Data, Research, Education and … Hunches

A national gas station chain opens a neighborhood store, adds a customer loyalty program, puts up a website to collect registration data, gets people to swipe the card at the pump whenever buying gas, while inside asks again for the card and/or zip code, pays out their incentives: coffee, frozen drinks, snack packs, cookies, crackers, 2-liter pops. A video camera records it all. Another day, a researcher working on a project to determine the snacking habits of obese people versus non-obese people has just struck a gold mine if they can agree to responsibly treat this data in the aggregate … Continue reading Data, Research, Education and … Hunches

Blackboard Open Enrollment Announcement

In another move following Blackboard’s March 26th announcement (aggregated responses on e-Literate site), yesterday Blackboard announced that Instructors using their CourseSites™ can make their courses available for enrollment by anyone, effectively supporting an open courseware model. It means individuals can set up open teaching initiatives, community outreach and volunteer training, as well as collaborative research programs. Of course, Sakai Project Sites also support these activities, but Sakai servers are not usually set up outside institutions. Instructure Canvas is another company that also supports these activities, with their “Free for Teachers” version. I don’t know whether it supports open enrollment. Yet. … Continue reading Blackboard Open Enrollment Announcement

No Wonder Video is Not For the Faint of Heart!

(…Or maybe just not for users who are PC-based, as I’m sure some of my readers would point out to me). This story starts out with an online course I’m taking in Advanced Technologies for Distance Education (this course description page is due for revision so it may not be up when you click on it). My assignment this week was to explore video for teaching – read about it, find some I like and why, and make some. As someone firmly planted in-between supporting the backend of an LMS and supporting the faculty who use it, this is excellent … Continue reading No Wonder Video is Not For the Faint of Heart!

Is it a project or a relationship or a language?

My ‘seat’ at the table of higher ed is smack dab in the middle of the IT service organization. We build stuff and keep the lights on, and oh, also support the Academy. Every month we start new projects. Every month we end projects. Most of our thought is project-based. On the walls around here are posters of our most recent project process revision, representing how to do projects better than the way we did them before. Although it’s great to have more definition of what it takes to get a new project out the door, I don’t like the … Continue reading Is it a project or a relationship or a language?