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UW Selects Desire2Learn as its New e-Learning System
by Tammy Kempfert, TTT Editor

UW System completed negotiations last week with Desire2Learn, a Canadian company whose product will replace WebCT and Blackboard as the campuses' common e-Learning system. TTT talked to members of the Task Force on Course Management Systems and to the President and CEO of Desire2Learn. Read the article to learn more about the RFP process and about what lies ahead. See also TTT's complete interview with Task Force Chair Kathy Pletcher. (April 2003)

Reading Images on the World Wide Web
by Marguerite Helmers, UW Oshkosh

Much attention has been given to website evaluation rubrics of late, but students and teachers frequently overlook the role images and site design play when assessing online resources. Helmers suggests that "graphics, color, sequence, and placement--the elements of the interface itself--are significant to conveying information about the author, subject, and veritibility of the pages." She offers some suggestions for evaluating images and symbols in web-based environments. (Jan. 2003)

Faculty Development at a Distance: The Ways of Knowing and Ways of Practice Experience
by Tammy Kempfert, TTT Editor

UW-Madison is hosting a unique professional development experience this semester, an online exchange called "Ways of Knowing and Ways of Practice." Sponsored by the Foundation Coalition, a National Science Foundation group that promotes systemic reforms in engineering education, the project called for participation of campus teams. The group initiated the experience with a face-to-face meeting in Madison. (Jan. 2003)

Saving Dollars and Making Sense of Common Systems
by Tammy Kempfert, TTT Editor

At a meeting of UW provosts, business officers, and chief information officers, participants discussed the ever-emerging role technology plays in achieving our collective mission. And they continued deliberating the best means of equitably distributing resources to every UW institution. Their task has been complicated--and, at times, controversial. TTT was there to cover the meeting, and to attempt to plainly describe what common systems means to our readers. (Jan. 2003)

A View from the Summit: William Massy Addresses UW Administrators
by Tammy Kempfert, TTT Editor

In times of fiscal crisis, Dr. Massy says that it's all the more important for academic institutions to get the most from their technology dollars. Addressing a group of UW administrators at the 2002 IT Summit, he recommended taking quick action to ensure that the technologies we use better serve our students and faculty. (Dec. 2002)

Using Database Software for "Do-It-Yourself" Online Homework Assignments
by Thomas Holme, UW-Milwaukee

The database software Holme uses allows him to use an ordinary PC or Mac as a web server to handle functions such as course registration, homework, scoring, and other course bookkeeping tasks. This, he feels, allows the instructor to exercise more control over the electronic aspects of the course, as opposed to large web course software systems such as Blackboard and WebCT. (Dec. 2002)

High-Tech Presentations: Are They Powerful or Pointless?
by Christy Carello, UW-Eau Claire

Most of the studies on computer-based imagery have evaluated student performance or attitudes in a lecture course where the professor uses the program. In this study, Carello evaluates the quality of student presentations using PowerPoint, and she assesses how these presentations affected student learning. (Nov. 2002)

Preparing for Change: UW and the Quest for a New e-Learning System
by Tammy Kempfert, TTT Editor

As universities have come to depend on course management systems, costs for the software have skyrocketed. Meanwhile, the products continue to undergo changes, as manufacturers compete to address the needs of the academic community. What will these factors mean to UW institutions? The Course Management System Task Force, created to investigate this issue, has researched the marketplace and selected four promising products that could provide a solution. (October 2002)

A University of Wisconsin First: UW-Stout Becomes a Laptop Campus
by Tammy Kempfert, TTT Editor

UW-Stout made history by becoming the first UW System campus to require its incoming freshmen to own laptop computers, which they lease through the school. In September 2002, TTT talked to three Stout administrators involved in the transistion. (Sept. 2002)

Go West, Young Scholar: An Update on Internet2 in Wisconsin
by Tammy Kempfert, TTT Editor

UW System institutions have hopped aboard a high-speed network backbone called Abilene. Named for the 1860's railhead that initiated westward expansion, Abilene is intended to provide innovative teachers and researchers passage to yet unoccupied technological terrain. It was created by major research institutions for the Internet2 project and came about as a response to an increasingly jammed World Wide Web. Learn more about Internet2 in Wisconsin. (May 2002)

Beating eCheating: Strategies for Discouraging Internet Plagiarism
by Tammy Kempfert, TTT Editor

Whether or not online sources have in fact increased the incidence of academic dishonesty remains unverified. Certainly technology has provided more opportunities for students to cheat, but so has it created new ways for teachers to deter latent plagiarists. In fact, some UW faculty are using the Internet to take matters into their own hands--or their own mouses, so to speak. (January 2002)

Journal Costs and Electronic Resources: Perspectives on the Future
by Hal Schlais, Coordinator for Learning Technology Development, University of Wisconsin System Administration

Revisiting some of the issues handled in TTT's September 2000 special issue on electronic resources and academic libraries, Schlais examines the current state of affairs in academic publishing. How can research and teaching materials be distributed in the widest and most cost-effective manner? How do new technologies change the information landscape?

TTT's Transitions: A Message from the Editor
by Jennifer Smith, TTT Editor

The June 2001 issue marked Jennifer Smith's last as editor. In observance of this transition, she offers some closing remarks as well as a word on what to expect for TTT's future.

eWEEK Magazine Judges Web Learning Tools at UW-Madison
by Jennifer Smith, TTT Editor

From April 11 to 13, eWEEK magazine hosted a competitive demonstration of multimedia content development tools for the web called an "eWEEK eVALuation" at UW-Madison's Engineering Hall.  Vendors from four different companies came to demonstrate their wares to administrators, faculty, and instructional technology professionals using identical content provided to them by the eVAL organizers. Read about the new generation of tools for constructing online learning objects. (May 2001)

UW System to Provide Educational and Career Support to Migrant Workers and their Families
by Jennifer Smith, TTT Editor

"Reach Out," a UW System program that will receive major funding from the U.S. Department of Education, aims to raise the educational achievement and academic and employment horizons of migrant farm workers and their families in Wisconsin. Read about this innovative program that will combine distance-learning and face-to-face elements to further extend the scope of the Wisconsin Idea. (Oct. 2000)

Making Sense of Alphabet Soup: On Current Efforts for Sharing Instructional Resources
by Hal Schlais, Coordinator for Learning Technology Development, UW System

The Teaching with Technology Today project consists of a web-based NEWSLETTER and WISLRNTEC, a companion listserv where members discuss technology, pedagogy, and student learning. TTT was instigated by the UW Learning Technology Development Council; it receives significant support from UW-Extension's Division of Continuing Education.