Archive for the ‘Planning’ Category

Due to unusual (but lovely ;-) weather the Tulsa Metro area is experiencing (1/3 of the United States, actually…), the free screening of the film Race to Nowhere on the Broken Arrow campus of Northeastern State University, originally scheduled for this evening, has been postponed.

It will now be shown on Thursday, February 17th beginning at 7:00 p.m. If you’ve not already, you can reserve free tickets online at http://www.racetonowhere.com/epostcard/3983


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CTL Steering Committee
Chair Notes
December 3, 2010




  • Kyla Eden
  • Kip Finnegan
  • Earlena McKee


  • Martha Parrott
  • Donna Shelton
  • Rick Shelton


  • Linda Summers
  • Vanessa Whitley
  • Chuck Ziehr

Absent with Notice

  • Cari Keller
  • Judy Moody
  • Stacy Thompson

Personnel updates in AA/CTL

Online Instructional Designer – Job ad posted online – https://nsuok.peopleadmin.com/postings/239 Eight applications received and reviewed by CTL staff thus far. Posted start date of January 4.

CTL Updates:

Wimba Collaboration Suite

Delay in implementation due to issues with vendor contract. This delay will affect original plans for IMLS grant, online graduate reading program, and others. As a result, Rick Shelton is revising plans for the IMLS grant. Chuck Ziehr will contact head of other programs impacted, after receiving list from CTL staff.

Quality Matters

  • Training has been scheduled for initial group of 10 faculty peer reviewers: Cari Keller, Diana Mashburn, Jeff Lowenthal, Judy Moody, Kip Finnegan, Marvita McGuire, Mike Wilds, Rick Shelton, Penny Sommers. Disciplines currently represented include Liberal Arts, Business, Science, and Education.
  • Linda Moss has accepted a position at UCO and will need to be replaced as a reviewer in this program. Requests will be sent to deans for recommendations.
  • The program still needs a faculty trainer responsible for future training of those assigned as peer reviewers.
  • The program requires that one peer reviewer come from outside NSU for each course being reviewed. The charge for this service is $600 per course, unless a reciprocal agreement can be arranged.
  • UCO was mentioned as a school that created their own review process modeled after the QM program. They will be contacted to determine why they chose to do so. A potential plus of a homegrown program is to save money. A negative is that the QM program is a nationally recognized standard, as respected as such.

OpenCourseWare Consortium

Application still under review by OC committee.

Blackboard 9.1

  • Faculty sandbox for training coming in Spring semester.
  • Linda Summers currently using both 8.0 as NSU faculty and 9.0 as part-time faculty at TCC. Says 9.0 has several benefits over 8.0, including fewer steps for many of the most popular functions, such as recording grades and adding announcements. Most new functions are intuitive and will require little training. The primary training needed will be how to set up the Gradebook, as it contains the most significant changes from 8.0 and is the least intuitive.

AVPAA Search Update – Martha

  • Committee just completed rewriting specs. Changes from the original include a change in the requirements for past administrative experience, in order to increase the pool of candidates who are both leaders and experts in contemporary pedagogy.
  • The job add will be posted upon completion – the goal being next week.


  • E-course Compensation Application – applications currently being processed in preparation for review.
  • Creativity World Forum – NSU had highly successful booth, interactive, professional, and fun.
  • Race to Nowhere/Waiting for Superman screenings – a program to screen the documentaries is currently underway. CTL will plan and sponsor the semester-long event.

Offer for Professional Development

Donna Shelton offered to host a workshop on how faculty can use Twitter for professional development purposes.


  • Survey will be sent to members to evaluate makeup and effectiveness of committee since inception last spring. Including what the committee did well, what the committee could have done better, suggestions on how to improve.

Next meeting:

Survey will be sent to determine best interval, time, and place for Spring meetings.

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According to the New Mexico Learning Network, “eLearning refers to learning opportunities where the learner and instructor are not physically in the same location and may be interacting asynchronously or synchronously online. eLearning typically helps reduce both geographic and schedule barriers for the learner.” Not mentioned, but equally true, is that eLearning also reduces time and place restrictions for the instructor.

When I was a student, not so long ago, I was often grateful to find a required course available online. Not that I was overly neurotic, just that online courses were far easier to weave into my personal schedule. I could continue to work full time, take care of my home and family, and still make it to class on time.

Not surprisingly, considering the demographic of the modern college student (see chart below), the demand for eLearning opportunities is increasing exponentially.

*Excerpted from Alison Black’s study, “Gen Y: Who They Are and How They Learn.”

Also not surprisingly, statistics gathered by Center for Teaching and Learning Coordinator Kip Finnegan – and accessed from Provost Martin Tadlock’s blog – give evidence that this growing demand is being acknowledged and adhered to – at least at NSU.

More soon on what the specifics of the above data mean to the present and future of eLearning at NSU.

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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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What do reference librarians do on a rainy afternoon in early July? We meet and plan how to educate patrons about the beneficial services the library offers, in order to inspire them to partake.

The following includes notes taken during a meeting of reference librarians Pamela Louderback, Tom Rink, and yours truly. Though the content is specific to the NSUBA Library, it may prove beneficial to other librarians, as they plan their marketing strategies, which is why I choose to share it.

[Plus, who knows? Someone might choose to comment and help us improve this tentative plan…] 

Marketing methods – perpetual

  1. Face-to-face
  2. Flyer, Bookmark, Tabletop
  3. Email
    1. Monthly e-flyer of workshops, new resources, etc
    2. All staff contribute something specific from their assigned area
  4. Social software:
    1. Blog – widget calendar of events
    2. Twitter
    3. Facebook
  5. Chalk the sidewalk
  6. Campus Dean Weekly Update email


  1. Prizes
  2. Drawings for checking out a book
  3. Donations from NSU bookstore, Borders, Barnes & Noble, etc.
  4. Relief station
    1. Midterm & Finals weeks
    2. Resources: drinks, snacks, etc.
  5. Holiday 
    1. Decorations
    2. Small treats, e.g., candy on Halloween


  1. Informal
    1. Friday morning coffee

                             i.      Faculty

                            ii.      Students

  1. Book club
  2. Formal
    1. WWW (Wonderful Workshop of the Week)

                           i.      Logistics: vary time, location, and topic

                          ii.      Resources: projector, laptop, evaluation postcard

  1. Demos with donuts
  2. Monthly cheesecake workshop
  3. Time for best faculty attendance = October & November

Specific proposals

  1.     Flyers
    1.    Interim director oversee
    2. Mid-August deadline
  2.    Faculty survey
    1.      Resource coordinators collaborate
    2. End of August deadline
  3. Monthly e-flyer
    1. All staff collaborate and contribute content
    2. First of each month – beginning September

General content

  1.    Inform faculty of services specific to their discipline
  2.     Should have specific theme and focus
  3.     Potential topics and who can oversee
    1.  Technology – Tech Support Specialist
    2.  Book Club – in-house bibliophile ;-)
    3.  Interlibrary Services – ILS Coordinator
    4.  Reserves – Reserves Librarian
    5.  Information Literacy Modules – Interim Director
    6.  EBSCO & Wilson – Education Librarian
    7.  Web 2.0 Topics – entire staff, depending on specialty    

                                                              i.      Basic & advanced workshops

                                                           ii.      Undergrad, Grad, Faculty, Staff focus

Planning & Assessment

  1. Faculty survey
    1. Notify time required to complete
    2. Contact Center for Teaching & Learning for practical advice
    3. Survey Monkey

                         i.      Create student-focused survey and open window on row of computers – asking students to take prior to exiting lab

  1. Postcard questionnaire
    1. Notify time required to complete
    2. Effectiveness of session, etc.
    3. Distribute during BI, when faculty book lab but no BI
    4. Keep available at each desk for serendipitous comments

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