DISTANCE EDUCATION

Volume 5, Number 9

Defense Technology Fuels Distance Learning: Talking to the Pentagon’s E-trainer
By Steven Donahue hat do a computerized firing range for tanks, a mock aircraft maneuvering over a simulated battlefield, and learning a language at a distance have in common? “An amazing amount, in a world that is more complex, with tools that are more complex,” says Michael Parmentier, the Pentagon’s top trainer, who is the Director of Readiness and Training in the Office of the Secretary of Defense. He was the featured speaker at the spring 2001 Simulation Interoperability Standards Organization (SISO) workshop in Orlando. The workshop provided a rarefied peek at the blueprint that will drive the web-based learning industry over the next few years. Modeling and simulation are tools used to learn and practice military skills, such as qualifying on a firing range, with the virtual reality power of computers. The savings on simulated training compared to traditional methods can be considerable. The SISO convention is the first time that the worlds of distance education and simulation have formally come together. Common standards are being sought, that will allow distributed learning and distributed simulation objects to interact through the Department of Defense’s Advanced Distributed Learning (ADL) initiative, and other venues in a digital world. Such standards create common ground that will allow the interchange of SCORM-conformant content over the Internet. (SCORM is the ADL’s “Sharable Content Object Reference Model” — the basis for establishing international distance education conventions.) Parmentier thinks that, in many cases, today’s learners and soldiers, “The Nintendo generation,” learn best when interacting with rich multimedia and simulation. Along with many other vanguards in the field, he feels that “text and static pages are often not the first choice for this generation. Instead of going to the library, they prefer to use Internet search engines such as ‘Ask Jeeves’.”

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That’s important, according to Parmentier because, “It’s in the national interest to create a business model that works on the Net, particularly for distributed education.” Parmentier and others feel that the days when everything was free on the Net must change for there to be valuable and robust learning online. Dr. Jerry West, the technical director of the Washington, D.C. ADL Co-Lab, who led the SCORM workshop said, “Before SCORM, the business model was to never share code; now content is sharable across conformant platforms.” Dr. West predicted, “By May, 2001, online content will be certified by the ADL initiative, and this could be the fuel that may help jump-start the New Economy as it tries to emerge from its current downturn.”

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Unprecedented Cooperation
Parmentier marvels at “the unprecedented level of cooperation that is apparent in pursuing the goals of distributed learning. Industry, academia, and government are all coalescing around a central goal.” As the Pentagon’s “training guy,” Parmentier currently sits at the center of that effort. “At the Washington, D.C. ADL Co-Lab, in a single day, you can see the National Guard, Marines, Navy, Army, industry providers, other federal agencies (like Department of Labor), and academics pass through its doors,” he says.
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IN THIS ISSUE
Defense Modeling and Simulation Technology.............1 Editorial: MIT Giveaway ............................................2 In the Field: Taking A School Online...........................3 In the News: Post-Napster Bandwidth Jam...................4 Course in Point: Bringing Statistics to Life...................5 Global Village: Brain Oxygen for Latin America...........6 Resources: Syllabus 2001 Conference............................7 Technology Briefing: New WebCT Platform.......................8

Jump-starting the New Economy
“2000 was the year when the ‘C’ in SCORM was changed to reflect Content; 2001 is the year when that content will begin to be put in standardized repositories, somewhere in cyberspace,” Parmentier says.

EDITORIAL
It’s the Interaction, Stupid!
s institutions try to figure out how to generate revenue from distance education, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has decided to post nearly all of its course materials on the Internet, free of charge. Although MIT’s initiative is not direct competition for distance education — the plan does not offer courses for credit or any interaction with instructors — it may help shape the future of distance education. The plan, known as MIT OpenCourseWare, will make available the core teaching materials used in its courses, such as lecture notes, course outlines, reading lists, assignments, and perhaps, videotaped lectures. Over the next ten years MIT will make available the materials for some 2,000 courses at a cost of $7.5 million to $10 million per year during the initial phase of the project. MIT will not offer these courses for credit. Rather, it will make available the course materials worldwide for non-commercial purposes such as research and education. According to MIT, this will help faculty at institutions

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around the world develop new curricula and courses, particularly in developing countries that are trying to expand their education systems. Other benefits include serving as a resource for individual learners, serving as a model for other institutions to make similar content available, and stimulating the exchange of ideas about innovative ways to use the resources in teaching and learning. The biggest benefit of MIT OCW is the message it sends to other institutions and potential students: While these materials are an integral part of the education process, the interaction between and among instructors and students is what makes education. Hopefully this move will raise the bar for educators to show them that lecture notes and links to resources should not pass for education. Education, whether it is online or face to face, only works through an active exchange of ideas between people. If your program doesn’t provide that, you may as well give it away. G Defense Technology… from page 1 Part of Parmentier’s job is to advise Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld and his senior staff on all policies, programs, and budgets for the department’s education and training activities. He sets the policy guidelines that impact everything from the Defense Language Institutes to Partner for Peace nations, and our allies. He says, “Essentially, when it comes to learning technologies, we are seen by all parties as an honest broker, a neutral venue, and a keeper of the flame for SCORM software.” Parmentier describes the military as “a historic learning institution capable of taking in raw recruits and training and upgrading their skills.” As an extension of that historic mission, Parmentier’s office now supplies the guidelines (like SCORM) that, among other things, will help shape such key programs as the $600 million Army University Online initiative. The service hopes to boost retention by helping active-duty Army personnel (90% of the enlisted do not have a baccalaureate degree) complete college degrees at a distance. Parmentier suggests that there have been three learning revolutions: writing, printing, and digitization. Since SCORM is a “living document,” no one can know what the next 10 or 20 years will bring, “but it will be a learning environment where even the architects will be astounded at how quickly the change occurred.” Steven Donahue teaches English as a Second Language and Pronunciation Online at Broward Community College in South Florida. He can be reached at <sdonahue@broward.cc.fl.us.> G
Distance Education Report

DISTANCE EDUCATION

Distance Education Report (ISSN 1094-320X) is published semimonthly by Magna Publications Inc., 2718 Dryden Drive, Madison, WI 53704. Phone: 800-433-0499. Copyright © 2001. One-year (24 issues) subscription: $399. Periodicals postage paid at Madison, WI POSTMASTER: Send change of address to: Distance Education Report, 2718 Dryden Drive, Madison, WI 53704. E-mail: custserv@magnapubs.com; Web Site: www.magnapubs.com Vice President: Jody Glynn Patrick Publisher: Deborah H. Harville (dharvill@magnapubs.com) Managing Editor: Rob Kelly (robkelly@magnapubs.com) Marketing Manager: Thomas Bajek (tombajek@magnapubs.com) Graphics/Production: Susan Hayes Customer Service: Mark Beyer Editorial Advisory Board: Donald P. Ely, Associate Director, ERIC Clearinghouse on Information & Technology; Chere Gibson, Ph.D., Associate Professor, University of Wisconsin-Madison; David Giltrow, Independent Consultant, Educational Technology & Communication, Santa Fe, New Mexico; Darcy W. Hardy, Ph.D., Director for Distance Education, Center for Instructional Technologies, University of Texas at Austin; Joseph Holland, University of Wisconsin-Stout; Marge Jeffers, WTCN Distance Education Network, Fox Valley Technical College; Marina Stock McIssac, Educational Media and Computers, Arizona State University; Karen L. Murphy, Ed.D., Associate Professor, Texas A&M University; Don Olcott, Jr., VCampus Corporation; Christine Olgren, Ph.D., Chair, Distance Teaching and Learning Conference, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Todd Price, Ph.D., Executive Director, WYOU Community Television, Madison, WI; Rick Shearer, MA, MBA, Instructional Designer, World Campus, Pennsylvania State University; John Witherspoon, Professor Emeritus, San Diego State University; Linda L. Wolcott, Ph.D., Department of Instructional Technology, Utah State University. To order back issues, call Customer Service at 800-433-0499. Back issues cost $17.00 each ($390 for the previous year’s complete collection), free shipping and handling in the US. You can pay with MasterCard, VISA, Discover, or American Express. This publication is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter covered. It is sold with the understanding that the publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting, or other professional service. If legal advice or other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent professional should be sought. Authorization to photocopy for internal or personal use, or the internal or personal use of specific clients, is granted by Distance Education Report for users registered with the Copyright Clearance Center (CCC) Transactional Reporting Service, provided that 10 cents per page is paid directly to CCC, 222 Rosewood Drive, Danvers, MA 01923; Phone: 978-750-8400; www.copyright.com. For those organizations granted a license by CCC, a separate system of payment has been arranged.

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IN THE FIELD
The Art Institutes: Taking A School Online
By Steven Donahue he virtual teachers at the Art Institute Online (AIO) gather regularly in Pittsburgh to get real about delivering AI content over the web. At their most recent meeting, it was apparent that the Art Institute Internet “war room” for distance education was taking no prisoners. Their mission is nothing short of some day delivering every AI class in an online version that equals or exceeds the quality of the face-to-face class. The Art Institutes, Education Management Corporation is among the largest providers of proprietary post-secondary education in the United States. The Art Institutes system includes 23 educational institutions located nationwide. It has graduated over 125,000 students since it was founded in 1962, in fields like design, media arts, fashion, and the culinary industry. The Art Institute Online, formed in 1997 from its parent, offers a virtual learning platform for Internet-delivered education. It currently hosts online courses leading to a bachelor of science degree in graphic design, an associate of science degree in graphic design, and a diploma program in digital design.

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porations. Online education proponents at AIO have worked long and hard to make their case. They demonstrated the value of distance education in research and testing for the Art Institute Online launch. The school found that online faculty members develop closer relationships with students, and that student workloads are more intense than in on-ground courses. George Pry, president of the Art Institute of Pittsburgh says, “It takes a self-motivated and committed student to be successful in online learning.” While research has made it easier to argue that learning can in fact be accomplished online, other issues remain to be hammered out: changing technologies, glitches, and marketing angles. Jane McBride, assistant director of distance education, with wide experience in teaching English as a second language (ESL), is convinced that the future of mass education runs through the wires buried beneath cities like Pittsburgh, and stretching into the world’s classrooms. “In the physical classroom, teachers are frequently tasked to teach pronunciation, without any explicit instructions — why can’t it be done better online?” she asks.

The Virtual Team
Many of the the cutting-edge issues of distance education were discussed at the AIO get-together. Topics range from online relationships with Duquesne University, a few blocks away, to interchangeable knowledge objects, to the latest version of Flash, to the impact of the web-based Education Commission’s findings on accreditation and financial aid. The story at AIO is typical of a transformation that is happening within many other traditional schools and cor-

Turning the Corner
AIO’s five years in online learning has gradually paid off. The investment has primarily been in the human capital that was already within the Art Institute. The internal training has generated a small army of online instructors. AIO is holding steady in the uncertain economy. Enrollment at the Art Institute Online was up for the spring 2001 semester. Future plans include strategic partnerships, reaching out to foreign clients, and continuing to add core Art Institute courses online.G

Community College Campaign Pays Off in Dot-edu Designation
t last, some 900 community colleges across the country get what they have been campaigning long and hard for — use of the dot-edu domain. The ‘.edu’ suffix had previously been limited to four-year colleges. On April 14, the United States Department of Commerce announced that it would transfer control of ‘.edu’ Internet addresses to nonprofit EDUCAUSE to serve as the domain’s gatekeeper.

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EDUCAUSE has made it clear that they intend to expand the use of the addresses to community colleges. EDUCAUSE <www.educause.org> and the Department of Commerce will work out final details of the agreement over the next few weeks. VeriSign, the for-profit company that had run dot-edu, will continue to assign dot-com, dot-org, and dot-net addresses. G
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IN THE NEWS
Napster or Not, Downloads Jam College Bandwidths
he sanctions on Napster’s music downloads are not expected to ease the bandwidth problem for some colleges and universities. According to Joe Ganci, CEO of Dazzle Technologies Corp., an Ashburn, Va.-based web technology firm, the problem will persist. “There are many other software packages out there that do the same thing — and the news gets worse — these packages don’t depend on a central Napster server, but are free agents working peer-to-peer.” Reflecting a typical higher education predicament, Acadia University in Nova Scotia, Canada, reports the massive downloads are the main culprits slowing down its academic servers. Acadia integrates the use of notebook computers into the undergraduate curriculum. A source there says, “[There is] a serious bandwidth problem as everyone is online in the classroom and out. … We had to put restrictions on frivolous Net usage as the server load was taxing classroom usage. It turns out that 85% of the load was due to gaming and MP3 downloads.”

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Ann Thompson, the president of SITE (Educational Technology Committee) said that one thing is certain about teachers and technology: “The ‘T’ [in SITE’s acronym] that stands for ‘teachers’ is no longer silent by a long shot.” For information on the Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education or SITE, go to <www.aace.org>. The PT3 web site is available at <www.pt3.org/ pt3_grants/>.

UNext.com Recharts and Recharges
Next.com, an online provider of training and education, located in Deerfield, Ill., announced a layoff of 13% or 52 of its 390 employees, coinciding with an undisclosed amount of financing from Thomson Learning. Andy Rosenfield, UNext chairman and CEO, says,“Phase one of our growth is completed. But lifelong learning is here to stay. So we are adding courses of moderate duration to meet that demand.” UNext collaborates with Columbia Business School, Stanford University, and the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business to bring education to the global marketplace through its online learning community, Cardean University. Peter Stokes, executive vice president of Eduventures.com, a Boston-based educational marketing group, said of the news, “UNext has strong financial backers, experienced management, a very robust product offering, and high profile partnerships. By reducing staff and focusing on core business activities, the firm enhances its chances of cornering a significant segment of the online executive education market.” Bob Christy, president and CEO of Thomson Learning affirmed Thomson’s faith in the future of e-learning. “Global trends and statistics point to the need for distance education. Our goal is to build a business that is technologybased and can support the delivery of learning products and services in all forms — from instructor/classroom-based to independent computer-based training.” G

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PT3: No Silent ‘T’
om Carroll, director of the Department of Education’s PT3 initiative (Preparing Tomorrow’s Teachers to use Technology) predicted in his keynote speech at the Society for Information and Teacher Education (SITE) 2001 conference, ”We are moving towards a model where each learner will have a personal learning portal that will follow them for life.” PT3 continues to fuel distance education by working to ensure that tomorrow’s teachers are fully capable of integrating technology into the classroom curriculum. During the first two years of the program, PT3 has awarded a total of 352 grants to consortia that include colleges of education and K-12 schools. Carroll described lessons learned by the program so far and emphasized that a commitment by campus leadership is critical to the success of educational technology reform. The program is set to award as many as 75 new grants later this summer. A room full of nervous PT3 grantees heard Carroll look into his crystal ball about the impact of the Bush administration. “This is a new administration that is still ramping up. They need time to put their staffing in place and develop plans and program priorities.” He added that the education budget that has been submitted provides no details at this point, only broad budget parameters.

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Share Your Ideas
If you have an innovative distance education course you would like to share with DER readers, contact Christopher Hill at chill@magnapubs.com.

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Distance Education Report

COURSE IN POINT
Video Brings Statistics to Life
Fundamentals of Statistics
Created by Anne Barker Rochester Institute of Technology hen she set out to design a distance version of Fundamentals of Statistics, Anne Barker, professor of statistics at Rochester Institute of Technology, wanted to produce a course that engaged students with a real-world context. Comprised of ten videotaped lectures and online interaction, the course uses on-location video to illustrate statistical concepts. The course originated with the desire to make it possible for students to complete a master’s degree in statistics entirely at a distance and to increase student retention. Although she had no experience in developing distance courses, Barker felt compelled to take on this challenge. “I teach basic statistics, and it became a matter of pride — I would rather do it than have somebody else do it, but I didn’t expect to enjoy it,” she says.

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Another lesson has her on Lake Ontario in a sea kayak talking about estimating the number of fisherman and birds entering a bay to introduce the idea of sampling. “I heard from one student who was watching it the first time around and wondered what I was going to do next,” she says. The videos comprise most of the course. They are supplemented by one- to two-hour-long weekly chat sessions using FirstClass.

Limitations
According to Barker, the verdict is still out on the effectiveness of distance education. She recognizes some limitations and tries to work around them. For instance, typing equations using a keyboard is cumbersome, and equation editors are not the same as writing on a blackboard. She would like to see software that enables instructors to hand-write equations for online delivery. As for the video portion of the course, Barker is aware of the tendency of the material on the tapes to become dated with the passage of time. Video courses are also not as easy to update as other types of courses. Although the content of a statistics course does not change as rapidly as in other disciplines such as economics, political science, and business, she was careful to avoid including material that might become outdated. Regardless, she plans to update the course every five years.

The Benefits of Videotape
She had the option of using a number of delivery methods and chose videotape because most people have access to VCRs and because videotape provides a larger picture than current CD-ROM and Internet technology. As for the format of the course, Barker was impressed by the PBS telecourse “Against All Odds: Inside Statistics,” which incorporates lectures, film clips, and events outside the studio — an inspired departure from the typical telecourse comprised of talking heads and overhead projections. The result is a series of ten lectures of 30 to 60 minutes each that include memorable in-the-field lessons. For example, a lesson about variation includes a videotaped trip to the Greater Rochester International Airport in which she interviews a friend about why planes do not always arrive and depart exactly as scheduled.

Course Ownership
Although she developed the course and is prominently featured in the videos, other instructors also teach the course. Although she holds the copyright to the videos, the ownership of the course is somewhat ambiguous. “I don’t think anybody has explored [ownership] carefully, but nobody objected to me putting a copyright on it.” G

VBrick Systems Introduces DVD-Quality MPEG-2 Appliances

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Brick Systems, Inc. offers a line of MPEG-2 network appliances that provides DVD-quality video across Internet protocol and ATM networks. Model 4000 Series MPEG-2 video encoders convert analog video to digital MPEG-2 video for distribution over digital or computer networks. Model 5000 Series MPEG-2 decoders convert digital MPEG-2 video streams to analog video that can be viewed on standard televisions.
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Model 6000 Series are duplex encoders/decoders used for interactive conferencing. All these models include an integral web browser for collaboration over a network. Video sessions are controlled by an infrared remote control that allows users to highlight the channel in the on-screen program guide. These appliances provide full-motion, 30-frame-per-second, DVD video on a computer screen or standard television. For more information on VBrick see http://vbrick.com>.G
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Distance Education Report

GLOBAL VILLAGE
BrainOxygen: Management e-Learning for Latin America
By Steven Donahue rainOxygen, Inc. (also known as BrainO2) focuses on companies in Latin America, providing them the “oxygen” they need to compete in global markets. The company is the brainchild of Bill Wescott, a Ph.D. who spent most of his career at Arthur D. Little, Inc., the international technology and management consulting firm. As a partner in the firm, Dr. Wescott was based in Brazil and Mexico, working throughout Latin America for over a decade. While working with his clients on many areas that are hallmarks for Arthur D. Little such as the “Learning Organization” concept (the systems thinking approach developed by management guru Peter Senge), sustainable development and management training, it became clear to him that there is a tremendous thirst for knowledge in the region. “Unfortunately, the educational systems, including corporate training programs, have not kept pace with the demand for learning, particularly in the new era of globalized competition,” Dr. Wescott explains. “I have a deep commitment to the region and was looking for a way to serve these clients that complemented what was being done at the top management level.” That way, Wescott decided, was corporate e-learning systems. “I felt that the e-learning area, while still early in its development, is at a point in which we can leverage it to help our clients be more competitive. The surprising discovery for me is that many e-learning companies were focused on high tech clients in Silicon Valley, seemingly oblivious to the fact that the value of this technology is much greater for someone in Tierra del Fuego than in Palo Alto.”

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“… the value of this technology is much greater for someone in Tierra del Fuego than in Palo Alto.”

forestry sector is a great example of an industry that has had to vastly increase its ability to learn because of globalization of the market and new knowledge-intensive practices such as sustainable development that have become key to competitiveness,” Dr. Wescott says. “By providing a new way to develop knowledge that is often more effective and efficient, we can help both large and small companies as well as support SBS in carrying out its mission.” Brain)2 has a similar approach for other sectors such as mining, metals, energy, telecommunications, and government.

Global View

To meet its clients’ needs, Brain02 works with a variety of partners to develop a customized elearning program that is aligned with the clients’ strategies. In addition to the high-tech set of Silicon Valley, their partners include European and Asian companies. Because they are totally driven by client needs, they can’t simply offer a “one-sizefits-all” approach. “We work with the client to develop a plan to best harness the power of e-learning to help them implement their corporate strategies, and then help them implement that plan,” says Wescott. “We may need a different set of e-learning partners and products to meet the needs of different clients.” The BrainO2 team composition also reflects the global view of the company, with associates from Europe, North and South America and Asia. Latin Venture <www.latinventure.com> named BrainO2 the “Top Latin American Startup” because of its strong value proposition for Latin companies and the abilities of the Brain)2 team to deliver on that value proposition.

A Different Business Model
There are some challenges unique to doing business in Latin America. While it is a large potential market, much depends on relationships and in-depth knowledge of the region. Fortunately the BrainO2. team has extensive experience in Latin America and has developed strong relationships throughout the region. One example of a BrainO2 client is the Brazilian Silviculture Society (its Portuguese acronym is SBS), the industry association for forest products companies. “The
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Southern Hemisphere Potential
According to IDC, over half of the almost $300 billion annual training budget is spent outside the United States. Many observers, including Training magazine believe that the growth rate for e-learning in developing countries will be even higher than the projected 79% average annual growth projected for the United States. “Estimates indicate that the language learning market alone may be $100 to $150 billion,” says Adam Neuman, senior analyst for Eduventures.com, a Boston-based education marketing firm.G
Distance Education Report

RESOURCES
Lessons from the Cyberspace Classroom
essons from the Cyberspace Classroom: The Realities of Online Teaching, by Rena M. Palloff and Keith Pratt (ISBN: 0-7879-5519-1W01, Jossey-Bass) is a comprehensive reference intended to help faculty hone their skills as online instructors and for students to use to become more effective online learners. Contains numerous examples from actual online courses and insights from teachers and students. Lessons from the Cyberspace Classroom deals with the entire online teaching process. It offers suggestions for dealing with issues such as evaluating courseware, working with online classroom dynamics, addressing the needs of the online student, making the transition to online teaching, and promoting the development of the learning community.

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articles dating back to George Washington’s presidency. “Access to Presidential Studies” will also include autobiographies, office diaries, executive orders from 1862 through 1904, photographs, and images. The web-based reference will house information from the Office of the President, as well as other sources like the media. Additional documents will be added during scheduled quarterly updates. Users can log on at <http://cisweb.lexis-nexis.com/histuniv/>.

Planning for Faculty Development
lanning for Effective Faculty Development: Using Adult Learning Strategies (ISBN 1-57524-105-6, 180 pages, Krieger Publishing Co.) by Patricia A. Lawler and Kathleen P. King is a guide to help institutions create faculty development programs in the area of distance education by using the principles of adult education. Chapters include “Becoming a Successful Faculty Developer,” “Programming for Faculty Development,” “Preplanning,” “Planning,” “Delivery,” “Follow-up,” “Effective Faculty Development in Action.” The book also includes a faculty development checklist and a selfassessment tool.

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Syllabus 2001 Conference: Technology in Higher Education
he Syllabus 2001 conference will be held at the Santa Clara Convention Center (in “Silicon Valley”) July 20-24. The conference will focus on integration and implementation of instructional technologies on campus. Keynote addresses, breakout sessions, case studies, workshops, seminars, and technology demonstrations will address fundamentals of technology use and the practical understanding of how to implement information technologies at the classroom, program, and institutional levels. Conference content areas will include: new technologies and pedagogies; web-based learning environments and support strategies; new institutions, organizational models, strategic issues, and standards; case studies in teaching and technology implementation; connecting educational research to practice; and a featured track on Teaching, Learning, and Technology. College-level faculty, department chairs, IT managers, administrators, and media professionals are encouraged to attend. Visit SyllabusWeb at <www.syllabus.com> for more information about Syllabus 2001.

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Harcourt e-Learning Online Library
arcourt e-Learning offers its online library services to academic institutions for a per-user licensing fee. It features information in all major subject areas, including history, literature, philosophy, business, education, humanities, health care, and information technology. Included in the online library are: • 20 databases that contain journal and magazine articles, newspapers, encyclopedias, dictionaries, health care information, and public policy reports • millions of articles from nearly 5,000 journals and periodicals • annotated web links for business, computers, arts and culture, education, entertainment, government, recreation, and travel • subject libraries that include journal and magazine articles, websites, databases, e-magazines, and links to professional associations. In addition, Harcourt e-Learning Online Library includes guidebooks to help with online research, including How to Use the Web, Evaluating Information on the Web, Writing a Research Paper, and Citing Electronic Sources. For more information, visit <www.harcourtelearning.com>.

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Lexis-Nexis to Offer Web-based U.S. Presidential Information
exis-Nexis recently introduced “Access to Presidential Studies,” an online resource for high school and college students and researchers that will provide historic information about all 43 U.S. presidents. Users will be able to search and retrieve the complete text of inaugural addresses, State of the Union addresses, and scholarly

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TECHNOLOGY BRIEFING
Mobile Phone Technology Meets Educator®/Wireless Educator®
compass has integrated its Educator®/Wireless Educator® online teaching and training solution with cellular/digital phones and pagers. Using the newly developed Notification Center within Educator®/Wireless Educator®, students, instructors, and teaching assistants can instruct the program to deliver course-related information to their mobile phones and/or pagers at user-specified time intervals. “The concept here is immediate access to educational resources and useful data gathered within the online classroom environment,” says Ucompass’s CEO Ed Mansouri. A few examples of the data delivered to mobile devices include updates about discussion board activity, new content uploaded into the online classroom, newly formed chatroom logs, graded exams/quizzes, and new e-mail messages. For more information, visit Ucompass’s newly developed Wireless Educator® website at <www.wirelesseducator. com>.

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tion uses CampusPortal , Premium Campus Gateway, or SM Campus Gateway . A preview function lets administrators view changes before they go live. For more information, visit <www. ecollege.com>.

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etSchools has introduced Netschools StarClassroom, a wireless mobile cart that combines NetSchools’ online curriculum alignment system, NetSchools OrionSM, with EduLAN, NetSchools’ classroom management solution. NetSchools StarClassroom is designed to introduce K-12 students and teachers to integrated e-learning at school by providing access to computers and the Internet through a mobile cart solution, which includes online curriculum alignment and integration, student laptop computers, an HP Omnibook Notebook PC for the instructor, on-site professional development, and curriculum correlation and wireless network technical services. For more information, visit <www.netschools.com>.

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NetSchools StarClassroom Wireless Mobile Cart Solution

Texas Instruments’ Electronic Flashcard Technology
exas Instruments offers StudyCards™ Creator is a learning tool that allows students to create electronic flashcards that can be used with the TI-Navigator™ wireless classroom learning system and the TI-83 Plus and TI-73 handheld graphing units. TI has also developed flashcards with Quia.com and FreeVocabulary.com for quiz and test preparation in history, geography, science, art, English literature, economics, and music. The StudyCards Creator flashcard stacks are accessed through TI’s StudyCards Viewer application, which displays the individual cards on TI handheld devices. For more information, visit <http:education.ti.com>.

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WebCT Introduces Two Editions of its Latest E-Learning Platform

eCollege Tool Enables Update of Campus Content
ampus Author , a new tool from eCollege , enables administrators to update their online campuses in real time without having to use HTML. Campus Author gives administrators 24/7 access to and control of their eCollege online campus whether the institu-

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ebCT has released a Standard and Campus Edition of its newest e-learning platform, WebCT 3.5. According to the company, the Standard Edition is designed as a pedagogically sound course platform without extensive features for scaling or integration with campus systems. Improvements include enhanced performance and capacity; improved support for WebCT e-Packs, publisher-provided content that faculty can assign for use with online courses; enhanced privacy through the ability to hide user IDs; a customizable sign-on screen; and a weekly view calendar. The Campus Edition is designed for institutions to scale their online learning programs and/or integrate their course tools platform with portals and student information systems. To do this, the product license permits multiple servers and includes additional systems administration support. Features include external user authentication using industry authentication standards; turnkey integration with SCT Banner, SCT Plus, and Campus Pipeline; compliance with IMS open specifications; load balancing, which allows for use of WebCT on multiple servers; and campus-wide automatic sign-on. For more information, visit <www.webct.com>.

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Distance Education Report