eLearning Dialogue for Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Campus Technology
Wed., Jan.12, 2005

IN THIS ISSUE


VIEWPOINT
NEWS & PRODUCT UPDATES
CASE STUDY
TECH NOTES
READER RESPONSE

Sponsors


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Syllabus2005: 12th Annual Education Technology Conference July 24-28
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Viewpoint

Facultyware: An Online Resource on Universal Design for Instruction

By Joseph W. Madaus, Joan M. McGuire, and Sally S. Scott
University of Connecticut

With increasing numbers of students with “hidden disabilities” (e.g., learning disabilities) and other diverse learning needs accessing higher education, institutions are challenged to assure access to programs and courses while maintaining academic and technical standards. Universal Design for Instruction (UDI) offers an innovative means to promote academic access for a broad range of diverse learners. UDI represents a paradigm shift from a retroactive accommodation model of access to a proactive inclusive approach that anticipates and values human diversity.

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News & Product Updates

Google Project with U Michigan Opens Access to Information

Google recently announced several deals with major universities to make collections searchable. Perhaps the most extensive is with Michigan: Google will scan and produce searchable digital copies of practically every book on the Ann Arbor campus. (The University Record Online)

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Exponential Upgrade: MapleNet Academic 2.5

MapleNet Academic provides a complete Web infrastructure for deploying live mathematical applications online. New features in version 2.5 include full compatibility with Maple 9.5 and institution-wide scalability. The integration with Maple 9.5 enables users to take advantage of all the enhancements and power of Maple when authoring MapleNet Academic content. The increased scalability meets customer demand for large deployments

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Blackboard Greenhouse Project Deadline Extended to Jan. 25

There’s still time to submit your proposal to Blackboard’s Greenhouse project. Grants will cover a range of initiatives relating to scholarly discussions eLearning, including research, publication, faculty development, and establishing best practices. A request for proposals is available on Blackboard’s Web site.

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Case Study

Blogs in Higher Ed: Personal Voice as Part of Learning

By Ruth Reynard, Trevecca Nazarene University

The use of Internet technology to facilitate interaction, communication, and collaboration is well documented but its use in establishing and developing “personal voice” as part of learning is also now being addressed through the use of blogs. Finding personal voice as a pedagogical method is important to establish learner identity and focus, and journaling has long been recognized as an effective way to provide space for this to occur. The blog, however, provides a context in which personal voice can be “published” by the student, which means that attention is given to content, relevancy, and connection with learning outcomes to a higher degree than a traditional journal submission. The idea that more than one person will view the work is quite powerful in promoting a sense of ownership from the student. Teachers can also benefit from “hearing” the personal voice of their students to begin to really understand the learning path of each student through a course.

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Tech Notes

OSP2/Sakai White Paper

A PDF, “The Open Source Portfolio (OSP) Version 2: Built on the Sakai Framework,” by John Ellis and Chris Coppola, illustrates how Version 2 leverages the Sakai framework.

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“Instant Messaging—Collaborative Tool or Educator’s Nightmare!”

This well-researched white paper by Robert Farmer, posted on the University of New Brunswick Web site, examines the pros and cons.

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Reader Response

From the Reader Response Forum
Pro-CMS publications/studies
Posted by: pandolfi

Any instruction on the use of a CMS should be tied to the advantages for both teaching and learning. Convenience and material repository is one thing, but there are far greater advantages including on-line discussions and on-line group areas for students to share documents and advise each other.

I have found that on-line discussion is valuable in teaching discussion techniques and in knowing students ideas and areas of difficulty before my next class. I have even used our CMS for peer review of writing assignments. Students have generally found it a valuable tool that d'esn't cut into valuable class time. How the tool is used makes all the difference.

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