Tidbits, Resources, and Discussion for ELI Faculty

Friday, May 29, 2009

2008 ITC Distance Education Survey

The Instructional Technology Council has released its 2008 report on distance learning at community colleges. You can see a summary of some key findings in the blue box here. Or, click the link on that page for the full report. As I read it, it seems that our colleagues across the country are experiencing they very same challenges we are.

I wonder how many of the 31% who are considering changing their learning management system will actually take the plunge and leave Blackboard behind--and whether the merger with Angel will change any of those plans. (As an aside on that--did you see in the Chronicle that the Department of Justice is investigating Blackboard's acquisition of Angel as a possible antitrust violation? Interesting times in the instructional technology world...)

Monday, May 25, 2009

Learn to be a MERLOT Peer Reviewer

Interested in being a peer reviewer for MERLOT? You might want to participate in one of MERLOT's upcoming GRAPE Camps, in which you can learn to do just that. You can find the signup form, which includes two choices of three dates each (each "camp" is three sessions long), here. All sessions are webinars, so you can participate from anywhere (including asynchronous participation if you have time zone problems in meeting at the set times). You can get more information by contacting Laura Franklin, NOVA's main MERLOT contact.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Higher Education and Economic Bubbles

Here's an interesting column in the Chronicle wondering whether higher education is another economic bubble that's about to burst. Especially in this economic climate, are families really going to continue to be willing to pay tens of thousands of dollars a year for college tuition and fees? If the authors are right, we'll see yet another surge of community college enrollments, since state institutions lack the capacity to grow that much that quickly.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

A Sitcom about Community Colleges?

Dean Dad, among other things in this post, alerts us to an upcoming NBC sitcom about community colleges (starring Chevy Chase... an odd choice). What do you think? Likely to help or hurt our cause?

Monday, May 18, 2009

Summer 2009 and ELI's Booming

The summer 2009 term starts today--and it's exciting to see that we are currently 15% larger than this time last summer. Students are coming to us for the convenience of online learning, for the excellent support we offer through our student services staff, and of course, for the engaging instruction they get from ELI faculty in outstanding courses designed through your partnerships with our instructional designers.

Keep up all your good work, and please don't hesitate to let me know when you have a great idea for making ELI even better.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

NOVA's Social Networking Sites

I've just finished writing some posts for ELIfe, our student blog, about NOVA's various social networking/web 2.0 presences--our Facebook and MySpace pages, NOVA on Twitter, and NOVA on iTunes U. We're also on LinkedIn, and we have a YouTube channel. Check them all out here (bottom of the page).

Do you know about these things? Have you heard any of your students mention them? Take a look at them--what uses can you see for your own teaching? (For example, in iTunes U, there's an 8-minute video Lori made interviewing a successful ELI student about her strategies for success; would it be helpful for your students to watch that video?) What ideas do you have for other things ELI, or the college, should develop for sharing on these sites?

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Blackboard acquiring Angel

Just received notice of this press release announcing that Blackboard is acquiring Angel, another course management system. I'm not familiar with Angel's interface--for those of you who are, how would you expect this to possibly change Blackboard?

I think the most interesting point in the press release is the discussion of the fact that one of Angel's strengths was that it was client-focused and customer-service-oriented. According to the press release, Blackboard intends to build this strength of Angel's into the new Blackboard organization. It will be very interesting to see whether they follow through with this, and how--and whether we see a difference in how well new versions of Blackboard meet our needs as instructors and course designers as a result.