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News 06-21-2002

Sponsor: Demonstrate PDA applications to your class!

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UMass Online Enrollments, Revenue, Soar

UMassOnline, the University of Massachusetts' web-based learning division, said online program enrollments reached 7,824 in fiscal year 2002, a 58 percent increase over the preceding year. Combined revenues for online programs increased 82 percent to $6.2 million. The school attributes the growth to overall student satisfaction, the regular addition of new online programs serving community needs, and the growing acceptance of using the Internet for personal services. "The online program has been an enormous benefit for me as it has allowed me to increase my course load, and ... to learn at a more relaxed pace," said Valerie Cox, an online student at UMass Lowell. "Students who opt to continue their education online are benefiting from highly-regarded academic programs without having to sacrifice a full-time job or more time with their families," added UMassOnline chief executive officer Jack Wilson.

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Annual Syllabus Conference on Technology for Higher Education July 27-31

Broaden your knowledge and inspire your thinking by attending the ninth annual Syllabus2002 conference at the Santa Clara, CA Convention Center. Keynote speakers Diana Laurillard of the Open University of the UK, Stanford University Law Professor Lawrence Lessig and Jack Wilson, CEO of UMass Online are just three compelling reasons to attend. Your days will be packed with workshops, breakout sessions and seminars designed to help you discover how new media are best integrated into the teaching and learning process.

Portland, Chip Firm, to Fund China Fellowship

Portland State University has joined with a semiconductor firm to establish a Masters of Science fellowship in electrical and computer engineering for selected students from China. The choice of the fellowship recipient will be made by the school and Credence Systems Corp., which said it will provide funding for a fellowship beginning in September. The two organizations enjoy a long-standing partnership; in recent years, Credence has installed several test systems and an IC test lab at PSU. "We are excited to be able to offer a unique academic opportunity to an international student from China, who will benefit greatly from our state-of-the-art test lab, as well as enjoy access to our equipment, top-notch faculty, and other engineering facilities," said Daniel Bernstine, president of Portland State.

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Dell Offers Computerized Modular Classrooms

Dell Computer Corp. has joined with a manufacturer of fabricated buildings to create a modular classroom equipped with computer systems and peripherals. The turnkey classrooms, called "Cyberspaces," are designed to help schools cope with growing student populations. They could be customized for a school, district, or campus with a wireless or wired network, desktop or notebook computers, a network server and a variety of computer peripherals. The classrooms were developed through a deal between Dell and Baltimore-based Williams Scotsman, Inc., a provider of modular buildings, mobile offices and storage devices. The firms said Cyberspaces is designed to provide students in a modular classroom access to the same technology as a traditional computer lab.

U Texas Study Probes Product Collaboration

Researchers at the School of Management at the University of Texas at Dallas have completed a study that quantifies the strategic benefits of using product collaboration software on commercial product development. The study found that product collaboration solutions result in an improvement in product quality, overall product development costs, time-to-market, and overall user satisfaction with the product design and development process. "Investing in collaboration technology results in better products through more mature processes, which leads to lower product development costs and greater user satisfaction," said Indranil R. Bardhan, assistant professor and co-director, Center for Practice and Research in Software Management (PRISM) at the University of Texas at Dallas.

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Notre Dame B-School Extends Range Via Video

The University of Notre Dame's Mendoza College of Business is using a high-end video conferencing system to offer its Executive MBA program beyond its campus location in South Bend, Ind. The school is using a videoconferencing system from Polycom Inc. -- the company's ViewStation and VS4000 Video Multipoint Control Unit -- to connect off-campus sites to the main campus. The school currently offers classes in states throughout the Midwest. "Our Executive MBA is an intensive, fast-paced program and our executive students are in demanding careers," said Leo Burke, associate dean and director of executive education at the B-School. "This requires the technology we use to deliver the program to be of the highest quality and extremely reliable."

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Awards, Deals, Contracts in Higher Education

-- CollegisEduprise, Inc., has officially changed its name to Collegis, Inc. The CollegisEduprise name was created last fall when Collegis, which provided colleges administrative tech support, joined forces with Raleigh-based Eduprise, a provider of classroom learning systems. Collegis said the name change marks the completion of a transition period during which the two companies were integrated.

-- Student loan provider Wells Fargo Education Financial Services said it can now process federal or private student loans via the Internet with Elm Resources' ElmNet. Wells Fargo said it can receive a school's certification request, process a loan approval, and respond to the school via Elm's Web-based Student Loan Interface within five seconds.

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