Christina Crespo
Jason Ingrao
Roseline Telfort
Marie Val
2007 Virtual Case Study
Florida International University
 A “Technology Assessment Committee” has been
assembled by the Dean’s Council at Florida
International University to determine “five hot
topics” in technology relevant to higher education.
 Council members need to be put up to date on
technology trends, and resources available to
 Our committee has been asked to present our
findings to the Council.
Trends in Higher Education
 Over the last 35 years, higher
education has undergone an
increase in the enrollment of
non-traditional students.
 Research has shown that these
students are much less likely to
complete courses or programs
due to other priorities in life.
 Statistics also show that many
students are taking longer than
the traditional 4 years to
graduate from college with a
bachelor’s degree.
 Challenge # 1: Provide ALL
students quality education that
fits students’ life circumstances.
 Including:
 Non-traditional
 Economically challenged
 Disabled students
 Challenge # 2: Get students to
persist and complete their
 Focus needs to be on persistence
and attainment
 According to Vincent Tinto of Syracuse University,
there are five factors that impact persistence:
 Expectation
 Advice
 Support
 Involvement
 Learning
Technology and Higher Learning
 While many forms of technology have become mainstream in higher
education, not every student is seeking to enroll in distance education
courses/degree programs
 Many students continue to search for interaction with faculty and other
 How can students that are distracted by other life priorities, disabled students
and even traditional students achieve better interaction and reach the heart of
their learning experience?
 Through tools that help them learn more efficiently and effectively such as:
Virtual Learning Environment (VLE)
Assistive technology
 These technological pedagogy tools must be user-friendly so that the majority
of faculty can use them easily.
 However, the classroom still needs to be the center of learning interaction and
 Growing trend toward “hybrid programs” which combine online and classroom
Promoting Active Learning
through Technology
 Active Learning engages
students in the learning
Dialogue with
 However many professors feel
they need help in imagining
creative active learning
Experince of
 The following PowerPoint
presentation gives examples
of rising technology that can
be easily employed in the
classroom as well as resources
available to instructors.
Dialogue with
Experience of
Hot Trends and Topics in
Educational Technology
 Assistive Technology
 Virtual Learning Environment (Course Management
 Blogs
 Webinars
Assistive Technology in
Higher Education
What is Assistive Technology?
 Assistive or Adaptive Technology (AT) commonly has
referred to any physical device that is used to assist an
individual with a disability in performing any workrequired or personal task (Scherer, 2004).
 A broader definition according to Section 508 of the
Rehabilitation Act (2002) defines it as “any item, piece of
equipment, or system, whether acquired commercially,
modified, or customized, that is commonly used to
increase, maintain, or improve functional capabilities of
individuals with disabilities.”
 The latter definition includes all language modifications
software, and curriculum adaptations that are directly
related to Higher Education.
Benefits of Assistive Technology
 Facilitates inclusion of persons with disabilities by providing them
with the independence needed to assimilate into society. The goal of
every technology should be to provide that independence as
transparently as possible.
 As a result, it increases their self-confidence and productivity.
 Promotes an equitable environment- one in which accommodations for
the disabled are seen as regular, normal, expected, and integrated into
the mainstream of school and society.
 Enhances their quality of life.
Types of Technology Available
o Communication Aids
Products and equipment designed to help persons with speech disabilities or writing
difficulties to communicate. At its very simplest, augmentative communication can be a
page with picture choices or alphabet letters that a person points to. It can also involve
highly sophisticated speaking computers with on-screen communication boards and
auditory or visual scanning. Common sub-categories are:
o Speech and Augmentative Communication Aids
Alternative and Augmentative Communication (AAC) involves alternate methods of
communicating needs, feelings, ideas, and perceptions through the use of electronic and
non-electronic devices that provide a means for expressive and receptive communication
for persons with limited or no speech. Includes communication boards, speech
synthesizers, text-to-speech software and hardware, head wands, light pointers, mouth
sticks, signal systems, telephony equipment, etc.
o Writing and Typing Aids
Includes tactile devices, Braille devices, note taking devices, spelling devices, word
prediction/completion software, modified typewriters, portable typewriters, etc. Does
not generally include products intended to facilitate computer access and usage (see
Computer Access Aids).
Current Trends in AT for the
Physically Disabled
Physical/motor challenges that limit an individual's ability to manipulate
and handle (things), e.g. writing, press keys on keyboard or telephone.
Speech recognition systems allow people to give commands and enter
data using their voices rather than a mouse or keyboard. This is useful
because some students may not have the dexterity needed to operate
standard input hardware.
2. On-screen keyboard programs are programs that allow a keyboard to
appear on the computer screen. Users can then input data using a touch
screen, trackball, joystick, switch, or electronic pointing device.
3. Keyboard filters can include word prediction utilities, and add-on spelling
checkers, that can reduce the number of keystrokes needed to input data.
They can also enable users to access only the letters they need while
ignoring lighter touches on other keys.
Current Trends in AT for the
Physically Disabled
Touch screens are devices placed on the monitor that allow
direct selection or activation by touching the screen.
Alternative input devices can include alternative keyboards
which include smaller keyboards, head controlled pointing
systems, electronic pointing devices, sip-and-puff systems,
wands and sticks, joysticks and trackballs that allow people to
control the computer by means other than the keyboard or
mouse. (Microsoft, 2004)
Keyguards are plastic or metal shields that fit over a standard
keyboard. Holes are drilled into the guard to help the user
press only the desired keys. (Burgstahler & Comden, 2002)
Students with dexterity problems have many options for
accessibility, but lots of practice is needed to operate many of
the alternate input devices.
Current Trends in AT for
Visual Difficulties and Impairments
Sensory challenges that limit an individual's ability to send/receive
information, e.g. seeing, speaking, hearing;
Braille translation software. It is an assistive technology for blind
and visually impaired people. Uses 6 raised dots grouped in
different patterns to represent letters and numbers. People read
Braille by running their fingertips across the dots. Some screen
readers also output content in Braille format using a Braille display.
This translation software provides translation and formatting
facilities to automate the process of conversion from regular print to
Braille (and vice versa).
Current Trends in AT for
Visual Difficulties and Impairments
Screen readers are software that read the content of a computer screen
aloud. Screen readers can only interpret text content, so all graphic and
multimedia must have alternative text descriptions using ALT
(Alternative Text: Descriptive text included in IMG tags that appears
when the mouse is held over the image), captions, transcripts, or other
methods. JAWS is the most widely used screen reader.
A screen magnifier is a software program that magnifies all or part of a
computer screen to make the content visible to users with visual
impairments. Voice browsers interpret voice markup languages to
generate voice output and interpret voice input. Their most common use
allows users to access the Internet using a telephone. The Gus Talking
Keyboard is a text-to-speech program that combines an on-screen
keyboard with a synthetic voice. Type (or scan) whatever you want to say
and it will verbalize it for you.
Finally, voice recognition allows a user to use his/her voice as an input
device and dictate text into the computer or give commands to open files,
save them, etc. Dragon Naturally Speaking made by is an example of such a software.
Current Trends in AT for Learning
Difficulties and Impairments
Students with learning difficulties and impairments mostly
use some of the same tools as many of the other students who
need assistive technology.
A couple of these tools are speech synthesizers which receive
information going to the screen in the form of letters,
numbers, and punctuation marks, and then “speak” it out
loud. This can allow students with learning difficulties to hear
their input rather than struggle with reading it themselves.
Speech recognition systems allow people to give commands
and enter data using their voices rather than a mouse or
keyboard. Again, this helps students by minimizing the
processing tasks one has to do.
Current Trends in AT for the
Hearing Impaired
 Assistive listening
hearing aids
amplification systems
audio/FM loop systems
FM amplification
TV amplifiers
 TV decoders
 visual signaling and
alerting systems
tactile alerting systems
telephony and
text telephones
TDDs/TTYs devices
adapted phones, etc.
 A virtual learning environment (VLE) is a software
system designed to facilitate teachers in the
management of educational courses for their students.
 VLE’S are most often used to supplement the face-toface classroom.
 This computer program facilitates computerized
learning or e-learning.
 These systems usually run on servers, to facilitate the
course to students as internet pages.
Such e-learning systems are sometimes also called:
 Learning Management Systems (LMS)
 Course Management Systems (CMS)
 Learning Content Management Systems (LCMS)
 Managed Learning Systems (MLE)
 Learning Support Systems (LSS)
 Learning Platform (LP)
Importance of Virtual Learning
 Virtual Learning Environments (VLE) are an
increasingly important part of academic systems in
higher education because they play an important role
in the academic enterprise of teaching and learning.
 VLE’s also help manage the administrative aspects of
teaching a course.
 An internet-based software that manages student
enrollment, tracks student performance, and creates and
distributes course content.
 CMS’s provide an educator with sets of tools and a
framework that allows the relatively easy creation of online
course content and the subsequent teaching and
management of that course.
 CMS’s enable a professor/instructor/teacher to extend the
classroom beyond its traditional boundaries of time and
space by giving them enough time during the semester to
cover all course material.
 The most significant vendors by volume and size are
WebCT (Web Course Tools) and Blackboard. However
over 25 systems exist to date, not including the various
open source products some institutions in the USA
have created as an alternative to commercial vendors.
Of institutions of higher learning granting doctoral degrees:
- 87.3% have a designated instructional technology center
- 80% report students have own computers
- 99.3% offer high-speed connections in residence halls
- 95.5% have deployed some central course management system
- 97.8% of these have at least some use by faculty
- Most had implemented a course management system by 1999
- 40.2% use WebCT, 34.6% use Blackboard
-“Educause Core Data Service, 2002 Summary Report”
Benefits of Course Management
Systems (CMS)
 Place course materials online
 Most CMSs provide pre-
programmed buttons for the
course syllabus, course schedule,
and course materials linked to
specific lessons, such as copies of
readings and PowerPoint slides
from lectures.
 Track student progress through
assessment features
 which enable instructors to give
quizzes and tests online, and an
online gradebook, where
instructors can post student
 Discussion board
 Where instructors and students
can discuss readings and continue
class discussions between formal
class sessions.
 Other communications tools
 which let instructors send
announcements to classes and
communicate individually with
 Lock box for students
 Where students can store class
materials in a safe place—either
a presentation to give later in
class or backing up class
assignments in a safe place.
 Course statistics
 Which provide information on
the use of the course site,
including who used the course
site and when
Challenges Course Management
Systems (CMS)
Most CMSs provide instructors with a limited
flexibility in designing course. CMSs
typically come with standard sections that
instructors must provide, and the section
names are not easily altered.
Limited capability to provide interactive elearning. Although they let instructors test
students online, the tests must usually
conform to templates and e-learning primarily
consists of reading transcripts, like the one in
Figure 1. To add more imaginative and
interactive e-learning via authoring tools like
Flash and Dreamweaver, instructors must link
to separately created materials. That is, the
lesson cannot be created and uploaded in the
CMS. The material must be created with
different tools and stored elsewhere.
Cost. As the market matures and software
publishers add complex features (especially to
appeal to the corporate market), prices for
CMSs have risen sharply in recent years.
Although cost has driven some universities to
strengthen their commitments to their CMSs,
it has driven other universities to drop their
CMSs and provide open source tools that do
Limited testing and record keeping abilities.
Although CMSs let students take tests online,
some lack the security measures to verify that
students are really who they say they are and some
have lost tests that students completed before
transmitting them to the instructor for grading. In
addition, although most CMSs have added
capabilities to automatically transfer grades from
the gradebook to other systems used to track
student progress, this capability is not available in
all CMSs and often increases the cost significantly.
Because most universities use other systems to
enroll students and manage payments, most
CMSs cannot check that students have
prerequisite courses. Academic institutions
need a means of making sure that graduating
students have paid their library fines before
awarding a diploma, and CMSs do not provide
such capabilities because universities have already
made large investments in other systems to do
that. The system that is most widely used in
universities to manage enrollments and grades,
and link to other university records systems is an
administration system called Banner.
What is a blog?
A blog is:
User-generated website,
Where entries are made in journal style and
Displayed in a reverse chronological order
The ability for readers to leave comments is an important part of many blogs.
Some function as more personal online diaries.
Can be accessed from any internet connection.
The term “blog” is derived from “web log.”
Blogs often provide commentary or news on a subject(s) of interest to the writer or “blogger.
A typical blog combines text, images, and links to other blogs, web pages, and other media related to
its topic.
Most blogs are primarily text based although some focus on:
 photographs (photolog),
 sketchblog,
 videos (vlog), or
 audio (podcasting), and
 are part of a wider network of social media
As of November 2006, blog search engine Technocrati was tracking nearly 60 million blogs.[1]
[1] Technorati: about us (2006-11-11). Retrieved on 2006-11-11.
Blogoshere is the collective term encompassing all blogs as
a social network.
Many blogs are densely interconnected; bloggers read others'
blogs, link to them, reference them in their own writing, and post
comments on each others' blogs. The key to the popularity of
blogs is their interactivity
Before blogging became popular, digital communities
took many forms including:
Usenet, a global, distributed Internet discussion system
Email lists and
Bulletin board systems (BBS).
The Use of Blogs in Education
 The use of blogs in instructional settings is becoming increasingly popular and is
limited only by your imagination.
 Blogs engage students and professors in collaborative activity, essential to active
 Professors can set-up or assign blogs in a variety of ways:
 They can create their own “professor-written” blogs and provide:
 Instructional tips for students
 Course announcements and readings
 Annotated links
 Interesting developments that relate to the theme of the class
 Knowledge management
 They can require “out-of-class” discussion by posing a discussion question every
week and have students debate the question in comments.
 Require students to create and write their own blogs as part of their grade.
 Organize intensive seminars where students have to provide weekly summaries of
the readings.
Sample Edublog which discusses the use of blogs in education:
Reference and link to blog used at Harvard
What is a Webinar?
 A “webinar” is a real-time web-based seminar, presentation, lecture or
workshop transmitted and broadcast via the World Wide Web to an audience
and/or participants that are not located in the same physical space.
 Participants are able to see the presenter’s computer screen on their own
computer through screen sharing.
 Webinars allow all participants to interact by listening, discussing and giving
immediate feedback to each other.
 Interaction is achieved either through an audio component (conducted by
telephone communication such as a landline phone or VoIP - Voice over
Internet Protocol technology) or through online text/chat rooms.
 Webinars create an interactive learning experience allowing participating
parties to solicit feedback to questions instantaneously
Creating an Effective Webinar
 Be sure to articulate message being delivered in presentation and talk in a
manner that the pace can be followed clearly
 Create your visuals using one to two of the following mediums to ensure an
engaging presentation through multiple avenues:
 PowerPoint
 Electronic white board
 Email
 Discussion board,
 Links to websites of interest
 Polls and surveys
 Application file sharing, where participants can cooperatively
manipulate an application, such as a spreadsheet on the presenter’s
 Annotations - allowing the presenter to highlight or mark items on the
 Web cam
 Leave ample time for questions and answer sessions to follow presentation
Benefits and Drawbacks of
 No travel required – you can
 Some instructors and students
 There is a higher impact on
 May scare off students that are
“attend” a webinar from the
comfort of your own
learning, than reading
material directly from a book
or a website
 Ideal for multiple audience
members as there is
“unlimited” space as compared
to a classroom setting
 Great tool for disabled
students who might struggle
in a classroom setting
may feel a disconnect from
each other and lose a sense of
not as technologically savvy
and who prefer the in class
E-mail & Institutional SPAM
 Benefits of E-mail:
 E-mail is a cost-effective way for faculty, staff and students to communicate
with targeted groups of individuals concerning common academic or
administrative activities.
 Electronic mailing lists or listservs are appropriate and necessary tools for
communication among University interest groups, committees, classes, and
service providers and their clients.
 Drawbacks of Unsolicited E-mails or SPAM:
 E-mail users are increasingly complaining of receiving large quantities of
unsolicited emails (SPAM) that require a significant of time to address and
“buries” important messages relating directly to their academic and
administrative activities within the university.
 SPAM can overload e-mail servers
 Rationale for imposing procedures and restrictions on email
 Not all SPAM comes from outside the university
 Outside SPAM is filtered through an anti-SPAM filter by the University.
Procedures for Mass Email
By keeping the focus of e-mail on individuals and small groups, FIU can help ensure that
internal, general purpose mass communications do not unduly interfere with or distract
from the utility of e-mail for performing the academic and administrative tasks associated
with the University’s mission of teaching, learning, research and service. Mass emails for
commercial mailings are prohibited.
For sending mass emails to all members of the University community, campuses, entire
faculty, student body or staff the sender must request approval from the following officials:
For mailings to the entire University community, the President
For mailings to an entire campus community, the Provost
For mailings to the entire faculty within the University, the VP for Academic Affairs
For mailings to the entire faculty within a campus, the VP for Academic Affairs for that
For mailings to the entire student body within the University, the VP for Student
For mailings to the entire body of a campus, the VP of Student Affairs for that campus
For mailings to the entire staff of the University, the Assistant VP for University
Human Resources
For mailings to the entire staff, or a substantial subset thereof, within a campus, to the
Director of Human Resources for that campus.
Sample flyer created for
Educational Technology Resource Center
Educational Technology Resource Center
ATTENTION: Faculty/Staff/TA’s
Are you teaching with technology? Look below for a list of our FREE workshops scheduled for this semester!
The Resource Center is a place where faculty can collaborate and experiment with technology using the latest equipment
and software. Register for any of the following workshops or get information by visiting us at , then
click on the Resource Center button on the bottom right. Take any course you like, sign up for one or all in the series.
Workshops do not have to be taken continuously.
Assignment Tool: Learn how to use the digital drop box feature in WebCT
Feb 15
2:00 pm-3:30 pm UP/GL -150
Blogs and RSS Oh My!
Explore the possibilities of integrating online social networking into your course.
March 23
2:00 pm – 3:30pm UP/GL -150
March 30
2:00 pm-3:30 pm UP/GL -150
Assistive technology
April 12
2:00 pm-3:30 pm UP/GL -150
Abel, R. J. (2005). What’s Next in Learning Technology in Higher Education. A-HEC In-Depth 2 (2).
Retrieved February 11 2007, from
Chickering, A.W. & Ehrmann, S.C. (1996). Implementing the seven principles: Technology as lever. AAHE
Bulletin [Electronic version]. Retrieved on February 11, 2007 from
Donello, Jill Funderburg, "Theory & Practice: Learning Content Management Systems" Learning and
Training Innovations, 2002.
“Educause Core Data Service, 2002 Summary Report”
Retrieved on February 14, 2007.
Farrell, Henry (2003). The Street Finds its own use for Things. Crooked Timber. Retrieved on February 11,
2007 from
Fink, L. Dee (1999). Active Learning. Retrieved on February 11, 2007 from
Nichani, Maish, "LCMS = LMS + CMS [RLOs]-Ho Does This Affect the Learner? The Instructional
Designer?" elearningpost, Retrieved on February 14, 2007.
Norris, D., Mason, J., and Lefrere, P., Transforming e-Knowledge: A Revolution in the Sharing of
Knowledge, Society for College and University Planning, 2003.
Tetiwat, O., & Igbaria, M. (2000). Opportunities in Web-based Teaching: The Future of Education. In
A. Aggarwal, Web-based Learning and Teaching Technologies: Opportunities and Challenges. Hershey,
PA: Idea Group Publishing, 17-32.
Williams, Jeremy b. (2004). Exploring the use of blogs as learning spaces in the higher education
sector. Australasian Journal of Educational Technology, 20(2) 232-247.
Retrieved on February 11, 2007.
 Retrieved on February 11, 2007.
 Retrieved on February 11, 2007.
 Retrieved on February 15, 2007.
 http://www.nichcy.or Retrieved on February 13, 2007.
 Retrieved on February 12, 2007.
 Retrieved on February 11, 2007.
 Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act. (2002). retrieved Feb.14, 2007, from Section 508
Web site:
 Microsoft, Types of assistive technology products. retrieved Feb. 11, 2007, from Microsoft
Web site:
Accessibility Dictionary : you can find definition of Assistive Technology terms Retrieved on February 11,
 Dragon Naturally Speaking : this is the Dragon Naturally Speaking software homepage
8.htm Retrieved on February 12, 2007.