Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Ball State University's First Technology Enhanced Teaching in Distance Education Conference is Successful

Ball State University held its first Technology Enhanced Teaching in Distance Education Conference on Friday, February 16, 2007, at the L.A. Pittenger Student Center. The event drew about 60 participants, despite the weather.

Attendees were very pleased with the conference format and more so with the content. One person commented "Well planned and organized conference, good sessions with good speakers," and everyone who filled out the conference evaluation form indicated they would attend again next year.

Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Terry S. King opened the conference with his remarks about technology in teaching and learning. Interim Associate Provost and Dean of Extended Education Frank Sabatine addressed the attendees as he outlined Ball State's goals for increasing enrollment in distance education and laid the plans for future conferences.

During the morning session, Ball State faculty delivered presentations in nine topics such as course design, organization, evaluation, and technologies available for online teaching.

"Organized and informative" was a comment made for the majority of the sessions. One attendee wrote, "Really wonderful, very helpful," while another wrote, "nice job with good suggestions … ."

Assessing student performance is an issue of interest to many faculty members, particularly when students are not in a specific place at a specific time for test taking. Panelists provided the attendees with ideas for alternative assessments and shared experiences about academic dishonesty. In the panel discussion, "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly" panelists shared a variety of experiences they have had with their online students and provided a rich overview of what it is like to teach students who are located around the country.

The presenters at the event were
· Bryan Byers, Criminal Justice and Criminology
· Cheryll Adams, Center for Gifted Studies and Talent Development
· Greg Siering, Office of Teaching Learning Advancement
· Jerome Kotecki, Physiology and Health Science
· Jim Flowers, Sam Cotton, and Richard Seymour, Department of Technology
· Karen Ford and Susan Tancock, Elementary Education
· Kristin Ritchey, Psychological Science
· Marilyn Ryan and Linda Siktberg, Nursing
· Matthew Stuve, Educational Studies
· Melinda Messineo, Sociology
· Roch King, Physical Education
· Suzanne S. Rice and Yasemin Tunç, University Libraries
· Vinayak Tanksale, Computer Sciences

Judging from the success of this year’s event, and encouraged by attendees and administrators alike, John Burton (Director, Electronic Programs, School of Extended Education) and I have already started to work on our next conference. I will be facilitating the program for next year’s conference which we hope will be a statewide event.

For more information, or to arrange for a technology consultation, contact Yasemin Tunç, Ball State University Libraries’ Director for Technology Training Support Services,, (765) 285-5902.

This newsletter article first appeared in The Library Insider 5(3): 10; March 2007.

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