Educause: 2002: 2003 : 2004 Distance Teaching & Learning: 2004

Educause 2003 Summary: Wednesday, Thursday, Friday

Key presentations:
Wednesday: The Impact of Online and Mixed-Mode Courses on Faculty, Students, and Universities ;
Thursday: Math Lab in 8am session;
Friday: Chandler

Key themes: digital repositories, knowledge sharing across boundaries
All materials

Wednesday, 10:30: Strategies for Sharing Learning Content and University Knowledge Across Departments and Campus Boundaries

This presentation showed a progressive approach to changing the knowledge structure in Higher Ed from silos of knowledge to a blending of information across departments. The blending of knowledge would eventually extend out of the academy and into industry. This blending of knowledge seems supported by the growing cross-discipline fields -- bio infomatics for example.

DSpace at Ohio State was shown. PowerPoint has many details.

An exciting knowledge bank idea was presented. When materials are stored with too much context they become less reusable. However, the natural inclination of people is to pad materials with context. The Menagerie Project was presented. Modules are stored in XML with an XSLT. Using different XSLTs the same material can be presented with different look-and-feels. In addition, they use 'user profiling' to guide the user through the material based on their learning style -- visual, aural, read-write, etc.

Hopefully their full presentation will be online soon.

In a nutshell: cool idea, seems beyond the reach of mere mortals

Wednesday, 11:40: Web-Based Prelaboratory and Postlaboratory Activities for General Chemistry

This presentation showed some nice activities for a hybrid Chemistry course. Online activities handled common pre-lab and post-lab activities. The TAs time was freed up for more 1-on-1 help and less lab time was spent on prep or training on equipment.



In a nutshell: an explemplary use of technology in a traditional lab course

Wednesday, 2:15: Assessment Techniques for Online Courses

Defined assessment for their uses:
- to improve quality of student learning
- not to provide evidence for evaluating or grading
- feedback mechanism about content, what's going on, how well learning
- better prepare students for grading

Broke students into 4 distinct types and tailored assessments to match those

Novice Content
Novice Technology
Novice Content
Expert Technology
Expert Content
Novice Technology
Expert Content
Expert Technology


NC NT :: lower division class, adult students not familiar with online learning

EX NT :: master's level class, adult students not familiar with online learning

NC ET :: lower division class, adult students in technology fields

EC ET :: master's level class, adult students in technology fields

In a nutshell: an interesting approach to online assessments, not what I expected, could be a lot of work to make multiple assessment paths for each student type

Wednesday, 3:50: The Impact of Online and Mixed-Mode Courses on Faculty, Students, and Universities

Very interesting study at interesting university. UC Florida born in 1963! Has 42,000 students now. Growing rapidly. Started online courses in 1996 and started collecting evaluation data from day 1!

3 modes of courses

Faculty Development

They have SO MUCH data. They presented some great decision tree breakdowns of data. Very interesting. Need to see PPT to get it all.

Surprising results - as students got younger, they were less satisfied with a W course. Older students, boomer and older were 55-63% satisfied with W course. While millenials were only 25% satisfied

In a nutshell: interesting results over 6+ years, older students like online learning better

Thursday, 8:10: Redistributed Learning: Integrating Distance Learning Resources with Multiple Instructional Sites

Interesting college with no central campus - distributed over 12 sites. They offer hybrid courses with video conferencing and CMS.

My main interest was an online Math Lab which provided support to their math curriculum. I have contacted the coordinator who runs the lab to find out more about it. They use discussion boards, virtual classroom, learning objects and other online resources to support their students.

In a nutshell: strange college but the math lab is worth exploring

Thursday, 11:45: E-Learning Objects: The Value of SCORM and MPEG-7 Packaging for Digital Media Assets

elearning objects

metadata (SCORM)

SCORM is a reference model, MPEG-7 are metadata specs for multimedia

metadata needs to be
- auto-generated
- harvested
- or human-created

and used by
- end user
- metadata creater/manager

SCORM reference model
- vision and manifest defines learning behavior

Repositories of objects

In a nutshell: great way of organizing, task of creating metadata (tagging) is daunting

Thursday, 2:20: Multipronged Approach to Assessment and Evaluation of Instructional Technology

Nothing surprising or exciting here. Several instructional technology cases were presented.

"Blended courses work but they aren't for everyone" - that's a surprise.

Used 'Mallard' software in analog circuits course. Immediate feedback on homework favored by students, can resubmit incorrect answers up to 10 times, homework grades higher for group that used software - surprise? Mallard students did better on midterms but no overall improvement in performance between 'paper' and Mallard groups. Software showed to reduce time (TA grading, faculty grading) so is a cost benefit to institution.

Last was a study on Blackboard infusion to curriculum. Nothing surprising. Faculty use and motivations are what you'd expect.

In a nutshell: a sleeper, the powerpoint file was enough to get since it was read to us

Thursday, 3:45: Lessons Learned from a Two-Year Institutional Assessment of Educational Technology

Very smart study done by some enthusiastic people.

Quantitative - faculty survey, student survey, with correlated questions

Qualitative - focus groups of faculty and students

students wanted consistency of technology use across curriculum - expected course site with syllabi, outlines/lecture notes
they also wanted tech training in classroom
students also welcomed a tech skills assessment -- assess don't assume

they don't have a CMS!

much data is available in report, still disseminating to their campus community

In a nutshell: most lively presentation, data was interesting, waiting for PPT file

Friday, 8:10: Authority of Consensus: Next-Generation Course Management System Features

NLII focus on CMS looks to be a rigorous look at CMSes and what they could do. The session seemed like a NLII promo and an audience listing of what we wish CMSes could do. Why isn't blackboard or webCT present?

In a nutshell: why can't big CMSes do these things? it's too expensive to change them when their fundamental architecure is flawed.

Friday, 9:30: Chandler: A Collaborative Open Source Initiative for Higher Education

What is Chandler?

Heart of Chandler

Chander 1.0 (Canoga)
- Q4 2004
- baseline feature set and some "cool" features
-targeting info-centric users

Chandler 2.0 (Westwood)
- Q3 2005
- institutional adoption - faculty, staff, students

In a nutshell: the holy grail for higher ed PIMs!