups' effectiveness.
Proceedings of the Annual Conference of the International Association of Facilitators, Santa Clara, CA:
Holt, Margaret. (1998). Exploring possibilities for deliberation with internet collaboration tools.
Markowitz, Jana. (1998). Technology-assisted meetings: When to use what tools.
Palloff, Rena and Pratt, Keith. (1998). Facilitation in cyberspace: New approaches, new skills.
AS/400 systems Management: Marsh, Bruce F. (August, 1996). The electronic way of seeing eye-to-eye. pp. 60-62
(Send campus distance education HILIGHTS to: firstname.lastname@example.org)
ICS/UW-EXTENSION - ICS is developing a UW System Distance Education URL booklet. It will include short descriptions of Distance Education opportunities offered through the UW universities and colleges, along with URL addresses for access to in-depth information on each Web site. The booklet will be available the end of July. Look for information for obtaining a copy in the June DESIEN issue.
UW-OSHKOSH - Two new positions in Media Services announced: *Instructional Developer* - this person works closely with faculty to expand and enhance use of instructional technologies. Duties include: develop and implement a comprehensive training program for effective use of technology for teaching and learning; design and develop Web-based courses and curricula; work with faculty to define instructional objectives and strategies; assist faculty in determining appropriate use of various media; produce educational materials for use in teaching, publications and audiovisual programs; conduct faculty workshops in such areas as educational theories, educational technology, distance learning strategies, asynchronous distance learning, and student support mechanisms and monitor emerging technologies for integration into instruction.
Required Qualifications: Master's degree in Educational Technology, Instructional Development, or related field, 3-5 years experience in design of classroom materials, Internet courses and curricula, or distance learning training materials. Experience consulting with university faculty. Experience conducting training workshops. Additional Desirable Qualifications: Doctorate in Educational Technology, Instructional Development, or related field. Teaching experience. Experience with Java, CGI, and Web course development software. Continuing academic staff appointment (Administrative Program Specialist). Salary range $35,000 - $48,000, depending on qualifications and experience - excellent benefits package.
*MultiMedia Developer* - this person produces educational materials for use in teaching, publications and audiovisual programs including distance learning and interactive computer based multimedia and video; conducts workshops on producing computer multimedia for instruction; assists in management of a faculty development computer lab and provides technical support for faculty in distance education technologies.
Required Qualifications: Bachelor's degree in a related media field with at least 3 years of experience, or a Bachelor's degree in a non-related field with significant professional media experience (5 or more years). Significant experience relating to digital images, multimedia, video graphics and Web pages. Experience working collaboratively in group situations. Project management experience with faculty and/or professional staff. Additional Desirable Qualifications: Master's degree in a related media field. Teaching experience. Experience with Novell and Web servers. Continuing academic staff appointment (Media Specialist). Salary range: $27,000 - $36,000, depending on qualifications and experience - an excellent benefits package. Application Process: To apply for either of these positions, send a letter of application, resume, and the names and current telephone numbers of three references to: Chair, Screening Committee, c/o Assistant Vice Chancellor's Office, Information Technology Division, University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, 800 Algoma Blvd., Oshkosh, WI 54901. Applications may be submitted via e-mail to: email@example.com. Be sure to specify which position you are applying for (Instructional Developer or Multimedia Developer). Application deadline: July 15, 1998.
The University of Wisconsin Oshkosh is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. Women and minorities are encouraged to apply.
UW-STOUT - UW-Stout and eight other institutions across the the country have formed a consortium to offer the first doctor of Philosophy in Technology Management degree program in the country. Other members of the consortium include: Bowling Green State University, Central Connecticut State University, Central Missouri State University, East Carolina University, Eastern Michigan University, North Carolina A & T State University, Texas A & T State University, Texas Southern University and Indiana State University. Indiana will be the degree-granting institution.
"What are the Costs of Distance Education?"
Distance Education Clearinghouse on the web at: http://www.uwex.edu/disted/home.html
Trying to find out about the costs of distance education is of the most popular of the Frequently Asked Questions. Unfortunately, the answers to the question are neither simple, clear-cut, or even easily determined. Just as there is no "typical" distance education course, program or presentation, there is no single factor which determines distance education costs. Content, equipment, telecommunication charges, instructional costs, design factors, and a myriad of other elements must all be examined before "the" cost of distance education can be even attempted to be identified.
A brief listing of some articles and web references are supplied on a new section of the Distance Education Clearinghouse. This list of sources is just a beginning, and can be found at:
Whereas there is no shortage of journal articles and web references to other aspects of distance education, a search of the literature for relevant articles for costs produces less than anticipated. A brief search can easily produce 500 or 600 articles on distance education, but extensive search found only a handful on costs. Some articles touch upon the question of whether or not distance education is cost effective, others discuss costs to students, or what effect distance education courses will have on tuition and fees. However, cold hard facts about what it actually costs to design, develop, and deliver distance education are limited.
If you know of some relevant articles or references, or if you are involved in a cost study or research project, please let me know. The Clearinghouse's resources on this topic will continue to develop as more information about costs is identified and listed.
Distance Education Clearinghouse
Information Resources Manager
Instructional Communications Systems
(ICS) University of Wisconsin-Extension
WATF Grant Awards Issued
(Jodi L. Gorski, WATF Administrative Assistant)
The Wisconsin Advanced Telecommunications Foundation (WATF) Board of Directors announces its cash and in-kind awards: $324,848 in cash grants and $83,374 in in-kind grant to:
Higher Education - Lincoln County UW-Extension - $30,550 cash to develop a centralized information source for family and youth resources/services for Lincoln County residents. Access to this information will be via a web site and kiosks located in communities in the county.
Government - Pierce County Public Health - $49,340 cash to increase employee access to efficient and reliable sources of health information through both an automated records system and a geographical mapping system.
Government - Verona Police Department - $17,921 in-kind to establish an ElderWatch program for senior citizens, in which they would be contacted each day to be sure they are safe and well.
Public K-12 - Waunakee Community School District - $50,000 cash, $5,000 in-kind. More Tech...Less Text - to provide funds for classroom technology and infrastructure to support increased opportunities for students in a "technology rich" classroom.
Public K-12 - Lancaster Community Schools - $11,000 in-kind for hardware, software and curriculum to teach Internet publishing including web pages and interactive web forms to Tech Ed students at Lancaster middle school.
Public K-12 - La Crosse School District - $45,206 cash, $9,685 in-kind to provide a connection to the classroom for students who are homebound due to serious injury or illness via video communications.
Public K-12 - Shawano-Gresham School District - $7,118 in-kind for credit for multi-mode fiber installed by Frontier Communications.
Public K-12- Marinette School District - $50,000 cash for acquisition of a telecommunication and information technology lab at the middle school for the integration of music and academic/elective studies.
Public K-12- St. Croix Falls School District - $49,250 cash to develop and implement a hands-on environmental science curriculum K-12, through the use of advanced technology at the Riegel Park site in St. Croix Falls.
Public K-12 - New Richmond School District - $20,000 in-kind to provide the necessary cable, wire, equipment and technical expertise to establish a data/voice/cable network in two elementary schools; and provide training to students and faculty.
Private K-12 - Agape Center of Academic Excellence, Inc. - $37,500 cash to engage teaching and administrative staff in the process of planning and implementation of the technology plan for Agape.
Private K-12 - St. Francis Xavier School - $13,002 cash, $6,450 in-kind to create an infrastructure connecting all classrooms, offices and library in the school to facilitate data exchange, school e-mail, Internet e-mail, access library resources, diocesan resources and resources from the WWW.
Private K-12 - Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary School - $6,200 in-kind to install a computer lab LAN, digital project panel (LCD) and software to aid teaching. This will be the first step in implementing technology.
DE AND IT SPECIAL NEEDS
ADAPT-IT - a 3-Credit Course
(Norman Coombs - EASI)
Starting June 1 - Three continuing credits are available.
ADAPT-IT is a four-week course providing an overview to the topic of adaptive computing and is ideal for administrators, teachers, librarians, computer support staff, ADA compliance officers and service providers. It focuses on how to set up computing technology and services for individuals with disabilities. Taught by people who have consulted extensively on adaptive technology and information access.
This workshop has been revised and enhanced in 1998 to include text assignments and web assignments. New material related to special education and students in K-12 has also been included.
The course is delivered using e-mail and some materials are accessed on the web. You can expect to spend at least 3-4 hours a week, but you can put in much more time if you like. We encourage that you interact by e-mail with teachers and other students. For more information including fees and how to register, look on the web at: http://www.rit.edu/~easi or send email to firstname.lastname@example.org for a syllabus and registration.
NEW TECH TRENDS
Robots Help Perform Open Heart Surgery
French surgeons used computerized robots developed by California-based Intuitive Surgical to perform six open heart surgeries. The technique involved the surgeon sitting at a console several yards away from the patient, viewing the heart via a 3-D camera inside the patient, and directing the robot to perform the surgery. (Investor's Business Daily 26 May 98)
DE and IT ISSUES
"Access to Research Endangered" - Big 12 Plus Library Consortium
The Big 12 Plus Library Consortium has issued a statement warning that "long-term access to scholarly research is in grave danger," because of high prices that have forced some libraries to cancel journal subscriptions and cut back on book purchases. At the same time, commercial interests are pushing legislation that would restrict fair use of copyrighted works. The statement calls for a new model for managing intellectual property that would include new understandings of copyright and fair use, and a new economic model for producing and distributing scholarly information. Institutions should "acknowledge that research libraries can no longer afford to build comprehensive collections," and must focus on determining which materials are the most useful to the largest number of constituents. (Chronicle of Higher Education 20 May 98)
NEW ON THE LIST - Welcome to new DESIEN subscribers: Carolyn Amy, Barry Bauschek, Lara Van Druten, Ron Newton, Del Kangas, Zues Valls, Robin Keldow, Ann Kasuboski, Kathy Dugger, Robert Frelinger, Wiley Campbell, Donna Alden, Lavinia Kumar, Gus Scully, Lisa Klein, Phillip Salm and Dennis Fink. We welcome you and your contributions. Send information you would like to have included in DESIEN to email@example.com
News, Conferences, Institutes
REMINDER - Register now for the 14th Annual Conference on Distance Teaching & Learning, August 5-7, 1998 at the Marriott Madison West, Madison, WI. This leading forum on distance education and training will feature 25 workshops, 80 sessions, keynote addresses, exhibits, demonstrations and networking events. For more information call: 608-265-4159 or see: http://www.uwex.edu/disted/distanceconf/deconf.html.
"Skills for On-Line Trainers" a seminar to be taught by Elliott Masie via the MASIE Center Learning Intranet is scheduled for June 25-26, 1998 at the Bethesda Marriott Hotel, Bethesda, MD. Masie is the author of Learning in the Digital Age (Nov., 1998) and The Computer Training Handbook. He is an advisor to a host of government agencies and the founder of The On-line Learning Council. The MASIE Center is an international thinktank focusing on technology, training, learning and workforce development.
The seminar will explore the role of trainers and learning leaders in the emerging world of online learning. This seminar will get you ready for the human role in on-line learning. The fee is $895 (MASIE Center Members: $795). For Registration information call 1-800-98-MASIE or register on-line at: http://www.masie.com.
The Seventh Annual Conference for Americas PictureTel User Groups will be in Norfolk, VA at the Norfolk Waterside Marriott, Sept. 13-16, 1998. The conference theme is "Video...More Than a Job, It's an Adventure!" Session Tracks are: Getting Started, Innovative Implementation, Operations and Looking into the Future. Registration is $550 (Members: $399). For further information call 1-800-PUG-INFO or go to: http://www.pug.com.
REMINDER - Make your plans now to attend the Governor's Wisconsin Educational Technology Conference at the Regency Conference Center in Green Bay on October 6-8, 1998. The conference focuses on practical applications of technology for the benefit of learners of all ages. More than 120 sessions and 60 exhibits will feature best practices, innovative projects and the newest tools for teaching and learning, and hands-on workshops will demonstrate new ways of using technology in education. For further information call 608-164-9724 or visit: http://www.wetc-wi.org.
TECHLEARN '98, scheduled for November 15-18, 1998 in Orlando, FL, is an annual, international conference focusing on the key issues of technology and learning. This year, General Colin Powell will provide the keynote address, along with Secretary Robert Reich, Don Tapscott, John Dvorak, Loretta LaRoche and Elliott Masie. TechLearn is a 3-day, deeply interactive conference hosted at Walt Disney World. For further information see: http://www.techlearn98.com.
If You Stay Confused, You May Start Making Sense.
Economist and applied mathematician W. Brian Arthur of the Santa Fe Institute says that to succeed in the new information-based economy, which offers increasing rather than diminishing returns on resources, it's not sufficient to think in terms of lowering your cost, improving your quality, keeping products moving out the door. "You have to allow that you are playing games where the winner can walk off with a great deal of the market and the losers are left with practically nothing, even if their products are technically brilliant and the cost is right."
In the new economy, if you start to lose advantage, you get in a worse position; if you gain advantage, you get into a better position. That's why America Online, Sun Microsystems and other companies, succeeded by giving product away to build their market share to a point at which they became unstoppable. Business is not a game like poker or roulette, where there are official rules and well-established strategies. In a digital-age business, the game is ill-defined, there is no "correct" answer, and the people who do well are not the managers but the visionaries, who can look ahead to take advantage of completely new circumstances, without resorting to stereotyped thinking.
And the best way to avoid stereotyped thinking is to stay confused: "Confusion means having no cognitive framework, and that is better than having a wrong cognitive framework, which is what happens if you prematurely close in on an understanding. There's no correct understanding, but there are very bad ones." Professor Arthur quotes John Seely Brown at Xerox PARC: "In the old economy, the challenge for management is to make product. Now the challenge for management is to make sense." (Joel Kurtzman, "An Interview With W. Brian Arthur," Strategy & Business 2nd Qtr 98)
JUNE ISSUE FOCUS - This Issue Begins a Multipart Series: Issues of Support. Send contributions for this series to firstname.lastname@example.org.
DESIEN ARCHIVE: An Archive has been created for past issues and interaction comments. Locate at: http://www.uwex.edu/disted/desien/
DESIEN 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.
Distance Education Clearinghouse
Instructional Design at Instructional Communications Systems
Training for Videconferencing
If you have trouble accessing this page, need this information in an alternative format,
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Last Updated: January 2006