Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Opportunities for E-learning Scholarship

E-learning faculty and scholars interested in combining their teaching and scholarship may be interested in this site:

This website from my home institution, The University of Illinois Springfield, contains calls for papers and presentations on e-learning. Especially for junior faculty, and those just starting to teach online, this blog presents a clear and easy starting point for examining opportunities to present and publish all the work you have done to make your online classroom successful.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Don't Try This At Home

Infinite Solutions - Tutorials for things you want that don't exist.

Do not try anything on this website. I am not sure you should even trust anything written on this website. This site is for those with a very dry, and somewhat tech, sense of humor. Fans of the late Andy Kaufman will find it hilarious.

They have a tutorial page - none of the tutorials work, but they look like they do. Send this link to your friends and tell them to get Google Beta TV. Do this only if you wish to anger your friend.

If you watch the New York City Travel Video - please do not take their advice for cab fares. Even better, their theater district segment features the New York City Theater Arts Commissioner's Center. There is no such thing, but the website exists ...

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

MIT OpenCourseWare

"MIT OpenCourseWare (OCW) is a web-based publication of virtually all MIT course content. OCW is open and available to the world and is a permanent MIT activity."

This site contains course syllabi, lecture notes, and assessment materials.

A great source for for self-directed learners and faculty looking for ideas on course content.

Unfortunately, MIT grants no credit for individual learners using this site.

Fortunately, both undergraduate and graduate level UIS Liberal and Integrative studies students can use this material as a reference for formulating independent studies.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Digital Humanities Project

I know it is that time of year when you have so much time you were wondering if there were any grants for your online education project. Look no further. The National Endowment for the Humanities Office of Digital Humanities has a long list of institutional and individual grants they offer for humanities projects utilizing digital technology.

For example: (Institutional)

At my home institution, The University of Illinois at Springfield, the faculty senate is considering a resolution to Create a Temporary UIS Center for Online Learning, Research, and Services (COLRS). If the senate approves the measure it looks like the ODH may support such projects.

"Digital Humanities Challenge Grants—This program can help endow digital humanities centers and provide long-term support to humanities projects" (ODH website).

For Example: (Individual)

Faculty wishing to work with Digital Humanities Centers across a range of projects may be interested in the following.

"Fellowships at Digital Humanities Centers—This program supports collaboration between individual scholars and digital humanities centers. Grants fund both the fellow and the center for periods of six to twelve months. The intellectual cooperation between visiting scholar and center may take many different forms and may involve humanities scholars of any level of digital expertise" (ODH website).

These are only two of the possible grants the NEH and ODH administer. There are at least 11 grants covering a variety of approaches to digital technology and the humanities. Contact your campus development office if you are interested. They should be able to help you apply for such grants and take some of the pain out of the process.

Monday, September 15, 2008


Educause is an organization dedicated to integrating technology and learning. Educause reaches across the educational spectrum and includes programs for administrators, faculty, and technologists (OK, I made up that term, but it seems appropriate for the vast array of those directly working directly with technology on campus.) From time to time, I will post items of potential interest from Educause. Today it is:

Educause Midwest Regional Conference, Chicago Illinois, March 23-25, 2009.

The conference is accepting presentation proposals until October 6, 2008.

The conference is broken down into 5 general topics (Taken verbatim from Educause's website)

  1. Managing Enterprise Resources: Best Practices in Architecture and Implementation
  2. IT Service Management Models in Higher Education
  3. Emerging Practices: The Intersection of Teaching, Learning, and Technology
  4. Building Information Services Together: Emerging Practices for Library and IT Collaborations to Advance Institutional Mission
  5. Corporate and Campus Solutions

For faculty interested in presenting on "Emerging Practices: The Intersection of Teaching, Learning, and Technology" the following list provides a range of possible presentation topics:

  • Pedagogy, strategies, and practices for online teaching and learning
  • Faculty and student engagement
  • Course management systems/learning management systems
  • E-portfolios
  • Instructional delivery models for blended/hybrid courses and self-paced, on-demand courses
  • Integration of multimedia, learning objects, and reusable learning material
  • Learning space design, development, and operation
  • Virtual communities and other collaborative models
  • Digital assets, digital rights, and copyright
  • Assessing teaching and learning
  • Leveraging existing enterprise services for innovation
  • Strategic and consistent campus-wide faculty adoption of technology-assisted core practices
  • Understanding what students want and need
  • Using social networking tools
(List quoted from Educause's website)

Monday, September 8, 2008

Connection Speed

If you are considering online learning, or simply curious, you can check your connection speed at

Click on the city you are closest to on the left to start the test.

The Download Speed is the rate at which you receive data from the web, e.g. downloading a reading or syllabus. The upload speed is how fast you post things onto the web, e.g. posting on discussion boards, posting videos, and class assignments. Anything over 3mbs (3,000 kbs) is more than enough for online learning. Anything under 700 kbs may be too slow.

This is a helpful diagnostic test if you are having trouble with your online course. A very slow connection indicates that the trouble is with your connection to the internet and not your computer or the university server.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Library of Congress

Here is something that may help those with a research question. It is possible to use the Library of Congress website to ask a librarian reference questions at

Given that it takes 5 days for a response, you may wish to check their faq page for researchers first at