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Joel Galbraith

Thanks for sharing the presentation...even if it was without Alan this time. It's an interesting approach to pro-actively tell faculty what they might be interested in using. I've heard some ETS-is-all-about-technology-cart-before-the-learning-horse grumblings, but I like how ETS is indeed taking a LEADERSHIP role in this and not just asking faculty how ETS might better serve and support them and their students. I also like the concept of the "engagement projects" that you outline--essentially faculty focus groups. We had similar groups at my last institution, but the groups ended up being too large and unwieldy to net much productivity.

Perhaps missing in your model (as I recall) was a strong evaluation component. The prescribed technologies and services should ultimately be promoting increased learning, or efficiencies in learning. You mention a couple times (in this presentation and others) the server stats/page views feedback. This can be tremendously useful info, but doesn't necessarily translate into what we hope the end effect is.

I'm convinced true web20 innovations and practices can promote learning and that it IS happening at PSU. Collecting and sharing some of that info can be challenging, but could help quell some of the tail-wagging-the-dog grumblings (and now I'll stop with the smilies and aphorisms).
-Joel G.

Cole Camplese

Joel ... thanks for the comments. The idea of ETS putting technology first is one that I hear sometimes, but I have to say our primary responsibility is to provide innovative solutions that faculty can use to change what they do in and out of the classroom. We build tools and opportunities to engage faculty -- we can help them think about what they are doing, but currently it is really up to them on the implementation side. Unlike other parts of the University we try to build platforms and opportunities -- not total packages. We are working right now to find new ways to leverage the investment we've made in these platforms -- I have a strong feeling you will see some new approaches from us very soon.

Assessment is a whole other beast. We do have a strong assessment presence. We have a staff dedicated to looking at what we do both before we attack it and after we build it. I agree it should be more obvious in the model and I'll have to find a way to integrate it. We rarely make a decision to move forward until we've either done the research ourselves or leaned on someone else. Go back and take a look at the Engagement Process and notice all the assessment check points along the way -- it is what keeps us from truly putting the cart before the horse.

At the end of the day what we are looking for are faculty who want to do great things with technology in the design of their learning environments. So far we've been able to help quite a few people rethink some of their designs. The goal is to get better at it and to focus on sharing those examples. Thanks again for the comments!

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