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eLearning Dialogue for Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Campus Technology
Wed., Dec.15, 2004




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Assessing Portalness

Albert DeSimone, University of Georgia

For those who have gone through the arduous task of developing and deploying a Web portal for their college or university, as we have at the University of Georgia, now comes the work of assessing the success of our individual-centric gateway to Web-accessible content and services. We can certainly use access statistics and assume that increased utilization quantifies success. But how do we qualify a portal? If a portal is a single Web location (or address) where an individual can access the Web-based services and information most important to that individual, how well d'es our portal implementation succeed in offering self-managed, personalized, and customized information environments? What are its attributes and how well d'es our portal measure up to those attributes?

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Deadline for Proposals to Present at Syllabus2005 Extended
There is still time to submit a proposal to speak at Syllabus2005, July 24-28 in Los Angeles. The deadline for the Call for Papers has been extended to December 15. Plan to share your expertise in one of five tracks applicable to higher education technology.

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News & Product Updates

Vocal Collaboration Tools: Students Verbalize Test Responses

Designed to spur language instruction, a new bundled instruction package now lets test takers speak answers into microphones and generate automatically graded evaluations. Testing and assessment software company, Questionmark, recently joined forces with vocal collaboration tools vendor, Horizon Wimba to design the solution, which will be marketed to institutions and language instructors. Questionmark and Horizon Wimba are positioning the solution as an oral evaluation method that lets educators effectively record and measure verbal responses, a necessary part of effective language instruction. The solution recently underwent testing by a consortium of secondary vocational education authorities in the Netherlands.

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Vantage Learning Offers Expanded MY Access!

To help college-bound students hone critical writing skills, Vantage Learning debuted recently an expanded version of its MY Access! Web-based writing assessment and diagnostic tool. Earlier versions of MY Access! have focused primarily on coaxing student writing skills to the point at which students are competent enough to pass college admission tests. Now the product places greater emphasis on helping students redress essay-writing problems that MY Access! identifies.

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Report Examines Foreign Markets for Higher Ed eLearning

The education consulting firm Hezel Associates today released a preliminary report detailing foreign market opportunities for US higher education institutes. The preliminary report examines markets in Asia, Latin America, and Europe, and a more detailed report by country is slated for February 2005. A preview is now available on Hezel Associates Web site.

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Directory of Online Programs on AOL

America Online has partnered with ClassesUSA to offer to AOL members a comprehensive directory of online degree and certificate programs, which are available at the nation’s top 100 institutions.

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Case Study

Simulations through rEsource at the University of Ph'enix

By Mike Sharkey, University of Ph'enix

In November 2001 the University of Ph'enix launched rEsource, a platform for the delivery of electronic course content. rEsource was built on a proprietary LMS and is simply a Web site from which students access and download course materials. At this time in some courses, digital content is largely in the form of readings from eBooks. For other courses, a wider variety of content is used. The most innovative of these other types of content is called Simulations.

Simulations are Flash-built interactive case studies. The initial batch of Simulations covered ten domain areas of the MBA program (finance, business law, statistics, operations, and others). Since then, the University has expanded the use of Simulations to cover a multitude of topics in business, technology, and health care. There are now over 100 Simulations covering such diverse areas as critical thinking, epidemiology, and elasticity of demand. More information on Simulations is available at' Three Simulations can be run from this Web site.

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Campus Technology Magazine: Free Monthly Resource for IT Leaders
Subscribe to Campus Technology, the only monthly publication for administrative and academic IT leaders focusing exclusively on the use of technology in higher education. Each month offers in-depth features, exclusive articles, and insightful columns to help you understand the issues, strategies, trends, and new technologies affecting higher education institutions. Don't miss out. Subscribe now.

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Tech Notes

Tools for Law Enforcement at CSU

California State University, Fresno teamed recently with FacePrint Global Solutions to offer e-learning tools to law enforcement. Since many criminal justice entities do not have the resources to send personnel to classroom-based training, CSU will offer online education alternatives that cover areas such as risk management. Specifically, the institution and vendor will provide law enforcement with electronic tools to train personnel how to best handle threats both in the field and in the courtroom.

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Reader Response

From the Reader Response Forum
Online Collaboration & Costs
Posted by: Andrea

I'm interested in what kinds of tools other colleges and universities are using for online collaboration, particularly for distance and hybrid courses. I'm currently working with a learning community to explore these technologies and am growing frustrated with costs involved. How have you funded these technologies?

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