Technology-Enabled Teaching March 16, 2005

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New ANGEL ePortfolio Online Seminar

ANGEL ePortfolio is much more than a traditional assessment system. Focused on the process of eportfolio not the end product, ANGEL ePortfolio’s learner-centered design promotes coaching, reflection, and lifelong learning. The unique concept of “certified” artifacts ensures the validity of evidence. Learn more. Register to attend a live ANGEL ePortfolio online seminar.

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Viewpoint

Overcoming Obstacles to ePortfolio Assessment

By Stephen R. Acker
The Ohio State University

Editor’s Note: The University of Minnesota is implementing ePortfolio in a major way. Other colleges and universities are in various stages, some starting with pilot projects. How will this new tool fit into the lives of students and faculty.

One definition of ePortfolio is a “digital representation of self on characteristics of interest to a community.”

The community context can be represented as a template into which the portfolio creator places text, audio, and video files (digital artifacts) and is encouraged to include a description, rationale, and discussion around each entry in the template. Taken together, this software feature-set makes ePortfolio a powerful tool for the new 3Rs, representation, reflection, and revision.

This same “feature-set” presents a high-level view of the process that institutions and individual faculty often subscribe to as a method for helping students learn and demonstrate that learning has occurred.

The process mirrors constructivist faculty tenets of identifying the many different starting points at which students begin their learning path, creating a tension through critique that challenges the student’s original insights, and then presenting the revised assignment or paper as a “final” outcome.

In turn, individual faculty can create a teaching ePortfolio to demonstrate how they help students learn and revise their pedagogy based on the same representation, reflection, and revision cycle. At the institutional level, ePortfolio offers an ideal tool for providing evidence of improved student learning, which is meaningful to accreditation agencies and funding sources.

Even though ePortfolio fits comfortably into the implicit model of education for many faculty and institutions, by making the representation and reflection phases of the “3Rs” both public and explicit, the wide-scale adoption of ePortfolio becomes more challenging.

Three obstacles to institutional uptake of ePortfolio are:
1. lack of easy ways to protect the intellectual property rights of students;

2. concerns about increased workload for faculty;

3. the “inverted value” of ePortfolio to students.

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Let HP help you lower IT costs & improve service levels

Discover the value of IT consolidation and the enormous paybacks it promises in higher education including more cost-effective computing, improved service levels, better security and increased responsiveness.

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News & Product Updates

Unicon Releases New Version of Academic and Administrative Portal Software

This week, Unicon, Inc., a provider of enterprise portal, learning, and integration technology for higher education, announced the availability of Academus Portal 1.5 at the Datatel User Group Conference (DUG) meeting in Washington, D.C. The new version features aggregated layouts, a new briefcase portlet, extended browser support, and upgraded compatibility to the current version of uPortal framework. (Unicon news)

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Higher Ed Tech Becoming Billion Dollar Global Market, Study Indicates

Distance learning is the fastest-growing sub-sector of a $2.3 trillion global education market, according to Hezel Associates, the education consulting firm. "Institutions are increasingly exporting American courses to other lands," said Dr. Richard Hezel, Hezel Associates president. "With the global market for online higher education estimated to exceed $69 billion by 2015, organizations need to know the market before considering education export." The full report, "The Global E-Learning Opportunity for U.S. Higher Education." is available on Hezel Associates Web site

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E-Learning Research Looks at 89 Authoring Tools

Brandon-hall.com, an e-learning consulting firm, is starting a new online subscription-based service, “Authoring Tool KnowledgeBase: A Buyer's Guide to the Best E-Learning Content Development Applications.” The study covered 89 authoring tools geared toward e-learning, examining assessment capabilities, standards compliance (AICC, SCORM, Section 508), rapid development capabilities, collaboration features, technical guidelines, extensibility and compatibility with other products.

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Case Study

CRS at Purdue: Promoting Campus-wide Student Involvement

By Edward J. Evans
Purdue University

Responding to the need to support the rich classroom interaction desired by faculty, Purdue University has site-licensed eInstruction’s CPSrf for Higher Education system. This case study presents the rationale for Purdue’s decision and provides insights into issues of support and installation of classroom response systems at the institutional level.

Classroom engagement, communication, and assessment are constant challenges for faculty, especially in large lecture classes. Many faculty members struggle with ways to keep students interested and to determine whether material they present is being understood. The larger the class, the more pronounced the challenge of student engagement becomes. Purdue University, a large state-supported school with a student enrollment of 38,000, offers a number of large enrollment classes where promoting class interaction is particularly valued.

Classroom response systems (CRS) offer one mechanism for bridging the gap between students and faculty in classes. Traditionally, “classroom response systems” have been implemented by requesting students to raise their hands. However, fear of looking uninformed or expressing an unpopular opinion have always been limitations to a public show of hands. To encourage more complete and honest sharing of opinions, classroom response systems have been developed that are permanently wired in classrooms. While wired systems offer the promise of asking more complex questions, getting better feedback due to anonymity, and providing quicker tabulation of answers, the infrastructure and installation required to support such systems are costly and time consuming. A new generation of wireless classroom response systems has emerged as an affordable and easily installed approach to help faculty engage their students in entirely new, creative ways.

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Tech Notes

Hi-Speed Internet Access Increases 38 percent June '03-'04

The number of hi-speed Internet access lines, a key infrastructure element needed for rich media delivery in eLearning, increased 38 percent from June, 2003 through June 2004, according to the FCC. The report documents 32.5 million high-speed lines in service as of June, 2004. (Government Technology)

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Reader Response

From the Reader Response Forum

UNIX Talent?
Posted by: michaelp

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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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 18.

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