Chapter 2 Title:
715 Stadium Drive
San Antonio, TX 78212-7200
Robert E. Jensen is the Jesse H. Jones Distinguished Professor at Trinity University. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org
Petrea K. Sandlin is the Director of Accounting Programs at Trinity University. Her email address is email@example.com
Professors Jensen and Sandlin encourage readers to make comments and suggestions via email or letters.
While big research universities have more resources to invest in information technology, that doesn't mean that smaller liberal arts institutions aren't making strides in using technology to enhance the learning environment. In 1996, Grace Johnson-Page (Assistant Professor of Management and Accounting, Marietta College, Marietta, Ohio) took sabbatical leave to identify and interview a collection of liberal arts college faculty using information technology in the hopes that their stories would "inform and ignite a spark in those faculty interested in using computers but not sure how or where to begin." She shares what she discovered in her conversations and formal interviews with over 125 people at 26 colleges and universities in "Rethinking Teaching and Learning: A Reformation of Liberal Arts Education With Information Technology." Her report includes examples of specific projects and techniques that administrators, faculty, and librarians are using to adopt and adapt information technology on their campuses. Johnson-Page's report and all the interviews are available on the Web athttp://www.marietta.edu/~johnsong/reform/
Note: By clicking here, her Page (Document) will appear in a new browser window.
Is the teacher a leader in the classroom or is the teacher a resource in the classroom? Is the computer the embodiment of the curriculum or is the computer a supplement to the curriculum? Are we using the computer to promote one-to-one individualized education or are we using the computer to implement increased interaction between two students, four students, twelve students, the entire class? These are all absolutely legitimate questions and, unfortunately, we get a range of absolutely legitimate answers to those legitimate questions.
"Technology, Silver Bullets, and Big Lies,
Educom Review, January/February 1998, p. 33
Our point is that technology has changed the way we consider content. In a 14th century university classroom, a manuscript of Rhetoric was likely the exclusive source of information. That was a constraint imposed by the technology. Today, we can download Rhetoric in seconds, but we can also download related texts, commentaries, research studies, historical perspectives, ad infinitum. We can scan these texts with the eye of a computer, discovering patterns, linking them to allied texts, offering multiple dimensions of textual analysis.
Martin Ryder and Brent Wilson, February 1996 http://www.cudenver.edu/~mryder/aect_96.html
Judging from the course evaluations, these teachers want to get started with multimedia right away. They've seen how computers work, and had their first look at what multimedia can do. Now they're ready for the sequel. Bamforth (1993)
Clearly, the potential savings inherent in transforming the existing labor-intensive system are enormous. Yet, there are attitudinal barriers that must be overcome before this transformation can take place. . . . The first of these pertains to teachers themselves. Measelle and Egol (1994, p. 8)
Information technologies, over time, have the power to transform completely instructional methodologies . . . Much more than reading and writing is required of the educated person in the modern information era. Noblett (1995, p. 28)
Alas, however, much of what passes for multimedia isn't worth
stuffing into your computer, and it can be hard to tell from the boxes (in
stores). Mossberg (1994b, p. B1)
This Page (Document) is a somewhat personal account of why we ventured into computer-assisted learning (CAL), what we discovered, and where we made and overcame some mistakes. Most importantly, our purposes herein are to provide educators with questions to ask and places to contact for more information regarding alternatives of today and tomorrow. What questions should educators raise when evaluating CAT (computer aided teaching), CAL (computer aided learning), and CMS (entire course or curriculum management system) aids provided by themselves, other educators, publishers, etc.? What pedagogical pitfalls should be avoided? What benefits might be gained both in teaching and research? We stress that learning technolgy is a research frontier since so much is happening in the way of change and so little is known on how to best utilize technological explosion of new networking and hypermedia alternatives. Relative to the first edition's Chapter 2, the revised Page (Document) gives greater attention to the World Wide Web (WWW). Readers are referred to Page (Document) 12 at http://www.trinity.edu/~rjensen for definitions of terms and acronyms used in this Page (Document) . It will really help if these readers first read Page (Document) 4 at that same web site.
Andy Carvin in The World Wide Web in Education: A Closer Look notes that the web has influenced education in the following ways (with excellent links to explore):
The World Wide Web (WWW or just web) is having the most significant impact on education and controversies in education. However, there are technology applications aside from the web, e.g., CD (ROM, RW, DVD) publishing, local area network (LAN) learning modules on campus networks, intranets, and other forms of storage and distribution of learning materials. One of the most significant elements of technology in education has been the "Wonders of Hypertext." Outlets for publishing have become inexpensive or even free. Forums can be found on may topics. There are many providers of resources on the WWW. As an example, students may find many sites of great help in learning about a topic and conducting research. For example, the Study Web at http://www.studyweb.com/ is one such web site.
Computer Aided Teaching (CAT) software is generally termed presentation software. Examples include Microsoft PowerPoint at http://www.microsoft.com and other packages listed under "Presentation software" in Page (Document) 12 at http://www.trinity.edu/~rjensen . Computer aided learning (CAL) software might also be used for CAT presentations. However, CAL packages are intended more for online course modules or entire courses. Examples of CAL software include Macromedia Authorware, Director, Asymetrix ToolBook Instructor, and other options discussed in Chapter 3 and under the definition for "Hypermedia" in Page (Document) 12 at http://www.trininity.edu/~rjensen .
Course management system (CMS) software is very sophisticated. Two examples of software having course management utilities (examination templates, grade books, calendars, etc.) are Macromedia Authorware at http://www .macromedia.com and ToolBook Instructor at http://www.asymetrix.com . Probably the most sophisticated software for managing entire sets of courses or virtual colleges is the ToolBook Librarian package for http://www.asymetrix.com . Librarian is a CMS package that can be used to manage entire sets of courses networked around the world on the WWW.
Date: Tue, 15 Jul 1997 22:51:25 -0500 (EST)
From: Barry Rice (RICE@LOYOLA.EDU)
Subject: McGraw-Hill World University
Comments: Accounting Education using Computers and Multimedia In the Summer 1997 issue of ACCOUNTING EDUCATION NEWS
Joe Schultz, the outgoing president of the AAA says in his President's Message that "Some of the directions for change are not clear for either practice or academe. For example, I believe that we in education now lag practice, especially in understanding the need it has for integrative business knowledge and effective use of technology."
I totally concur but, based on some of the things I am seeing on the Web, I would go a bit farther. I believe that we in college/u
niversity education now lag much of the education available in the corporate world. For example, do you know about McGraw-Hill World University? (http://www.mhwu.edu/mk/tour.html) According to their home page they are now offering associate degree programs in accounting and business management, continuing education and corporate training through the Web. Anybody want to take bets on how long it will be before they are accredited by something more than a distance education organization and are offering bachelor's degrees? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ E. Barry Rice, Director, PIC-AECM
Pacioli International Centre for Accounting Education using Computers and Multimedia
E-Mail: Rice@Loyola.edu (or) S-Mail: Loyola College in Maryland Pacioli@Loyola.edu
4501 North Charles Street
Baltimore, MD USA 21210-2699
My (Barry Rice) assertions: "The traditional classroom is a dinosaur and ought to die!"
"Paper books will not be replaced by CD-ROMs. The WWW/Information Highway will replace them!!" ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
In this Page (Document) we provide a revised and updated version of the topics discussed in Jensen and Sandlin (1992a). The Page (Document) focuses on the following areas:
(1) Link to the Introduction This
links to a brief introduction to Chapter 2.
(2) Advantages and disadvantages of email
messaging and paperless courses. One of the most popular ways of
using computers in education is for messaging via private email, ListServ
email, and electronic bulletin board media. One means of reducing paper
flow in a course is to use email both for making assignments and for
receiving completed assignments from students.
(3) Advantages and disadvantages of placing
student work on the Internet. Some educators are sharing all or
parts of each student's work on electronic bulletin boards or public WWW
Page (Document) s.
(4) Advantages and ways to avoid the
dangers of using synchronous CAT presentation lecture aids.
Early attention of educators is generally focused upon course presentation
software for computer aided teaching (CAT) which can be used in authoring
lecture aids. These lecture aids are termed "synchronous"
because they are typically intended for sequential presentations to
(5) Advantages and ways to avoid the
disadvantages of asynchronous CAL network learning modules and courses.
Probably the most important impact of technology in education commenced
with the invention of the World Wide Web (WWW) in 1990. Although some of
us were using campus networked learning materials prior to the WWW, the
WWW has led to an explosion of software (e.g., HTML converters/editors,
Adobe Acrobat, Java, Neuron, Shockwave, etc.) that enable instructors to
use the Internet and intranets in a way that puts education in an entirely
new realm. In particular, technical learning can take place in
asynchronous time (at different times for individual students, and at any
time of day), asynchronous paces (self-directed learning paces), and in
geographic locations virtually anywhere in the world. What makes CAL
(fishnet) networking a paradigm shift is the manner in which the duties of
an educator change from a "teacher" to a "learning
facilitator" in a fishnet of learning networks.
(6) Advantages and disadvantages of virtual
learning and MUD-type simulations . The latest trend on the WWW
has been advances in virtual learning as extensions of early applications
of virtual reality in training and entertainment. Multiple User Dimension
(MUD) types of interactive learning simulations are also discussed.
(7) Publisher supplements for CAT, CAL, and
CMS. This Page (Document) provides a detailed discussion of
questions that publishing companies and other vendors of CAL material
should be asked when educators are contemplating using those materials.
(7) Modern technologies versus antiquated
copyright laws This section provides and overview of the turmoil
and uncertainties of protecting intellectual property rights in this era
of digitization and networking.
(7) The Corporate University: New Versus Old Models of Higher EducationThis section examines the rising tide of distributed education by corporations.
(7) Personal conclusion by Professor Jensen
This is a closing of Chapter 2 that contains a personal statement of
Professor Jensen on these years of blood, sweat, and tears of
experimentation in learning technologies.
Probably the fastest growing technology in education is email (electronic mail) communication. The conveniences and cost savings are tremendous. Email suffers from its own success. The time and attention needed in attending to possibly hundreds of messages each week can be onerous. One subset of those messages may come from students if students are allowed to communicate with an instructor via email.
At one level, the student and instructor have "private" communications. These can be infrequent simple messages or they can replace virtually all paper flows to and from students.
At a second level, the instructor forms some type of electronic bulletin board for messaging. Students may or may not be allowed to also post messages. One drawback of bulletin boards is that students must be reminded to use them.
At a third level, the instructor forms a ListServ for each course. The ListServ is similar to a bulletin board except that messages are broadcast into each "subscriber's" private email message box. Students are generally required to subscribe and read the course messages. Students may send messages privately to the instructor or "publicly" to all other students on the ListServ.
At a fourth level, the instructor forms assignments and forums around email connections. Students may be linked to experts on given topics. Students may be linked to different cultures.
Both bulletin board and ListServ messaging in a course allow the instructor to easily (in one broadcast message) post assignments, make announcements, post clues, post entire answers, answer questions, and encourage student "discussions" without their having to schedule face-to-face meetings. Students can be in the middle of an assignment and post a message at any time of day on any day. Some faculty even require or provide other incentives (e.g., bonus points) for certain types of posted messages such as discussion items, answers to questions of other students, reports of web site discoveries, public ListServs, public bulletin boards, etc.
Although most reported experiences by educators using electronic mail in courses are purportedly positive, there are some "blood, sweat, and tears" anecdotes. For illustrative reports of accounting educators, see Page (Document) 4 at ( http://www.trinity.edu/~rjensen ).
There are many claimed advantages that have undoubtedly contributed to the exponential growth of course messaging.
The main advantages have been speed and convenience. Messages across the world take seconds instead of days or weeks. Having the correct address gives rise to a connection, whereas a correct telephone number gives no assurance that your party is available to answer the phone. A student need not trudge across campus or wait for office hours to contact a professor or another student. Another significant advantage is time shifting. Users are not rudely interrupted as they are when the telephone rings at inconvenient times. Users who receive messages can tend to email when it is convenient.
It is markedly easier and more timely to use email to clear up confusions about assignments and course content.
Valuable class time is not wasted on matters cleared up outside the class. Students contact each other or the instructor at times and places that are most convenient to them (e.g., when they are in the middle of working out an assignment in a computer lab or team project meeting).
Email communications are great sources for published FAQs and answers.
It is highly recommended that instructors commence to compile lists of Frequently Asked Questions that are published at course web sites. For example, see my Page (Document) 11 at my web site. These days, instructors and other students typically write answers in reply to student email questions during the semester. This is a great source of FAQs and answers. If the instructor thinks that both the question and the answer are of interest to present and future students, add this to the FAQ list for the course. Also, vendor technical support services will typically allow questions and answers to be published on an educator's web Page (Document) . It is also helpful to provide links to FAQs published by software and hardware vendors.
Instructors can communicate announcements without having to wait until the class meets.
This can be especially important if there are changes to be made in the syllabus or assignments. Instructors can parcel out clues to assignments on a timed schedule or in response to student inquiries. Also, this becomes a way of distributing answers or comments without having to use up class time. Discussion feedback can be more timely--such as the night after a case discussion rather than next week when details of the case discussion have faded in the minds of students and instructors.
Some students communicate more openly when they are not face-to-face with the instructor or in a classroom setting.
Some students communicate better by email messaging than they do in class or in oral communication settings. Also, there just is not enough time in many classes. The case method is very popular in higher education, especially in business education. When you add up the amount of time devoted to actual case discussion in class by the number of students, the average time allowed for each student may be shockingly small. For example, divide a 70 minute discussion time by 60 students and then make an adjustment for the time used up by the instructor and some dominant students. Perhaps the chance to "get a word in edgewise" may come in the form of the email messaging system before or after a case is discussed in class.
Email communications are "in writing" and can be easily filed and word searched.
For example, on a number of occasions we have used word searches because we remembered that a point was raised but we cannot remember which student sent the message or when it was sent.
Email messages can be printed and filed in a traditional manner.
Printing may be more convenient for grading. Instructors still like to make "red" comments on student work. Also, most instructors still prefer reading printed paper to glaring computer screens. Having students submit email assignments gives rise to all the advantages (electronic filing, word searches, easy email reply messages, etc.) without necessarily losing the traditional hard copy conveniences and traditions. Some assignments might be submitted by students in both email form (for storage and search purposes) and hard copy (to ease the eye strain of the instructor).
Word processor files, spreadsheet files, or other files can be appended to an email message and broadcast to all subscribers (students).
This saves on departmental costs of photocopying or printing some course materials. Actually, posting these files as web Page (Document) s has advantages over email due to graphics and the many other advantages of HTML or Adobe Acrobat web Page (Document) s which can be converted from word processor Page (Document) s. However, in cases where the institution provides email support but not web server support, email can be used for posting word processor reports.
Email aids in building team and communication skills.
Student teams often have a difficult time finding times and places where entire teams can communicate. Email makes communication easier because fewer meetings are necessary. Also, distance education teams scattered across the globe can communicate with ease and at low cost.
Email aids in communications with experts and students in other locations.
Professor Alice K. Johnson at Case Western Reserve University structured her International Social Work Course so that her students team up with email partners in Rumania and keep in touch weekly during the course. Her email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Other advantages reported by educators are mentioned in Page (Document) 4 at http://www.trinity.edu/~rjensen .
There are many problems that have undoubtedly contributed to the frustrations of course messaging.
Email messaging can be very labor intensive for course instructors and teaching assistants. In this respect, the instructors pay a price in time and trouble when making active use of a course messaging system. For testimonials by educators, see "Blood, Sweat, and Tears" in Page (Document) 4 at ( http://www.trinity.edu/~rjensen ).
There can be chaotic turmoil when setting up and maintaining course electronic mail.
It is not easy to set up a student electronic mail system and each course's ListServ. It is especially difficult if the college opts for a free or low-cost system that is not especially user friendly. For example, many college campuses use the University of Washington PINE system because it is free to the entire college. PINE is not a friendly messaging or full-featured system for students to use. No matter what email system is used, college computing systems are in a constant state of change, and just when an important student assignment is due there will almost always be problems for some students. For example, the particular computer used by a student may be sick with a virus.
Students are prone to losing stored messages and work in progress.
Since we commenced using course ListServ messaging, a few students in every class have requested that we send all earlier ListServ messages because their stored messages disappeared.
A system is needed to verify that student email submissions have been filed by the instructor.
One method is to file the assignments and then reply to each student that the assignment is both received and filed. This still does not solve the problem of students who contend that they sent completed assignments that the instructor did not receive in full.
Communicating with a student by email is analogous to having a "recorded" discussion with that student.
Most private discussions in a faculty office are not recorded unless the student is "wearing a wire" as they say on police shows on television. When what we say is recorded, we must be more careful about legal liability and careless phrasing. It is more serious to misquote a written communication that exists in black and white than to misquote an oral communication.
Email communications may be permanently filed by students and passed on to future students.
Dormitory and fraternity/sorority filing cabinets have been stuffed over the years with returned assignment answers and examinations. Sometimes, students will pass course notes and case discussion notes along to future students. Email answers and discussions exacerbate the problem in a number of ways. One way is compactness of storage. Another is the ability to file the messages efficiently in "electronic" folders by date, instructor, and main topical areas. Probably the most bothersome problem is the ability to conduct word searches of the entire content of every stored message. Whereas students may find it nearly impossible to find certain items among haphazardly maintained hard copy fraternity files, finding the same thing in files of old email messages may take only seconds of effortless work.
Attachment files such as Microsoft Word DOC or Excel XLS files sent as email attachments to instructors and/or other students may be infected with viruses.
Instructors may have to have a "spare" computer devoted to messaging and network downloading of files that could be infected with viruses. It is foolhearty to rely upon virus detectors to protect your most important computer that should be reserved for files that you know are healthy. Viruses are mutating so fast that nothing is safe other than taking risks on a computer that can be sacrificed to virus deseases. This is analogous to having a "rust bucket" commuter car in Bangor in February so that your prized new car doesn't get infected with daily doses of salt.
Student work is being published on the WWW at an exponential pace. In those instances, students are told at the start of the course that their work will be made available to the general public. For example, see Page (Document) 3 at http://www.trinity.edu/~rjensen for examples of projects and assignments in various courses. In most instances, the students put the Page (Document) s into their own assigned server space, and the faculty member links to those Page (Document) s. In other instances, however, the instructor requests or requires that students post the Page (Document) s into a server controlled by the instructor. A condition to passing the course may be the implicit agreement by a student at the start of the course that some work will be made public. Actually, learning to publish on the web may be one of the objectives of the course. Student grades cannot be made public. Student work can be made public as long as the student knows this to be the case at the beginning of the course. Also, many instructors will honor the request of a student that the work not be posted for the general public.
Similar avenues are available for posting student work on public email bulletin boards or ListServ groups. In the case of email, however, it is more common to only post selected parts of the works of selected students. However, some instructors will share projects of students with all other students via email communications.
Probably the main advantage is improved quality and honesty of student work.
Students make a concerted effort when they know that their work will be available to other students, parents, off-campus friends, prospective employers, past employers, and the public in general anywhere in the world. It also helps if students can see the work of students in prior semesters of the course. They see good and bad points that they would have otherwise overlooked. They have an incentive to improve upon other students' performance on similar assignments. Students should also be warned that work of prior students is stored in databases that can be easily searched for "suspicious phrasing" that the instructor senses he or she has seen somewhere in the past.
Students gain self confidence and take pride in having their work made public.
Publishing student work on the Internet makes students feel that the instructor has enough confidence in their abilities to share their work with the world in the name of the course and the course's instructor.
Scholars in other parts of the world can access the works of a student or the student's professor.
In the past, sharing student work was slow and expensive because of publishing expenses and distribution costs, and, therefore, most student work other than a Ph.D. dissertation never became available throughout the world. In the era of the WWW, students may share any of their projects with the world. Users may find these works with the powerful search engines of the WWW, and it becomes almost a costless way of sharing knowledge. Also the work of a student's professor may become more widely known. Some professors are actively changing from hard copy to web publishing of research. Professor Michael Kearl contends that the main reason he is doing this is the quick and widespread feedback he gets from users of this reasearch.
Students become familiar with how to publish WWW Page (Document) s.
Students learn how to convert word processing Page (Document) s into web Page (Document) s (usually in HTML code) and how to edit these Page (Document) s (HTML tables, frames, links, etc.). They also learn how to FTP files to web servers.
There are technical things that must be learned about WWW publishing and this may add heavily to the workload of the student and the instructor.
Publishing a term paper on the WWW is not as simple as turning in a printed copy on the table in front of a class. Some students may struggle over and over trying to prepare web Page (Document) s and have them successfully transfer into a web server. Troubled students, in turn, may spell added headaches for the instructor. If the instructor requires WWW publishing, the instructor is ultimately responsible to see that each student's work gets into a server and can be read in a browser. Courses requiring web publishing may require more resources for student assistance, computer labs, web server space, and software Page (Document) ation. Our experience is that most students will have troubles some of the time. and some students will have troubles all of the time. Once again, we refer you to Page (Document) 4 at http://www.trinity.edu/~rjensen for the "Blood, Sweat, and Tears" commentaries.
Glitches in the college's web server system can be frequent and troublesome.
One problem that arose all too often at Trinity University was the shifting of student files from one server to another. Normally this should not even be noticed by WWW users. However, for some reason the shifting of files created "rights" problems in student files such that the faculty and public in general kept getting "Forbidden" access messages when trying to bring up student Page (Document) s on the WWW. Any webmaster will confirm that it is difficult to keep most any web server running smoothly due to hardware malfunctions, hardware upgrades, and other system changes.
If WWW publishing is specified in a required course, the student who does not want his or her work made public should be given some other alternative.
Probably the best compromise is to limit that student's web Page (Document) circulation to a restricted audience such as only the instructor and possibly other students in the class. This type of restriction can be achieved in a number of ways, the easiest of which is to not make that Page (Document) 's URL known or linked to any other Page (Document) s.
The published work of some students may embarrass the instructor and college. This is especially the case since plagiarizing is so much easier to detect using WWW search engines
It is possible for the work of a student to be of horrid quality or in such bad taste that making it public is hardly something that faculty and administrators want associated with the course or the college as a whole. Obviously, unlawful works must be extracted from web servers controlled by the college. Detection of unlawfulness is not necessarily easy, particularly in gray zones of copyright law as applied to technology. Also, some work may be embarrassing even though it is lawful. Possibly the work contains wrong answers or poorly designed research that will mislead rather than help the general public. On the other hand, pulling that student's misleading work from a set of student works made public might be implied as "disclosing" a grade or instructor's evaluation of a student. There are subtle legal implications that make any college nervous about providing web server space to students. This nervousness can only be aggravated by requiring some students to publish their work as part of a course.
An advantage of WWW search engines with mixed blessings is the increased risk students take when plagiarizing in their projects that are made public on the WWW. Instructors, original authors, and anyone else in the world may bring powerful search engines to detect plagiarism. This goes well beyond a student's use of term paper services such as http://www.schoolsucks.com/. An email message distributed by Professor Jensen on December 15, 1996 is quoted below:
In Chapter 2 of the Jensen and Sandlin book, I suggested that the WWW search engines may be good at detecting plagiarism of students. However, until this semester I never put it to the test. In some instances, students may not even be aware that the passages used were ever coded into HTML Page (Document) s anywhere in the world.
You may even be able to find where someone has lifted your own work somewhere in the world. Use your own last name and a few well selected terms (with the + or AND conjunctions) in one of your papers. If you are not cited or even plagiarized as often as you like, do not despair --- Page (Document) s that might soon do so are coming onto the WWW by the thousands each day.
I am amazed at how effective my very first try at detecting sources turned out to be, especially for students who are in that gray zone of plagiarism where they mention the author's name without mentioning where and if it is a quotation or the lifting of an entire passage or Page (Document) . Of course there is still a problem of deciding the seriousness of the violation. If nothing else, you can impress the student by writing in the quotation marks and footnotes that should have been included in the first place.
This search tool may have a dark side. Students who in the past at least mentioned the name of the author (without noting the source or the phrases that were quotes) may be afraid to even mention the author's name since that tremendously narrows a grader's search task. In doing so, the act of plagiarism becomes more blatant and an even stronger violation of academic standards.
I can say now that --- it works with judicious choices of search word combinations, including the name provided by the student. In one example, a student lifted the HTML source code for two Page (Document) s and pasted that code into project Page (Document) s. By using phrases from each of the student's Page (Document) s I was able to not only detect that the Page (Document) s were lifted in text form, I could also use Netscape's "Edit, Page (Document) Source" to match up the source code with the source code in that student's HTML Page (Document) . The matches were perfect.
Bob Jensen , December 15, 1996
Along similar lines, a Computer Science professor by the name of Aaron Konstam writes as follows:
I had never considered plagiarism from the web until Bob Jensen mentioned it. Suddenly I wondered how a student with no known computer expertise could have written a paper containing extensive detail of a new 533MHz chip complete with discussions of BiCMOS technology. Sure enough he had copied it verbatim from the developers web pages.
Thanks to Bob for the tip. Of course now all of us with slow 200MHz processors need to scrap them. Well such is life. -- -------------------------------------------
Aaron Konstam Computer Science Trinity University 715 Stadium Dr. San Antonio, TX 78212-7200 telephone: (210)-736-7484 fax: (210)-736-7477 email:email@example.com
A Professor of Biology (Robert Blystone) at Trinity University followed up on the above two messages with the message shown below:
Return-Path: ( owner-tigertalk@TUCC6.TUCC.Trinity.Edu)
Date: Mon, 16 Dec 96 09:21:08 -0000
From: Robert Blystone ( firstname.lastname@example.org)
To: "Tigertalk" ( tigertalk@TUCC6.TUCC.Trinity.Edu)
Subject: Plagerism X-Sender: email@example.com
To the net: I've just been bit. Thanks to Bob and Aaron, I decided to track a paper down. I found a student had literally word for word taken a copyrighted paper off of the WEB. He dummied up the references so he would not have to type as many. I am just furious.
Blystone in Texas
The published work of some students may put the college or university at risk for lawsuits and criminal complicity if no policy is in replace for removing some dangerous web Page (Document) s from web servers.
The obvious risks are Page (Document) s that cause physical dangers such as bomb recipes or illicit weapons trading information or brokering. Illegal activities such as prostitution brokering (is that the right word here?) are inappropriate. Clearly, most universities should have both policies and operational systems for dealing with and detecting illegal web Page (Document) s on their servers. More difficult are those Page (Document) s in gray zones of defamation of character and risks of civil lawsuits for libel and/or economic losses. For example, false claims about product safety, environmental crimes, and other unsubstantiated assertions about people or organizations may cause economic losses and other harm. The gray zone hear lies in the context and wording of the Page (Document) . Things clearly reported as personal opinions are not subject to the same risk as things asserted as facts.
A web Page (Document) of a former student was removed from the web server at Trinity University, because it contained defamatory assertions that the new Director of Security and Safety was a "bXXXX" who had turned the campus into a "Nazi Concentration Camp." In addition, innuendos were made about the sexual behavior of another student on campus. Interestingly, the issue subsequently, after newspaper publicity on the web Page (Document) , became a case study in a Communications Department course taught by Professor Robert Huesca (firstname.lastname@example.org) at Trinity University. Of course, banned Page (Document) s may resurface off campus. The web Page (Document) in question that was removed from a Trinity University server is back on the WWW at another site http://www.startel.net/users/thomas/trinityindex.html
Current CAT options for educators seeking to author or otherwise modify computer aided teaching and learning materials are available with only a modest starting investment. "Electronic transparencies" have become the most widely used form of CAT. They are used mainly in lectures or other presentations of material in synchronized meeting times. Presentation software aids in lecturing are widely employed, and instructors can easily author such presentations with very little training. These aids are also widely available as textbook supplements and free downloads from sites on the WWW. With minimal effort, these electronic transparencies can be added to, updated, and otherwise modified by the adopters. Computer Aided Teaching (CAT) software is generally termed presentation software. Examples include Microsoft PowerPoint at http://www.microsoft.com and other packages listed under "Presentation software" in Page (Document) 12 at http://www.trinity.edu/~rjensen .
Some educators argue that presentation electronic transparencies are little more than glorified overhead acetates and 35mm slides. This viewpoint overlooks the power of the computer for text searching, random access, hypertext features, hypermedia features, and interactive learning from electronic courses used outside as well as inside the classroom. Medicine and science educators lead in accepting the power of computer visualizations for learning and research. CAL entails far more options than simple electronic transparencies.
There is a downside to using computer assisted teaching (CAT) when it is compared to online computer assisted learning (CAL) which is asynchronous (i.e., which takes place outside the classroom). It is our contention that educators are moving too heavily into electronic transparencies (PowerPoint, Harvard Graphics, etc.) as lecture aids. The real power of newer CAL technologies lies in reducing classroom lecturing. Students can learn assigned topics before class using interactive asynchronous CAL that allows them to progress at their own learning paces. In this way, class time in which the instructor and students meet face-to-face can be devoted to having students do most of the talking in case analyses, skits, presentations, etc.
Traditionally, educators have used chalk boards, flip charts, overhead transparencies (acetates), and 35mm slides. Electronic transparencies commenced with the invention of three beam projectors and LCD panels for projecting computer screens before audiences. Electronic transparencies have grown immensely popular in computer aided teaching (CAT), especially as presentation software became easier to use. Examples of presentation software include Microsoft PowerPoint, Gold Disk Astound, Lotus Freelance, Harvard Graphics, and over 20 other options. These are termed "synchronous" options because they are typically lecture aids intended primarily for sequential presentations to audiences. Some of the many advantages are listed below:
CAT presentation aids might benefit both local and synchronized distance education classes.
The term "distance education" generally refers to scheduled classes delivered to remote sites via video conferencing or computer networks. No matter where the students are assembled, students receive the same lectures and class discussions. In that case, CAT software may enhance the visual aids used in class.
You can enhance research presentations at conferences and seminars.
Have you ever attended conferences where researchers point to overheads that you cannot read? Almost as bad is having to sit in the audience and leaf through pages of the paper while the presenter is talking. Instead, that researcher could have imported parts of the text and graphics into an animated show where graphs, tables, and equations evolve in large size and multiple colors. The presenter can control it all with a remote control. Vast amounts of material can be stored and then used to answer questions from the audience. All equipment necessary for the presentation can be carried in a briefcase.
You will be better equipped for today's generation of young people weaned on television, videos, and electronic games.
Many of today's students are incompetent and/or impatient readers. Purists may try to force these young people into becoming avid book readers who long to devour contents of libraries, but realists in modern education assert that purists will thereby fail to reach a large percentage of today's electronic generation. Instructors today have a harder time luring students to class and capturing attentiveness in class. From kindergarten through doctoral seminars, instructors are finding it necessary to vary classroom time between alternative modes of instruction --- videos, cases, role playing, question and answer, lectures, field trips, visiting speakers, mentoring programs, and (possibly) computer-projected teaching and computer network teaching. Jim Wilson (1990) of the Texas Education Corporation states the following after adopting HyperGraphics in electronics training:
When potential students sit in on a class session, they realize how easy it has been made for them to approach learning, and that completely changes the psychology of the classroom. For many, this is perhaps their first positive learning experience. The result is that they stay in class. As outlined above, improved learning results since students' attentiveness is held at a high level throughout the class. (p. 6)
You will discover that hard copy handouts and chalk boards just cannot compete with the visualization, animation, audio, and video powers of computers.
Garland et al. (1992) state the following:
Many of us believe the electronic enhancements make the material easier for students to interpret. These enhancements are not simply a different way of doing things but represent a better way of presenting material. We are providing students with views of our material which printed material and the ordinary lecture cannot provide. There is no way in which a three-dimensional economic production surface can be displayed and rotated in a transparency, a lecture, or a book. But it is easy to do with a computer and display. And once seen, it is simple to explain to students the difficult concepts of returns to scale and returns to a variable input.
You will be forced into giving more thought and attention to course preparation and teaching creativity.
You may have taught a course for so long you can almost do it entirely on automatic pilot. Forcing yourself into authoring the entire course will awaken you to new ideas for creativity, innovative ways to animate problem solutions, and searches for relevant material not in the textbook. Some might feel this is more of a one-shot set-up cost, but our experience has shown that we spend as much time revising and updating for repeat usage as for first-time preparations. This is a mixed blessing of CAT due to the time and trouble it takes each day, but it pays off later in the time and trouble it saves us in preparing lessons and off-campus presentations. We also find this "database" helpful in research projects. Our conclusion is that adding updated material is vitally important even if doing so can be a burden if it is done on an almost daily basis.
You can make available (in a computer lab or campus-wide on a computer network) both the material you present in class plus added material and problems that you want students to study outside the classroom.
Most campuses have a network of some type even if it is a network accessible only from computers in the computer center. If networks are not available, CD lesson discs may be loaned to students or placed in computer labs on campus. As indicated previously, our students can replay our lectures and problem solutions at their own learning pace any day at any time of day. Our students spend less time trying to take notes and more time trying to follow the flow of in-class explanations.
You can randomly access your lecture notes during a presentation.
This is especially helpful for returning to earlier parts of the lecture in response to questions from the audience. Both hardcopy hand outs and acetate overhead transparencies are bulky to store and difficult to access without fumbling about. With electronics, you get menus and instant access to entire courses. This especially helps in lecture reviews.
You can avoid chalk dust. What you put on the "board" earlier is not permanently erased and can easily be repeated in animated evolution just as it was the first time it was presented.
One of the things our students like best is our electronic ability to go over something a second or third time if there was something they missed along the way.
You can record a lecture-aid CD or use a network server to contain multiple courses, research papers, literature abstracts, and other materials that would fill a large room in hardcopy equivalents.
This is especially useful for professors who travel around the globe. Furthermore, you can randomly access these materials to make additions, corrections, and updates at any time and from any place. For example, you can sit in a conference thousands of miles from your school and key in changes to rewritable CDs or remote computer files. Furthermore, those materials that you allow students to copy can be transferred into student computers and other sites around the world. Many educators are now sharing learning modules or complete courses on the WWW and/or on CDs. CD-ROM drives will run the newer rewritable (erasable) CDs recorded on CD-RW recording hardware costing less than $500.
You can use CAT software to randomly select students to answer questions in class or respond in case discussions.
Using a remote control button you might even flash names randomly on the screen. If students are aware that the process is random, it avoids criticisms that the instructor is biased in calling on certain students at certain times (although nothing prevents the instructor from also selectively calling on students if such bias is intentional).
You can achieve greater curriculum uniformity (e.g., in 10 discussion sections of basic accounting taught by doctoral students, for instance) by having multiple instructors teach using identical CAT aids, thereby facilitating greater uniformity of coverage.
Instructors may use different teaching styles, but students will have all seen the same examples, demonstration problems, etc. This facilitates preparation of common examinations for multiple sections. Examinations can even be administered from the computer in class or in computer labs. Since we personally think total uniformity is seldom ideal, it is also possible to have a uniform base with added materials customized by individual instructors.
You can interact in class with students via electronic response pads or ideally via entire keyboards.
For example, one of the frustrating aspects of teaching is having to wait until examination periods to discover that you just were not reaching some students. With electronic response pads, you can ask key questions at any time, get instant frequency distributions of right and wrong answers, and take remedial action while there is still time in the course to reach the students needing added help. Students may also anonymously vote on what material they want covered or reviewed. A long-time user of response pads with ToolBook CAT materials has been Professor Barry Rice (email@example.com) at Loyola College in Maryland.
You can set up remedial lessons and tests on networks that allow slow learners and students who miss class opportunities for self-help.
For example, in most CAL software it is possible to ask true/false, multiple choice, or short open-ended questions or problems and then have programmed branches for anticipated right or wrong responses. Conditional branches may be programmed so that the student is automatically taken to appropriate remedial lessons depending upon responses given to questions. This allows instructors to concentrate on matters of greater importance during class time, reducing technical detail and allowing time for more overview and case analysis material.
You will discover that new technologies are vastly superior and cheaper than anyone anticipated.
Technical explanations that are hopelessly complex on paper may be much easier and more interesting to follow in animation and video formats. Since users have limited time to devote to the report, having animated graphics, videos, and audio segments may make it easier to absorb more information in less time than that required for reading through printed pages containing the same information. Paivio (1974) reviewed early psychological studies which have shown that visual patterns are more easily comprehended and retained than text and table presentations. The ability of listeners to recall song lyrics versus memorized readings of text demonstrates the importance of audio for long-term memory. Hypermedia is in many ways a natural extension of the demonstrated significance of graphics over text in accounting reports as shown by Beattie and Jones (1992), DeSanctis and Jarvenpaa (1989), Leach (1989), Steinbart (1989), and Wood (1990).
You may expect to have classes where electronic aids will receive lavish praises and blistering complaints in student evaluations. We will now share with you some things learned to date:
Use electronic transparencies and other computer presentations sparingly in class meetings.
These are important on occasion for visualization of complexities and for gaining student attention. However, when used for an entire class, students become exhausted from eye strain. If students have to stare at computer presentations throughout every class taken in a day, they will probably grow brain dead before the end of the day. Some classes call for presentation aids more than other classes. When teaching computer software and WWW sites, use of such presentation aids is very useful for efficient and effective illustrations. Such aids are useful for showing pictures, video clips, etc. They are also useful for introducing complex topics. However, they should mainly be used to introduce topics. In our opinion, technical materials are best learned outside of class when the student can access CAL materials and study these materials at his or her own pace. Class time should be devoted to more variety in giving students air time in case discussions, skits, review games (often in teams), visiting speakers, field trips, and student presentations.
Don't overwhelm students with masses of visual material and/or rapid successions of images.
We have tried to develop complete courses for network users who can then proceed at their own pace. Using this same material in class has tended to overwhelm students and leave them bleary-eyed as we set a rapid pace to cover a fixed amount of material by the end of class. We are discovering that it is probably best to have two sets of files for every course: (1) complete lectures for network use, and (2) condensed lectures for in-class delivery. Details of "the trees" get in the way of seeing the proverbial forest. We experience frustrations when teaching if we do not carefully choose which items to skip prior to showing them on screen and then have to apologetically explain that we "didn't really intend to get into that today."
Request that your students be patient with your "first-draft" presentations and possible limitations of your display equipment.
Since instructors may be so eager to present a lot of electronic animated screens, they may rush material into lectures right up to the starting bell. This sometimes leads to content errors (e.g., incorrect problem solutions), programming errors (from bad spelling to incoherent sequencing), and poor judgments on scope and timing of coverage.
Try to make all or most of your presentation materials available to students before and/or after class.
CAT presentations typically move faster than chalk talks, because the instructor does not have to take time to write on the board. As a result, it may be more difficult for students to both concentrate on the presentation and take notes at the same time. When presentation aids are made available (e.g., as web Page (Document) s), this enables students to take notes on the dialog without also having to write down what they see on the presentation aids.
Provide font size controls.
When authoring materials to be presented in class as well as outside of class on computer networks or CDs, provide controls (e.g., buttons) that will change font sizes for use on individual monitors versus in-class presentations. Small fonts are hard to read in class but are more efficient for individual computer monitors.
Avoid displaying masses of text that students can more easily read or search outside the classroom.
In classroom presentations, masses of text take too much time to read and are distracting to students when the instructor is trying to paraphrase the text mass. In general, it is better to use more text and smaller fonts in hardcopy or online lessons, but these formats are not suited for classroom use. These take time to read and are usually boring to students as a standard bill of fare. Also it is tempting for instructors to grow impatient and to flip screens too rapidly for student comprehensive reading. Extending the text requires more highlighting maneuvers, clever programming, and patience in delivery.
Unless there is a reason to change background colors, font colors, font sizes, and formatting styles, try to be consistent.
In general, frequent shifts in font sizes or styles may be both exhausting and distracting to readers. Conversely, use of different font sizes, colors, and styles may be very useful in outline formats or graphics screens. Font contrasts sometimes make it easier to read rapidly or scan text, but they also encourage this type of reading. One of the advantages of animations is that they can be used for in-class highlighting of passages from text that appears initially in one font size, style, and color.
Use animation sparingly with stop, pause, and continue controls.
Animations can be effective in getting attention if they are not used to a fault. Animated explanations of how something works can be very educational. However, animations can also become boring and dysfunctional. Avoid pointless animations. Pointless animation takes time and can make an audience restless. Animations are great for evolving graph components, showing algebraic manipulations, sequencing bookkeeping entries, building or breaking apart financial statements, highlighting text, etc. They occasionally have humor or entertainment value. Most, not all, college students have progressed beyond the Sesame Street age where animated cartoons are continuously needed to hold learner attentiveness.
Avoid overuse of color or frequent changes in color schemes.
When we first started presenting our CAT shows on other campuses, members of the audiences frequently complained about how we repeatedly changed background colors and color combinations. Repeated changings of colors are bothersome to many learners. Now we tend to author in one combination of colors and change color combinations for reasons we think are appropriate in the lessons. On a given graphics screen, use one color throughout, except where differences are to be highlighted or main points are to be stressed. In a table, different colors might be used to block sets of rows or columns, but pointless rainbow coloring in tables should be avoided.
Plan ahead in making color choices by knowing what colors work best on your LCD or other projection device.
For example, in the CD-ROM entitled "The Road Ahead" at http://www.roadahead.com by Bill Gates, the initial menu choices are in dark green on a black background. These choices show up on most cathode ray tube monitors but not on most LCD monitors and projection screens.
On some LCDs, pastel colors do not show up well. With portable LCDs, white backgrounds sometimes light up the room better than dark backgrounds. With some portable LCDs, however, white is a poor background for vivid contrasts. Cursors tend to show up better on dark backgrounds. If you plan to convert your computer lessons into analog videos (e.g., videotape), avoid reds and other colors that tend to bleed and/or show more flicker in digital-to-analog conversions.
Be willing to experiment by trial and error using a wide variety of display material and teaching methods. What you think works best the first time may not be as good as things you attempt later on. Don't be content with one good approach or bore students to death with its overuse.
Don't necessarily display all of your lecture notes.
Our electronic classrooms have controls that put the data projector on standby while we continue to view a computer monitor not visible to the class. Instructors can flip through lecture notes and selectively decide which screens to project to the entire class. This helps to reduce reading fatigue of students and highlights the material to be stressed.
Don't simply become a parrot reading aloud what you flash on the screen.
Interject anecdotes, questions, and comments that are not programmed.
Don't expect a lot of advance preparation to eliminate the need for before-class preparation.
You usually cannot or should not program every detail of both a problem and its solution. It is tempting in the rush of all we do to think that you can avoid last minute preparations and will recall enough detail as your electronic show evolves. It's really embarrassing when you are presenting detailed steps in solutions to problems that you cannot recall at the moment.
Don't use electronic materials as an excuse to not change textbooks.
One technique which can be used to avoid teaching on automatic pilot is to change textbooks (not just new editions) nearly every time a course is taught. If you have sunk a great deal of time into authoring your own electronic solutions to end-of-chapter problems, however, it becomes frustrating to throw all that sunk time down the drain by changing texts and having to program a new set of problem solutions. Thus CAT may become an added excuse for some faculty not to change textbooks. We urge you to avoid automatic pilot teaching with electronic aids just as we urge you to avoid it without such aids. Be willing to change texts often and program new materials each time you teach the course.
Remember that it is usually more important to inspire students to want to learn than it is to have them learn technical content in any particular course.
Probably the most important things you can do as a professor is know your students on a first name basis and motivate them into life-long action. Remember this when programming your electronic materials! Your presentations can be devoted to motivational materials and social concerns as well as technical problem solutions. Try to be creative in presentations and not simply reproduce the solutions manual in colored animation.
Obtain student feedback on classroom presentations.
CAT presentation aids and student response pads may have positive and negative impacts on student motivation, student interactions, and evaluations. Studies reported in the literature are difficult to generalize to particular settings. It is best that you obtain regular feedback from students. One thing we have discovered is that what we sometimes thought was a great CAT aid elicited neutral or even negative feedback from students. It may not be the aid itself as much as the way the aid is used. For example, students get lost when presentations move too quickly or do not fully explain how to progress between particular stages of a solution or task.
Watch out for copyright violations.
Because academic authors have become accustomed to citing ideas and short quotations from academic literature without always formally obtaining written permission for such citations, it is tempting to carry this practice over into hypertext/hypermedia authoring. It is terribly inconvenient to have to obtain permission for each item cited. Also there is a tendency to photocopy (without permission) longer portions of the literature for use by students on a nonprofit basis. Carrying such practices into hypertext/hypermedia authoring may be unethical or illegal in many instances even if works are cited and no profits are involved. For a summary of the dangers in copyright infringements, see Rodarmor (1993). At present, laws are being proposed that may impose greater restraints than the current copyright law. Presentations may contain audio and video excerpts that were not purchased in an appropriate manner. This felony gets compounded if these materials are later given to students (e.g., in a computer file) that makes it easy for them to copy and distribute pirated material.
Readers may want to refer to a special document given on on asynchronous network learning (ALN) at http://www.trinity.edu/~rjensen/255wp.htm. The Table of Contents for the above document is as follows:
Definitions of asynchronous learning along with online slide shows on the topic are given at http://www.trinity.edu/~rjensen/255wp.htm#Tools
Experiements at the University of Illinois are discussed at http://w3.scale.uiuc.edu/scale/
Weblinks to this topic are given in Page (Document) 3 of ( http://www.trinity.edu/~rjensen ) where the use a browser search phrase "Virtual Education and Research" will speed the search for these links. These links include virtual colleges, virtual research, and virtual libraries. Possible uses of the Internet by practicing accountants and some interesting site addresses are given by Cohen (1995). Internet sites for accounting educators are discussed in Chapter 4. Internet sites for educators in general are given in Page (Document) 3 at http://www.trinity.edu/~rjensen . CAL options discussed below can also be used selectively in class for lecture aids.
In contrast to synchronous CAT lectures, CAL asynchronous learning modules are for use outside the classroom. Asynchronous learning takes place at each student's learning pace and in sequencing that may be different than other students taking the same course. Unlike "distance education" via scheduled classes in a video conference setting, asynchronous education is termed "distributed education" via computer networks and/or CD files. Professor Jensen expects his students to learn most technical information before class so that students are given more "air time" in class to show what they have learned. Class time is devoted to case discussions, visiting speakers, student skits, Jeopardy-type review sessions for student teams, student presentations, etc.
By far the most important education paradigm shift resulting from emerging technologies is the ability to place learning materials (modules, courses, or complete "virtual" college degree programs) on a network server and distribute these materials either across the campus or across the world. These include CDs that may be networked physically (e.g., by checking them out from a departmental secretary), networked on a server CD jukebox, or mailed to remote users to use in conjunction with a course that is on the WWW. Because of bandwidth limitations, hypermedia animation, audio, and video portions of networked courses may be placed on mailed CDs. In 1992, Professor Jensen commenced putting hypermedia learning modules for students using his ToolBooks on the Trinity University campus server. In 1996, he added public WWW Page (Document) s for the general public at http://www.trinity.edu/~rjensen , and the only thing that keeps him from sharing all learning modules with the general public is that some campus server files have copyright restrictions that he cannot legally share on the entire WWW. For example, he has been given permission to use hundreds of audio and video clips for his students, but many of these are not licensed for public distribution. Similarly, some databases on his CD-ROMs are licensed for display only on campus. Most of his learning materials are on the campus server and on CDs that he has recorded for his students and shows.
CAL on networks is a paradigm shift when the instructor becomes more or a learning "facilitator" than a "teacher." Students are expected to do most of their "discovery" learning at their own paces from campus servers and WWW servers. They are networked like fishnet to web sites around the world that provide them with libraries, databases, learning materials provided by experts (including the instructor) anywhere on the globe, and search engines. For projects, students may contact experts by email. The instructor "facilitator" may arrange in advance for selected experts to become email mentors to individual students or teams of students.
CAL is even more of a paradigm shift when entire colleges become "virtual" colleges that offer degrees to students by courses or other modules on Internet sites, intranet sites, video conferencing sites, CD mailings, ListServ sites, and private email tutoring. Asynchronous CAL in networks is especially ideal for new college markets in lifelong learning of alumni and other adults. Examples are given below.
The main advantages of asynchronous CAL are that student learning is self-paced and interactive.
In this regard, course materials on CDs, campus servers, and web servers serve much of the same role as textbooks and course handouts in days of old. However, modern technologies enable students in CAL modules to interact with dynamic simulations and possibly even "live" people willing to have dialogs (usually via email) while the student is using the CAL material. Remote interactions may take place with the instructor, other students, or experts around the globe. In expensive network modules used by the military and some corporations, the experts are on call for telephone or video conferencing with students almost any time and any day. The most common use of asynchronous CAL at the moment is in conjunction with scheduled local or distance education classes. Asynchronous CAL can be a substitute for scheduled classes, but this is not usually the case in most colleges.
Educators can experiment in creative ways using unique and intriguing WWW sites.
Harvard Business School at
Page (Document) s CD-ROM cases utilizing interactive hypermedia. Some
innovative ways that "daring professors" are using technologies
in education are Page (Document) ed with text and audio in Page (Document)
4 at http://www.trinity.edu/~rjensen.
For example, a rather weird and intriguing site is a interactive interview that you (the web user) piece together between the famous Marshall McLuhan and Tom Wolfe. The web site is at http://firstname.lastname@example.org and a quote from that web site is as follows:
These are citations from Marshall McLuhan's interview with the writer Tom Wolfe. They are removed from their conversational context, and thus are presented as self reflective statements that can act as departing points to a myriad of other interviews. This is your interview with McLuhan! It might lead to a different road, the road of arriving at knowledge is multiple. You may address these citations from any direction or angle that seems to you to offer additional views between the lines of communication.
The interactive web site described above is an intriguing but very confusing web site. However, it is featured on a Web Communications Course given by Robert Huesca in the Communications Department at Trinity University. We am now in the process of turning the above web site into a "dynamic" web site with ToolBook Instructor/Neuron. In particular, my additions will feature audio and video clips from Professor Huesca regarding how he uses this site in his actual course. He also uses the site of a former Trinity student to feature problems of libel in web publishing. We will also add audio and video clips on how Professor Huesca uses that site in his course. At present, We have videotape of five professors (from biology, computer science, sociology, classical studies, and communications) commenting upon how they use particular web sites in their courses. Some of these professors are beginners at using the WWW in courses, and it is interesting to track their suceesses and failures.
Other advantages are remote delivery of cost-efficient and conveniently distributed "virtual" courses.
Local and distance education is usually expensive and requires that students assemble at given times in designated sites for each "class." It is possible to deliver "virtual" courses completely by computer networks and CD files such that the expenses of classroom buildings, student housing, and even live instructors are reduced or eliminated entirely. Students that must stay at home because of families, handicaps, or other restrictions now have much better options than traditional correspondence courses. Business firms reap huge savings if employees do not have to incur travel costs for training and the lost time spent in traveling. The cost of a virtual college degree is only a fraction of what tuition, fees, room, and board cost at state and private campuses. For example, the University of Phoenix at http://www.uophx.edu/ has extensive undergraduate programs averaging under $5,000 per year. Students who can live at home with parents or working spouses while taking virtual courses can obtain accredited degrees for a lot less money that other alternatives. Some experiments have shown higher student performance in networked CAL vis-a-vis traditional education and training courses. Different levels of asynchronous CAL are emerging. Examples are listed below:
· Level 1: Local campus education aids for learning prior to and during scheduled classes on a local campus. One of the more innovative CAL experiments commenced Fall Semester 1996 with the CUBE Program at Pennsylvania State University. Penn State and the Irwin publishing company entered into a contract for most core business courses whereby there would be no required hard copy textbooks. Learning materials provided by Irwin and custom materials authored by instructors are contained on a campus server that Irwin helped to finance. Courses can become entirely paperless at the discretion of instructors.
· Level 2: Distance education aids for learning prior to scheduled classes at remote campuses. The concept is the same whether students reside on or off campus. There can be technology difficulties, however, if students off-campus cannot access some campus hardware and software. For example, students off campus perhaps can use the Internet without being able to access the entire campus or departmental network server system.
· Level 3: Scheduled face-to-face (live or remote video) classes may be reduced in number or entirely eliminated. Distributed education and training modules are replacing some scheduled classes. Serious research in virtual education is underway at http://zeta.is.tcu.edu/~blobert/vle/project.html at Texas Christian University. Both the military and corporations are making extensive use of CAL replacements for training and education. Some corporations such as Microsoft and Apple offer fee-based training courses to the public. Many prestigious universities such as Duke, UCLA, and the University of Virginia have added online distributed education courses. The Home Education Network at http://www.then.com/index.html is affiliated with UCLA and offers six week sessions on various topics. An essay that includes MUD and MOO technologies in virtual education is given by Jessica Chalmers at http://www.musenet.org/~bkort/EdMud.html. MOO technologies soared to new heights at the University of Florida in the MOOville Writing Workshop for over 2500 students each semester. Rather than classes in the traditional sense, students build workspaces in MOOville, conduct discussions on line, and critique each other without face-to-face encounters. For terminology definitions see Page (Document) 12 at http://www.trinity.edu/~rjensen . CAL packages are intended more for online course modules or entire courses. Examples of CAL software include Macromedia Director, Asymetrix ToolBook Instructor, and other options discussed in Chapter 3 and under the definition for "Hypermedia" in Page (Document) 12 at http://www.trininity.edu/~rjensen.
· Level 4: Entire programs or colleges may go online. Virtual colleges that offer complete degree programs using asynchronous CAL (with the possibility of some scheduled video conferencing classes) may go online. The Western Governors Virtual University (WGVU) will commence classes in Fall 1997. This was originally proposed by the Governors of 21 states west of the Mississippi (including Guam and Western Samoa). However, only 13 Governors to date came up with funding to seed the WGVU (sometimes termed Western Virtual University or Western Governors University). The URL links for WGVU and many other virtual colleges are given in Page (Document) 3 at http://www.trinity.edu/~rjensen and can be located more quickly by using the term "Virtual Education and Research" in the browser search utility. Courses in WGVU will be distributed from accredited colleges within the western part of the United States. The latest trend is for publishing firms to offer courses for credit as commercial products and services on the Internet. For example, McGraw-Hill World University is online.
Cross-cultural and cross-functional teams of students can be formed in virtual education and research.
An experiment using this approach is taking place at Texas Christian University as reported in http://zeta.is.tcu.edu/~blobert/vle/project.html .
Networked learning combines fun and education for students as they surf the Internet in teams or on their own.
For example, see some of the fun and educational experiments reported in Page (Document) 4 at http://www.trinity.edu/~rjensen . For example, Professor Barry Rice at Loyola College in Maryland sends his students off on WWW scavenger hunts.
Colleges are expanding their markets with ALN in lifelong learning programs.
MIT is focusing upon lifelong learning modules for alumni and the public in general. A high-level committee report at MIT is available at
Both better student performance and higher evaluations of instructors can result.
Education research from kindergarten through graduate school has shown improved student learning performance can be achieved when instructors adapt technology to suit their own teaching methods and biases. Student evaluations obviously are subject to many variables. Using CAL asynchronous materials badly won't help instructors achieve high evaluations, but using this technology wisely has been shown to improve student evaluations of their instructors. Students appreciate being able to learn technical materials at their own learning paces. Rather than having boring in-class lectures every period, students can become more involved in classes with skits, lesson review games (possibly in teams), role-playing live cases, and student presentations of various types.
You must ultimately adopt new learning technologies in your courses and program curricula.
Probably the single most important reason for change will be the dominance of the WWW in virtually all higher education disciplines. The WWW is becoming the main library of the world. Students of the next century will have to know how to navigate networks of the world. Government, library, educator, and corporate data will soon be available on vast file servers of the information highways. As pointed out initially in this book, the roles of professors will be changing as follows:
· Course instructors will play a larger role in inspiring students to want to learn more about a subject and a smaller role in explaining that subject to students.
· Course instructors will spend more time authoring hypermedia materials that will be available on campus networks, intranets, and the WWW.
· Course instructors will play a much greater role in selecting learning goals and helping students to choose from a mind-boggling multimedia library of worldwide learning material that will build at an exponential rate in the next century.
· Some instructors will build international reputations for creativity in authoring and continually updating hypermedia learning materials made available on vast, worldwide education networks.
· It is contended that: "Electronic discourse, it seems, offered a voice to some students might otherwise might not be heard." Nesweek, October 27, 1997, p. 79.
You can experiment with paperless courses.
Professors at The University of Northern Iowa (UNI) have conducted a two-year effort leading to a paperless classroom for instruction in accounting and finance at UNI according to Wyatt and Heian (1994). By using computerized spreadsheets to facilitate concept/technique presentation and examinations, these educators feel that the rigor of the course material has been increased while the per student labor intensity of evaluation has been decreased A by-product is that students gain mastery of spreadsheets by using them to resolve test problems. In addition, the use of this testing tool enhances students' ability to deal with real-world complexity rather than using simplified data. The computerized testing uses complex multi-step-to-solution problems and databases. Students and instructors must learn to manage detail rather than avoid it for lack of time or sufficiently powerful computational tools. Wyatt and Heian (1994, p.10) assert the following advantages that they have noted in their use of computer-assisted testing (we have slightly reworded their listing):
You can become a part of a world wide movement of researchers experimenting with new and creative ways to utilize modern technology in education.
CAL has become of vital concern worldwide. For example, the Delta Project is a European Economic Community (EEC) funded project of the Commission of European Communities. With a budget of over $100 million, this is probably the world's largest attempt to apply modern technologies to distance training and education. Partners in the project include major universities, telecommunications companies, and business firms of all sizes across the EEC. Collis and de Vries (1994) report on 27 major projects with over 300 sub-projects in network education and multimedia development. There's an old saying that "You have to join in the game for any chance to win the game." Researchers probably fail more often than they win, but new and creative ideas are born in earlier failures (Edison had a succession of colossal failures before he had his first inventive success). On the cutting edge of this medium are the computer-created worlds of "virtual reality" such that we could take our students into "virtual" Japanese factories, auditing simulations at "virtual" sites, or "virtual" training centers for training students in the use of Lexis computers to perform database searches in financial reporting. Wheeler (1991) has stated:
In the simplest version of the virtual worlds, computers generate images on goggles worn by the users, creating the sensation they are in a different place. Those developing the virtual realities hope they will open up new intellectual vistas in education, entertainment, art, and architecture, as well as in science (emphasis added). (p. A6)
Since accounting and business must compete for student talent, it is important that we also explore new approaches of generating career interest. Scientists are making a concerted effort to use new multimedia technology to interest students in science. Although virtual reality has most of its applications to date in training and entertainment, there are some applications in data analysis such as the use of VR to analyze international portfolio data in the TIAA/CREF Pension Funds. Winn (1984) contends VR will become a major part of university curricula. He cites evidence that VR is especially successful for learning disadvantaged and physically handicapped students.
You can react to appeals of the Accounting Education Change Commission.
According to the Accounting Education and Change Commission, the number of high-quality students majoring in accounting has been declining in large measure due to the boring way technical details are focused on in accounting, auditing, and tax lectures. In the next century, technical details will be taught better by networked hypermedia learning materials in virtually all academic and vocational disciplines. This will allow "live classrooms" to exploit what can be done better in face-to-face teaching (e.g., see Jensen, 1993). Things that can be "done better" include visiting speakers such as accountants on a variety of career tracks, student group presentations, some types of case-method instruction, student role playing, field trips, etc. At Arizona State University, a concerted effort is being made to teach accounting principles of bookkeeping in computer labs (for credit) so that class lectures can be less technical and more inspirational. The lead professor for these lab courses is Ralph Smith. This is an extensive project that includes tracking of student progress and computer examinations. The lab course is available from McGraw-Hill (See Appendix 4) and described in CETA Newsletter, November 1993, p. 4.
You will find funding sources for technology research and application increasing at a much faster rate in the future.
Faculty who gain early experience in these technologies will have a head start in applying for funds. Already funding sources such as NCAIR are making grants to accounting educators. See Eckstein (1991) for a discussion of funding and its sources. In Europe, a major funding opportunity arises in the Delta Project.
You may discover that new technology can lead to more cross-discipline research and applications.
International networking facilitates joint efforts and collaborations across vast distances.
You can avoid teaching toward obsolescence.
The worlds of communications and commerce are changing dramatically, and students need to be prepared for the present world of electronic communications, Just-In-Time Training (JITT), international networks, and random access databases. Burke (1993) found in a survey of barriers to firms adopting electronic data interchange that lack of education in technology was a major barrier.
You can play a greater part in developing and sharing learning materials with professors and students in foreign nations, notably underdeveloped nations.
Rather than old books you can send new and updated computer files. The American Accounting Association several years ago undertook a project to solicit accounting books to ship to Africa. As wonderful as this sounds, most of the books will be obsolete by the time an African student finally reads them. Also, shipping tons of hardcopy is expensive and limited to one repository (library) where a particular book happens to end up. One day it will be more efficient and effective to ship CD discs or network server files with updated graphics, text, illustrations, and data to thousands of repositories or to an entire Third World network. There are still problems to surmount, but the United Nations and other organizations promoting Third World education are now providing and will continue to spread computer technology into underdeveloped nations. Hardware will become available at many sites around the world. The tough part will be providing suitable educational materials to make students want to learn and to keep them abreast of the latest happenings. You can help undertake an effort to customize CAL materials for their eventual needs. Accounting educator networks on the Internet which help to keep the academy informed on course materials, technological developments, and opportunities are as follows:
AAA = American Accounting Association, 5717 Bessie Drive, Sarasota, FL 34233-2399. Phone: 941-921-7747 Fax: 941-923-4093 Email: email@example.com The URL is http://www.rutgers.edu/Accounting/raw/aaa/aaa.htm
ANet = The International Accounting Network, Southern Cross University, New South Wales, Australia and Bond University, Queesland, Australia. The email adress is Anet@scu.edu.au A description of services is contained in the CETA Newsletter, June, 1994. Mailing lists are also available on ANet, including CDI-ACC-AUDIT in the United Kingdom and AC-CHANGE from Maricopa College in Arizona. The URL is http://anet.scu.edu.au/anet/
CETA = Center for Educational Technology in Accouning, P.O. Box 13677, College of Business Administration, The University of North Texas, Denton, TX 76203-6677, Phone 817-565-3090, email: firstname.lastname@example.org CETA is best known for its CETA Newsletter that, after several years of hard copy distribution, changed to a WWW newsletter in 1997.
PIC-AECM = Pacioli International Centre for Accounting Education using Computers and Multimedia, Loyola College in Maryland, 4501 North Chales Street, Baltimore, MD 21210-2699 Phone: (410-617-2478). Fax: (410-617-2006) email: pacioli@Loyola.edu. The AECM-L mailing list is also available. A description of services is contained in the CETA Newsletter, June, 1994.
NAN = Nordic Accounting Network, Department of Accounting at the Swedish School of Economics and Business Administration in Helsinki, Finland. The WebMaster email address is email@example.com and the URL is in the United States is http://www.rutgers.edu/Accounting/nan.html
RAW = Rutgers Accounting Web informational retrieval system (funded with a grant from NCAIR) for a variety of free materials for accounting educators. The main purpose of the system is to share materials developed in connection with the Accounting Education Change Commission (AECC). Materials include lectures, cases, assignments, examinations, syllabi and course outlines, and reports of projects at various AECC sponsored sites. The World Wide Web address for the Lynx program is for text only is <http//www.rutgers.edu/Accounting/raw.htm>. Lynx only transfers text, For graphics, a Mosaic option is available. Contact Professor Alex Kogan, Accounting and Information Systems, Faculty of Management, Rutgers University, 180 University Ave., Newark, NG 07102-1905. Phone: 201-648-1064 and Fax 201-648-1283 and email firstname.lastname@example.org The URL is http://www.rutgers.edu/Accounting/raw.htm
Try to resist temptations to dehumanize some courses by eliminating face-to-face encounters.
Some courses, particularly post-graduate courses in a lifelong learning program, may be taken for the sole purpose of technical updates. These courses do not need the instructor and student interactions that are much more important in the early stages of educating students not fully matured to deal with the world "out there." When high quality asynchronous CAL courses are available on the WWW, there may be a temptation to save money by eliminating traditional face-to-face student and faculty interactions. Our viewpoint is that face-to-face interactions add value to asynchronous CAL learning in varying degrees depending upon the student abilities, student maturity, nature of the course, and many other factors. For example, taking the first course in C++ computer programming with great online email technical support needs less face-to-face interaction than taking the first course on computers in society or computers in business where students ponder ambiguities, career tracks, and organizational complexities. One danger is the surging urge to cut costs in colleges. Networked "virtual" courses are cheaper for students (especially those who live at home to save room, board, and travel costs) and colleges (to the extent that costs of instructors, buildings, and administration are saved). Value added from face-to-face interactions may be toppled in the swath of a cutting scythe.
Asynchronous CAL can be extremely effective for learning technical material before coming to class. However, be reasonable about the time expected for network learning outside of class.
Students will resent having to spend as much as six hours per week per course online outside of class. Think of the impacts on student time and computer lab resources if virtually all courses depend upon heavy online CAL modules.
Delete as well as add material with each revision (or create optional rather than required links to material of less importance in the course).
As with research papers and books, the second and third drafts become markedly better than the first-time efforts. The best professors will continuously change their electronic courses so that each course is different from the last time it was presented. New material should be added almost daily and other material deleted or skipped. Adding volumes of new material creates pedagogical hazards. Our students complain that in some parts of lessons we have added so many literature updates that the lessons often are badly in need of pruning and editing.
Obtain student feedback on CAL modules.
CAL network modules may have positive and negative impacts on student motivation, student interactions, and evaluations. Studies reported in the literature are difficult to generalize to particular settings. It is best that you obtain regular feedback from students. One thing we have discovered is that what we sometimes thought was a great network module elicited neutral or even negative feedback from students. One of the main complaints is that the modules contain too much material. Another complaint is that it is difficult to navigate to important or assigned material (the wheat) in the midst of other material (the chaff) not assigned.
Avoid requiring rote memorization of CAL online material.
When there is a lot of CAL online material, it may be better to allow students to use hand-written notes in quizzes and examinations rather than forcing them to memorize the material. However, we do not generally allow students to bring computer printouts to examinations or to use material photocopied from other students prior to examinations. A great deal depends on how quizzes and examinations are designed. Asynchronous CAL may result in more reliance upon projects vis-a-vis examinations for purposes of assigning grades.
Try to avoid getting the image of being a computer hacker more interested in the machines per se than what they can do for your teaching and research.
Unfortunately, it takes time to stay intellectually current on hardware and software, especially since technology is continuously and rapidly changing. Striking a balance between time devoted to staying current on computer technology versus course content is increasingly difficult! There are no easy or general answers to this dilemma other than to use extra effort and to develop close ties to specialists in technology who can keep you briefed on the latest developments. Unfortunately, computer technology is now so varied that specialists in one area may not be very helpful in other areas. You will probably have to devote some time to doing your own tracking and software learning.
Remember that it is usually more important to inspire students to want to learn than it is to have them learn technical content in any particular course.
In all areas of education, encouraging students to form a lifelong habit of wanting to learn is the long-term goal.
Remember the KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) rule.
In an extensive "secret" two-year study of multimedia learning conducted by AT&T Corporation, the initial results indicate that multimedia learning becomes easily bogged down with complex materials. Keller (1993a) reports: "the new services will have to be mindlessly simple to operate and presented as an advanced form of entertainment. Interactive consumers won't play on souped-up PCs." Although students in controlled learning environments may be both able to handle more complex material and willing to expend time and energies on multimedia materials assigned by instructors, lessons from the AT&T research study headed by Vincent Grosso should be heeded in any authoring endeavors. Unfortunately, usually the KISS rule requires much more tedious authoring effort and innovation.
Try to attain face-to-face socialization benefits in virtual universities.
If students only interact with other students and instructors via computer networks and video networks, they lose the education and maturity that comes with face-to-face living and learning. This is mitigated somewhat by forcing students to work in virtual teams and have frequent email communications. An experiment using this approach is taking place at Texas Christian University as reported in http://zeta.is.tcu.edu/~blobert/vle/project.html .
There are risks of obvious and not-so-obvious copyright violations even in uncontrolled distributions on CDs, intranets, and the WWW.
In hundreds of instances, Professor Jensen has obtained permission to record audio and video presentations of speakers at conferences. The speakers agree to letting him show these materials to his students and his road show audiences. He has also purchased videos to show in whole or in part in his classes. In both instances, sharing these materials is not an infringement of intellectual property rights. However, much of this material cannot be copied for other individuals inside or outside the campus. He has no permission to distribute these files even if he gives them away for no profit. For example, if you purchase an AICPA video with a license allowing you to show it in your courses, you cannot copy the tape for any professors or students on your own campus. You can digitize portions of it so that it is more convenient to access a clip from a computer than the original tape on a VCR. However, you cannot make it possible for any other individual to make a copy of your tape or clip file. This means that you also cannot put these clips on a campus server if it is possible for some other person to copy that clip. Since CD recording devices have become so cheap (under $500) and widely available, it becomes questionable whether students should even be allowed to check out any CD containing copyrighted material licensed only to the instructor. Campus libraries loan videotapes knowing full well that it is possible for persons to copy those tapes. However, copies of videotapes are inferior to the original tapes. That is not the case of digitized audio and video. Perfect CD copies can be recorded on other CDs. This is why digitized copies are so controversial. The ultimate test of any copies you have made of that AICPA tape is whether you gave a copy to any person that might have purchased his or her own tape from the AICPA. If the answer is yes, then you have infringed upon the intellectual property rights of the AICPA. Even if the borrower never intends to purchase a copy, you are not allowed to loan that person a copy that could be recorded.
There are risks of copyright violations due to uncertainties in Education Fair Use Laws covering new technologies.
Section 107 of the Copyright Law on Education Fair Use has not yet been changed for coverage of digitization and networking. However, courts and common sense have established that a single Fair Use hard copy placed on library reserve is not equivalent to a single computer file copy placed upon a campus network server. Because academic authors have become accustomed to citing ideas and short quotations from academic literature without always formally obtaining written permission for such citations, it is tempting to carry this practice over into hypertext/hypermedia authoring. It is terribly inconvenient to have to obtain permission for each item cited. Also, there is a tendency to photocopy (without permission) longer portions of the literature for use at the Reserve Desk at a library. Carrying such practices into computer files may be unethical or illegal in many instances even if works are cited and no profits are involved. For an early summary of the dangers in copyright infringements, see Rodarmor (1993). At present, laws are being written that may impose greater restraints. This issue is discussed in the section on antiquated copyright laws near the end of this chapter.
Research on effectiveness of CAL is often futile due to the pace of technological change, the variation in learning ingredients, and Hawthorne effects.
Research is of limited value if it cannot be generalized to other times and places. Technology in virtual learning and CAL in general is changing at such a rapid pace, that findings today literally may not apply to new and revised technologies of tomorrow. Hardware, software, and network systems are in a constant state of change. Almost certainly education technology research becomes outdated before it is published in hard copy books and journals. Another problem is that the ingredients of learning are vital to the outcomes of research. For example, if Professor Jones conducts controlled experiments on traditional lectures versus his CAL network instruction materials, the findings are of little use to Professor Smith who has a totally different content in both lectures and CAL files. There is also the issue of Hawthorne effects that the military has encountered for years. Younger people raised in the computer/video generation are biased toward machine learning vis-a-vis traditional learning from books. When educators shift to more machine learning with less book learning, students may be more attentive and learn better than expected using machines. Hawthorne effects exist, however, if motivation and attentiveness are not sustained over time. From 1836 to 1907 the McGuffy Reader set the standard for American grammar school education. At an extreme level of cynicism, perhaps it might happen that students in the 24th Century may learn to read better from a McGuffy Reader than a machine because they have never seen a hard copy book before the experiment takes place with salvaged and yellowed McGuffy Reader books. Whenever something new gets more attentiveness than something old, the specter of contamination of research findings with Hawthorne effects is raised.
Virtual learning commenced with story telling around campfires. The stories could take on imagined "what if" scenarios that helped listeners and the storyteller learn to deal with situations that did or might transpire in real life. Storytellers had to be realistic about how "real" their settings were described. In general, greater reality is effective but not necessarily efficient. If the storyteller took all night to describe the forest then listeners would fall asleep or otherwise tune out the tale before the story reached a climax such as an encounter with a bear in the forest.
Newer technologies have merely extended storytelling into greater realism and participant interactions. In the 1980s, virtual reality (VR) technologies enabled participants to enter cyberspaces that became hard to distinguish from realities (e.g., pilots in VR sometimes were not certain if they were flying real airplanes). Over time, head gear, gloves, body suits, and odor machines were added so that participants experienced 3-D worlds, moving objects with their hands, walking about in cyberspace, smelling the sweet or foul chemicals of life, and interacting (helping or fighting) other participants in the same simulated worlds. Thank you, Wes Regian, Armstrong Laboratory (http://www.brooks.af.mil/AL/al-home.html) at Brooks Air Force Base for helping us learn more about the tremendous effort in VR development and the tremendous impact VR is having upon military training and education. For further WWW references, use the search terms "Wesley + Regian" at http://www.excite.com/ .
Whereas VR requires scientists, technicians, and expensive hardware, a much simpler and in some ways more powerful type of simulation emerged with email technology. Its roots are in Dungeons and Dragons games that mesmerized many people (especially teenagers). When these folks obtained email and ListServ technologies, games called Multiple User Dungeons (or Multiple User Dragons) evolved under the acronym MUDs. Later, the name was changed to Multiple User Dimensions or Multiple User Dialogue. The special features of MUDs (which were and still are mainly text-only descriptions of shared fantasies) were anonymity of participants from anywhere in the world, the ability of virtually any participant to interactively create imagined worlds (usually castles with dungeons), create avatars (imagined embodiments of themselves or other people), assume traits and personas either much alike or extremely different than their real world counterparts, and to interact with the avatars of other participants. In most cases, "subscribing" to a MUD was voluntary and most likely addictive. Some educators discovered three very important characteristics of MUDs: (1) MUDs were very powerful in getting concentrated attention from students; (2) MUDs were a way of reaching nontraditional learners who took on different behavior (e.g., assumed leadership, communicated openly, became motivated to help others, etc.) in a MUD than their usual behavior (e.g., passive, bored, silent, and isolationist) in traditional classroom settings; and (3) MUDs were powerful ways to stimulate creativity among participants. For example, one of the early MUD-like experiments in a college setting was the Colonization of Mars Project at The University of Northern Arizona. Instead of learning about communities in a traditional sociology course, students in sociology created their own imagined communities in an imagined colonization of Mars. The instructor assumed various anonymous avatars in this colonization experiment.
There are very serious social and education MUDs. Some of the many types are reviewed in Basic Information About MUDs and MUDding. There are extensions such as Multi-user, Object-Oriented MOO applications that, along with MUDs, have become serious educational experiments and applications. For example, Conlon (1997) reports on the MOOville writing workshop for over 2500 students per semester at the University of Florida. Click here for a summary of it in Jensen and Sandlin (1997). Another less extreme extension is the MUSH which, like a MUD, is an electronic space in which multiple persons (players, users, students) socialize, create "worlds," and interact in gaming or serious episodes. For a discussion of the history and applications of MUSHes, see The Mush Manual by Lydia Leong. Also see MUDs, MOOs, and Muses. The variations differ more in terms of underlying codes than in purpose and application.
In the block quotation below, a successful MOOville application in online writing workshops in the University of Florida is summarized below:
Source: Technological Horizons in Education THE, March 1997, pp. 66-68
Title: MOOville: The Writing Project's Own "Private Idaho"
Author: Dr. Michael Conlon, Director of Information Resources, University of Florida
Grant Offer Starts It All
IBM donated 186 workstations for students (over 2,500 per semester) and instructors, along with 12 servers. The servers would hold students' writing files, manage applications such as word processing, and provide access for students to Florida's state-wide library system and the Internet.
"Techno-Phobes" Are Welcome
For The Writing Project, the department selected 18 graduate assistants who had scored the highest on student and faculty-mentor evaluations, on the theory that enthusiasm and dedication to teaching meant more to the project's success than technology expertise.
For comparison purposes, all 18 instructors taught traditional as well as computer-based classes. Each class had no more than 30 students.
MOOville Becomes Real
Through their workstations, for example, students had access to an online, virtual "space" in which they could carve out their own private areas for online discussions in small groups. This MOO (multi-user, object-oriented) space quickly became known as MOOville. Before classwork for the semester began, groups of five or six students would describe and then build their workspaces in MOOville.
When an instructor assigned a short play for students to read, instead of discussing it by talking face to face with each other, each group of students would go to its workspace in MOOville and conduct their discussions online. Students were not allowed to address each other verbally. At their workstations, students had to type in their ideas for other group members to read and respond to; they also had to respond in return.
At first it seemed eerie to enter a classroom and see 30 heads bent over their screens, silently typing away. But instructors soon discovered that these online discussions had several advantages over the traditional, lecture-and-discussion approach to teaching English literature and composition.
In MOOville, the quality of an idea mattered most. Appearance and forcefulness were no longer barriers to participating in discussions. Instructors found that more students got actively involved in these online discussions.
As they typed their responses during online discussions, students saw their writing being "published" right in front of their eyes. Students could then see their writing put to good and immediate use. As students refined their ideas and opinions, the plays and novels they were discussing became real to many students for perhaps the first time in a classroom.
"Performing" in Virtual Space
Another exercise in literature classes required that students form into small groups to write a short, three-act play, based on a situation provided by the instructor. It could be a stormy night on an English moor or a smoke-filled bar in modern America.
Again, the groups entered MOOville to discuss the themes their plays should convey. Each student then adopted a character whose background, motives and dialogue could be developed, alone and with other group members, in MOOville.
Students were given three weeks to prepare their stories and characters. Once students were in character, they wrote a complete, three-act script, writing, refining and ad-libbing the action and the dialogue while online in MOOville. Each play was presented to other students, first as an online "dress rehearsal" and then live in front of the class with costumes and props.
Before any play was performed live, each group had to submit a final, polished script that was properly punctuated and grammatically correct. Through The Writing Project, students can also enter the mushrooming network of electronic discourse on the World Wide Web. They've discovered how to contribute to large and cooperatively written electronic Page (Document) s generically called hypertext. Through hypertext, writers often use electronic footnotes and pointers that refer readers to related information.
As students learn to navigate the Web, they're putting valuable research skills to work. Also, students learn how knowledge can be organized in fields such as law, business, engineering and the sciences. We at the university believe that mastering hypertext is vital for students because it will soon be a major pathway of communication among professionals in many fields.
Ease of Management Cuts Costs
The equipment donated to The Writing Project was designed to be used in a "client-server" setting. All software for managing the system and serving the students is stored on IBM RS/6000 servers, along with students' individual writing files and online discussions in MOOville. The "clients" are the 150 workstations used by the students who must work through the server to use the system's many features. Unlike personal computers, these workstations have no hard drives or floppy disk drives.
This client-server arrangement is also more cost effective than equipping classrooms with PCs. To make fair comparisons, we used the retail cost for acquiring and maintaining the IBM hardware donated to The Writing Project, along with the costs of software acquisition and maintenance, room preparation, audiovisual equipment, creating the computer network, and employing two, full-time system administrators. Calculated over five years, the costs of our client-server model were 22% less than costs for a PC-based system with the same or similar features.
Better Attendance, More Enthusiasm
The Writing Project is now entering its third year. It's too soon to quantify with accuracy how the computer-based approach is helping students become better writers.
However, we can say that compared to students taught in the university's traditional English literature and composition classes, students in The Writing Project show more excitement and engagement in their work. In their levels of attentiveness and attendance, students in 80% of the computer-based sections have outscored students in traditional sections taught by the same instructors. Instructors are just as enthused as students by The Writing Project. But by the end of the second semester, 95% of all instructors asked to be placed in computer-equipped classrooms in the future.
To those who say that a subject as complicated as writing cannot be taught with computers, we say that it definitely can, especially when the computer becomes the gateway to an environment that draws students in and excites them about expressing themselves through writing.
Within such an environment, creative and enthusiastic teachers can bring to life the plays and novels that students might otherwise dismiss as old and dry and dead. And by directing students to express themselves through writing, teachers with high-tech support can guide students to experience firsthand the impact on others--and the personal satisfaction--that come from learning to write clearly and well.
The linking of the WWW, VR, and MUDs is taking place in an Internet standard for 3-D animations called Virtual Reality Modelling Language (VRML). By going to most any WWW search engine, it is possible to use a combination of search terms for web sites on this topic. For example, using http://www.altavista.digital.com/ with the search term "VRML" resulted in 80,073 hits on December 22, 1996 and 359,660 hits on September 19, 1997. VRML is designed to be a dynamic extension of the HyperText Markup Language (HTML) standard that became the main component in the invention of the WWW in 1990 by particle physicists. In other words, VRML is intended for the WWW. Secondly, VRML is intended to be somewhat like VR in the ability to immerse participants into simulated 3-D worlds for education and entertainment. Thirdly, VRML can bring animation, audio, and 3-D reality to a MUD-type creation of imagined worlds and avatars in those worlds. However, VRML can also be used in a more mundane commercialization of the technology such as entering a simulation about being inside and operating a product such as a new model of automobile or a kitchen in an apartment complex that is still under construction. My favorite VRML repository is at the San Diego Super Computing Center at http://www.sdsc.edu/vrml/. (See also Virtual Reality)
Virtual settings, especially VR settings, are increasingly more realistic.
Images have ever increasing resolutions such that they are becoming less cartoon like and more like real-life images of people and places. VR is no longer requires helmets. Universities such as the University of Illinois, the University of Texas, and the University of Missouri have constructed VR caves which are actual rooms in which participants find themselves surrounded by data points that can be manipulated with waves of a wand. (Thank you David Ziebart for providing a tour of the University of Illinois cave at the Beckman Institute at http://www.uiuc.edu/research/labs.html#beckman . Senses of touch, temperature, and smell add even more realism.
Students and trainees can become immersed in very realistic harmful situations without getting harmed.
The military avoids a lot of flaming holes in the ground by training fighter pilots in VR before using real airplanes. Navy captains can navigate through level five typhoons without risking real ships and crews. Science students can mix up ingredients in VR labs that might explode or cause diseases like cancer. Medical students can wander about inside a brain while it is in a state of seizure.
Students and trainees can repeatedly be placed in settings that are rare events in real life.
For example, they can experience earthquakes, erupting volcanoes, level 5 hurricanes, terrorist attacks, nuclear explosions, etc.
Students and trainees can be placed in places and times that are not possible in a literal sense.
They can be transported back to ancient Egypt or thrust forward into an imagined colonization of Mars. They can crawl about inside jet engines while the engines are running. They can navigate the insides of a living organisms or inside constellations of research data points. The military, for example, has discovered that trainees perform better if they visualize a "mental model" of how things work in VR. VR helps them understand the physics and chemistry of jet propulsion rather than merely memorizing where the replacement parts fit inside a jet engine. Mechanics and computer technicians with a "mental model" of the machine are better able to deal with unusual problems than persons who only know where parts fit in the machine.
Participants find virtual learning more exciting and motivational than traditional books, lectures, and case discussions in class.
They feel much closer to happenings in real life than they do when merely reading descriptions about an event on a printed page.
Participants are active rather than passive learners.
They move about in cyberspace, visualize data, manipulate controls, and interact with other participants in the same space.
Learning can be more contextual. You can create interactive and animated hypermedia graphics and simulations that bring students closer to realities and experiences of the outside world. Students may also create hypermedia in their own learning projects.
You and/or your students can go on site to a factory, refinery, warehousing center, department store, government accounting office, etc. to videotape/photograph systems and people. Video (multimedia) boards allow you to play videotapes on computer monitors. Frame grabbers may then allow you to capture realism and enhance images for presentations. New hardware and software on the market make it possible to import (digitize) scenes from videotapes, 35 mm slides, and photographs into your CAL lessons. You can add full motion video files and audio files that students can interactively select and repeat from campus network computers. Financial analysts at TIAA/CREF enter a world of virtual reality to conduct security analyses for international portfolios. Possibly our students would benefit immensely from having an opportunity to see first hand such simulated realities and data mining.
Simulations can adjust to the abilities and aptitudes of the participants.
Artificial intelligence can be set into motion that will detect differences among participants and vary the learning experience so as to maximize the benefit from the sessions.
MUD-like simulations stimulate creativity and cooperation among students who previously showed little imagination or willingness to enthusiastically cooperate.
Even more powerful is the tendency for participants to help each other in ways that were not common in other settings. Repeatedly there have been accounts of how MUD experiences changed behavior by building confidence and self esteem. The outcomes of the MOOville Writing Workshop at the University of Florida clearly discovered that this tended to be the case.
Instructors can try different approaches with students in MUD settings by assuming different anonymous avatars.
A female instructor can become masculine and vice versa in relationships with certain students where gender issues appear to be important.
Anecdotal and scientific research on virtual learning is generally positive (subject to complications noted in the following section).
In "Training is Enhanced by Virtual Reality," Beth Azar provides an overview of VR research. Note especially her reports on the significant reduction in trainee mistakes as a result of VR. Typical success stories from Beth Azar's article are reported below.
During training, the VR group consistently completed the route slower and with more mistakes than either comparison group. But when subjects were asked to navigate a route in the real building, the virtual realty group did much better than the group training with photos and only slightly worse than the group training in the building. On average, the VR group made 1.1 mistakes and completed the route in 7.4 minutes. The photo-trained group erred 3.3 times in an average of 8.1 minutes. And the group that trained in the actual building made 9.2 mistakes in 11.5 minutes.
The researchers concluded that troubles learning how to use the equipment-not troubles learning the route-caused the poor initial performances. Indeed, performance in real life proved that those trained in the virtual building actually learned better than those who used photos and almost as well as those who learned in the building itself.
Beth Azar, March 1996, American Psychological Association Monitor
Good VR is very capital intensive.
Although hardware and software needed is becoming much less expensive and software modules are being written so that developers do not have to start from scratch in writing code for a VR application, authoring a high quality VR application is not within the reach of an average professor. Entire courses containing VR for all content modules are non-existent.
Good VR facilities that exist on some campuses are only available to a small subset of faculty.
In some instances, the facilities (like the cave at the University of Illinois) are housed in affiliated research institutes that give priority of usage to funded contract research. Attempts to use the hardware and software for development may prove futile unless relatively extensive funding is available for such purposes. Organizations that provide the funding often do so for proprietary research rather than student learning modules in the host university. Even if applications receive funding, using facilities like the cave for courses every semester may be impossible as a matter of policy or very expensive to "rent."
VRML is less capital intensive, far less realistic than VR, and not yet a uniform standard.
There is extensive literature hype that VRML is the biggest thing to hit the Internet since HTML enabled the creation of the WWW. Thus far it has been more promise than fact. The truth is that VRML is not yet a uniform standard for the WWW, which means that ten different VRML applications on the WWW may require seven different software installations (from different vendors) to run on a given computer. Even the best VRML applications such as those at The Palace at http://www.thepalace.com are not anywhere close to VR headgear or VR cave experiences.
MUD-type simulations are radical departures from traditional learning paradigms.
Few educators have training or experience in using MUDs. MUD attempts that are poorly designed and operated may be counter productive. For example, one possibility is that top students are totally turned off playing what they consider to be a silly game for freaks and children.
We are grateful to the vendors of commercial CAL aids who provided us with the listings shown in Appendix 1. Although we are critical of early publisher supplements reported in Jensen and Sandlin (1992a, and 1992b), it should be noted that most of the CAL items listed in Appendix 1 are either new or forthcoming, so our old criticisms may no longer apply. In some instances, however, we are still critical of the newer CAL materials, especially the supplements to accounting textbooks.
In contrast to CAL language, medicine, music, and science education (e.g., the A.D.A.M. [http://www.adam.com/] anatomy and physiology learning materials that are so popular in medical schools and bilingual science products from Integrated Learning Systems), disappointments for us (after having examined most publisher-supplied CAL supplements for college accounting textbooks) include the following:
In fairness, it should be pointed out that publishers are just beginning to experiment in replacing traditional hardcopy books with CD books and network servers. Early efforts have been confined mostly to free supplements to adopters of hardcopy textbooks. Free supplements seldom justify costly productions of those supplements. Massive investments in terrific CAL aids to be freely given away to educators are probably not as cost effective as free supplements to accounting textbooks as they are as supplements to science and mathematics textbooks having larger basic studies and secondary school markets. To date, accounting CAL supplements for accounting educators have often been rushed out by general programmers who are not specialists in the subject matter (whether it be accounting, economics, electronics, or automotive mechanics) that they are asked to author as textbook learning aids. Also the development corporations usually have not been given sufficient contract fees to do their best work. The CAL supplements have sometimes been hurried to the market full of errors and shortcomings.
In Appendix 1, it can be noted that many publishers offer spreadsheet supplements for accounting textbooks. Some of the other the Appendix findings are summarized below:
· Most publishing firms offer electronic transparencies in either Astound, PowerPoint, or related presentation software.
· Videotapes are sometimes available. Only recently have a few publishers ventured into videodisc supplements for accounting principles texts. These discs tend to be mostly video camera footage with little or no videographics and hypertext.
· Computerized cases and practice sets are more common and some of these are quite good, although few are yet in hypertext or hypermedia formats.
· Increasingly, publishers are offering supplements containing computerized databases of annual reports and/or financial data from real-world companies. However, few are hyperlinked to WWW databases such as EDGAR at http://www.sec.gov/edgarhp.htm. In general, publishing firms have not integrated the WWW online in CD textbooks and supplements.
· Custom publishing options in hardcopy, such that instructors can choose what portions of text material to combine into a text and the personally desired sequencing of chapters, are technologically easier in electronic books but few books in accounting education are available. This limits customization alternatives.
· Publishers are experimenting with accounting texts in CD or another electronic medium other than hardcopy, but their strong biases for hardcopy will delay for many more years their offerings of electronic or network alternatives to hardcopy. For example, one publishing firm has a CD version of a popular introductory accounting text, but the disc is not a hypertext or hypermedia extension. The CD simply contains parts of the textbook in word processing form.
· The Atkinson, Banker, Kaplan, and Young (1994) textbook entitled Management Accounting is noteworthy as being the first accounting text accompanied by an Internet bulletin board. Prentice-Hall was the first publishing company, to our knowledge, to offer an interactive two-way network dialog between adopters of selected textbooks and the authors of those books, including a bulletin board of latest readings related to the text, abstracts of related literature, and classroom aids. The ABKY network was the first of the Prentice-Hall offerings to adopters and is available on email@example.com.
· Few textbook authors or publishing houses have web pages that students can view for latest updates on book corrections, news reporting, supplemental problems and cases, and hyperlinking to WWW sites of particular interest to topics in the textbook.
· Irwin's experiment at providing a network server that replaces hardcopy textbooks in core business courses at Penn State University is unique and has not mushroomed to many other campuses or publishing firms.
Database servers are now on line for educational cases in business and accounting. For example, ECCH cases are available on the Internet (European Case Clearing House, Cranfield Institute of Technology, Beds, MK43 0AL, United Kingdom, 0234-750903.) The ECCH now offers an online network server for international cases. Some cases have interactive hypermedia at Harvard Business School Publishing (800-545-7685 or http://www.hbsp.harvard.edu/gateway.html ). The hypermedia cases are described at http://www.hbsp.harvard.edu:8000/groups/new_media/index.html. The CD course module "Managing International Business" from the Harvard Business School has some multimedia features (see the Appendix for the address and email instructions).
Perhaps some of the dilemmas of the publishing companies are best stated by the following anonymous response to our Appendix 1 inquiries:
Some thoughts without attribution: Advances in the use of electronic delivery systems are accelerating all the time. Already we could be well into the era of integrated media systems except that it takes money, and where does the money come from? Traditional text publishers (I spent 30 years with XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX publishing company and was closely associated with both their XXXXXXXXXXXXX Programs) have so badly polluted the market with free non-book materials the academic community has been spoiled into expecting free non-book materials in the future. But if a publisher were to attempt to change this, not only would the change be directly in conflict with expectation, how would a faculty member, or a student pay for it. (In the last two years the most common topic of discussions at the American Accounting Association national meeting was the effect of budget limitations on departmental and personal operations!)
While many textbook publishers supply CAL supplements, there is still much room for improvement. The following questions need to be directed to these publishers.
Because academic authors have become accustomed to citing ideas and short quotations from academic literature without always formally obtaining written permission for short quotations, it is tempting to carry this practice over into hypertext/hypermedia authoring. In the past, scholarly publications tended to cite and insert short quotations without formally obtaining written permission for each quotation. There is more legal risk in continuing this practice today. And yet, it is terribly inconvenient to have to obtain permission for each item quoted and possibly even dysfunctional if the inconvenience and delays lead to more paraphrasing of ideas without formal citations and original quotations. Also, there is a tendency to photocopy (without permission) longer portions of the literature for use by students on a nonprofit basis. Carrying such practices into hypertext/hypermedia authoring may be unethical or illegal in many instances even if works are cited and no profits are involved.
For a summary of the dangers in copyright infringements, see Rodarmor (1993). Zimmerman 1994) discusses record company policies with respect to music clip inserts into multimedia. Most charge royalties of on each item (e.g., disc) reproduced (not necessarily sold) unless the clips are taken from "royalty free" music byte files or copyrights have expired. Copyrights on music and video, however, extend much longer into time than patent rights.
Network and satellite broadcasting delivery of learning materials create special problems discussed in Switzer and Switzer (1994). For example, do rights to a single copy of a video clip, a music clip, a text segment, a published paper, etc. carry over to presentation to a "class" of students that are geographically dispersed across 50 states and foreign countries? Is there a legal difference between a class assembled in Room 214 on campus and a class assembled in front of geographically dispersed computers? The use of audiovisual works by a non-profit educational institution are governed by the fair use guidelines, including the 1976 Copyright Act Section 110 that sets guidelines for use of copyrighted works. Section 110 extends those guidelines to retransmissions. There are clearly defined exemptions of copyrights for classroom presentations and retransmissions, but how does this apply to materials on databases that are available online at various time continuums to widely dispersed "students?" The bottom line conclusion of Switzer and Switzer is that the "1976 Copyright Act should be revised and clarified in light of the technologies involved in education today. For now, copyright issues in distance learning remain a gray area." Clearly, legislators and courts dance on a fine line between responsibilities for stimulating creativity and stimulating learning.
Efforts to revise Section 107 on Education Fair Use in U.S. Copyright Law are bogged down in controversy. At present, laws are being proposed that may impose greater restraints than Section 107 of the copyright law on Education Fair Use. Networked learning modules may contain audio and video excerpts that were not purchased in an appropriate manner. Even if the material is not pirated, making it easy for students to pirate the material may violate someone's intellectual property rights. At the moment neither Congress nor the courts have clarified what can be done traditionally (e.g., copying an article on an overhead transparency for a class) that may not eventually be allowed for computer files (e.g., copying an article to a computer file for presentation in front of a class). Some proposed guidelines are viewed by many educators (including us) as a disaster to the Section 107 Fair Use laws as they now stand. For a discussion of these controversial guidelines, see Page (Document) 14 at http://www.trinity.edu/~rjensen .
There are now over 1600 "corporate univerisites," many from top level companies like Motorola, GE, AT&T, and Arthur D. Little. Thomas Moore claims: "Not only will many traditional business schools not survive, but the role of the managment professor will differ fundamentally from what it is today." Changes include:
*from bricks and mortar to virtual distiributed education;
*from soup to nuts to narrow specializations:
*from tenure track to hired guns;
*From academic degrees to demonstrated compentencies;
*From scholarly research to applied problem solving;
See Thomas E. Moore, "The Corporate University: Transforming Management Education," Accounting Horizons, March 1997, pp. 77-85.
I might add that many corporate universities are now in the process of becoming fully accredited, including some up for AACSB accreditation.
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Richard Meyer)
Subject: Student Performance
Last night as I was mulling over all the student performance concerns expressed by readers of this forum, the following came to mind. Warning: about 6 paragraphs ahead.
Peter Drucker recently predicted that higher education would disappear from the American scene within the next 20 or so years (Forbes, March 10, 1997, pg. 122+). Others also forecast a bleak future for higher education (see Eli Noam, Science, Oct 13, 1995). Even more recent experience with students as expressed in this forum suggests a cultural shift that may corroborate Drucker's dire prediction. At first, I pooh-poohed these prognostications because I couldn't figure out, for example, why a corporation would face the costs and risks of hiring a high-school graduate to train him or her for an accounting position (read: supervisor, personnel officer, engineer, etc.) Then I thought, perhaps the model is transforming. Consider...
The old model: Traditionally, colleges and universities prepare students for positions in the great American workplace. A corporation (hospital, factory, accounting firm, etc.) hires college graduates who have been prepared for work by training in specific skills and general knowledge (liberal education) and who have been screened into qualitative levels by the admissions process. Costs and risks are borne by the individual. Costs to the corporation are limited to grants made and taxes paid. The corporation faces little risk regarding whether the student is an academic failure; his/her transcript monitors that. Students are selected by schools which use a qualifying test of some kind (SAT, interview, resume, essay) and graduated with quality ratings provided by the brand name of the institution (Trinity, UTSA, etc.) The risk of failure faced by the corporation is modest -- provided brand name is meaningful. Unfortunately, the average student may be in school to get a ticket, not to learn anything. As this attitude spreads, the risk to corporations increases.
A new model: High school students skip college and enter the workplace, selected by corporations based on the potential success of students as measured by some parallel to the SAT, an interview or internal testing. New student hires enter a training program designed to equip them for specific jobs in the corporate setting. The corporation monitors them as they progress and stops their training at their level of competency; ie., intellectual capacity. (data entry versus bookkeeper versus accountant versus DP of Accounting.) The cost to the corporation? Several months to several years apprentice salary plus operational costs of adjunct professors. The risk to the corporation? Maybe less than the old model, if the quality of graduates from existing colleges is truly declining or becoming less reliably measurable. In this model, the student is able to stay in school only if they learn, so the risk to the corporation is lower. Actually, the costs of the new model to the collective corporate setting may not be as high as the old model either; data needed here.
Implications? Suppose the recent citation suggested by Jensen that there are 1,600 corporate schools operating nationally is a meaningful statistic of some institutional shift. Their emergence suggests that the costs and risks may be shifting in the direction of the new model. What if quality education has been diluted by competition to recruit students and operational cost increases driven by faculty demands and financial aid (a competitive element) to the extent that brand name is less meaningful than it was 20 or 30 years ago? What if colleges and universities have gradually migrated to a competitive framework where quality education has been lost in the bidding war to recruit high priced, big name faculty and to sell tickets to well placed positions in the job market? If you think this is speculative, it is. If you think it is unrealistic, consider how many position openings you've seen in your field lately for tenured associate or full professors. Then also consider the supply of PhD candidates unable to locate a tenure track position. Somewhere in this is a paper. Any economists around interested in trying to test the hypothesis? --
Professor Curt DeBerg, Department of Accounting and Information Systems,
College of Business, California State University at Chico, Chico, CA
Date: Thu, 24 Apr 1997 16:13:53 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: new website/fipse/prin. of acctg.
From Curt DeBerg
Comments: Accounting Education using Computers and Multimedia
Dear Colleagues: As a result of two grants from the U.S. Department of Education's Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE), the accounting department at California State University, Chico completely reengineered its two introductory undergraduate accounting courses and disseminated the model to six other colleges and universities across the U.S. The purpose of the email is to invite you to visit our new web page entitled "Curricular Revision Starting at Ground Zero: The Case of Introductory Accounting." The address is:http://www.csuchico.edu/acms/fipse.
This CSU, Chico website explains the process of curricular revision in these two foundation business courses, and describes the motivation for change, obstacles faced, resources obtained and put in place, structure of new courses, linkage of the resulting product to the institutional mission, outcomes assessment, and reaction of stakeholders. The site concludes with recommendations and advice to other institutions and faculty who are considering program and curriculum revision. The website is organized according to the following links. Note that several Page (Document) s (e.g., syllabi, sample cases and solutions, assessment results) easily can be downloaded to your hard drive). I welcome feedback from each of you.
* Motivation for Change
* Structure of the New Courses
* Introduction to Accounting I
* Samples Cases and Solutions
* PowerPoint slides
* Instructor Guidelines
Introduction to Accounting II
* Samples Case
* Instructor Guidelines
* Major Features That Distinguish the New Courses from Traditional Courses
* User Orientation
* Problem-Solving Skills
* Interpersonal Skills
* Computer Skills
* Serial Cases
* Relationship to Institutional Objectives
* Faculty Development
* Resistance to "Active Learning"
* Deficient Computer Skills
* Transitional Problems for Accounting Majors Moving to Intermediate Accounting
* Difficulties in Assessing Outcomes
* Continually Updating/Improving Instructional Materials
* Managing the Grading Load
* Outcome Measures
* Formative Survey Results
* Other Assessment Findings
* Sample Pre-Test: Attitudes
* Sample Post-Test: Attitudes
* Sample Final Exam: Introduction to Accounting I
* Sample Final Exam: Introduction to Accounting II
* Reaction of Interested Parties
* Recommendations for Interested Parties
* Index of Topics
Professor Curt DeBerg, Department of Accounting and Information Systems,
College of Business, California State University at Chico, Chico, CA
Professor Robert H. Ashton, T. Austin Finch Sr. Professor of Business Administration, Fuqua School of Business, Duke University, Durham, NC 27706
Biography Page: http://www.fuqua.duke.edu/faculty/rha2.htm
Link to the GAMBA online program: The GAMBA online program at Duke University
From: "Robert H. Ashton" (email@example.com)
To: Bob Jensen (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Subject: Re: August 17 Workshop Date: Fri, 20 Jun 1997 10:37:33 -0400 (EDT)
I'm a novice at this Distance Learning (and don't actually start teaching until next month), so I may not have all the terms straight, but here is what we do. It is interactive on the web. We use a combination of bulletin boards, chat rooms (I think that's what it's called when the communication is synchronous), real audio, screen cams, and cd-rom.
Briefly, the GEMBA program comprises 5 terms with, generally, 3 courses in each. Each term proceeds as follows--3 week pre-residential reading period, 2 week residential session, 11 week interactive distance learning period. The residential sessions are held in: Session 1--Durham, Session 2--Austria & Chech Republic, Session 3--Hong Kong & Shanghai, Session 4 (my term to teach)--Brazil & Argentina, and Session 5--Durham.
If you are interested further, just let me know and we can talk or I can send you some materials.
The question repeatedly asked during my dog and pony road shows (see Page (Document) 7 at http://www.trinity.edu/~rjensen) is "Does it really work well?" My answers are yes, no, and maybe. For WWW references on evaluation see my Page (Document) 3 using the search terms "Education in General" and then find the subcategory called "Evaluation." Here you will be linked to some of the top evaluation web sites and Page (Document) s. My own nutshell summary is that for almost a decade this has been a trip like none other in my three decades in the "academy." It has been a lot of work, joy, frustration, cost, and satisfaction. My students have had to bear up under my zealous failures as well as my successes in authoring hypermedia and web Page (Document) s. I have been blessed with unusually patient students and road show audiences.
One unfortunate myth is that CAL always entails passive learning from a student's viewpoint. This is true if instructors only make use of electronic transparencies or other multimedia while lecturing. However, hypermedia CAL is intended to be interactive and non-passive from a student's perspective. Students may be continually asked to type or speak responses into the computer and to navigate nonlinearly based upon discretionary controls (buttons, hotwords, and menus) or challenge controls that navigate based upon the type of response (e.g., the answer to a question) given by the student. These controls are what constitute the "hyper" part of hypertext and hypermedia. CAL materials may be placed on campus network servers or distributed in CDs and floppy discs such that students may access them outside the classrooms. These materials may be sophisticated simulations or even virtual realities that are in many ways better than real-life experiences, because simulations may be repeated over and over at the student's own learning pace and may take place in future and past settings for which there are no current opportunities for real world experiences. The virtual realities may take students to wanderings through complex data terrain, foreign lands, to flexible manufacturing systems, to Savings and Loan operations that are now defunct, to stock exchanges under varying market events, etc. I find that the most popular project assignments that I have ever made are those in which my students develop their own simulations or other multimedia presentations complete with video segments, hypertext, audio recordings, etc.
Assessment of new technology in learning is impossible to formally evaluate with both rigor and practicality. The main problem is the constantly changing technology. What can be done for students after my university installed a campus-wide network is vastly different than the before-network days. A classroom failure using last year's technology may not be appropriate to compare with a similar effort using newer technology. For example, early LCD panel projections from computers in classrooms were awful. In the beginning, LCD panels had no color and had to be used in virtually dark classrooms. This was a bad experience for most students and instructors (including me). Then new technology in active matrix LCD panels led to color but the classrooms still had to be dark. Shortly thereafter, new technologies in overhead projection brightness allowed for more lighting in classrooms while using LCD panels. However, many classrooms are not yet equipped with light varying controls to optimally set lighting levels. Newer trends with even better three-beam projectors changed everything for electronic classrooms, because now classrooms can have normal lighting as long as lights are not aimed directly at the screen. The point here is that early experiences with the first LCD panel technology are no longer relevant in situations where the latest projection technology, especially in fully equipped electronic classrooms, is available. Unfortunately, there is a tendency among some faculty to be so discouraged by one or two failed attempts that they abandon future efforts using newer technologies.
One of the most creative attempts to evaluate effectiveness from a Total Quality Management (TQM) perspective is reported by Prabhu and Ramarapu (1994). This is an attempt to measure learning using a TQM database that can be used to compare alternative teaching methods or entire programs.
It is easy to become discouraged with first efforts using older technologies. Many faculty and students became highly frustrated with the early complexities of using the Internet and/or campus networks that were not user friendly. Unless they took the time and trouble to become well versed in UNIX programming and became experienced hackers, the Internet turned into a totally discouraging nightmare. Now with the WWW and many other user-friendly innovations in campus and international networking, the need to become an experienced hacker is vastly reduced.
I have never found assessment literature to be of great importance in my decisions about when and how to use computer technology for my students, although I have gotten ideas on how to better my efforts in some areas. Readers interested in this literature can certainly find many studies praising the effectiveness of computer technology in gaining student attention, motivation, and performance. Numerous accounts of increased learning effectiveness at greatly reduced cost are available in the literature. For WWW references on evaluation see my Page (Document) 3 using the search terms "Education in General" and then find the subcategory called "Evaluation."
I have devoted considerable effort to authoring my courses in CAL as well as revising and adding material to supplements provided in one of my textbook choices. I have subjected my students to my triumphs and my failures. I have made and will continue to make scheduled demonstrations of my work at universities and conferences around the globe. My audiences will often suffer less than optimal equipment until newer projection devices can be financed and/or come on the market. My classrooms were too dark using an LCD until my university equipped several new classrooms with three-beam projectors. I am nowhere near where I want to be in evolving quality material. Hopefully both my support equipment and my materials will continuously evolve into better things.
Neither CAL nor CMS in general is for every educator before Year 2000, although I doubt that there will be many educators not using the WWW and other CAL aids in the next Century. CAL has many new and emerging options that all educators should investigate. Some accounting educators will find selective uses for materials prepared by others, e.g., commercial videotapes, compact discs, electronic transparencies, and videodiscs. Others like me will become fascinated in authoring their own CAL materials and assigning student projects for both teaching and research endeavors. The considerable time devoted to hypermedia authoring forced me to make better course preparations and generated concern about how to make my presentations more effective. My presentations are more colorful and efficient since I don't fumble as much with acetate transparencies and chalk erasers. My students can concentrate more in class since there is less need for note taking. My students learn the material better when they are able to study technical content on our campus-wide network at their own learning paces. Classroom time is devoted more to inspiration and attention to matters that were not understood on network. My students also are engaged in participative learning on individual and group projects where they both conduct research and develop computer aided presentations of their work. I become more involved with them by helping them author CAL presentations.
Education researchers will be devoting ever increasing energies creating new ways to use modern technology to help future generations want to learn. Educators of the future must teach more students than those in their classrooms and those who read their research papers and books. CAL is where our hopes of cost effective interactive education and training reside. It is important for educators to produce innovative instructional material for networks or for discs to be mailed to other colleges and libraries.
The conclusions of a Big Six accounting firm with respect to pre-college educators applies, in our viewpoint, to college educators:
Clearly, the potential savings inherent in transforming the existing labor-intensive system are enormous. Yet, there are attitudinal barriers that must be overcome before this transformation can take place. . . . The first of these pertains to teachers themselves.
Arthur Andersen (1994, p. 8)