Thursday, March 26, 2009

TRI-IT Spring 2009 @ Elon

BFW and I attended a one-day (free!) informal information sharing opportunity for Triangle and Triad instructional technology people - instructors, programmers, web designers, librarians all under one roof. It was good opportunity to meet with a mix of people with varied backgrounds and skills; in fact I was surprised to learn that many of the non-librarians had MLIS/MSIS degrees!
I attended sessions on blogging, podcasting, interactive instructional multimedia and freeware and open source. A couple of highlights:
  • Learned how Elon Law School is incorporating podcasting for law professors (Christie Dickerman). They use a service that allows professors to record podcasts over the phone. Dickerman then edits the "voice recordings" as 18-20 minute long podcasts. (Longer podcasts are too big for BB to handle.) Students can listen to the podcasts - mini snippets of their class lecture on Blackboard or download them in itunes and listen to them on the go. Dickerman said that at first the students said it was "a little weird" but then it felt as though they were getting a one-on-one lessons with thier professor -- then, three years later they have to reapply the information on the bar exam, and can listen to it again for a refresher.
  • The interactive instructional multimedia presentation made me realize just how far instructional technology has come in such a short amount of time and also just how behind the library is. UNC teaching and learning center showed us some of the dynamic online courses they have prepared for some schools on campus. These were large-scale collaborative projects that demanded the skills of many different people on many different projects -- programmers, web design, graphic design, writers, producers, etc -- to have an end product. For example -- some online videos class modules for the nursing school took two days for video production but 5-6 weeks to edit with the team. (That was a short range project!) On the other hand it took two years to create 9 web-based class module courses. (A free demo is available to view here.) The shortest was 1 hour of narrated animation but that is without the quizzes; In total there was 800 hours of narration, (831 files) completed. All of the modules were interactive -- drag 'n drop, fill in blank, multiple choice.
Sidenote: Wake Forest ZSR has a reward scheme built into their Professional Development blog. People who attend conferences (etc.) and post on their PD blog get more funding; those that don't post on their blog get less funding. hmmm.

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