Illinois Interinstitutional Faculty Summer Institute on Learning Technologies

Summer Faculty Institute Report

Everyone who attended the Institute from Northeastern felt that it was extremely useful and interesting. Attending the conference certainly caused all of us to evaluate the potential of incorporating technology into our courses and departments. Everyone felt all the morning sessions were informative and useful. Several of our faculty found the afternoon sessions less than satisfactory regarding materials covered and focus. Overall, everyone walked away with a positive outlook and enthusiastic about the future.

A concern heavily emphasized throughout the conference was access and communication. Our group attending the institute will stay together and attempt to assist the university in the development and implementation of these technologies at NEIU. In an attempt to build a university wide support group, other interested faculty will be solicited to participate.

Included at the end are comments generated by the group. The following are collective comments responding to nine questions posed from the institute.

These are specific to NEIU:

Infrastructure and Support

What discussions can be initiated to ensure that the campus network is adequate?

What is needed in technical support at the campus level?

What is needed in hardware at the campus level? Department level?

  • technical support needs to have higher visibility and accessibility
  • need to better communicate with each other (faculty) what is available for us to use, what common problems are we encountering
  • need to create/maintain Web page, newsgroup, faq and discussion list (on going web conference) as source of information for faculty/students
  • Dir. of Univ. computing needs to involve faculty in development and planning to better facilitate educational uses of technology and campus network
  • 24 hour access for students to allow increased access to alleviate problems
  • institutional support (from administration) is needed and necessary for these technologies to reach their potential
  • very few faculty have expertise needed for doing a good job in creating course materials and need assistance not training
  • restrictions are too rigid on purchases of software and hardware, support doesnāt exist. Software and hardware restrictions by Univ. computing limit choices faculty have in development of materials
  • needs to be a vehicle for departments without an equipment line to acquire appropriate funds

Incentives and Rewards

How can the use of technology in teaching be integrated in the promotion?

What new or expanded measures of faculty workload are needed?

What kind of instructional support teams are needed to make networked courses effective?

  • clear that giving faculty 3 CUās to develop materials is not the answer and results in resentment, faculty end up doing more work for less, in the long run no one benefits
  • felt that the administration needs to provide more support in terms of
    • equipment for development
    • release from teaching (60%)
  • need to fit development of instructional materials and courses as part of retention and tenure, to date many departments do not recognize this type of activity, this needs to come from administration
  • develop Web pages, faqs and a wider range of sources available for faculty

Training and Development

What is needed in terms of training for faculty?

What is needed in terms of training for students?

What is needed in terms of training for teaching assistants?

  • need training/assistance in using other than "sanctioned software"
  • need to look at an institution wide, standardized computer literacy course/requirement for students during their first semester
  • better understanding of what computer literacy requirements are now, who is responsible for what component
  • very few faculty have expertise needed for doing a good job in creating course materials
    • may need more assistance in the development and integration and not necessarily training, faculty will learn as process proceeds
  • we need to rethink and evaluate how we now train faculty and students
    • are we preparing ourselves for students entering university who will be better versed and more knowledgeable in technology than faculty, students in high school are already using PowerPoint in presentation
  • not clear that there is evidence of a commitment by univdrsity in providing hardware, software, training for faculty/students and support, support in this dcase means someone to call for answers to questions, provide technical assistance, etc.