Team Christina Crespo Jason Ingrao Roseline Telfort Marie Val 2007 Virtual Case Study Florida International University Scenario 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 them. 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 studies: RETENTION Focus needs to be on persistence and attainment Retention/Persistence 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 students. 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) Webinars Blogs 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 engagement. Growing trend toward “hybrid programs” which combine online and classroom experiences. Promoting Active Learning through Technology Active Learning engages students in the learning process. Dialogue with Self However many professors feel they need help in imagining creative active learning activities. Experince of Doing Active Learning 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 Others Experience of Observing Hot Trends and Topics in Educational Technology Assistive Technology Virtual Learning Environment (Course Management Systems) Blogs Webinars SPAM 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. Solutions: 1. 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 4. Touch screens are devices placed on the monitor that allow direct selection or activation by touching the screen. 5. 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) 6. 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) 7. 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; Solutions: 1. 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 2. 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. 3. 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. 4. 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 Synapseadaptive.com is an example of such a software. Current Trends in AT for Learning Difficulties and Impairments Solutions: 1. Students with learning difficulties and impairments mostly use some of the same tools as many of the other students who need assistive technology. 2. 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. 3. 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 Solutions: Assistive listening devices hearing aids infrared/personal amplification systems audio/FM loop systems FM amplification systems TV amplifiers TV decoders visual signaling and alerting systems tactile alerting systems telephony and accessories text telephones TDDs/TTYs devices adapted phones, etc. VIRTUAL LEARNING ENVIRONMENT VIRTUAL LEARNING ENVIRONMENT 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. VIRTUAL LEARNING ENVIRONMENT 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 Environment 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. COURSE MANAGEMENT SYSYTEMS (CMS) 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. COURSE MANAGEMENT SYSYTEMS (CMS) 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. WebCT Blackboard 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 grades. 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 students 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.  Technorati: about us (2006-11-11). Retrieved on 2006-11-11. Blogosphere 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). Edublogs: 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 learning. 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 screen Annotations - allowing the presenter to highlight or mark items on the display Web cam Leave ample time for questions and answer sessions to follow presentation Benefits and Drawbacks of Webinars BENEFITS: DRAWBACKS: 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 computer! 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 interaction. not as technologically savvy and who prefer the in class experience. 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 distribution: Not all SPAM comes from outside the university Outside SPAM is filtered through an anti-SPAM filter by the University. Procedures for Mass Email Distribution 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. Recommendations: 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: 1) For mailings to the entire University community, the President 2) For mailings to an entire campus community, the Provost 3) For mailings to the entire faculty within the University, the VP for Academic Affairs 4) For mailings to the entire faculty within a campus, the VP for Academic Affairs for that campus 5) For mailings to the entire student body within the University, the VP for Student Affairs 6) For mailings to the entire body of a campus, the VP of Student Affairs for that campus 7) For mailings to the entire staff of the University, the Assistant VP for University Human Resources 8) 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 http://www.uts.fiu.edu , 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. WebCT: 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 Webinar March 30 2:00 pm-3:30 pm UP/GL -150 Assistive technology April 12 2:00 pm-3:30 pm UP/GL -150 References Abel, R. J. (2005). What’s Next in Learning Technology in Higher Education. A-HEC In-Depth 2 (2). Retrieved February 11 2007, from http://www.a-hec.org/research/indepth_articles/whats_next1005/whats_next1005_toc.html. Chickering, A.W. & Ehrmann, S.C. (1996). Implementing the seven principles: Technology as lever. AAHE Bulletin [Electronic version]. Retrieved on February 11, 2007 from http://www.tltgroup.org/programs/seven.html Donello, Jill Funderburg, "Theory & Practice: Learning Content Management Systems" Learning and Training Innovations, 2002. “Educause Core Data Service, 2002 Summary Report” http://www.educause.edu/coredata/reports/2002/ Retrieved on February 14, 2007. Farrell, Henry (2003). The Street Finds its own use for Things. Crooked Timber. Retrieved on February 11, 2007 from www.crookedtimber.org. Fink, L. Dee (1999). Active Learning. Retrieved on February 11, 2007 from http://www.honolulu.hawaii.edu/intranet/committees/FacDevCom/guidebk/teachtip/active.htm Nichani, Maish, "LCMS = LMS + CMS [RLOs]-Ho Does This Affect the Learner? The Instructional Designer?" elearningpost, Retrieved on February 14, 2007. References 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. http://honolulu.hawaii.edu/intranet/committees/FacDevCom/guidebk/teachtip/active.htm. Retrieved on February 11, 2007. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blog Retrieved on February 11, 2007. References www.ulster.net/~dcartm/ctpage2a.htm Retrieved on February 11, 2007. www.pluk.org/AT1.html Retrieved on February 15, 2007. http://www.nichcy.or Retrieved on February 13, 2007. http://www.wam.umd.edu/~nrtello/ATninappt.html Retrieved on February 12, 2007. http://www.rehabtool.com/at.html Retrieved on February 11, 2007. Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act. (2002). retrieved Feb.14, 2007, from Section 508 Web site: http://www.section508.gov/index.cfm?FuseAction=Content&ID=12#Definition Microsoft, Types of assistive technology products. retrieved Feb. 11, 2007, from Microsoft Web site: www.microsoft.com Accessibility Dictionary : you can find definition of Assistive Technology terms http://www.netmechanic.com/accessibility/glossary.htm#seta Retrieved on February 11, 2007. Dragon Naturally Speaking : this is the Dragon Naturally Speaking software homepage http://www.synapseadaptive.com/naturallyspeaking/new/naturallyspeaking_home_pg_ 8.htm Retrieved on February 12, 2007.