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Syllabus News Update for Tuesday, April 27, 2004

Syllabus News Update:
An Online Newsletter from Syllabus


Cognitively Informed Online Course Design

News for Tuesday, April 27, 2004

* Pearson, O’Reilly, Stake Out Digital Textbook Market
* Rutgers to Partner on Anthrax Detection for U.S. Transportation
* Caltech and Physics Prof Form Nanotechnology Product Firm
* Online University Consortium Flaks Traditional Degree Programs
* New Tech: CRM Suite Supports Entire Student Life Cycle

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Pearson, O’Reilly, Stake Out Digital Textbook Market

Two educational publishing leaders have formed a joint
venture to introduce to the college text book-buying market
this fall a series of digital textbooks they claim will save
students half off print prices.

Educational publisher Pearson Education and O'Reilly Media,
Inc., famous for its computer reference titles, formed
Safari Books Online. Under its SafariX Textbooks Online
program, the firm will offer 300 SafariX WebBooks this year.
The company said the WebBooks will offer the benefits of the
Web, allowing students to print pages, make annotations,
take notes, search the full text, and add bookmarks to
organize their study, anywhere they have browser access.

Pearson said its decision to offer a WebBook alternative to
printed texts is supported by research into the changing
educational needs of college students, faculty and authors,
as well as a recognition of their concerns about the rising
cost of a college education. In preliminary findings of a
Student Monitor survey conducted by the company, half of
all the students said they are likely to purchase a low cost
online text, assuming a savings of $25. Of those students
surveyed, 31 percent said that they do not buy 100 percent
of their required texts.

Cognitively Informed Online Course Design

At Syllabus2004 J'el Smith, Carnegie Mellon University's Vice
Provost and CIO for Computing Services will give a keynote
focusing on the delivery of technology-enhanced learning in
higher education and changes needed in course development to
take advantage of the potential of Web-supported learning
environments. Outstanding keynotes are among the many reasons
to attend Syllabus2004, July 18-22 in San Francisco.

For complete details and to register, go to

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Rutgers Partners on Anthrax Detection Tech for Transportation

Rutgers University's Center for Advanced Infrastructure and
Transportation (CAIT), a federally funded transportation
research and development center, awarded a $25,000 grant to
a company involved in anthrax detection technologies. Rutger’s
will partner with Universal Detection Technology to study
the feasibility of using UDTT's Anthrax detection technology
in transportation and medical related facilities.

The grant will be used in identifying a site for the Rutger’s
center to integrate its emergency and evacuation protocol
program to a facility's existing emergency response system,
as well as preparing the center to be outfitted with a UDT
Bacterial Spore Detector. CAIT is currently integrating an
evacuation protocol program into the site's current emergency
response system, as well as preparing the site to be
outfitted with a UDTT Anthrax Detector.

Rutger’s uses New Jersey’s transportation corridor as a
test-bed for advanced technologies in pavement management
systems, intelligent transportation systems, congestion
management, traffic safety, maritime freight movement,
transportation infrastructure safety and security.

Caltech and Physics Prof Form Nanotechnology Product Firm

Caltech physics professor Michael Roukes has struck a deal
with Caltech and venture capital firm Arrowhead Research
Corp. to form a company to pursue the commercialization of
nanotechnology applications.

The company, Nanokinetics, plans to focus on moving from
today's "nanoscience of the individual device" to the
integration and mass production required for market-ready
products. With this process-oriented focus, Nanokinetics hopes
to jumpstart the commercialization of many nanotech
applications already available. “It is becoming clearer
every day that the companies that make early and decisive
investments to establish capabilities for complex nanodevice
production will dominate the broader realm of commercial
nanotechnology,” Roukes said.

Roukes and his team are now developing nanotech sensors that
could number in the hundreds and thousands for bio-threat
detection, drug screening, and medical diagnostics -- with
sensitivity approaching the single molecule level.

Online University Consortium Flaks Traditional Degree Programs

A consortium of traditional universities has produced a
report that – not surprisingly – indicates traditional
universities are the preferred choice for online education
and degree programs over for-profit providers. The Online
University Consortium, whose members include Penn State, the
University of Oregon, Ohio University, and the University of
Southern California, said a survey it conducted showed
companies prefer candidates with degrees from traditional
universities two-to-one over for-profit providers. OIC also
pointed to market research by Eduventures, a for-profit
educational research firm, that concluded that, “as the
market matures, brand strength will increasingly favor
non-profit institutions.”

According to the report, traditional universities command
significant brand equity, and will threaten market share of
for-profit businesses, because students identify them as a
familiar provider from which they will choose an online
program for traditional reasons. “For-profit providers
enjoyed an initial surge in popularity partly because of
convenience," notes Greg Eisenbarth, the Consortium's
Executive Director. "However, the market has shifted
dramatically with the country's most respected universities
now offering quality online degree programs for greater
choice and flexibility."

The studies can be found at:

New Tech: CRM Suite Supports Entire Student Life Cyle

Talisma, a customer resources management software developer,
unveiled a suite designed to help college and university
administrators manage their interactions with students from
initial contact through the alumni years. The Talisma CRM
Suite for Higher Education, says the company, “maximizes the
lifetime value of student relationships, while decreasing
operational costs.” Features include the Constituent
Interaction Hub, telephone, e-mail, one-to-one chat, Web
self-service, in-person, and fax. Talisma can deliver the
software on-site or through an outsourced host.

Syllabus2004 July 18-22, San Francisco: Technologies to Connect the Campus

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