eLearning Dialogue for Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Campus Technology
Wed., Jan.19, 2005




Sponsored By:
Testing made simple with the Brownstone Campus Suite
Simple, powerful assessment tools for teaching and learning. Whether you are interested in enhancing your online testing environment inside a course management system or launching a new online testing initiative, Save your faculty’s time and your school’s money with automatically graded tests and homework from Brownstone.

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Shared CMS Hosting Services in Ohio: Year One

By Cable Green

There are more than 110 institutions of higher education in Ohio enrolling more than 585,000 students. Nearly all of these campuses require CMS hosting and associated system administration, faculty training, digital content repositories, and authentication to online resources. However, many of these same institutions lack the resources and staff expertise to deliver robust CMS and content repository services as a 24x7 enterprise, with sufficient server capacity and disaster recovery capabilities to maintain these resource intensive services.

If CMS hosting is left to the independent efforts of Ohio higher education institutions, it is not likely that a robust shared infrastructure across institutions will develop, but rather basic, duplicative services will be created with limited State funds. Decreasing State budgets, calls for increased inter-institutional collaboration (e.g., Ohio Governor’s Commission on Higher Education and the Economy), and the increased cost of enterprise level CMS operations have created an environment ripe for partnerships in Ohio

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Sponsored By:
Syllabus2005: 12th Annual Education Technology Conference July 24-28
Syllabus2005 g'es Hollywood this summer with its 12th annual conference held at the Renaissance Hollywood Hotel in Los Angeles and on the campus of UCLA. Five tracks of strategic importance to technology leaders on campus; keynotes and panels addressing the big issues in higher ed; cutting-edge sessions from visionaries at UCLA, plus exhibitors and interactive demonstrations. Mark your calendar--July 24-28--and look for complete information online March 15.

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News & Product Updates

Professor's Anatomy Web Quiz Garners .25M+ Hits

About 175 students take human anatomy each semester at Penn State. But more than 277,000 "hits" were recorded on the Biology 129-Human Anatomy class online study aid at PSU last year. (Penn State Live)

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ebrary Launches Custom Collections

With subscription-based Custom Collections, libarians may now pick and choose individual titles from more than 60,000 full-text books, reports, maps, and other authoritative content. The collections are available to any number of simultaneous users, from any computer with Internet access.

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Internet "Threat" to Libraries to be Analyzed

Five years ago a major study found no Internet threat to library usage; now a major research group is undertaking a similar study and expecting… no change! (Reporter, University at Buffalo)

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New Version of InterWrite SW for Mac

The new 2.20 version increases the functionality of the InterWrite product suite, adding a reveal curtain, the ability to insert audio notes and hyperlinks into an InterWrite page, and more. InterWrite products include an electronic whiteboard, a wireless pad that turns any surface into an electronic whiteboard from anywhere in the room, and an instructor LCD monitor.

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Case Study

Choice and Empowerment

By Sayeed Choudhury, Tim DiLauro, and James Martino
Johns Hopkins University

Given the diversity of software now populating the eLearning environment, the authors pose the question whether end users, and IT managers, are better served by service-oriented architectures or fully integrated system architectures for their campus infrastructure. They explore the question, paying special attention to an environment of heterogeneous repositories and service modules and the growing demands proposed for these components of the eLearning landscape.

The CMS is increasingly described as a mission-critical component of the academic technology infrastructure, supporting both classroom-based and distance learning. However, other more specialized learning technologies have emerged on the scene. The University of Minnesota has coined the term “virtual identity management” to describe the ePortfolio, used for reflection, career management, and personal and institutional assessment on a timescale longer than an academic semester. Blogs serve as personal publishing systems organized chronologically. Wikis have a slightly higher entry threshold (i.e., one has to learn some markup elements), but offer great flexibility for organizing group work and building rich group concept maps.

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Tech Notes

New Book on Technology in Education

Recapturing Technology for Education: Keeping Tomorrow in Today’s Classrooms, by Mark Gura and Bernard Percy explores how technology can make 21st Century classrooms more relevant.

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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
Support for Open Source Solutions?

My impression is that UNIX talent is required. Can anyone speak to the level of support necessary to implement an OPEN SOURCE solution. -- Posted by Ralph Fasano, Rhode Island School of Design

Response: Hi Ralph, it depends on the OS system. Unix talent is definitly not needed to implement Moodle, it runs fine on Windows, even has a Windows installer.While much of the talk on the Moodle forums involves folks who are coding new modules for Moodle which requires extra levels of talent, simply running a standard Moodle install is no more difficult than running a standard WebCT, Blackboard, etc. install.You can even get a fully hosted supported system where all you do is run courses, via Moodle.com, for much less than hosted solutions for the other CMSs. -- Posted by michaelp

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