Presentation on theme: "Florida International University"— Presentation transcript:
1 Florida International University Communication Through Technology: Innovative Approaches to Creating CommunityFlorida International UniversityAJ CostaArianna AgramonteHeidi RichardsTara Warshaw
2 Students And Technology While technology has changed the face of higher education through time, the desire of college administrators has remained constant. Our passion to provide students with the tools to develop as holistic, educated, and prepared individuals is what drives us to make a commitment to the evolving college learner. College students from the early 1900’s to today’s students all possess a common thread: the desire to succeed. Times have changed, but the zeal of students pursuing a higher education has withstood the test of time. Students of each generation thrive through the constant morphing environment of technological advancements, while faculty and administrators may feel ambushed by these changes. Recent trends have exhibited an increase in the use of technology among students as well as greater expectations that university staff be well versed in the use of interactive technologies. This progressive technology continuously alters our lines of communication with university students. Since our finest moments of connection are when we successfully communicate with our students it becomes our charge to familiarize ourselves with these technologies.
3 Learning OutcomesUnderstand how technological advances in higher education institutions have the ability to both increase and decrease student contact with the universityExamine the benefits and challenges of five technological points of interest affecting higher education today:PortalsOnline Presentation of Course MaterialsBlogsInstitutional SpamCellular TechnologyDiscuss suggestions for implementation at our university
4 Assessing Your Technological Awareness We will begin by taking a few moments to complete a pre-assessment about technological issues.This will provide a measure for you to gauge current awareness of technology in higher education and present an overview of information to be covered today.Please mark either true or false for each question.Once you are finished with the Pre-Assessment Test we will begin with our examination of Portals.
6 (Eisler, Mehaffy & Gilbert, 2000) Portals“An emerging phenomenon that promises to revolutionize the ways universities can communicate and create community”(Eisler, Mehaffy & Gilbert, 2000)University portals are an extension of an institution’s online offering. Personalized portals, a growing annex of the more traditional and basic portal, allows student population to personalize their own university pages with specific news feeds from departments, class schedules, institutional updates, and much more.
7 ImportancePersonalized portals allow students to organize many facets of their collegiate career in a central location. From paying campus bills, to accessing course schedules, to communicating with student organizations, students are able to feel as though the majority of their responsibilities can be contained and monitored in one place.The portals also provide a sense of mattering for students because of their ability to alter their page to fit their own personal needs. According to Schlossberg’s theory of marginality and mattering, students flourish when provided with an environment that gives them a feeling of identity.With current students able to communicate through their portals, universities are given the opportunity to adapt their main website to act as a recruitment and information tool. This site would then act as a navigation piece for those interested in the wide variety of offices, academic opportunities, areas of growth, and programs that the university has to offer.
8 An example of a university portal An example of a university portal. This portal allows for students to personalize their “homepage” and receive information from chosen university departments.
9 Benefits Issues From the student perspective: A single place to access information and communicate with Student Affairs and Academic DepartmentsA standard set of tools (like web-based and calendar access)Global access to their informationAbility to personalize andcustomize portal pagesOffer distance learningEngage and build communityamong studentsFrom the university perspective:Life-long connection to the universityAttract new students to the universityStandardization of web servicesPromotion of data sharing among departmentsEnhance/promote university imageImprove administrative efficiencyIssuesA more informal presentation of the universityRequires a front loaded investment by the institutionCould dramatically decrease the usage of the main university websiteIdentity theft was at one time a concern, however universities are altering their portals to encourage the use of usernames and passwords for login purposes rather than social security numbers and other identifying information
10 Suggestions for Implementation When initiating a program designed for access by certain groups (e.g. faculty, students, administration, etc.) it is important to understand the needs of the targeted groups at the start of conceptualization.Focus groups and surveys should be used in a mixed methods approach to students’ needs assessment.Our suggestion is to approach University Technology Services to design the portal.Students and staff should be provided with step-by-step online instructions to ease use of the Portal, including tutorials and open programs at multiple places, days, and times on campus.
11 Online Course Materials “The real community of man ... is the community of those who seek the truth, of the potential knowers.”(Allan Bloom, 1987)E-learning is an inclusive set of instructional resources accessible over the internet. A variety of tools are available, including audio and video files, threaded discussions, and and chat options.Need quote!!!
12 Some programs commonly used to facilitate e-learning: Blackboard and WebCTService that allows a teacher to host their own course while incorporating learning materials including word, audio and video presentation filesBlackboard has also become a campus “hub” for distance learning coursesRecently merged with Blackboard, WebCT provides group project organization, grade maintenance, and self-evaluation opportunitiesColts (Complete Online Teaching System) and E-EducationThese programs allow professors to create a classroom homepage with quizzes, exams, and the chance for instructor/student collaboration on the same documentMadDuck TechnologiesFaculty have the opportunity to create course syllabi, calendars, schedules, and lessonsMadDuck also has a section to access inactive and archived coursesiTunes and other audio file sharing programsAudio and visual recordings of lectures can be made available to students who have access to these programs
13 An example from WebCT:Students have their assignments outlined and can submit them on the appropriate due date.
14 ImportanceOnline classroom materials allow students to work on coursework and attend class regularly. They also provide students with a way to access course information and manage assignments in an individualized format. Bulletin board posts allow students to communicate with each other and the professor, forming an academically involved community.Tinto says that, “membership in at least one college community is a minimum condition for persistence” in the university community and also cites access to academic communities and services as imperative for students staying in college. Even minimal involvement with these communities can help students recognize and utilize the support available.Availability of online course materials is necessary for higher education institutions to stay competitive with bringing in faculty as well as students. It also allows the university to better serve its commuter and long-distance learners. Thus, allowing for greater retention of non-traditional students.
15 Benefits Issues From the student perspective: Recorded video or audio files, called podcasts, allow students to access class lectures on their own scheduleThose who are quiet in class demonstrate increased involvement onlineProvision of written record for further study is available for future useThreaded discussions urge students to read and write each other’s ideas which develop critical thinking and writing skillsFrom the university perspective:Be more competitive with other universitiesAllow faculty to view class materials from any locationLower costs associated with paper wastePodcasts and online materials allow cost-effective provision of services to students with disabilitiesIssuesThe lack of technical skills and time among faculty to convert courses into online formatNot all student have access to computers due to the digital divide between the rich and the poor, the north and the southThe argument that online courses are impersonal and do not facilitate student developmentLack of visual cues such as nonverbal communication present in the classroom
16 Suggestions for Implementation Administrators should:Research various types of online learning communities in order to select the best program for the university’s needsImplement usage guidelines for student organizations, faculty, and staffProvide training for students and all instructors to utilize the program effectivelyInstructors should:Participate in the online community through feedback and commentsRequire class participation through threaded discussionsProvide encouragement and appreciation online
17 Blogs“Education is a kind of continuing dialogue, and a dialogue assumes… different points of view.”(Robert M Hutchins, 1952)Weblogs, or blogs, began as an online journal to express personal thoughts and opinions. Quickly they evolved to include information about the news or other topics of interest. Once a blog is created informational text, hyperlinks, pictures, and audio segments can be added. Visitors can post to these blogs creating an online community.One would think that if you're anonymous, you'd do anything you want, but groups have their own sense of community and what we can do.John Allen,
18 ImportanceOn personal blogs students can share university experiences for their friends and family to read. In the classroom they give students an opportunity to share practical knowledge. More importantly reading and interacting with blogs at home helps students reflect on material outside the classroom.Such active discussion enhances cognitive development. Perry states that throughout their college careers students progress through several stages of cognitive development. Blogs can help facilitate this development by creating a forum for introduction of diverse thoughts. Such conversation helps students move from dualism to appreciating the value of multiple perspectives.There are several levels of importance for the university:Student and faculty personal blogs provide insight into everyday campus experiences. Prospective students can use blogs to research the university which provides candid-free publicity.Blogs among faculty and administrators create a supportive resource community to share best practices and current progress with their research.Blogs promote active engagement in class material and afford instructors an opportunity to track student progress in an informal way.
19 One student has used this blog to share his thoughts on a sporting event with another university. You can see there are two comments where other students have responded to his post. Another option is to write a “Kudos” expressing agreement with what the writer has posted.
20 Benefits Issues From the student perspective: Connect with distant friends and familyBuild relationships with classmatesReceive coursework assistance from classmatesAffordable forum for creative and intellectual expressionFrom the university perspective:Increased student participation in course contentDaily reflection for instructors and administrators on best practices for the universityResearch can be published on a blog to multiple audiences of various sizes and levels of interestLittle technical knowledge is requiredIssuesContent of blogs is unpredictable and potentially offensive or threateningReputations of institutions can be damaged by uncensored comments by students, faculty, and staffFaculty, administrators, and presidents have lost their positions due to their own personal blogs as well the blogs of the community they serveIt can be difficult to use effectively in the classroom.
21 Suggestions for Implementation Administrators shouldDetermine institutional guidelines for the use of blogsDesign how the university will respond to student and faculty conduct on blogsProvide educational training to students and faculty on the use and dangers of personal blogsDiscover what blog program fits the needs of the students, administration, and faculty. Some possible options for free educational blogging are: tBlog; Blogger; BlogEasy; and MyBlogSite.Instructors shouldDecide the specific purpose of the blog for their classDetermin who will be the author of the blog (professor, entire class, etc)Give structure to the blog assignmentsDecide if the blog will be made public or by invitation onlyTeach students blog etiquetteAdapt the blog as needed
22 Institutional Spam “Gentlemen do not read each other’s mail.” (Stimson and McGeorge Bundy, 1948)Messages sent to students via to alert them of important information pertaining to the university. This can include billing, school closing and other important information, at the discretion of the university and dependent upon university policy regarding dissemination of such information.
23 ImportanceInstitutional spam provides students with an easy way to find out what is happening on their campus. They can receive information and news about their university, residence hall, and student organizations.By providing students with as much information as possible about what is happening on campus, we give them the option of sifting through it to find the bits that are important to them. This will facilitate students’ ability to find communities to belong in. Chickering identifies this as a positive environmental influence, as it facilitates development through the seven vectors of psychosocial development.As university communities grow, it is necessary to find more financially viable ways to disseminate information to everyone. Institutional spam allows the university to reach a broad audience of community members at extremely low cost.
24 Our university labels institutional spam as University Announcements in the subject line of the . Quantity of messages sent is controlled by providing links to each announcement in one easy to manage . Every person a part of the university receives these messages every business day.
25 BenefitsFrom the student perspective:Present information in a way that technology savvy students can easily accessCan keep abreast of university events and situationsFrom the university perspective:Low-cost communicationDecrease in paper waste caused by regular mailingsNear instant mechanism for getting news to the university communityIssuesStudents receive a lot of every day. s may get lost in the midst of other items in students’ inboxes, or if mass s are used too frequently students may underestimate the importance of the message.In 2004, the federal Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing (CAN-SPAM) act went into effect. This act set requirements for commercial use of mass s. s advertising sporting events, cultural/arts performances, publications, etc may need to heed the regulations in CAN-SPAM, as they support commercial “products” or “services” offered by the university. (University of California site)
26 Suggestions for Implementation Develop an appropriate use policy to dictate correct use of lists - see University of Wisconsin and University of California policies for suggestions.Discuss how to limit who is able to use the lists. Some universities have password or position requirements that restrict who is able to post to lists.Make certain all faculty/staff are aware of these policies, including confidentiality and decorum considerations.
27 Cellular Technology"Communicating with students on a regular basis has become a challenge, and schools are looking for ways to address that issue as well as safety."(Patricia Scott, 2006)A mobile or cellular telephone is a portable electronic device designed for long distance communication. Current phones have a variety of functions including text messaging, watching television, games and music, receiving information from news and entertainment sources, calculations for simple math, photographic capabilities, audio and visual recording, and tracking appointments and tasks.
28 ImportanceCellular phones are a popular form of communication for college students. Students want instant information. Cell phone communication helps students feel connected to both academic and student affairs departments. One university even sends an acceptance response to students via text message. “Text messaging is really popular with my friends. So the fact that a college would do that is really cool.”Going to college is a transition, defined by Schlossberg as “any event, or non-event, that results in changed relationships, routines, assumptions, and roles.” Receiving important information from their university in a familiar method can make transition easier.Supporting students through transition increases retention rates. Administrators and faculty have an effective way to communicate with their students. Important messages can be relayed in a timely manner such as campus activities and programs.
29 Benefits Issues From the student perspective: Students are constantly connected to staff and each otherInstant communication from the universityPrepare for a mobile work forceStay in touch with friends and familyUse internet enable phones to conduct researchMaintain time commitments and appointmentsFrom the university perspective: Improve communication with the studentsRemoving land lines from the residence halls is cost effectiveInstant messages such as school closures can be relayed to students effectivelyAn addition of an emergency phone on the cell phone can increase overall campus safetyRemain competitive with technological savvy institutionsIssuesInternet enabled cell phones and text messaging is a new source for academic dishonesty on coursework and examinations.Since it is difficult to truly erase the memory of a cell phone, there is a concern that private information is unprotected.Students may become annoyed by unsolicited cellular advertising, SPIM.Cell phones ringing in class can be a distraction to faculty and peers.
30 Suggestions for Implementation Administrators should:Define what information can be sent through a text messageDetermine who will be in charge of monitoring internal communicationReceive permission from the students to send them mass messages in order to avoid the legal issues of SPIMConsider the inclusion of cell phones in tuition or contact a cell phone provider to create a student planInstructors should:Explicitly state their disciplinary policy for receiving or answering cell phone calls or text messages during classTeach their students about academic dishonestly, and how it relates to cell phone usage
31 Review of Pre-TestLet’s take a quick look back at our Pre- Test from the beginning of the presentation and see how much you have learned.The correct responses to each section are available on Handout 2. An overview of the information has been provided on Handout 3.We will answer any questions you may have and hope this presentation has been beneficial to understanding the college students we are working with today.
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