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Opportunities Next Week
- The Blackboard Feature of the
"The Roses of Success
- Teaching with Technology:
"Online vs. In-person; and, Online
Tech Talk Topic:
"How to Embed a YouTube Video in PowerPoint
- For more, see
podcast notes page for Episode
Technology & Download News Briefs
Apple's long gestating Leopard sprung from its cage
on October 26, unfortunately
many users are reporting serious installation
problems, including an ironic blue-screen-of-death.
reported a firewall problem that disables
firewalls and by default leaves it off on Leopard
installs. It is getting some
bad reviews from some important people. Problems were spotty, you might say.
Click here for a guided tour of the updated Mac
Apple has also announced a limit of 2 iPhones per
person, and will no longer accept cash sales of the
phone at all outlets (to curtail resellers). (Podcasting
Battle of the 411 services. Ars Technica
a subjective review of the two major compeint
411 services, Google's service, called "GOOG 411"
(1-800-GOOG-411) and Microsoft's LiveSearch411
(1-800-Call-411). The clear winner?
Microsoft. It has features like remembering
your previous search and sharing results with
others, though the reviewer also noted some bugs.
Shell oil is the first gas-chain in the US to
initiate biometric payment systems at the pump.
Ten Chicago stations are piloting a
pay-by-fingerprint system where customer
fingerprints (entered at stores or via online with
the proper hardware) are tied directly to banking
accounts. So far, so good.
Click here for the engadget story.
domestication of YouTube is now complete.
an official YouTube channel. Want to hear
her YouTube greeting?
Microsoft will be giving away business search
software. "Starting next year, the company
plans to give away a new product, dubbed Microsoft
Search Server 2008 Express, which enables workers to
see a collection of search results spanning
databases, internal computer systems, and the
Internet. In addition to the free product, Microsoft
plans a paid version that is essentially the same,
but is licensed to run on more than one physical
server. Microsoft said it will announce pricing for
that product closer to its launch next year" (CNet).
will have to wait until the latter half of 2008 for
your GPhone. No, Google is not getting into
the hardware business--at least, not yet. They
have left that to the established hardware
marketers. They are developing "Android," a
mobile phone software "stack" that provides phone
services--and serves as an entre to Google mobile
advertising--for mobile phones.
Click here for the details.
What's your nominee for the invention of the year?
Don't bother answering. Time magazine will
tell you. It's the iPhone.
Click here for the Time story. (Someone
should really explain to them the difference between
inventions and products).
Humans grow bored with robots quickly. Until
now. UCSD researchers have discovered that
giving a robot a sense of touch will keep it
interesting to humans. A robot named QRIO was
given a crude sense of touch (it giggles when
children touch it). This radically increased
its acceptance level and human sympathy among
toddlers and adults alike.
Click here for the story.
Featured Safari Tech Book Online:
Microsoft® Office PowerPoint® 2007 Complete Makeover
Kit, by Geetesh Bajaj and Echo Swinford. "This
book is very, very different from the competition
solely because no other book of this sort exists
today. Most PowerPoint books are theory related with
little or no practical content in a workbook and
examples type of workflow that this book will
provide. Also, new PowerPoint 2007 effects and fills
make it possible to create very appealing makeovers
in little time - this is a hitherto unexplored
horizon for PowerPoint books."
Palomar maintains a subscription to Tech Books
Online, and the books can be accessed from any
computer on the campus network.
Contact the library for information about off-campus
- Academic Technology Training
- Elluminate Training
- Elluminate is our new econferencing system.
There are many excellent training resources
available through the
Elluminate training center. Live,
instructor led training seminars--conducted through
the Elluminate interface--occur regularly and
may be scheduled through their web site.
- @ONE Training
Feature of the Week - David Gray
The Roses of Success!
Up from the ashes of disaster grow the roses of
success! Now, even if you don’t have a disaster, you
can still analyze information from your Blackboard
course and cultivate improvements for the future.
Back a couple weeks ago I spoke on Course
Statistics, which can allow an instructor to see
what content areas of your course students are going
to. Looking at this data can help you plan any site
re-designs, if you want to move your content around
to streamline student access. However, there is some
additional statistical data you can find, that can
help to streamline your online tests.
First, let me remind everyone that Blackboard
supports tests and surveys, which work quite
similarly. Surveys are, functionally, anonymous
tests with no points assigned to them. The only
results you can see from surveys are aggregate
results, such as “20% of students answered ‘A’ to
question three.” With tests, obviously, you can tell
how each student answered each question. Sometimes
it can be useful to see some aggregate figures on
how tests were answered though, and Blackboard does
offer up that information.
Once students have taken a Blackboard test, the
instructor can go into the Gradebook, click the
column name for that test entry in the Gradebook,
and select the link that says Assessment Attempt
Details. The next page you see will contain a
statistical breakdown of how students answered each
question from the test. Clearly the results from
some questions are simpler than others; true/false
or multiple choice questions can tell you exactly
how the percentage breakdown of answers worked out.
However, even the more free-form question types,
like fill-in-the-blank questions, also show all
answers given. In fact, with fill-in-the-blank
questions, this can be an essential tool in
examining what answers were marked wrong, so that
you can decide if you want to list any of those
answers as correct before using the test in a future
semester. Hopefully all this data can aid in
evaluating the effectiveness of the questions in
Teaching with Technology -
Dr. Haydn Davis
In-Person; and Online Instructor Burnout
In this Teaching with Technology segment I
want to discuss two research studies. The first compares an
online and on-campus Biology class. The second discusses
online instructor burnout.
While CCCs do not distinguish, on a
transcript, between classes taken online and those taken
on-campus, there is a question in the minds of some
educators regarding the equivalence of online and on-campus
courses. Dr. Roy Mason, from the Biology Department at Mt.
San Jacinto College, compared the performances of 142
students, 71 who took Biology 115 online and 71 who took the
same class on-campus. All the materials, assignments,
laboratory exercises, review articles, and tests were
exactly the same. The online students, however, did not ever
go to campus. The research question was: “whether on-line
courses can be considered equivalent, in terms of student
performance in meeting student learning outcomes, to similar
courses offered in an on-campus format.” The answer, with a
couple of caveats, was: When comparing 29 measures of
student performance associated with student learning
outcomes, this study supports the practice of treating
on-line and on-campus course as equivalent.”
This finding will be particularly
interesting to those who support an online degree program -
if indeed an online laboratory science class can be
developed that is equivalent to an on-campus laboratory
The second report examines the issue of
burnout among online instructors. This research studied
rates of job burnout among online instructors and compared
the rates to non-online instructors. Job burnout was defined
as (a) emotional exhaustion, (b) depersonalization (an
impersonal response toward students), and (c) a reduced
sense of personal accomplishment. Surprisingly, the report
stated that the research on job burnout among higher
education faculty is rather meager; this might be the first
systematic examination of online instructor burnout. Two
established burnout inventories were used, both self-report
measures. The data produced scores in three subscales:
emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and personal
accomplishment. As with all survey research, one must be
cautious in generalizing the results. Analysis of the data
revealed that “online instructors had an average score on
the emotional exhaustion subscale, high degree of
depersonalization, and low degree of personal
accomplishment.” So, according to this study, online
instructors are at a higher risk for burnout than on-campus
instructors. The authors offer advice for reducing burnout
and here is where Palomar is, I think, in pretty good shape.
The authors suggest six factors that will reduce burnout.
- Consult with online faculty on
matters directly impacting their learning environment
(i.e. curriculum development)
- Provide adequate resources to support
online instructors (i.e. technology support resources)
- Provide detailed job descriptions and
faculty expectations to reduce role ambiguity
- Create and maintain clear lines of
communication between online faculty and administrators
by providing performance feedback
- Facilitate professional development
- Reduce teaching load and number of
students per online coursePalomar scores well on most of
Tech-Talk-Topic - Shay
How to Embed a
YouTube Video in a PowerPoint 2007 Slide
Shay has illustrated this procedure with a
Click here for the
an index of previous "Tech
Talk Topics" segments.
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