THEME - First in a Series on Authorware: LearningSpace by Martha Mealy of UW Learning Innovations
UPFRONT - UW Learning Innovations and On-line Courses
FOCUS - Teaching & Learning Using LearningSpace-Martha Mealy
UW NEWS - UW-Milwaukee Enhances Its Adaptive Technology, Web Searching Information, UW System-From TTT
FROM THE DISTANCE EDUCATION CLEARINGHOUSE: NETNEWS - A Sampling of Sites-Michele Jacques
ON AND OFF-LINE NEWS - Asynchronous Learning Networks Publications, 1998 New Connections: A Guide to Distance Education
HOT TOPICS - The Web As A Tool For Teaching Drawing, Some Report Cards Are Out on Y2K Readiness
NEW TECH TOOLS -Team Station Videoconferencing, Email Response- Management Packages
NEW TECH TRENDS - Distance Ed For More Reasons Than Distance, Project ITALICA
ETC. - FCC Decides on 5% for Digital Broadcasters, E-Stamps On The Way
NEW ON THE LIST - New Monthly Subscribers
FYI - News, Conferences and Institutes
NO DESIEN ISSUE IN DECEMBER - Happy Holidays!!
UW LEARNING INNOVATIONS AND ON-LINE COURSES - This month, Martha Mealy of Learning Innovations begins the Authorware series with a FOCUS article on LearningSpace.
Learning Innovations (UWLI), brings the knowledge and resources of the University of Wisconsin System to the world through on-line courses. It draws upon the resources of all 27 institutions of the UW System, one of the top five public higher education systems in he United States. UWLI delivers comprehensive learning solutions and support through a dynamic combination of
* Market Research
* Consultation and Training in Course Development with UW Faculty and Others
* Assistance in the Design and Development of Courseware
* Distribution of Courses and Other Intellectual Property
* Comprehensive Online Student and Faculty Support
UWLI enables UW institutions to work together to offer their students access to new courseware and to engage in the rapidly emerging technology enabled learning market without having to redirect substantial resources from current uses. It is pioneering advanced learning approaches and utilizing a diverse combination of technologies and media. To help facilitate these, UWLI has consolidated four UW- Extension Continuing Education units
* Independent Learning
* Distributed Learning Services
* Higher Education Location Program (HELP)
* Wisconsin Survey Research Lab
In addition, it is forming multiparty distribution partnerships with publishers, technology providers and businesses. Visit the URL at www.learn.wisconsin.edu
Teaching and Learning Using LearningSpace
Martha Mealy, Programming Manager, UWLI
Lotus LearningSpace (http://www.lotus.com/learningspace) is a courseware application that consists of five course areas: the Schedule (a syllabus), the MediaCenter (media library for lectures, readings, interactive media), the CourseRoom (threaded discussion and assignment area), Profiles (class roster) and the Assessment database (a database to store tests, quizzes, and questions). In preparation for writing this article, I posed questions to instructors who have used LearningSpace this fall to teach semester-based courses. These courses were designed and constructed with the help of the UW Learning Innovations Development Team (http://learn.wisconsin.edu) The students in these courses never came together in a face-to-face meeting; all instruction was carried out asynchronously in LearningSpace. Though I highlight the comments of only two instructors below, I think that their comments are broadly representative of many of our instructors' experience.
Q1. What were the positive aspects of teaching on line using Learning Space?
Instructor A wrote, "Once the environment is understood, it provides a consistent interface where the course materials are readily accessible." Predictability concerning where to locate course materials is a strength of the course areas of LearningSpace (the Schedule, MediaCenter, CourseRoom and Profile databases). These course areas provide a preexisting organizational structure that has helped establish a consistent course structure across courses within a program. For instance, all the UW Colleges courses have a consistent organization and presentation that the students will come to recognize and count on.
Security and Trust
Another strength is user authentication (the process of limiting access to those students with usernames and passwords). Again Instructor A "The security (user names and passwords) could be a potential utility if a course has sensitive or confidential materials." Quality instructor-student interaction is the main way to battle the potential sense of isolation, anonymity, and impersonality of this environment.
Instructor B added, "The candor is quite amazing - students seemed much more willing to discuss what would otherwise be considered sensitive information than in face-to-face format." Trust is paramount in this relationship. As Instructor A noted, the course security plays a central role in establishing this sense of trust. Though user authentication is found in most courseware products, the process of user authentication in Notes meets the some of the highest US security standards.
Instructor A wrote, "The threaded discussion feature has the potential for being an important learning tool." Instructor B identified "the amount of interchange and candor among the students" as a strength of LearningSpace. "No one can 'hide,'" she continued, "or blend into the background so everyone participated." In our instructional design, we attempt to assist the instructors in taking full advantage of threaded discussion, one of the strongest features of LearningSpace. Neither instructor saw their courses in LearningSpace as a lecture-based course.
Given the activity-based nature of our courses, we recognize that the student must be instructed in how to learn and participate effectively in on-line courses. The discussion must be carefully structured and presented as central to the course outcomes, not simply as ornament. Instructor A wrote, "Instructors need to be very, very explicit in their instructions. It is helpful to have others look through material before it is made available to students [to check it] for clarity and accuracy. Interactions like classroom discussion can be more difficult so instructors who desire to have interaction must plan carefully to make it an integral part of the course."
Instructor B's course uses threaded discussion extensively and very successfully. Each week the students are involved in class and smaller group work in which they engage in legal analyses, debates, and case studies. Minimum expectations are set for each activity, requiring all students to participate at some level. The instructor plays a vital role, responding to the students' contributions in the class discussions and monitoring group work, making sure to keep the students on track. As Instructor B noted, the students cannot hide in this participatory environment. In activities-based instruction, neither can the instructor! I cannot emphasize enough how her ongoing presence determines the success of the course as she models for the students and instructs in how she expects them to contribute. This consistent, ongoing presence can be assured only if instructors structure their weekly schedules carefully to make sure that they regularly "get into" the course and make their presence known. If the instructor fails in this regard, it is similar to not showing up for face-to-face classes or office hours. Our experience has proved that when this occurs, all motivation and participation on the students' part are lost and are very difficult to recover.
Q2. What didn't work very well in teaching on line using LearningSpace?
Complexity of LearningSpace
Both instructors remarked on the complexity and steep learning curve of LearningSpace. At UWLI we have found that this curve, related to negotiating the course interface, must be explicitly addressed in course design. To accomplish this, we follow a strategy we call "ramping" for the students, where we introduce only one new interactive function within the environment each week. We also strive to use consistent navigational conventions throughout the course, particularly conventions related to document categorization and hyperlinking.
Slow response and download times caused some frustrations for both the instructors and the students. Instructor A wrote, "In my approach to teaching and learning, feedback on work is essential for students to learn." It is a critical step in the design process to begin by developing and testing a clear, simple, and straightforward instructional approach regardless of the bells and whistles the courseware package offers. In this careful selection of which of the capabilities you will need in LearningSpace, always keep in mind the end users' computer capabilities and Internet connection.
Keeping the technological complexities in mind, we have been satisfied with LearningSpace's central strength: the power of threaded discussions that allow for secure class and small-group interaction. With careful instructional design, the value of interactions between students and instructors overcame the technical difficulties. Instructor B "Students must see [the] instructor as [a] partner in the process. All my students were motivated and participated - [I] don't know if that is a reflection of the student, course, or Internet delivery format." I would wager that this is a reflection of the instruction, the consistent high-quality feedback and the presence of the instructor in the course. In the end it is the quality of the instructor's interactions with the students that carries the day, and technology should be transparent in support of this challenge.
UW-MILWAUKEE ENHANCES ITS ADAPTIVE TECHNOLOGY - The Golda Meir Library on the UWM campus has added to its adaptive technology study room. The increased hardware includes an enhanced computer system with a large-screen monitor, trackball, mouse and large print/braille keyboard labels, as well as Intellikeys alternative soft-touch keyboard. New adaptive software includes Zoomtext magnification, JAWS voice output and DragonDictate voice input. Additional equipment includes a Magni-Cam handheld magnifying camera, an audio cassette tape player/recorder with speed control and a Kurzweil Reading Edge scanner that converts print to speech. Students and teachers will also find closed- captioned videotapes. (UWM Report 5 Nov 98, Vol 19 No 9)
WEB SEARCHING INFORMATION - If you're in the market for a mega search tool, you may wish to try Infoseek's new Express. The software tool works with Browsers (3.0 & above) on Windows 95/98/NT 4.0 machines and searches multiple search engines simultaneously (Infoseek, AltaVista, HotBot, Excite, Lycos, Webcrawler and Yahoo). It allows you to view your results in any order you want, save your search queries for future reference, and find the searched for information within the document. It also removes duplicate results.
In addition to the general search, there are 97 pre-designed yet customizable categories that let you narrow your search. These include groupings such as search engines, weather, colleges, dictionaries, newsgroups, white & yellow pages, email addresses, government info., street maps, driving directions etc. to name a few.
The software is free and can be co-branded for distribution. With a CO-branded version, your logo and title gets placed at the top of each page; you have and can name your own search category with five original links to websites of your choice, and you have one button access at the top of the search page for each of your five categories. Once installed, users can add additional links or remove links from the categories.
If you'd like to see a CO-branded version, you can download UWM's Adult & Continuing Education Alumni Association's version at http://express.infoseek.com/d ownload_express.phtml?dve_id=1412 With this version, we've included links to our alumni assoc. websites, campus directories, our academic program homepage, and our UWM Web Course in a Box Index page at http://www.uwm.edu/~lll
(University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Information and Media Technologies)
UW SYSTEM - FROM TTT - COOLCalculus Offered Online - TTT highlights current uses of technology across the UW System. This month it's COOL Calculus Offered Online, a course taught by Prof. Don Piele, Mathematics Department, UW-Parkside
Don Piele has created an on-line calculus course that allows students to visualize calculus concepts and solve problems using Mathematica, a powerful tool used by both students and professionals. Prof. Piele provides background on the development of his course, its structure, plus information on software and approximate costs. Read article http://www.uwsa.edu/olit/ttt/v3n6.htm
COOL's url http://www.uwp.edu/academic/mathematics/calculus/cool.htm
(TTT Newsletter Volume 3, Number 6, 23 Nov 98)
"A Sampling of Sites"
Michele Jacques, ICS Information Resources Manager
This month's list of sites consists of a sampling of a few of the URLs that I've been collecting for the "when I have time" category. They are interesting sites which refer to a variety of different resources. Take a look to see if some of your questions can be answered by browsing through these sites.
All About Multimedia
This is a quick question/answer site which deals with basic questions about multimedia. What is it? What is streaming audio/video? It also provides a list of sources for further exploration.
WBT Information Center
Developed by Tim Kilby
This site was created for those interested in developing and delivering web-based training, online learning, or distance education. Here you will find a WBT primer, surveys, discussion forums, and resource links.
Don't miss the list of tools which links to product home pages...an excellent collection to learn about what's currently available
There are scores of reports available from C/NET. They cover topics ranging from news items to archives of previously released products and reviews. For example, currently there are dozens of articles on topics ranging from speech recognition software to protecting your PC from viruses to all about browsers.
WebReference at internet.com
This entire site is full of interesting news items, articles, glossaries, advice, and workshops. It provides instructive examples of the kinds of things you've always wondered about. For example, "Evolution of a Home Page" gives users insight on how WebReference.com itself has developed over the years. http://webreference.com/
These are but a few of the many sites which can provide valuable references and resources. Any one of them can take you deeper and deeper into the topic at hand, so beware...and happy exploring!
ON AND OFF-LINE NEWS
ASYNCHRONOUS LEARNING NETWORKS PUBLICATIONS (ALN) - ALN Web sponsors two publications covering asynchronous learning networks topics: ASYNCHRONOUS LEARNING NETWORKS MAGAZINE (ALN Magazine) and the JOURNAL OF ASYNCHRONOUS LEARNING NETWORKS (JALN).
Pedagogy is the focus of the latest issue (vol. 2, issue 2, October 1998) of ALN Magazine. Articles include"Cultural Studies in Cyberspace: Teaching with New Technology," by David Finkelstein and Linda Dryden, Napier University, U. K.; "Models of Online Courses," by Robin Mason, The Open University, U. K.; and "Web-Based Technology for Engaging Students across Vast Distances," by A. J. Turgeon, Pennsylvania University. The complete issue is available on the Web at http://www.aln.org/alnweb/magazine/maga_ v2_i2.htm
Articles from the latest issue (vol. 2, issue 2, September 1998) of JALN include"Institutionalized Resistance to Asynchronous Learning Networks," by David Jaffee, Department of Sociology, SUNY-New Paltz; "The Impact of Student Verbal/Visual Learning Style Preference on Implementing Groupware in the Classroom," by D'Arcy Becker and Meg Dwyer, University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire and "Net-Learning Strategies for On-Campus and Off-Campus Network-enabled Learning," by John R. Bourne, Center for Innovation in Engineering Education, Vanderbilt University. The complete issue is available on the Web at http://www.aln.org/alnweb/journal/jaln_vol2is sue2.htm
ALN Magazine and JALN are published by Vanderbilt University for the ALN Web. For more information see Webhttp://www.aln.org/alnweb/
1998 NEW CONNECTIONS A GUIDE TO DISTANCE EDUCATION, 2nd Edition - This second edition primer by Jay Alden, is a good choice for the lay academic audience. The book outlines delivery technologies ranging from Point-to-Point Microwave to Desktop Video. It includes technology descriptions and pros and cons for adopters. It also includes short sections on The Characteristics of Successful Distance Learning Programs; Types of Distance Learning Programs; Implementing Faculty Development Programs; and Technology Planning. The book is published by the Instructional Telecommunications Council (ITC), an Affiliated Council of the American Association of Community Colleges. Visit the ITC at http://www.sinclair.edu/community/itc/
THE WEB AS A TOOL FOR TEACHING DRAWING - At the 1998 University of North Carolina CAUSE conference, Professor Donald Sexauer (East Carolina University's School of Art) demonstrated how he used the Web in his beginning drawing classes. The Web in well-suited for illustrating concepts that are difficult to present with slides or on the blackboard. For example, Sexauer created a series of Web pages to show students how changing the direction of a light source affects the shadows in a drawing. See http://ecuvax.cis.ecu.edu/~arsexaue/bagmenu.htm Using a few tools (Web browser, hand scanner, digital camera) and some basic knowledge of HTML, Sexauer devised resources that he can reuse for each year's class, while adding new student work each semester to maintain the freshness of his Web site. The URL for his beginning drawing class pages is http://ecuvax.cis.ecu.edu/~arsexaue/art1020.htm
SOME REPORT CARDS ARE OUT ON Y2K READINESS - Saying "the picture is a gloomy one," Congressman Stephen Horn, chair of the House subcommittee responsible for overseeing government progress on averting the Y2K problem, has given out new report cards to federal agencies. Three departments flunked: Justice; Health & Human Services; and State. The Defense Department gets a D- minus. Three departments get A grades: Small Business Administration; Social Security Administration; and the National Science Foundation. The Social Security Administration began working on the problem in 1989, eight years before most other government agencies. (USA Today 24 Nov 98)
NEW TECH TOOLS
TEAM STATION VIDEOCONFERENCING - The new Intel Team Station Videoconferencing was recently used at the TechLearn Conference to bring in a few international guests. What was awesome about this system was it's size (small), it's ability to use ISDN lines, WAN and the internet. The cost is very reasonable and it performed perfectly. The system can also be used as a presentation system in a conference room and can access content from a corporate network to use in a meeting. The site location to find out more about it is http://www.intel.com/proshare/ conferencing/products/teamdata.htm
E-MAIL RESPONSE-MANAGEMENT PACKAGES - Manually routing and answering e-mail is time- consuming, with one Internet research company placing the cost of dealing with each message at $2.75. With that in mind, two companies are poised to introduce new software packages that are designed to improve response automation and personalization. Aptex Software's SelectResponse 3.0 uses technology that can interpret the meaning of unstructured text to provide quicker and more accurate answers to e-mail queries. Brightware's Contact Center software generates automated answers for a predetermined set of questions and routes other messages to the appropriate company contact when a question requires a more complex response. "The Internet can be either the least expensive or the most expensive customer channel, depending on the level of automation you have," says Brightware's CEO. Using such software should bring the cost of dealing with e-mail questions down to as little as 25 cents apiece. (InternetWeek 3 Nov 98)
NEW TECH TRENDS
DISTANCE ED FOR MORE REASONS THAN DISTANCE - According to an article by Lori Wallace in the Spring of 1996 and an American Chronicle of Education article in spring of 1998, distance learning in the US for much of its history has been designed for those who could NOT attend classes due to geographic restrictions. But there are several trends that are blending distance learning with traditional face-to-face methods so that the markets are not as distinct as they were originally envisioned to be. You will still find some academic distance ed programs that prohibit enrollments of students living within a 100 mile or commute radius of the campus. It is my understanding that these rules existed in older generation distance learning programs - I am thinking of Marywood and Indiana University off the top of my head - in an effort to keep distance learning programs from "cannibalizing" on-campus program enrollments. Very few newer generation distance Ed programs have these prohibitions in their regulations. In reality people seem to be using distance Ed not just to solve geographic access issues but also issues of time - no time or method to commute - and cost. (Vicky Phillips, Publisher-The Virtual University Gazette, Nov 98)
PROJECT ITALICA - A new type of project, Project ITALICA is a distance learning project deployed in Italy in cooperation with Italian and foreign universities and the Ministries of Universities, Education and Foreign Affairs. ITALICA is a distance learning university, a library, a radio station, a theatre, a recreational area, and much more. One of the strong points of ITALICA is that it provides access, with the most recent multimedia technology, to the vast documentary heritage contained in the audio and video archives of the RAI as well as other sources of Italian history.
To create ITALICA, RAI International brought together a number of public and private institutions that share a strategy for the diffusion of Italian language and culture in the world. Particularly important are these affiliations. The Interuniversity Center "Biblioteca Italiana Telematica" (CiBIT) based in Pisa, which brings together 30 groups belonging to 16 national universities working on the development of an on-line Library of the Italian traditional culture, and using the highest international standards.
The Consortium "Italian Culture on the Net" (ICoN) formed, thanks to the initiative of the RAI, the Ministry of Universities, Science and Technology and the University of Pisa, with a goal of certifying Internet courses on Italian language and civilization. Icon currently includes approximately 30 universities. (From - Copernico, New Media FactoryIAB member - IPIX partner - Macromedia Developer - Real Developer.)
FCC DECIDES ON 5% FEES FOR DIGITAL BROADCASTERS
The Federal Communications Commission has ruled that digital broadcasters should pay the government 5% of their gross revenues for new pay-TV services such as all-movie channels or stock quotations. That percentage, which the FCC chose on the theory that it represents what the government would receive if spectrum for such services had been auctioned off, pleased neither the broadcast industry nor consumer advocates. The National Association of Broadcasters says the figure is too high, and will effectively discourage broadcasters from offering the kind of programming and data delivery that cable and others offer. Consumer advocates argue that the figure is too low, and won't represent fair compensation to the public for the great value given to broadcasters awarded digital channels. (USA Today 20 Nov 98)
E-STAMPS ON THE WAY - E-Stamp Internet Postage has struck a deal with America Online, CompuServe and Digital City to offer online stamp service to their members. E-Stamp offers a technology that allows Internet users to purchase postage online and print "digital stamps" on envelopes, labels, or directly onto a document, using a standard printer. The U.S. Postal Service has approved the E-Stamp system for test markets, and the company plans to roll out its service nationwide next year. (Investor's Business Daily 20 Nov 98)
NEW ON THE LIST -
NEW ON THE LIST - Welcome to Angela Lovett, Marcus Mattee, Pam Stoll, A. Daya, Mary Birchard, Kathy Schuler, Dj Merrill, Charles Christison, Margi Winters, Michele Dean, Doug Easterling, Sally Mitsch, Angela Bars, Mathew Miller, Scott Vigallon, Andy Larson, Romi Hascal, Daryl Pieber, Janet Nodorft, Henk Gauw, Bengt Sjoberg
News, Conferences, Institutes
* ENABLE99 - Enabling Network-Based Learning is an International Conference organized by Espoo- Vantaa Institute of Technology (EVITech),Helsinki University of Technology (HUT), HUT Dipoli University of Arts and Design (UIAH). It will be held in in Espoo, Finland - June 2-5, 1999.
Enabling technologies, methods and novel approaches for network-based learning will be the focus of the conference. Proposals are invited for a full paper, poster, intensive demonstration, or post-conference workshop. The accepted papers will be included in a binder to be distributed to the participants and also published on the conference Web site online Proceedings. Proposals must be submitted either electronically in the form of URL addresses or emailed as ASCII/text files. Visit the ENABLE99 Web site at http://www.enable.evitech.fi/enable99
* UCEA ANNUAL CONFERENCE - The University Continuing Education Association (UCEA) is asking for new exhibitors at their national conference. If you're working with a new vendor whose services you think are of interest to other UCEA members, please suggest they exhibit at UCEA's Annual Conference in Washington, DC April 9-12, 1999. Contact Shirley Waters email@example.com at UCEA with the organization's name/phone number/contact name.
NO DESIEN ISSUE IN DECEMBER - Happy Holidays!!
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
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Last Updated: January 2006