Monday, July 23

November (2004) Issue: ELC Knowledge Sharing Newsletter

(Originally posted in ELC on the 3rd December, 2004)

Assalamu Alaikum wrt wbt & Greetings to ALL!
Welcome to the November issue of ELC ?Knowledge Sharing? newsletter. This issue contains several excellent sites, articles, and research papers found from various online resources during November, including the real story behind the failure of U.K. eUniversity, a virtual drummer school, and two excellent free educational games that can perhaps be integrated into some management and business courses at UNITAR. We hope you find the resources we have selected useful, and if there is something you'd like to see in an upcoming issue, please let us know.

In this Issue:

1) Virtual U & Forex Trader a) Virtual U
"Virtual U is designed to foster better understanding of management practices in American colleges and universities. It provides students, teachers, and parents the unique opportunity to step into the decision-making shoes of a university president. Players are responsible for establishing and monitoring all the major components of an institution, including everything from faculty salaries to campus parking...(Harvard's Graduate School for Education used VU in the spring 2004 semester)."
b) Forex Trader
URL: &
"With Forex Trader on your Windows? PC, you can develop and test your trading skills without risking real money: Buy and sell Swiss Francs (CHF), German Marks (DEM), British Pounds (GBP) and Japanese Yen (JPY) at realistic broker prices. Automatically calculate trade profit/loss and update your imaginary trading account balance. Analyze historical exchange rate fluctuations. Test and compare different trading systems and techniques..."

2) Community Discussion on Open Sharing and OpenCourseWare Speaker: William G. Bowen President, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation URL:
"Who could have guessed that a Florentine omelet played a role in the origins of the OpenCourseWare initiative? A breakfast meeting in a New York ?greasy spoon? was one of the seminal moments shaping OCW, according to William G. Bowen, who dined with Charles Vest and discussed Mellon Foundation support for the initiative. Bowen praises Vest and others for their passion and determination to bring MIT?s knowledge to the world --for free. Bowen cites data showing that while MIT might benefit from Mellon funding, ?the greatest benefits are received by those with the least resources??individuals and institutions around the world who take advantage of MIT?s web course publications. He also lauds Vest for pursuing issues of equity in higher education. ?Higher education isn?t about exploiting a monopoly position to maximize profits. It?s about husbanding scarce resources to serve societal goals in the most effective way possible...?

3) The Quality and Extent of Online Education in the United StatesAuthor: Alfred P. Sloan Foundation URL:
"Entering the Mainstream: The Quality and Extent of Online Education in the United States, 2003 and 2004 represents the second annual study of the state of online education in U.S. Higher Education. This year?s study, like last year?s, is aimed at answering some of the fundamental questions about the nature and extent of online education..."

4) The Virtual Drummer SchoolDirector & Creator:Salvador Niebla URL (article):
"The Virtual Drummer School is an online musical school specialized in Drums & Percussion. Over the last three years, they have achieved the following:

  • More than 17,000 registered students
  • Some 40,000 visits per month from 120 countries

Their school's pool of teachers includes musicians like: Peter Erskine, Dave Weckl, Giovanni Hidalgo, Bill Bruford, Gregg Bissonette Ignacio Berroa, Alex Acuñ¡ ¥tc..considered to be the best drummers of the world.

All the experience accumulated over these last years led them to develop a new prototype of website for online education, very innovative with various tools for the students' e-learning and that they would like to implement over the next months..."

5) Evolving Faculty Development: A Model for Responding to ChangeAuthors: Benjamin Hambelton and Kevin S. Wilson URL:
"A major challenge in faculty development is moving faculty from technical skills training to consideration of the pedagogical potential and implications of digital technologies. One university's seven-year evolution from skills training to curricular development to technology-infused pedagogical design will provide a model for structuring faculty development efforts at other institutions..."

6) A Cross-Disciplinary Evaluation of Students' Online Learning ExperiencesAuthors: Timmis, Ros O'Leary, Elisabet Weedon, Colin Harrison, and Kerry Martin URL:
"This paper focuses on online learning experiences of students from a range of disciplines, drawing on and presenting outcomes from the SOLE (Students' Online Learning Experiences) project. SOLE, funded by LTSN and JISC, has undertaken evaluations of the learning experiences of students using virtual learning environments (VLEs) across five disciplines. The paper will introduce the study and present a summary of key findings on several aspects including the way in which the VLE was embedded in the pedagogy, tutor and student roles and communication issues. The paper concludes with a discussion of some emergent themes and the role of the discipline in the design and implementation of online learning experiences..."

7) Ten Technologies That Are Going To Change The Way We LearnAuthor: Robin GoodURL:
Ten (10) key technologies that Robin Good believes will make a major difference in how we will be learning in the future:

  • Search technologies
  • Data visualization tools
  • Blogs - Direct publishing and content aggregation tools
  • Audio and video - increased use of audio and video as communication channels for small publishers
  • RSS - content syndication, aggregation, re-use
  • P2P - private and public file sharing networks
  • Unlimited storage - on the desktop and online
  • Unlimited bandwidth - Wifi - WiMax
  • Real Time Collaboration Tools
  • Collective and Collaborative Filtering - human spontaneous cooperative technology like and

8) Google ScholarAuthor: GoogleURL:
"Google Scholar enables you to search specifically for scholarly literature, including peer-reviewed papers, theses, books, preprints, abstracts and technical reports from all broad areas of research. Use Google Scholar to find articles from a wide variety of academic publishers, professional societies, preprint repositories and universities, as well as scholarly articles available across the web..."

9) Classrooms or E-Learning, Instructors Remain Central Authors: Tom Kelly & Nader Nanjiani URL:
"What has become obvious is that the organizational impact needs to be broader than any single group or department can achieve, hence the resurgence of the corporate university.
An initiative called ?Cisco University? (CU) has been launched under the watchful eye of Kate DCamp, Cisco?s senior vice president of human resources. She relies on e-learning and other instructional media to offer content to a large, dispersed audience..."

10) The Real Story Behind the Failure of U.K. eUniversityAuthor: Richard GarrettURL:
This article looks at some of the reasons for UKeU's failure, which include timing, focus, branding, platform investment (around 35 Million US Dollars), and impatience...

11) Embedding e-learning in large organisationsAuthor: Learndirect URL:
"Learndirect initiated research in companies employing more than 500 people, with the aim of identifying the extent to which e-learning is embedded within large organizations and the factors that companies can manage to create an environment in which e-learning can flourish..."

12) Contemporary Online Education ChallengesAuthor: Brent MuirheadURL:
"Brent Muirhead discusses some of the educational concerns about the quality of today?s online degree programs. He also gives some relevant instructional advice on how to enhance the teaching and learning process.
...eight (8) facilitator tasks that encourage relevant online work and interaction:

  1. Leading introductory, community-building activities
  2. Providing virtual ?hand holding? to the digitally challenged
  3. Acknowledging the diversity of participants? backgrounds and interests
  4. Infusing personality with tone, graphics and humor
  5. Maintaining a nurturing pace of responding
  6. Keeping up with a pace set
  7. Organizing posts and discussion threads
  8. Balancing private email and public discussion..."

13) Next-Generation Educational Technology Versus The LectureAuthor: Joel Foreman URL: (PDF, 328 Kb)
"In this excellent article, Joel Foreman (2003) argues that despite waves of IT-driven transformation sweeping through the higher education system, many obsolete academic structures remain obdurately intact. He goes on further to argue that the ?most worthy of change? is the large lectures such as those found typically in undergraduate introductory courses, which mainly exists because it is cheap and pragmatically useful. He envisions that someday it will be replaced by the kind of immersive 3-D digital environments that have been popularized by the videogame industry, such as Ultima and the Sims Online, in which hundreds of thousands of players can simultaneously interact in graphically rendered immersive worlds. In other words, students can enter and explore a screen-based simulated world that is the next-best thing to reality..."

That's All Folks!

Warm Regards & Sincerely,

Zaid Ali Alsagoff

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