Archive for the ‘Collaboration’ Category

Thank you to Dr. Chuck Ziehr for composing and sharing this exceptionally well-written and explicitly detailed update on CTL. I especially like how he acknowledges the past, incorporates the present, and looks to the future.

It’s pretty incredible to see all the many issues CTL has been addressing over the past few months. We may have a small staff, but we have an exceptional one :-)

And the Steering Committee is pretty incredible, too. Thanks to each of you for the time and effort you so selflessly give in your service towards the continued improvement of the Teaching & Learning process at NSU and the communities it serves.


NSU Center for Teaching and Learning:  CTL Update,  February 4, 2011

The Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) has undergone a number of changes over the past few months, while continuing its mission to foster a culture of excellence in teaching and learning, and more changes are on the way.  This update is designed to provide an overview of these changes and ongoing efforts and outline some plans for the future.

About 10 years ago the Center for Teaching and Learning was created to help the NSU faculty integrate technology and pedagogy.  The focus on the use of technology in teaching and learning continues and is being enhanced, but the mission of CTL is expanding beyond technology to include a broader emphasis on greater collaboration, innovation, and support for all aspects of teaching and learning.

Organization and Personnel
The Center for Teaching and Learning is a function of the Office of Academic Affairs and is supervised by the newly-created position of Assistant Vice President for Teaching and Learning (AVPTL); all CTL personnel report directly to the AVPTL.  After the former CTL Director (Jym Brittain) left NSU in Spring 2010, Dr. Tadlock appointed the CTL Steering Committee (CTLSC) to provide input and advice.   The formation of CTLSC resulted in sunsetting of two existing committees: Scholarship of Teaching and Learning committee and Distance Learning committee.  This semester we have been able to add a half-time Teaching & Learning Fellow, Linda Summers (Library faculty), who will work on various initiatives including Quality Matters and a film/discussion series to promote university/community conversations regarding current issues in education; we hope that this half-time Teaching & Learning Fellow position will be available for other faculty in the future.  We are in the search process for a full-time Online Instructional Designer, who should join CTL later this semester to assist faculty in the development and enhancement of online and blended courses. The search for a permanent AVPTL is underway.

CTL Personnel:

Interim Assistant Vice President for Teaching & Learning:  Chuck Ziehr [through July 31, 2011]

(A122, ziehr@nsuok.edu, ext. 2065)

Coordinator of Academic Services (full-time CTL):  Kip Finnegan

(WEBB 617, finnegac@nsuok.edu, ext. 5854)

Assistant Coordinator of Academic Services (half-time CTL):  Rick Shelton

(BALB 132, sheltorw@nsuok.edu, ext. 6630)

Administrative Assistant (full-time CTL):  Stacy Thompson

(WEBB 610, thomps30@nsuok.edu, ext. 5855)

Teaching & Learning Fellow (half-time CTL):  Linda Summers

(BALB 133, summerla@nsuok.edu, ext. 6455)

Student Assistants (part-time CTL):  Kyla Eden, Brandi Ross, Sarah Taylor, Amy Wilbins

CTL Steering Committee (CTLSC)

EDEN, Kyla, Undergraduate Student

FINNEGAN, Kip, Assistant Professor, Ex Officio, Center for Teaching & Learning

FULLER, Danny, Technology Specialist, College of Business & Technology

KELLER, Cari, Professor, College of Liberal Arts

KOZLOWSKI, Gene, Professor, College of Business & Technology

MCKEE, Earlena, Assistant Professor, College of Optometry

MOODY, Judy, Assistant Professor, College of Education

PARROTT, Martha, Associate Professor, College of Science & Health Professions

SHELTON, Donna, Associate Professor, College of Liberal Arts

SHELTON, Rick, Instructor, Ex Officio, Center for Teaching & Learning

SUMMERS, Linda, Instructor, University Libraries [CTLSC Chair]

THOMPSON, Stacy, Administrative Assistant, Ex Officio, Center for Teaching & Learning

THORP, Zac, Library Technician III, University Libraries

WHITLEY, Vanessa, Science Lab Manager, College of Science & Health Professions

WOODS, Evelyn, Assistant Dean, Student Affairs

ZIEHR, Chuck, Interim Assistant Vice President, Ex Officio, Center for Teaching & Learning

On-going Stuff

Kip and Rick continue to provide one-on-one assistance (or workshops upon request) in the use of Blackboard (learning management system), ITV faculty orientation, multimedia classroom orientation, smartboard training, multimedia production support (including podcasts and Camtasia), CheckBox (online surveys), and EvaluationKit  (online surveys).  The Center for Teaching and Learning provides service learning grants, teaching and learning fellowship grants, and online and ITV course development compensation.  The CTL website provides a number of online resources, application forms, and contact information at http://academics.nsuok.edu/teachingandlearning; this webpage can be accessed from the NSU homepage under My NSU—Faculty & Staff Links—Center for Teaching and Learning (under NSU).

New Stuff

  • Wimba provides “interactive technologies such as voice, video, podcasting, instant messaging, application sharing, polling, and whiteboarding.”  These capabilities may be accessed via the Communication button in Blackboard.  An introduction to the use of Wimba may be found in the Wimba LiveBinder developed by Rick Shelton http://livebinders.com/play/play/57757.
  • Quality Matters “is a nationally recognized, faculty-centered, peer review process designed to certify the quality of online courses and online components.”  The centerpiece of Quality Matters is the QM Rubric based on research-supported and published best practices which provides a set of standards by which to evaluate the design of online and blended courses.  We have 12 NSU faculty members undergoing training now to become QM peer reviewers (and more will be trained later).  The new Online Instructional Designer will help faculty to develop effective online and blended courses which will reach the nationally-recognized QM standards.  For more information about Quality Matters and online course development check the Online Teaching LiveBinder developed by Rick Shelton http://livebinders.com/play/play/58273
  • iTunes U – NSU has joined this distribution system as another means of providing and accessing audio and video content to a wider audience.  More about this capability will be forthcoming soon.
  • OpenCourseWare Consortium – This is yet another collaboration of higher educational and associated organizations that NSU has joined to distribute and access educational content.  More about this capability will be forthcoming soon.
  • Blackboard 9.1 — We will migrate to version 9.1 (from 8.0) this summer with 9.1 being the operational version of Bb running at NSU at the beginning of the Fall 2011 semester.  More information and training for this migration will become available later this semester and summer.
  • Campus Conversations and Collaborations on Teaching and Learning – CTL will host webinars, forums, learning communities, films, speakers, and debates/dialogues to address current issues and trends facing us in higher education and to develop a culture of sharing innovative ideas and best practices in the public endeavor of teaching and learning.
  • Help Desk – CTL is working with Information Technology Services (ITS) to develop an even more effective one-stop contact source for the NSU community when there are technology-related questions or problems.  NSU faculty and staff are asked to call the familiar 5-6-7-8 extension to report technology problems or to ask technology-related questions.  ITS will handle hardware issues and campus-standard software issues.  Questions related to using technology in course design and delivery will be handled by CTL; the Help Desk will create a work order and transfer such calls to CTL.  Details and procedures of this collaboration are still being worked out.
  • CTL webpage – The existing webpage will be enhanced and expanded to provide more information and greater resources for teaching and learning, including online tutorials for Blackboard 9.1, Wimba, Quality Matters, and designing online courses.  Given our very small CTL staff most of this expansion will have to wait until the new Online Instructional Designer is onboard in order to re-distribute the various demands on staff time.

Please let us know if you have questions or if you have suggestions for how to make CTL more responsive to your teaching and learning needs.

Dr. Chuck Ziehr
Interim Assistant Vice President for Teaching & Learning
Email: ziehr@nsuok.edu
WWW: http://arapaho.nsuok.edu/~ziehr/

***  NSU:  “Gather Here. Go Far.”  ***

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A few snippets from Dan Pink‘s presentation during today’s forum –

  • The whole point of management is compliance
  • Change doesn’t happen from policies and management strategies; it begins with a conversation, as has every great love affair, social movement, historical event…
  • To inspire creativity, let employees [or students] work on whatever they want for a day – as Google has done since inception, gmail being one of the results. Tell them there is no funding for it, nor a paper due, just do it for fun.
  • Give people space for non-commissioned work, as that’s where they” get creative; and the result will be something fun, cool, and engaging.

Pink’s challenge to all in attendance –

Do one thing tomorrow to make things a little better.


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Thank you to the Broken Arrow community, the BA Trail Committee, and Dean Jenlink for enhancing the fitness options at NSUBA.

Groundbreakers from left to right:  Melissa Mahan, Patty Kitchen, Kris Rider, Christee Jenlink, Star O’Neal, Olaf Standley, Eric Yost, Scott Esmond.

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A friend and colleague recently asked why NSU didn’t have an iPhone app, and whether we will ever get one. I told him the Center for Teaching & Learning Steering Committee had discussed this same topic a few weeks ago, and offered to share our evaluation with him.

The following document is a collaborative effort generated by the committee in response to a proposal from a local business offering to create an iPhone app for NSU:

CTL Steering Committee
School Insight iPhone App Evaluation
July 1, 2010

The following information is simply an evaluation of the potential purchase of the School Insight iPhone app. No conclusion was drawn, nor vote taken.


  • Several optometry students own smartphones, as there are some specialized apps they are encouraged to use in clinical rotations and later in their own practices.
  • Optometry applicants judge our college and university by our integration of technology in our clinical instruments, electronic health records and the websites against other colleges and universities.
  • Use of new technologies, if not prohibitively difficult or expensive, enhances the progressive image of our university to potential students.
  • It could be handy for announcing special events (the push function on the iPhone sends automatic messages when something new is added) and important information such as upcoming deadlines, or financial aid info, or sporting events.
  • I do not have a smart phone, but I know a lot of people do and they love apps.  The cost is very low and affordable.  I do not see the harm in having it, I think it is a good idea.
  • iPhone apps are very cool, and easier to access away from a computer than a webpage for answering quick needs like schedules or special events on campus.
  • It might be good for weather warnings about closings and events.


  • Not enough students with smartphones?
  • It’s not practical on the Tahlequah campus at this point.  iPhones are expensive. A few of our students … in Tahlequah have smartphones, most don’t.
  • In a poll of my classes this last spring I found only 2 students who had iPhones, less than 1/4 had smartphones, of those less than 1/2 had text service. The remainder of the students had fairly typical phones with a few of those users having text service. This was not encouraging for a group of about 42 students.



  • Has the potential to give students another option for accessing course content.
  • I’ve been looking at the podcasts and vodcasts available on iTunes as potential resources for my online classes (or even live courses).  There are several OK universities and colleges that have both available.  ie; Rose State University has a couple on women’s history.   As we progress in our knowledge of using technology in the classroom, I think having a school app would make it easier for students to access these right (though I know it wouldn’t be necessary, it could provide a central location for students to search from).
  • If a department uses podcasts through iTunes, it’s easier to access them from an app.


  • Will the app work on the Blackberry, Blackjack, and other smartphones, or just on the iPhone?
  • Until a larger percentage of our students have smartphones, spending the money to develop apps is not advisable.
  • I don’t see us being able to deliver course content in this way in the immediate future.
  • One issue under consideration is using these apps as notification for events and warnings. Unless the student has the app set to accept these messages and it is active they will only get them once they do turn it on. Thus this makes it less than useful for warning students about say an intruder on campus.
  • I just wonder what students in Tahlequah would say if they were told that course content would be delivered in part by iPhone and that they not only had to buy the phone but sign up for a two-year contract at maybe $100 a month.  I have a young lady in our program right now that I am going to hire to help me with some painting jobs at home because she’s living in the dorms during summer school and she doesn’t have enough money to eat.
  • I am all for incorporating all sorts of technology into teaching, but I am concerned about the growing gap between what some of us would like to do (and what needs to be done) and the reality of what our students and faculty are able to do or want to do.
  • At the very least, when we adopt a new technology, the students should have access to it on campus or to be able to purchase it with financial aid dollars.

General Comments:

  • The $200 a month fee seems reasonable, it is less than the cost of 1 billboard per month, and it looks like we control the content.
  • If the administration is looking at an app that would provide schedule information or something else applicable to all or most students or perhaps also alums, that might be worthwhile, but I think most of the usage will be at NSUBA.
  • OU and University of Arkansas each have a school iPhone app.
  • I would like to explore it further.
  • Some university employees are not even using the more basic communication tools now at our disposal.  In our department, after adopting new and more stringent requirements for voting, some issues up for email votes have failed simply because many of my colleagues don’t, won’t, or can’t read their email, and hence they don’t vote.  I think that deans and department chairs will need to deal with issues like that before we can be very successful at expanding the forms of communication that we use.
  • I drag students kicking and screaming through using various Web 2.0 applications every semester, and they have quite a few problems, some of which are related to their own computer abilities and some of which are related to a lack of up-to-date computer equipment and consistent Internet access at home, as most of them are not resident students.  What I ask them to do is free of charge to them–I could not ask them to get a smartphone to view course materials as it would be too much of a burden for some of them.  I tell them that in my courses I have a secondary objective of improving their computer/Internet skills.  Other people talk about educating digital natives and how do we do that when we ourselves are not digital natives — well, in my classes, there are no digital natives.  I would imagine that the situation in BA is different, but in Tahlequah our traditional students are coming out of small high schools with almost nonexistent technology, and our nontraditional students are generally not people with much computer experience.
  • My colleagues have their own issues with technology — the number of people who use Blackboard as a supplement or even just as a way to disseminate information in a traditional format class is pretty low, and the use of other applications is very limited.  When I made the comment in my previous email about people not using their email, I was not kidding. There is a person in my department who comes to me for help when she has to send an email because she does not know how.  Other colleagues, including some former department chairs, are famous for rarely or never reading their email.  The email voting issue I described may become a serious problem.
    • So, I think creating iPhone apps for NSU is great, and I would certainly use them, but I am concerned about the cost and the technology gap.
    • There is a digital divide among the students at NSU, which is reflective of American society as a whole. If we are to invest wisely, we need to consider all factors of adoption and application of new technology.

Related Information:

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Center for Teaching & Learning Steering Committee
Chair Notes
September 3, 2010



  • Kip Finnegan
  • Danny Fuller
  • Cari Keller
  • Martha Parrott
  • Earlena McKee
  • Linda Summers
  • Zac Thorp
  • Vanessa Whitley

Wimba Collaboration Suite for Higher Education

Those who were able to attend the Wimba presentation on September 2nd were both impressed and inspired as to how the software could enhance the classroom environment, whether fully online or blended. The general consensus is that purchasing Wimba would be a wise investment. The following is a synopsis of committee member comments.

Teaching –

  • Can teach virtually when out of town, rather than cancelling class when away for professional development.
  • Highly interactive. Allows for more synchronous opportunities, e.g., instant messaging, smart board, voice discussion board. Great for creating a more engaging e-classroom environment.
  • Encourages 100% participation.
  • Point-to-point network system allows for extending the geographic distance between students and instructor, particularly important for deployed soldiers and those who would otherwise have to commute long distances. Also has potential to increase the diversity of the class.
  • Allows for archiving lessons via simple lecture-capture process

Technology –

  • Integrated into Blackboard, so no special software needed (Some concern that demo was on Bb 9.1, which will not be implemented until Fall 2011. NSU currently running Bb 9.0)
  • Has cloud storage, so can store work virtually and access same from any computer that has internet access; won’t slow down university network or personal computer
  • Has screening process to test compatibility of system with all participants’ computers
  • Does everything Camtasia does – and more
  • No ITV needed to e-teach in synchronous environment.

Training –

  • Training materials can be revised according to individual preference
  • Wouldn’t take a long time to learn

AVPTL Search Update – Martha Parrott

The search for  Assistant Vice President for Teaching and Learning is down to a single candidate, as one of the final two withdrew. The committee will now reassess the original pool of applicants in the attempt to raise the number of candidates back to three.

The remaining candidate, Dr. Scott Newman, will be on campus September 22-23, and will participate in an open forum on Sept. 22 from 3-3:45 p.m. The forum will be broadcast to Room 225 of Building B in Broken Arrow and Room 141 of the Synar Building at Muskogee. All are encouraged to participate and offer input to the selection committee.

Marketing CTL Services

Current Methods

  • CTL website
  • Dean Jenlink’s weekly e-bulletin, an email listing of calendared events that is sent to BA faculty and staff

Methods to Consider

  • Targeted email. For example, the upcoming workshop for online instruction could be sent to all faculty currently teaching online courses. Make the title of said email relevant and specific, in order that it will be read rather than deleted.
  • Create targeted flyer of workshops, print on bright-colored paper and post to office doors of targeted faculty.
  • Create small handout of workshops, similar to NSU mission, vision, core values card, and give to faculty at semester meetings and orientations – maybe personally deliver 2 weeks into semester, or send via campus mail.
  • List events in Riverhawks Daily.
  • Send workshop information to deans, so they can forward to faculty.
  • Send information to committee members, so they can forward to colleagues.

Realities to Consider

  • Faculty have a heavy load of responsibilities: teaching five classes, which are often of increased size due to too few instructors; serving on multiple committees, with varying degrees of responsibility; and maintaining a heavy advising load. They perform these duties gladly out of service to NSU and the community it serves, but the reality is the heavy load leaves little time for professional development opportunities. What can we do to help faculty have time to go and do these things?
  • Faculty want to know what teaching and learning will look like in a few years, but need to find more balance in terms of responsibilities in order to have time and intellectual energy for professional development.


  • Create webpage with links to tutorials of most frequently requested assistance items – currently Blackboard. May be NSU-CTL produced, or videos vetted for quality by same.
  • Tutorials should be brief and clearly labeled as to content.
  • Lecture-capture and archive F2F workshops for 24/7 access.
  • Grad students in relevant programs could assist in creation of tutorial library – receiving real-world experience and course credit simultaneously.

Quality Matters Update – Kip Finnegan

CTL now has all the instructors required to implement the program. All have access to instructional guides, but still need training. Kip and Rick are administrators, but they, too, still need training. Kip will share a list of instructors and courses soon.

General Comments

  • Faculty want Camtasia workshop and/or tutorial.
  • CTL should organize a Vendor Day, during which vendors of teaching tools come to NSU and give demonstrations. Offer giveaways and other incentives.
  • It would be great to have a general e-course template for newly hired faculty, especially for those hired at beginning of semester who have little time to prepare.

Next Meeting

The next meeting is scheduled for Friday, September 17th from 3:30pm-4:30pm.
Locations: BA – E105 & TQ – NET621

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