Needs Analysis Responses


Student Response, Bryn Mawr College

I am working from my experience as a student, which tends to emphasize student-professor interaction and practical experience over theory. Additionally, as a student, I am not used to collaborating per se. Instead, I am usually encouraged to give feedback about what's working and what doesn't and to develop ideas about what would work better, not to participate directly in making changes. That advisory position is the way much of the following is phrased, but I am eager to make a transition to collaboration.

I am a sophomore double major in history and economics. The vast majority of my course assignments are papers (from 15-pager research papers to single-page responses, rough outlines to re-re-revisions). To write a paper, I need a thoughtful assignment, resources to gather information and ideas, communication with the professor if I have problems and, of course, time. I am also assigned problem sets, memorization, and occasional oral presentations. I have an average of fifty pages of reading per class, a little more for history, a little less for economics, attend lectures and take tests. I think I would split my needs into four areas: basic information, help accessing and using texts, help thinking and learning, and help understanding how to use tools efficiently.

In thinking about the above questions I have talked with about a dozen other students, focusing on sophomores interested in the social sciences. Almost every student I have spoken too has mentioned a desire to have a permanent source of basic class information. Class web pages with the syllabus, assignments, and office hours are useful. Even the most organized student can loose notes or not have them immediately available. Most classes change their plans around at least once during the semester and a dynamic syllabus is preferable to an additional piece of paper, which at least one student will never receive. Online syllabi also grant the professor a more flexible class structure. I have had several professors who dealt with their uncertainty about scheduling by outlining the syllabus without any dates, saying they would keep us updated as the semester progressed. They did not, and I was always unsure what the assigned readings for any given class were. An online syllabus, provided it is updated, solves this easily, granting the professor flexibility and the student confidence about expectations. Online assignments are a further protection against disastrous misplacements. They can be developed as they were not in class and they can encourage a professor who tends to give assignments vaguely and orally to standardize the request. The second area we are interested in is help manipulating texts. Bryn Mawr has been experimenting with scanning reserve readings and posting them online. I have been told that they help with copyright issues, and, taking a class at Haverford, I've been grateful that I didn't have to go there to complete my readings. They protect against loss, and, if one prints them out at the computer center, one can avoid spending twenty to thirty dollars on a bound course pack or making the copies oneself. They can be fuzzy, the scanner sometimes misidentifies words, and printing them out can take 15 minutes for 10 pages. In general, the higher quality of the images and convenience of having all the readings bound in one place with a table of contents means that a course pack is still more appealing to me than online reserve readings, but I prefer the online readings to a single edition to be read or copied in the library. I would like to see more emphasis on electronic text. I used Project Gutenberg a great deal in high school and still use it when a class works from "Classic" texts. Electronic texts are searchable, editable and, because they are text rather than pictures, they are easy to read and fast to print. Having The Prince in text form allows one to find every mention of Cesar Borgia in two minutes and spend the rest of the afternoon developing an intellectual point. I do not know how much harder it would be (or if it would be legal) to scan reserve readings as text, but I think it is worth looking into.

When problems sets are not graded, but are assigned and uncollected, posting their answers on the web site is a wonderful thing. It encourages students to check their answers immediately rather then waiting until they can see the TA, and since there is no reason to print them out, saves paper. Even if the assignment is due and graded, posting the answers after the problems are handed in allows immediate feedback, and if they stay up, they're a good review resource.

Some professors publish class notes or class outlines, so that students can focus on listening in class. These can be quite useful, but I understand choosing not to use them. I've never seen a class comment board or list serve work as effectively as a class discussion, perhaps because students are even more self-conscious about how they appear when they can see what they're typing then they are when they're speaking

Archaeology does much with slides. They post photographs of important objects on the web site and students memorize what, who, when, where etc. It saves the professors from being limited by the textbook illustrations and is far better than hunching over library slides or attempting to memorize written notes. However, the web page design is not oriented towards self-quizzing, for one has to click on the name and details to bring up the picture.

Technology can help students to communicate with a professor and be incorporated directly into in-class teaching. E-mail can be a fantastic tool, but it is also subject to abuse. I had a professor who had her students e-mail response papers to her the day before class. She was then able to read them and be prepared to address issues we were interested in during class. Multiple mass e-mails a day, failure to check e-mail regularly, ignoring e-mail when there is a paper due, and changing assignments at the last minute are all abuses that people I spoke with have mentioned. In making assignments and announcements professors seem to forget that many students don't have computers, which means that last minute information won't necessarily get to them and e-mails are either printed out or deleted, meaning that information not immediately valuable may be lost.

Power point is also subject to abuse. Professors have a tendency to get involved in having things scrolled out and simply read what appears, destroying lecture flexibility and creating an extremely boring session of professor-reading-what-students -can-see-to-class. However, showing maps, diagrams, charts, change over time, accessing on-line information, using a spreadsheet to do calculations, or video equipment are all interesting and effective uses of classrooms with screens and computers. However, many professors have a difficult time using the projectors to play videos. Whatever sort of training is in place does not seem to be effective.

I find that I tend to learn to use technology when I need it. Thus I did not remember my "how to use the library tour" when I needed it. The tour was part of the first week of orientation, when many other things were of far greater concern and I had no idea which of these resources I would need to use. I have learned to use the resources I do by tinkering and asking specific questions when I needed specific things. However, I tend to start research during non-traditional working hours, which means I am working with students who do not have a professional librarian's knowledge base. The times when I have asked a professional librarian for help, I have been gratified by how much they know and how easily and eagerly they help me. The librarians here are great, I just need to get into the habit of asking so that I can be pointed in the direction of specialized resources like Diabola or Pools Index that I would never find on my own. The library's web page is very helpful in introducing some of the resources that are available. Its emphasis on textual instruction, so that students can teach themselves when they need it is helpful.

Many professors use their classes to teach computer skills in passing. Learning to use a spreadsheet, for example makes sense in context when one is manipulating large sets of data. Some professors have students work with web pages: part of the assignment will be to post one's work on the web. Students I've spoken with are divided about the web pages: some like learning the skill and seeing their work "published" others would rather spend their time on the topic at hand since web design doesn't interest them and does not directly address the topic (Chinese Film, for example).

I have concerns about the computing center. The professionals I have dealt with have been helpful and knowledgeable. The student employees know very little and seem to be in no position to learn more. Troubleshooting is an extremely valuable skill that can only be learned through experience. Through student ops, the college has an opportunity to teach that is not being taken advantage of. Although many student employees are "doing their time", most students sign up to be computer ops because they are interested in learning more about computers. Instead, computer ops spend most of their time asking to see IDs and handing out passwords. Even "specially trained" ops can only work within a small sphere and do not have the theory behind what they are doing, so they are very limited in what they can take away from the experience.

Nancy Strippel

Bryn Mawr College


Faculty Response, Bryn Mawr College


1) What are pedagogical approaches you use in social science classes?

Lecture to convey the use of a tool or technique

Lecture to synthesize material

Lecture to convey material not in the reading

Team or small group problem solving

General class discussion

Student presentations

In class writing to focus thinking

Email-based discussion lists focusing on class material or current events

Short student papers applying theory to current policy problems

Faculty comments or a peer review as basis for revision of student papers

Research exercises comprising parts of a research paper under controlled conditions

Short-answer problem sets

Literature reviews or article summaries

Senior research paper (thesis)

Service learning or internship journal writing

2) Kinds of resources you encounter and need for class

Easy access to current periodicals

Statistical data in a form easily manipulated by students

Ready access to information of successful approaches used by colleagues

Tools to manipulate, display, and integrate data with text in papers, for classroom presentations, and for sharing with others in the class.

Easy access to professional journal articles and working papers

The ability to share student writing in a timely manner

Access to writing and quantitative support services for students

Access to style guides and assistance for students in citing and evaluating resources encountered in the Internet.

Ways of giving students frequent feedback on their progress that does not overwhelm the rest of my life

Help for thesis students in tracking down data

3) What roles and responsibilities do you currently assume regarding the use and instruction of technology?

Create class Web pages

Create or adapt handouts for the use of statistical software (Excel and RATS).

Create assignments for students to use statistical software.

Help students with computer related problems

Create class email lists.

Duplicate and submit material for electronic reserves.

4) What goals do you have for collaboration in this area?

Figure out the most effective way to split instruction/support for the use of software among me, library, and IT personnel

Figure out how much of the workload I now carry that I can shift to others with a comparative advantage in these things

Find easy ways for library and IT personnel to keep me apprised of new resources

Removing obstacles to getting things scanned, stored, and distributed

Find ways to encourage students to take more responsibility for their learning

5) What resources are you considering devoting to its future development?

Participating in campus debates about the allocation of resources to academic support

Tracking down Web sites of faculty teaching in areas that overlap with mine

Attending (or convincing colleagues to attend) conference/workshops on pedagogy in my field.


David R. Ross, Associate Professor and Chair

Department of Economics

Bryn Mawr College

Bryn Mawr, PA 19010


Librarian Response, Bryn Mawr College


Questions for Librarians:

What specific resources in the social sciences do you think would best contribute to or support student learning in the classroom?

For each full-text database, index or other web-based information source, explain briefly how it could help expand the students' critical information gathering skills. The Library Web Site, with its resources organized for specific disciplines is one of the most valuable, yet under-used resources for support of student classroom learning. It suggests databases chosen particularly for their usefulness in terms of authority, relevance, and timeliness. By avoiding generic web search engines, and massive metasites, both of which often lead to ephemeral, inaccurate, tangential search results, the Library's web pages can greatly improve research efficiency and reduce wasted time. By pointing them to peer-reviewed, academic articles and publications, databases provided through the Library Website helps train students to recognize high-quality writing in their research topic. PsycInfo, the primary index to articles in psychology and related subjects, can serve as an example. Highly specific indexing generated by field experts, combined with an online thesaurus, expose students to the vocabulary and organization of the literature(s) relevant to this discipline.

What roles and responsibilities do librarians on your campus currently assume regarding the instruction in the use of electronic information sources in support of student and faculty research?

Librarians tend to assume typical and traditional roles. They are called upon occasionally by select faculty to give brief (c. 50 minute) instruction in relevant resources. Professor/course-specific instruction sessions may occur during or outside class time; usually tied to specific assignments. Instructor may or may not be present. They also provide instruction as part of reference desk assistance, often needing an extensive reference interview to clarify a student's confusion or uncertainty about the assignment. Typically, a student may state she is required to "use the web" in fulfilling an assignment, but is unclear how that's supposed to happen. In some rarer circumstances, librarians may be involved more deeply in pedagogy. They may work with faculty behind the scenes do devise assignments or contribute to overall course design. I have on occasion discussed with instructors challenges in teaching in the new web environment, where information literacy skills are more severly tested than ever before.

What goals do you have for collaboration with faculty, students, and information technologists in the field of electronic information?

Better coordination, better communication, so that I can better know what is needed from me and how well my efforts are succeding.

Mark Colvson

Bryn Mawr College Library


IT Response, Bryn Mawr College



What technologies could enhance student and faculty research/teaching/learning?

Include a brief description of the technology and a brief explanation of its potential usefulness. The networked environment provides a world of opportunities for student and faculty research/teaching/learning. Local networks and the Internet allow teachers and learners to communicate with each other and with people with similar interests around the world. Course web sites, either home-grown or in a "course management system" context, provide a central focus for access to information resources, communications (threaded discussions, synchronous chat, announcements, etc.), sharing of student work, interactive exercises, grade tracking, and more. I'm curious about various hardware technologies, such as white boards that display the computer's projected image and also allow writing and mouse-clicking. I've just seen them demoed at conferences and wonder if they'd be useful in a small classroom setting.

What roles and responsibilities do you currently assume regarding the use and instruction of technology?

I work with faculty in small groups and one-on-one in training them to use scanners and create PowerPoint and web content. I also train faculty in the use of "smart classroom" presentation equipment. I visit classes and demonstrate statistical software and library resources to students. I'm available for "house calls" to faculty offices for training in regular desktop applications and basic operating system help. Whatever your technology need, I'll try to help or will find someone who can.

What goals do you have for collaboration in this area?

We're trying to bring together teams of librarians, instructional technologists, and computing services staff to have specific liasionship roles with academic and administrative departments on campus. I hope that these collaborations will be fruitful, and that our end users will have a better sense of who has particular expertise and interest in their area.

What resources are you considering devoting to its future development?

This is a campus-wide initiative, and I will do whatever I can to cooperate and help.


Susan Turkel

Instructional Technology Coordinator for the Social Sciences

Bryn Mawr College


Student Response, Haverford College


Questions for Students:

What are your learning and research needs as defined by course assignments? Map out the range and variation, including both the content and the kinds of resources you encounter and need.


1) Judicious use of multimedia in the classroom can be very helpful, but the emphasis is on judicious. Some professors never use any, while others lecture only from Powerpoint slides.


1) Providing electronic versions of photocopied texts on the Internet, such that readings can be easily accessed through computer terminals instead of having to share limited physical reserved copies with other students.

2) Recording selected lectures and having these lectures accessible through streaming media.

3) Providing class syllabi and assignments on the Internet, such that a centralized resource is available.


1) Having a simple starting research wizard in the library webpage that allows students to frame a general research area or topic, and where the wizard can suggest different databases and library areas in which to search.

2) Knowing the availability of tools to conduct surveys, studies and even experiments on the Internet. Having a workshop where students can make good use of the resources available to them so they can conduct research themselves with a large sample.


1) Having anonymous feedback message boards for each class so that opinions about the class can be voiced throughout the semester, such that professors can have a better grasp of how students are handling course material.

2) For departments to have more attractive and more frequently updated webpages.

3) For ACC to get keyed licenses to a broader range of software that students can learn to use. Including software for web development and for information managing (such as programs that allow data to be recorded in a branching tree form).

What goals do you have for collaboration in this area?

1) Actual implementation of some of the above so that faculty can see it actually happening, and more importantly working.

2) The thrust of this has to come from the students, because the technology is easier for us to grapple with than for faculty. Acquisition and workshops on various exciting software programs such as Photoshop or Flash will promote student interest. Perhaps a student club that fosters interest in web development should be started and funded through student council and the Mellon grant. Student council money alone probably won't be enough for getting this kind of thing started. But it's exactly what we need.


Faculty Response, Haverford College


What is the course content and what are the pedagogical approaches for which you want to draw on technological resources? Map out the range and variation, including both the content and the kinds of resources you encounter and need.

I plan to continue developing the "hypersyllabus" course resources I currently have for my Intro Psych and Methods courses. The major challenges involve (a) augmenting and maintaining hypertextual depth in my course notes and linked readings, (b) better integrating on-line course discussion through Web Forum, and (c) adding streaming audio-visual materials.

What roles and responsibilities do you currently assume regarding the use and instruction of technology?

I serve as the faculty fourth of the "Collaborative Information Officer" and next year will be Special Assistant to the Provost for Information Technology.

What goals do you have for collaboration in this area?

I expect next year, in the role described above, to communicate with most Haverford faculty about technology integration into their teaching

and research. Specifically, I want to encourage the building of individual Web resources that gradually become part of larger departmental, College, and global webs.

What resources are you considering devoting to its future development?

I hope to guide planning for capital campaign funding to endow continued support and growth for Haverford's pedagogical and scholarly use of information technology.

Doug Davis

Department of Psychology

Haverford College


Librarian Response, Haverford College


What specific resources in the social sciences do you think would best contribute to or support student learning in the classroom? For each full-text database, index or other web-based information source, explain briefly how it could help expand the students' critical information gathering skills.

Given the breadth of the disciplines encompassed by the social sciences, it is a bit difficult to name specific sources which would be useful across all of the disciplines. So, I will answer the question with a selection of the types of resources rather than specific resources: Given the continuing importance of journal literature, I think that it remains important for students to learn the basics of what an index is, how one is structured, how one searches, and then how to apply that basic knowledge to a discipline-specific index, e.g., PsychINFO, Sociological Abstracts, EconLIT, etc. The emphasis in teaching this should be in giving the students a knowledge of the purpose and structure of this type of source so that s/he can transfer that knowledge to new situations. In fact, given the rate of change when it comes to the specifics of electronic resources (access software, interface design, etc.), this is the emphasis which all of our instruction in this area should have. In economics and sociology, the use of survey datasets, statistical series data (usually in a combination of print and electronic forms) and other types of statistics is becoming increasingly necessary. At present we have only a relatively small number of senior thesis students needing this type of resource, but given the increased accessibility of such sources via the Internet and the greater computing power available to students on their desktops, I can only imagine that the need will grow both in numbers of students and in complexity. I would like to see a more integrated and proactive approach to providing support to students in this area--one in which faculty advisors, computing staff and librarians could provide advice and guidance to students during the thesis formulation so that they know not only whether relevant datasets exist but also what type of support they can expect to receive in downloading, extracting and manipulating the data in order that they can make informed decisions about whether or not to pursue thesis research which requires this type of resource. I do not have alot of experience with simulation/scenario building software but I think that there are probably curriculum areas in which such products would be useful tools. They may, in fact, already be in use by some of our faculty. I am thinking of products such as SimCity, Virtual U, Capitalism, which allow the user to explore the impact of various actions/policies on an imaginary city/organization/corporation. I am not sure how the library would fit into this. Perhaps there are ways to customize some scenarios by incorporating real-life background info and data. I have not given this a great deal of thought. It really just occurred to me.

What roles and responsibilities do librarians on your campus currently assume regarding the instruction in the use of electronic information sources in support of student and faculty research?

We do the standard lecture/demo type of library instruction and, of course, one-on-one instruction at the reference desk. As both traffic at the desk and the willingness of faculty to "give up" a class period for library instruction decrease, we really need to explore other means of delivering instruction and other forms of outreach. We also take part in some ACC workshops for faculty and staff.

What goals do you have for collaboration with faculty, students and information technologists in the field of electronic information?

I'd like to see a more integrated approach--one in which faculty and librarians and IT staff communicate with each other more often and in a more proactive way. Involvement of all parties earlier in the development process would lead to better designed projects and assignments. We, of course, know this already and have always known it. The trick is to find ways to make it happen given time and resource constraints.

Mary Lynn Morris, Acting Science Librarian

(Also Electronic Services, Government Information, and Economics)

Haverford College, 370 Lancaster Avenue, Haverford, PA 19041-1392


Information Technologist Response, Haverford College


What technologies could enhance student and faculty research/teaching/learning?

Include a brief description of the technology and a brief explanation of

its potential usefulness.

In the social sciences, there are many technologies that can

enhance both the student and faculty experience in research, teaching and

learning. There is a need for data analysis, video editing capabilities

for experiments and demonstrations, web searching and creation both for

research and sharing of results, web discussion groups, and many others.

There is probably no technology that would not enhance research, teaching

or learning in some way. The real problem is not so much as to determine

which technologies enhance curricular goals (yet to be stated) but to only

use technology as a means of accomplishing those goals, and not just because

it exists. There is a real danger in getting caught up in the push for

new and exciting technology and it is critical that when determining which

technology to use, that a real effort be made to ensure that it in fact

offers a better way of accomplishing the ultimate goal: education. I see

a need for basic competence at all levels (student, staff, faculty, administration)

for research, writing and communicating using computers, but beyond that

the field is wide open to determine where to focus resources to enhance

the educational experience and not just create a technological jungle.

What roles and responsibilities do you currently assume regarding the

use and instruction of technology?

Our primary responsibility is to provide faculty and staff members

with operating equipment and software supported by the college. We are

responsible for helping them use the equipment and software provided in

whatever way they need. This involves everything from helping them fix

a jammed printer to figuring out which program will help analyze a particular

data set most effectively, to helping them create a PowerPoint presentation

for a class.

In addition to maintaining the basic services on campus (such

as mail, software distribution, network access and maintaining computing

equipment) we try to keep in touch with the current technologies and software

available so that we are in a position to implement new technologies that

will assist and improve the access the campus has to resources that will

improve their curricular endeavors. For many of the programs that we distribute

on campus, we offer seasonal courses to introduce and assist faculty and

staff in their use. We regularly offer courses in Web Page Development,

using PowerPoint to create presentations, and how to create web ready graphics

using a scanner and photo editing software. We have offered courses on

using the web for data collection, using a spreadsheet program to analyze

data, and a course in advanced uses of word processing. We have also made

available to faculty/students programs that address growing needs on campus

(such as discussion groups) and have taken the lead in researching, implementing

and then presenting the program to the campus as a whole. We have held

courses to introduce faculty to these new programs and have created documentation

outlining their usefulness. We have also, on occasion, gone into the classroom

to show a small group how to effectively use the program for that course,

but this is not a frequent event. We generally create documentation for

these programs and all participate in presenting the material in the courses.

We also assist faculty in determining which products or software

packages will best suit their needs in a particular research or teaching

goal. For instance, in the use of video/audio editing equipment and software,

we assist in determining which product will meet specific needs that the

faculty bring to us. We will then assist the faculty in learning how to

best use those products, and will continue to offer support as needed.

In this regard the faculty generally take the lead and we address those

questions or issues brought to our attention.

Finally, we offer technology grants to faculty to give them an

opportunity to incorporate new technologies in their research or teaching.

For the faculty receiving these grants, we offer support to help the faculty

implement their award, from providing assistance in web page design to

researching software requirements and making software purchased under the

grant available to students in the labs.

What goals do you have for collaboration in this area?

In order to maximize the resources and support available to faculty

and students, and minimize the duplication of resources and effort, my

main goal is to collaborate in all areas that have a technological component,

with all the departments that focus on technology, library, computing,

faculty, etc. Having a program, such as the one you are designing, is a

first step in creating the kind of atmosphere that will foster the communication

and coordination of services necessary to accomplish this.

What resources are you considering devoting to its future development?

We have created an advisory group to address issues regarding instructional

technology and the direction we need to take to solve various campus needs.

There is also a higher level policy group involving computing, library,

faculty and administration, that is geared toward creating an atmosphere

in which collaboration is encouraged and welcomed, so that these goals

can be met.

Barbara Mindell

User Support Specialist

Haverford College


Faculty Response, Swarthmore College


I spoke informally to other faculty in my building at Swarthmore.

Q. What is the course content and what are the pedagogical approaches

for which you want to draw on technological resources?

-excepting the obvious instances where video technology was front and

centre, those teaching cinema courses for historical or sociological causes

(Soviet Cinema, Visual Anthropology Practicum), many leaned to:

-working through statistical programs with laptops projecting onto

screens (a few do this now); to

using video clips for classroom discussion (hard to do given the distractions,

though there was much thought to fantasies of digital players which make

it easier to track samplings)

as a general rule, the latter point emphasizes the question of ILLUSTRATION

of already existing pedagogic platforms. This seems a natural transition

zone en route to what later may likely be a very different kind of pedagogical

imagination as more and more of this technology enters the classroom.

Q. Map out the range and variation, including both the content and the

kinds of resources you encounter and need.

For example, Swarthmore in particular suffers from a woefully underfunded

and understaffed slide library. The majority of those I talked to remarked

on how energetic and innovative the director is, but how few resources

we've been able to marshal given the college's reluctance to fund new technologies

since they change so quickly.

To this end, perhaps the most common refrain was how much easier it

would be if each classroom could somehow have its own generic, bolted-down,

laptop, not one you would have to carry from pillar to post in the havoc

of the teaching day, which could then be used to project illustrations

for teaching anything from history to nationalism to portraits of famous

social scientists... Virtually all faculty were enthusiastic about donating

their time to this kind of enhancement, but most were reluctant to invest

the time until there is some sense of what is worth the effort, how it

works, and what will be around long enough for them to profit from instructionally.

Q. What roles and responsibilities do you currently assume regarding

the use and instruction of technology?

-as above: statistical charts using an active laptop projected on to

a screen; others preferred the ease and familiarity of an overhead. Most

are confined only to occasionally showing video clips or films.

Q. What goals do you have for collaboration in this area?

Many of my colleagues are now looking more to the Library for direction,

less so than on Media Services, who have been the main backup over the


Q.What resources are you considering devoting to its future development?

Reading the emails that the College serves up!

Bruce Grant

Associate Professor of Anthropology

Swarthmore College


Information Technologist Response, Swarthmore College


Questions for Information Technologists

What technologies could enhance student and faculty research/teaching/learning?

Include a brief description of the technology and a brief explanation of

its potential usefulness.

Huh, I'm a technologist, but I don't tend to think of the technology

first. Of course, our institution could gain from the use of computer-delivered

communications tools, such as those bundled under the heading of "Course

Management System." But I think there are many untapped or undertapped

areas multimedia delivery, laboratory control, collaborative/constructivist

learning tools, easy WWW database creation, etc. But I refuse to be a solution

in search of a problem. It all starts with making sure faculty understand

that they should include me as a partner in problem solving real curricular


What roles and responsibilities do you currently assume regarding the

use and instruction of technology?

At the bare minimum, my team and I accept at least partial responsibility

for all infrastructural and technical support for any academic computing

technology in place. That is, where we aren't being relied upon as the

only game in town, we contribute in whatever way is necessary to make things

work. In addition, we've been involved in issues of technology-enhanced

curriculum/teaching/learning issues.

What goals do you have for collaboration in this area?

Wide-scale implentation of a CMS, with on-going support from all major

academic support areas of the College. More focus on sustainability, scalability,

multi-use/reusable development.

What resources are you considering devoting to its future development?

Whatever it takes to make it work.

Eric Behrens

Manager of Academic Computing &

Humanities Computing Coordinator

Swarthmore College


Student Response, Mount Holyoke College


(Note: we changed the wording of these questions to make them more meaningful

to the students. The revised questions are as follows: What kinds of research

assignments to you get in classes? Do you ever seek help from librarians?

When and why do you seek help from librarians and how would you like them

to help you?)

The most common kind of assignment I get involves conducting a literature

search. I don't often ask for help. Usually, I play around with the library

systems until I figure out how to make them work for the particular assignment

that I'm doing.

Kyra Comroe


Faculty Response, Mount Holyoke College


1.The course that I will focus on is Experimental Methods in Psychology.

The goals of the course are for the student to learn how research is planned,

carried out, communicated and critiqued. This course focuses on developing

general research skills that can be applied within any area of psychology.

These skills include knowledge of experimental

design, statistics, report writing, and ethical standards of research.

I use a wide variety of techniques to teach this class. They include lecture,

mock experiments, and small group discussions. In addition, there is a

four-hour lab component associated with the class. The main purpose of

this lab time is for the students to review research articles that are

related to their interests, formulate their own experiment, collect and

analyze data, and to write up a research paper.

2. The kinds of resources that I do use (or would like to use in the

future) include SPSS, data bases (e.g. ICPSR), web of sciences, and j-store.

I would also like to modify the course web-site so that we could include

on-line tutorials and perhaps quizzes. In addition, since the students

work on group research projects, it would be great if we could create a

sort of "chat space" for each group. The members of that group would be

able to get into that chat space, ask questions of their group members,

set up meetings, and post results of their study.

3. I would like to do more collaborative work with both the librarians

and the information technologists.

4. The resources I am considering devoting to its future development

are: time and student support.

Kathy Binder


Librarian Response, Mount Holyoke College


1. Resources include, PsycInfo: This is the major database of

Psychology literature. MH provides it through the Ovid interface from 1887

through the present. It includes a sophisticated indexing system based

on the terminology used in the field so will help students think about

appropriate vocabulary, combining of terms, refining searches.

Web of Science: This interdisciplinary database is unique among indexing

services. While it does not provide the specialized indexing of other services,

it allows for searching of cited references which many faculty find a very

powerful tool. It allows students to see how pieces of scholarship inform

and respond to one another, how scholarship develops and shifts. With access

to the backfiles (sciences back to 1945, social sciences back to 1950's)

it opens up a part of the literature that may have been neglected in favor

of materials more readily cited electronically.

JSTOR: Provides searchable fulltext of the backfiles of over 100 key

scholarly journals. Although Psychology journals are not yet included,

other disciplines in the social sciences are well represented. It may be

interesting to see if and how topics in Psychology have crossed into other


2. We currently offer about 75 course integrated workshops each year.

Many of these are at the request of faculty, though sometimes we see a

need and offer to conduct a workshop. We also offer general workshops on

searching the Internet through the LITS training program. In addition,

we do much instruction in one-on-one encounters at the Reference desk.

The majority of our questions now require some instruction in use and choice

of resource (appropriate discipline, good quality, paper vs. electronic,

full-text vs. index, timeliness, etc).

3. More! We would like to offer more course integrated instruction as

those seem to be the most successful in reaching students when they have

a need to know. We would also like to work more closely with faculty in

developing assignments that will achieve their goals for the students and

will be manageable and interesting for the students. We have some success

with that in the Sciences and would like to expand that success.

Kathleen Norton


IT Response, Mount Holyoke College


1. Developing course web pages for a psychology course would provide

a centralized online presence for course information and would facilitate

communication between the faculty member and students and amongst the students.

The content of the pages could include syllabus, bibliography, required

readings, discussion lists, tutorials, quizzes, and links to library sources

necessary to conduct research.

Using web course development software, such as WebCT, would simplify

the process of creating the web pages by the faculty member. To encourage

collaboration between students in the course, the faculty member could

organize teams of students and could establish web pages for each team.

The teams could have their own discussion lists, publish their research

projects on this web site, and review each other's work. The web site could

be restricted to only those enrolled in the course.

Other technology that could be incorporated into the course includes

interviewing procedures and policies. Students could use tape recorders

or video cameras and transcribing equipment. They could share their interviewing

experiences and questions in class or via the web pages. When appropriate,

and with proper releases, they could include clips from interviews on the

web pages.

2. Currently, I am the Training Coordinator for Library, Information

and Technology Services. This position includes overseeing the training

needs of the Mount Holyoke College Community. Working in cooperation with

the technology consultants in Curriculum Support and Instructional Technology

(CSIT), I serve as a liaison to the faculty interested in incorporating

technology into the curriculum. This function includes evaluating the technology

and training needs of the faculty, researching new technological options

and connecting faculty to skilled students assistants.

This position coordinates the training workshops for faculty, staff

and students. In addition to teaching some of the workshops for faculty

and staff, I train and supervise a dozen student web technologists who

teach the student-to-student workshops and offer consulting services to

the Mount Holyoke College community in the Special Project Labs.

3. My goals for this collaborative project center around communication.

This is an opportunity for faculty, technology consultants, librarians

and students to communicate their needs, expectations and goals to each

other. In this process, the participants can share their knowledge of the

discipline of psychology, research methods, information retrieval and management,

technology and educate each other to the options available for this project.

All this will be focused upon the educational needs and expectations of

the students.

A second goal from this three-year process is to make faculty aware

of LITS' library and CSIT liaison program. The liaison program is a tool

for faculty to use when crafting a course or undertaking research. In addition,

the liaisons will become more familiar with the faculty and the disciplines

they work with and will be able to use this knowledge in anticipating,

evaluating and researching library and technology solutions.

4. Resources needed to further develop this project include staff time,

hardware, software and funds for training the participants.

Susan Fliss


Faculty Response, Smith College


Q: What is the course content and what are the pedagogical approaches

for which you want to draw on technological resources?

I hope to augment problem based learning scenarios that I've developed

in a conventional text form by translating them into multimedia. These

scenarios use a combination of text, still images, audio, graphics and

full motion video. My hope is that by "translating" them into a multimedia

format because it will allow me to present a richer, more deeply textured

context that will allow me to more closely model the "real world" of schools

and policy and thus narrow the gap between simulation and reality.

I also use and hope to learn more about effective practice with the


* Develop and tending electronic discussion forums

* Develop standards and conventions of quality for work done as hypermedia.

For example, what would constitute the characteristics of a project/paper

written in hypertext? What baselines of quality can I identify for my students

so they have clear objectives to work towards in their projects?

* Develop ways to use networked technologies to enhance and deepen

in-class discussions

The above characterize the teaching that I do in my issues/policy courses.

I also teach a curriculum course for secondary teachers. In this course,

I aspire to the following: First, I hope provide teachers with the experience

of using information technologies to enhance their ability to plan curriculum

and develop lessons. Second, I guide them through the experience of using

technology to enhance their teaching by utilizing multiple media: art,

music, graphics, video. Lastly, I work with them on designing activities

that allow students to become composers of multimedia.

Q: What roles and responsibilities do you currently assume regarding

the use and instruction of technology?

I teach courses and I will hopefully be working with a senior colleague

in developing a Master's degree program in the area of Learning, Design

and Technology.

Q: What goals do you have for collaboration in this area?

I believe that schools K-Higher Education need to embrace approaches

akin to Writing Across the Disciplines or Speaking Across the Disciplines.

This will require deep, inclusive collaboration amongst faculty, librarians

and others involved in the educational process.

In terms of teaching, I struggle with how long it takes to compose

hypermedia. It's incredibly time consuming and I'm still confused as to

how to develop fruitful collaborative relationships to share the work of

tending, problem-shooting, and upkeep of integrating technology into my


Sam Intrator

Smith College

Morgan Hall

Northampton, MA 01063


Librarian Response, Smith College


Q. What specific resources in the social sciences do you think would

best contribute to or support student learning in the classroom?

Specific resources in the social sciences are difficult to identify,

due to the number of databases offered at the Smith College Libraries and

the interdisciplinary nature of research undertaken by scholars and students

in all disciplines. This response is focused on the present and future

information resources and services provided by the Smith College Libraries,

primarily Neilson Library, the humanities and social sciences library on

the campus. Student learning is promoted in an instructional program with

common goals and objectives across disciplines. (Instructional programs

within Young , Hillyer or Josten libraries -- the sciences, fine arts and

performing arts, respectively -- and in Special Collections may offer differences

that may be addressed in future workshops.)

For the past several years, the librarians at Smith College have

worked to incorporate web-based instruction through the use of a gateway

to the Libraries resources, subject web pages and individual class pages.

The use of subject web pages is the primary vehicle the reference librarians

use to guide students in accessing appropriate information resources. Each

subject page, for instance, History, lists indexes and databases appropriate

to the area, including scholarly indexes, indexes in related fields, interdisciplinary

indexes, general periodical indexes and selected web resources.

The selection and use of specific resources in the social sciences

rests on the information needs of curriculum and research at Smith College.

Scholarly bibliographic databases in the social sciences -- PsycInfo, Sociological

Abstracts, EconLit, etc. -- form the basis of instruction within each discipline,

followed by more specialized sources as assignments dictate (i.e., statistical

sources such as International Financial Statistics and World Development


Databases such as Congressional Universe and Statistical Universe increased

in value and use when electronic access became available, due to the difficulty

students encountered in their print counterparts. Students now need assistance

in refining their searches to gather more relevant and less overwhelming

results. America: History and Life and Historical Abstracts in their electronic

form opened new avenues of research in many disciplinary and interdisciplinary

areas, whereas their print versions were the primarily the province of

dedicated historians. It seems evident that electronic access to print

resources increased interdisciplinary research, as students and scholars

gained access to materials via databases and the Internet.

Full-text cross-disciplinary databases, such as Academic Universe and

Expanded Academic Index, offer collections of periodical titles libraries

would not necessarily purchase separately. There are drawbacks to the full-text

experience: expectation and demand for full-text, inappropriate selection

of research results due to preference for full text, proliferation of mainstream

titles across many libraries, and the lack of distinction between popular

and scholarly titles within databases.

The Internet provides a valuable and nearly irreplaceable role in the

social sciences, after the sciences. The emphasis on electronic dissemination

by state, national and international governments gives students unprecedented

access to government information. Identifying, locating and accessing the

resources of organizations, institutions, advocacy groups, library collections

and catalogs gives students and faculty access no library could offer individually.

In economics and education, for instance, a reliance on data

sets and local, state and national census materials respectively require

more advanced information skills on the part of student, faculty and librarian.

Early collaboration with the statistical resources of the Jahnige Center

has been successful; staffing irregularities, however, have lessened the

librarians' knowledge and use of the Center's resources and services.

Information Technologist Response, Smith College

Q. What roles and responsibilities do you currently assume regarding

the use and instruction of technology?

As a Statistical Consultant for the social sciences, education, and

school of social work, I assist faculty, students, and staff with data

gathering, analysis, and presentation. People come to me with a wide range

of questions and concerns including where to find data on various topics,

how to construct testable hypotheses, which statistical software to use

and how to use it, and advice on how to present data and results. I usually

work with people individually, teaching them the statistical, computer,

or data finding skills they require to complete their projects. To assist

my constituents, I experiment with different statistical software and teaching

tools and search for new data over the Internet.

Q. What goals for Collaboration do you have?

I am interested in working with faculty and students to conduct research.

I would also like to help faculty introduce new techniques and software

for teaching statistics into their classes. I know that the faculty at

Smith are very interested in using the Internet in their classes and have

this year begun to use Blackboard to develop a web based component for

their classes. Faculty and students are also very interested in using multi-media

computer techniques in their research and classes.

Q. What technologies could enhance student and faculty research/teaching/learning?

A range of multi-media technologies would be very useful for student

learning and faculty teaching and research. Students learn best in a variety

of ways. Some students rely on visual cues while others depend on auditory

skills. Other students learn best by doing. Multi-media technologies that

now make it easier to bring images, video clips, music, guest lecturers

and interactive experiences into the classroom will enhance knowledge by

providing different learning opportunities for different kinds of learners.

Faculty could also draw on these different technologies to conduct and

present their ideas in the most illustrative framework.

Echoing these sentiments, a colleague of mine who runs the Center for

Foreign Languages and Culture at Smith wrote to me the following, "I believe

Smith needs greater access to DVD technologies, greater and more direct

support of student projects and general computer literacy, a network system

which truly allows any user to log on to any appropriate server from anywhere

including off campus, and more cohesive support of faculty curriculum projects.

Much of this can be achieved through improved communication amongst the

support groups on campus."

Lois Joy

Statistical Consultant

Smith College


Student Response, Amherst College


Questions for Students

What are your learning and research needs as defined by course assignments?

Map out the range and variation, including both the content and the kinds

of resources you encounter and need.

This past year, I wrote several larger research papers of lengths between

15 and 25 pages. In order to locate materials, I used software like Infotrac

and Lexis-Nexis along with searching the Five-College library catalog and

interlibrary loan. Additionally, the class for which I wrote the 25 page

paper had its own website with listings/links to various topic-related

and possibly helpful search engines, databases, libraries, archives, and

electronic journals-- this was very good, and I know other departments

have set up similar sites. While I found immense amounts of material on

my own, the research librarians were particularly helpful in narrowing

search subjects and informing me of other research options, two especially

important things considering the number of options and possibilities available.

Interlibrary loan and special collections/ archives were the most important

to my work; the fact that those things had on-line listings accelerated

the research process. On the other hand, I was not using internet technology

to gather large samples in research or doing intense reading on-line with

ASAP, Infotrac, or Lexis-Nexis articles.

My other writing assignments were papers in the range of five to ten

pages, usually dealing with course reading. I prefer to have that reading

on paper, and buying the course books and multiliths, though a substantial

expense, is what most Amherst students do, so there is not much vying for

reserve readings. While I have never been assigned reading on-line, friends

of mine have, and the general opinion is that reading off a course web

site sucks. My reading assignments are anywhere between 150 and 600 pages

per class. The idea of doing all of that reading at a computer is not particularly

alluring. Looking at paintings on the web was part of a writing assignment

for a Fine Arts class I took, and that was okay, but most students agreed

that due to the resolution on the web, the papers were not as good as they

might have been, had we been able to look at slides (or, of course, the

paintings themselves) On the other hand, being able to look at works on

the web is better than not seeing them at all and easier than spending

class time looking at slides when the professor would rather have the students


In class, it can be good if a professor uses a variety of media

in a presentation. I have only been in a few large lecture classes, so

I don't know exactly what to say about those. Clips from videos, slides,

music, and web sites are often beneficial additions to the lecture, though

they don't usually outweigh the effectiveness of an engaging lecturer in

making class interesting.

Meredith Weill '01


Faculty Response, Amherst College


Q. What is the course content and what are the pedagogical approaches

for which you want to draw on technological resources? Map out the range

and variation, including both the content and the kinds of resources you

encounter and need.

The course is titled "Self and Society: An Introduction to Sociology."

It is required for sociology majors, and typically, it serves as a first

course for many non-majors who are interested in the sociological approach

to things. Typically, course enrollment ranges from 75-110 students, half

of whom are in their first semester at Amherst College.

Basically, the course introduces students to elemental constructs in

sociology, and tries to do that at both a theoretical and an empirical/practical

level. As it is presently organized, the course is divided into three parts,

which cover, in turn, the normative dimensions of social life, social structures

and cultural practices, and mass media/information technology and the formation

of a social imaginary.

Pedagogically speaking, I am interested in using information technology,

principally internet resources and the world wide web, to supplement the

course content that is covered in assigned readings and lectures over all

three parts of the course. I would like students to access a variety of

data regarding topics that we cover in class, but also, the wide range

of relevant information found at websites, including those of newspapers,

online journals and periodicals, "think tanks," as well as numerous organizations

(including academic institutions and professional associations within them)

and individuals. Furthermore, I would expect that the discussions taking

place on selected news/user groups and other "live" communications would

be important resources as well.

I see this access to relevant information on the internet as complimenting,

not replacing, the use that students routinely make of more traditional

resources found in the Amherst College library. The idea here is to introduce

students to the new and different sources of information and communication

that are made available as a result of technology, and in doing so, to

draw them into an evaluative relation with these sources, in which they

are required, really, to assess the validity of the information available

to them, rather than taking it at face value. Obviously, this would be

strongly supported by the instructor, but a most important aspect in fostering

this critical, evaluative relation to internet resources will involve a

comparison and contrasting of these resources with more traditional ones.

Q. What roles and responsibilities do you currently assume regarding

the use and instruction of technology? What resources are you considering

devoting to its future development?

Currently, in this particular course, my use of technology has

been limited to screening films, video clips in class, and the use of audio

cd's to play music as it pertains to topics covered in readings and lectures.

In the future, I would like first, to develop a course home page that will

enable students to access course information/documents via the campus or

Five College network. This will be completed over the summer, if not before.

(This past semester, I developed websites for my courses.)

I would like to use my time at Bryn Mawr to develop this course website

along the lines that I suggested above. That is, for the topics covered

in each part of the course, I would like to establish relevant links to

internet resources so that students can gain quick and easy access to these

supplementary materials as a way of enhancing their own developing understanding

of, say, the ways that norms work in social life, or the persistence of

social inequalities in contemporary culture, or the ways that the developments

in multimedia and information technology itself are transforming self,

identity, and the society in which we live.

Additionally, I would like to use these internet resources, in

conjunction with other library resources, as examples of a kind of information

that students can utilize in developing their own ideas for a term paper

in the course. That is, students would be encouraged to develop their ideas

for a course term paper in such a way that they not only used internet

sources, but more importantly, incorporated into the paper a critical assessment

of the validity of these resources vis-a-vis other, more traditional

scholarly sources that typically serve as the basis of their research.

Ron Lembo

Professor of Sociology

Amherst college


Librarian Response, Amherst College


Q. What specific resources in the social sciences do you think would

best contribute to or support student learning in the classroom? For each

full-text database, index or other web-based information ;source, explain

briefly how it could help expand the students' critical information gathering


This question is, at first glance, impossibly sweeping. Certainly the

most interesting and challenging aspect of recent developments in the production,

storage, and dissemination of information is that consumers (faculty, students,

and librarians) get so many choices - choices of formats, media, sources,

and points of view. In fact, preparing students to make well-informed,

thoughtful choices must be the focus of the collaboration in this project.

Therefore I will limit my answer to the context of Ron Lembo's Sociology

11 (Self and Society).

Redesigned to incorporate a larger technology-based component, the

course will require that the students learn to distinguish between primary

and secondary sources. That is, ideally they will learn to draw a distinction

between the websites and databases selected by the Library and websites

not pre-judged or pre-selected by librarians and/or faculty. Fulltext databases

(for example, Expanded Academic ASAP and LEXIS-NEXIS Academic Universe)

can provide primary documents which embody the issues and trends the students

study as well as critical commentary on those issues. Likewise, websites

created by interest groups may become primary objects of study for the

students while other web-based sources may focus on critiques of the politics

and agenda of those groups. The same search engines that help students

reach one kind of source can help them find the other as well. The Amherst

College Library's website has a table of search engines to offer students

and faculty choices for their searching. The Library also offers discipline-oriented

webpages of academic sites selected by librarians. Recommended metasites

may often provide launching pads for web searching as well.

This course focuses on convincing students of the value of using

information in many formats and media. With a greater emphasis on technology,

it will continue that approach. To find theoretical and other academic

studies, students can use the local online library catalog as a key tool.

To make judgments about what to use from the Library's collection, they

will depend on their professor's recommendations, literature reviews such

as the online Annual Reviews, scholarly encyclopedias in the Library's

reference collection, etc. A wide selection of online indexes such as Sociological

Abstracts and Social Science Abstracts from FirstSearch or Expanded Academic

ASAP or Academic Universe will support this course.

In cooperation with Ron Lembo and other members of the team,

librarians will concentrate on instructing students in identifying and

evaluating sources of information. Students should learn to discriminate

among conflicting approaches and opinions at the same time they learn to

chart the course of their own research.

Q. What roles and responsibilities do librarians on your campus currently

assume regarding the instruction in the use of electronic information sources

in support of student and faculty research?

Librarians have assumed several responsibilities:

a. At the invitation of faculty, they give presentations on research

techniques to classes - often, depending on the class content, with an

emphasis on electronic sources.

b. They offer individual instruction in electronic sources to students

and faculty.

c. They cooperate with Amherst's IT in a Mellon-funded technology-in-teaching

initiative for faculty - giving instruction about the Library's discipline

oriented webpages, electronic journal collections, etc.

d. They also actively publicize the library's electronic services to

the whole campus.

Q. What goals do you have for collaboration with faculty, students,

and information technologists in the field of electronic information?

As more courses place on emphasis on electronic sources, especially

on information on the Web, faculty, librarians, and technologists all recognize

that students must hone their ability to evaluate sources and make informed

judgments about their relevance to their projects. Particularly in a course

like Ron Lembo's Sociology 11, those judgments must not be reduced to good/bad

or academic/nonacademic or even reliable/unreliable. Instead students must

look at websites, for example, and determine what group or organization

supports the site and for what purpose. They must learn to "read" political

points of view and social messages. Their evaluation of technology and

its products must become increasingly sophisticated. Librarians can help

students develop the skills needed to reach the goals of a course like

Sociology 11. The goals in this case are established by the faculty member

and advanced by librarians and technologists.

Margaret Adams Groesbeck

Head of Reference and Online Services

Amherst College Library


IT Response, Amherst College


Q. What technologies could enhance student and faculty research/teaching/learning?

Include a brief description of the technology and a brief explanation of

its potential usefulness.

For Ron's Sociology 11 (Self and Society) course, students' use of

the Web, both in accessing and evaluating web-based information and in

producing web sites could enhance the teaching and learning process. We

may also explore use of the EndNote bibliographic tool in supporting the

library research work students undertake in this and other Sociology courses.

Q.What roles and responsibilities do you currently assume regarding

the use and instruction of technology?

Curricular Computing Services provides a series of seminars for faculty

using technology under the Mellon Foundation Teaching and Technology Grant.

The grant is entitled Pedagogical Strategies for Web-Based Learning at

Amherst College. Pedagogical issues are at the center of each workshop.

We have introduced a template-driven web site management tool, CourseInfo,

this past year and we are very encouraged by its enthusiastic reception.

Sixty course web sites have been in use this spring semester in comparison

to 27 course web sites in the fall semester. We are finding that faculty

are experimenting with the pedagogical implications of class discussion

boards, drop boxes and online testing techniques, features previously unavailable

on this campus network. It is a time of growth and experimentation with

technology and pedagogy.

In addition to an emphasis on web course sites, Curricular Computing

is introducing a campus wide subscription for EndNote, the bibliographic

management tool. Initial training is being in offered to faculty in May

and another session is scheduled for August.

Q. What goals do you have for collaboration in this area?

Both the web emphasis and the EndNote introduction offer multiple opportunities

for collaboration between IT and Library. A pilot E-reserves service is

starting this fall. It is being introduced as a service for faculty already

using the CourseInfo course management software. We will continue to enrich

the existing strong relationships. We will continue to use every available

chance to facilitate communication and collaboration between IT and the

library, between IT and faculty, among faculty members using technology,

and between and among students and members of all of these groups.

Q. What resources are you considering devoting to its future development?

Good will, time, energy, and grant funding for student internships

to assist faculty in developing course-based applications.

Mary McMahon

Director, Curricular Computing Services

Amherst College


Student Response, Hampshire College


What are your learning and research needs as defined by course assignments?

Map out the range and variation, including both the content and the kinds

of resources you encounter and need.

My learning and research needs as a psychology student in the

social sciences are fairly straightforward. For courses such as Social

Psychology, I needed access to different studies on the topic of whatever

I chose to focus on.

Online search engines and access to the five college catalog

were crucial to first finding applicable articles and then physically locating

them. For my Statistics course work I needed access to data that had been

collected online as well as access to computers with statistics software

inside and outside of class. For Cognitive Psychology the professor set

up a part of her web site for us to submit reaction papers on. We were

responsible for submitting them and subsequently critiquing our classmates'

papers online. We also were required to be subjects in two experiments

related to our class material. Half of the experiments that were options

were online and the other half were associated with the UMASS psychology

department. This is about the range of variety my coursework and research

has encompassed thus far.

What goals do you have for collaboration in this area?

I would like to see more social science classrooms involve the

internet as a tool for simplified communication. Submitting papers and

critiquing others' papers was much easier online than if my Cognitive Psychology

class as a whole had to deal with first turning papers in and then switching

off twice. Using the internet as a resource expedites parts of the learning

process so class time can be used for learning the material. Also, educational

measures about the technology that is available to aid research are effective

but perhaps not widespread enough. A fair amount of students aren't aware

of ways they can access tools like the search engines from convienient

places such as their rooms or the computer labs. Increased integration

of technology and education about said integration seem to be worthwhile

goals for this forum.


Faculty Response, Hampshire College


Questions for Faculty:

What is the course content and what are the pedagogical approaches for

which you want to draw on technological resources? Map out the range and

variation, including both the content and the kinds of resources you encounter

and need.

Technological resources should be of relevance to all courses

in the social sciences:

(1) At the simplest level, new technologies can facilitate communication

and save time and resources. It is, for example, more convenient and efficient

to post course materials, and to have students share reading responses

or essays in an electronic forum, than to produce and distribute multiple

copies on paper. More important, however, "asynchronous conferencing" expands

the time and transforms the emotional and intellectual climate of "class


Once participants overcome any initial resistance to the medium,

the system produces very satisfying results in the classroom and in interdisciplinary

faculty seminars. Overcoming resistance is essential: Some people evince

a dislike for computers out of simple ignorance and pigheadedness. Others

may have more justified reasons for discomfort. In either case, we must

address the complaint. See, for example, Paula Lackie, "The Paradox of

Paperless Classes," Social Science Computer Review, 16 no. 2 (Summer 1998):


(2)More important still is student research: Our curriculum stresses

individualized inquiry and a solid understanding of concepts and methodologies

over mere acquisition of content. In the age of the Internet, it is all

the more important that students know not only how to locate, but how to

discriminate between, sources (various media and degrees of intellectual


To offer a more concrete illustration drawn from my field, history:

New media and communications systems are putting unparalleled resources

at the disposal of students and faculty. No longer does one have to travel

to another continent or even another town to view an important document

or a work of art. Students need, however, to understand the selection or

filtration process: e.g., Not all sources will be converted to the new

media. The absence of a source from the digital realm does not deprive

it of value. The most recent source is not necessarily the best. Contrary

to what some might expect, the new information environment makes librarians,

like teachers-as advisers, rather than gatekeepers-more rather than less


(3) The ultimate goal is to enable students and faculty to become

active shapers as well as wiser users of new technologies, which can be

used in the classroom and beyond. In the first phase of the introduction

of a new technology, the tendency is simply to appropriate or transfer

forms familiar from the old one. Ultimately and ideally, however, a technology

must develop genres appropriate to the medium. Effective use here entails

taking full advantage of the possibilities of hypertext by combining multilayered,

textual and graphic, primary and secondary materials in a package that

allows both searching and copying.

I thus work with two basic principles in mind:

1) Students must be conversant with new information technologies

if they are to live comfortably and wisely in our world.

2)Being conversant should imply understanding as well as familiarity.

This means (a) understanding the nature (functions, strengths, and weaknesses)

and context of a given technology; (b) being able to historicize it. Students

and faculty alike should come to see our new information age or digital

revolution as a point on a continuum rather than as a sharp departure.

Critical reflection on our sources and systems of information, no less

than on our methodologies, should be part of every sound education.

What roles and responsibilities do you currently assume regarding the

use and instruction of technology?

As an interested amateur (but no expert), I try to keep abreast

of new developments. In order to apply them judiciously in the classroom

and on faculty projects, I work closely with our Internet Coordinator and

Systems Manager.

What goals do you have for collaboration in this area?

I myself collaborate fairly frequently with colleagues in other

areas of the College, and from other schools in the consortium, on projects

that apply new technologies (web, CD-ROM) in teaching.

Paradoxically, perhaps, my division of the College is the one

least familiar with and least interested in new technologies. The reasons

are unclear, but certainly include run-of-the-mill fear, ignorance, and

laziness or overextension. Arguably and more serious, however, this group

also displays a certain self-satisfaction and inertia; it lacks intellectual

energy and cohesiveness.

Still, I have seen some remarkable transformations, and the reason

is simple: If we can demonstrate to people that a new resource is useful,

many will in fact come to use it. Not surprisingly, new faculty are generally

more open to or conversant with new technology. My hope is that a core

group of interested faculty, working closely with computing staff, can

(a) educate the rest of our division; (b) develop a set of resources that

will make the application of new technology both worthwhile and convenient.

What resources are you considering devoting to its future development?

I hope to be able to use grant money from existing initiatives

in order to encourage efforts that will bridge our miniature version of

the digital divide. We should create interdisciplinary courses on media

and communications. More important, perhaps, we should see to it that components

dealing with these issues are incorporated into courses in other fields.

James J. Wald Hampshire College

Associate Professor of History School of Social Science

Project Director, Amherst, MA 01002-5001

Hampshire Center for the Book


Librarian Response, Hampshire College


1) The content of the class and the research goal of the individual

student determine the way we teach the use of resources. Most assignments

demonstrate how to use information to support or influence a thesis rather

than just to find a citation or a particular fact. For example, a class

on psychology would not simply look at PsycINFO but would want to pursue

a particular idea and discover where it might lead. As a result, this approach

to the gathering of critical information skills instruction is based on

need and interest on the part of the student and is not an abstract library


2) Librarians are currently responsible for teaching classes in the

use of electronic information as part of the first year experience. In

addition, they are responsible for consultation and referral to students,

staff, and faculty.

3) Librarians goals are to create a more seamless realationship between

faculty, students, and information technologists in the field of electronic

information. It is our hope and plan that over the next few years as electronic

resources continue to proliferate, we will develop a way of working so

that easy access to information will not lead to abandoning evaluation

skills. For years the librarian was the portal to information; now the

computer is the portal. Librarians need to find ways to help people discriminate

between the sources of information and find the best ways to search. Although

computers create easy access they also make evaluation more important,

but more difficult.

Dan Schnurr

Social Sciences Librarian

Hampshire College


Information Technologist Response, Hampshire College


What technologies could enhance student and faculty research/teaching/learning?

Software evolves constantly and it is difficult to pin down specific

applications but I am exploring the following technologies, each of which,

I hope, will address several needs:

1. Asynchronous conferencing

Web-based discussion space that enables students and faculty to extendand

initiate discussion outside of the classroom. Unlike a distributed mailing

list, this technology creates a sense of place, a sort of classroom outside

of the classroom, where groups can record their findings and share information,

as well as participating in more involved discussions. A transcript of

the learning process is created, which can be used for evaluation. Collaborations

with other institutions and virtual "visits" from individual experts are


2. Integrated course websites

Using an intranet and a data-backed web server, a searchable "one-stop"

system is created whereby faculty may post syllabi, contact information,

and resources, as well as linking to a virtual discussion where appropriate.

The data-backed interface means that knowledge of HTML (the markup language

needed to create a webpage) is minimized and data is highly integrated

and archived in a timely fashion. The main advantage over independently

maintained websites is in information architecture and usability, increasing

the ease with which students will find and use the information.

3. Standardized basic technology

This is not a technology as such but, rather, a way of presenting technology

to novice users. It is an attempt to draw boundaries around commonly-used

software (netscape, Eudora, etc) and to provide appropriate instruction

and training that establishes a basic level of technical competency a user

needs to do basic research/teaching/learning and attempts to limit how

much the user needs to learn in order to be able to function in a technologically

fast-paced environment.

4. Evaluation software

An intranet is used to increase the efficiency of the student evaluation

process. Evaluations are transported and stored electronically, platform/format

incompatibilities are eliminated, and the information is stored in a secure

database that enables authenticated access by appropriate students and


What roles and responsibilities do you currently assume regarding the

use and instruction of technology?

I respond to faculty needs on a one-to-one basis, helping individual

professors to develop web-based resources and interactive functions that

support their teaching. I help professors to identify peers or students

who can help them to increase their technological capability, through networking

and small gatherings. I help novice and advanced users to explore the potential

of email and web browsing technnology.

At the systemic level, I work with students and our system administrator

to develop the technological infrastructure that enables or will enable

the technologies I mentioned above.

What goals do you have for collaboration in this area? What resources

are you considering devoting to its future development?

I have developed strong relationships with individual faculty

members through specific projects but I need to do more outreach in the

faculty community to make sure I identify their needs and how I might best

serve them. Going to school meetings, attending faculty events, introducing

myself to new faculty, are all a critical part of this process. I also

wish to work more closely with the administrative assistants in the School

of Social Science, who are very knowledgeable about the technological challenges

facing individual faculty members.

We have a number of very talented students on campus and I am

working to develop partnerships with these students to help develop key

applications such as searchable course descriptions and data-backed website

technology. Finally, but very importantly, I hope to collaborate with my

counterparts in other institutions, who are facing the same technological


In the interests of developing collaboration, I am structuring

my own time to incorporate networking, relationship-building, and outreach.

Ideally I would spend 30% of my time on these activities but this is extremely

difficult in a severely understaffed department.

Abby Schoneboom

Internet Communications Coordinator

Hampshire College


Faculty Response, Vassar College


Q. What is the course content and what are the pedagogical approaches

for which you want to draw on technological resources? Map out the range

and variation, including both the content and the kinds of resources you

encounter and need.

Vassar social science faculty use information technology in two ways:

(1) for teaching and assignments, and (2) to teach on information technology

as a subject of empirical inquiry. These entail two different sets of needs.

For (1), which is widespread among the social sciences, faculty

access the Internet for databases, existing research, and search engines

to supplement their lectures and discussions. Increasingly faculty require

students to use these on-line resources for their own assignments, which

often entails pointing them to (and therefore knowing beforehand about)

the URLs where they can find data. (For example, in my Urban Theory course,

I might have them analyze the class bias of Jane Jacobs' planning perspective

in _The Death and Life of Great American Cities_ by having them retrieve

demographic data about her 1960 Greenwich Village research site from the

US Census or, more likely, another researcher's website.) Along these lines,

faculty needs are generally content-based: a conveniently centralized portal

for databases and instruction on how to use on-line research resources.

Several IT technologies are also useful in teaching social science

methods beyond the usual statistical packages that are standard in economics

and political science departments. For example, scanners and optical character

recognition (OCR) software that can transform text and images into electronic

characters are valuable for electronic archiving and analytical manipulation

(e.g., the sociological method of content analysis, which is currently

taught in Vassar's sociology methods course). Also, digital cameras can

be very useful in teaching visual anthropology and sociology. Along these

lines, faculty needs are first infrastructural in nature, entailing department

or college access to scanners, digital cameras, and computers with OCR

and graphics software installed (my sense is that college-wide access to

this equipment is not sufficient when a whole classroom of students has

been assigned to use these technologies). Faculty could also benefit from

staff or others who could instruct students about how to use these technologies.

For (2), which is a much more limited phenomena, faculty teach

the social organization and consequences of the Internet and other information

technologies. For example, in my "High-Technology and Society" course,

I access the Internet for websites by IT firms, research consortia, government,

public-private partnerships, and other entities engaged in the production

of information technology and the economic development of companies/regions.

An anthropologist is teaching a course on "Technology and the Music Industry"

and has obtained a technology grant to set up a sound recording lab that

students will use for their own projects.

Since these entail teaching students a technology "literacy"

informed by faculty's individual research and methods, faculty's needs

along these lines are idiosyncratic and mostly infrastructural. Most generally,

this means having access to classrooms with laptop projectors. Faculty

with more specialized technological needs (e.g., in the "Technology and

the Music Industry") generally apply for individual teaching or equipment

grants, either through Vassar's Computer Information Services or academic

foundations like the Mellon Fund.

Q. What roles and responsibilities do you currently assume regarding

the use and instruction of technology?

As stated above, faculty with specialized technological needs

(e.g., in the "Technology and the Music Industry") generally apply for

individual teaching grants for the purchase of these technologies. Several

faculty also turn to the Vassar library, Instructional Media Services,

and Computing Information Services for workshops on how to learn about

and subsequently teach this IT literacy, although it is uncertain how this

training filters down to other faculty and subsequently department's curricula.

Q. What goals do you have for collaboration in this area?

Several Vassar faculty are currently launching a Media Studies

Development Project (MSDP) to investigate the development of an interdisciplinary

Media Studies program by 2001-2002. For the next year, the MSDP's plans

are to convene a faculty seminar, with regular guest lecturers and periodical

workshops on course development. Currently, the MSDP's agenda appears to

be shaped largely by (1) Computer Science faculty whose pedagogical interests

are largely straightforward and (2) humanities faculty who are increasingly

interested in teaching "cyber-literacies" quite literally. By contrast,

guidance by social science faculty in this Media Literacy Development Project

has, to my knowledge, been minimal so far. There seems to be no consensus

or common directions on how social science faculty can use information

technology to qualitatively transform their teaching beyond classroom exercises

and teaching.

Q. What resources are you considering devoting to its future development?

See above for Vassar's pending Media Studies Development Project, probably

the most important effort along these lines. While faculty with specialized

technological needs generally apply for individual grants to purchase technologies,

department-wide technology initiatives appear to be less common. As many

faculty still use antiquated versions of Macintosh computers, there is

much anticipation for Computing Information Services' new "cycle year"

initiative, whereby computer upgrading will be consistent within departments.

The new Computing Information Services initiative has also sparked some

interest in other department-wide technology procurements. For example,

I recently submitted grant proposals (as of yet unanswered) on behalf of

the sociology department to purchase a scanner, digital camera, and OCR

software for the pedagogical purposes described above.

Leonard Nevarez

Assistant Professor of Sociology

Vassar College


Faculty Response, University of Massachusetts


Q. What is the course content and what are the pedagogical approaches

for which you want to draw on technological resources?

I believe that all pre-service and in-service teacher educators

should be taught by instructors who make good pedagogical use of appropriate

technology in their own classrooms, including the creation, acquisition

and exchange of information.

I also believe that all pre-service and in-service teacher educators

should be exposed to courses or workshops that provide the opportunity

to acquire the necessary skills to use technology and related software

and/or materials in pedagogically appropriate ways.

Thus, college and university instructors should be exposed to

courses or workshops that provide them the opportunity to acquire the technical

and pedagogical skills necessary to use technology and related software

and/or materials in pedagogically appropriate ways.

The campus Office of Information Technology faculty and staff,

University library faculty and staff, and college/school/department administration,

faculty and staff, need to work together to achieve these goals.

Q. Map out the range and variation, including both the content and the

kinds of resources you encounter and need.

Teachers at all levels need facility with the standard software

applications for word processing, spreadsheets, databases, presentation

tools, and WWW navigation that helps them mine and put to good use the

vast resources of libraries and other resources. They also need to be made

aware of, and develop skill with, the use of appropriate software applications

that enhance the learning and teaching of specific course content.

Q. What roles and responsibilities do you currently assume regarding

the use and instruction of technology?

I teach introductory courses in all of the above. I am involved

in the development of a Master's level program in educational technology

that is just getting under way.

Q. What goals do you have for collaboration in this area?

At present our school has no requirements for course work that

provides students the opportunity to acquire the technical and pedagogical

skills necessary to use technology and related software and/or materials

in pedagogically appropriate ways. I am looking forward to a healthy discussion

and exchange of ideas for getting greater numbers of faculty and students

on board the 21st Century Technology Express!

Q. What resources are you considering devoting to its future development?

Whatever the limits of my time and energy permit and the administration

are willing to commit.

Bill Masalski

Professor of Mathematics Education and Educational Technology

University of Massachusetts


Librarian Response, University of Massachusetts


Q. What specific resources in the social sciences do you think would

best contribute to or support student learning in the classroom? For each

full-text database, index or other web-based information source, explain

briefly how it could help expand the students' critical information gathering


We recognize that students are demanding more online resources

that are full text. They want to be able to access the information on their

computer in the comfort of their dorm room or apartment. It has become

one of our goals to develop ways to not only provide that type of access,

but also to set up some way to instruct students to go to the library web

page first and to other internet sources as supplementary material. Statistics

at the reference desk have been declining dramatically over the years,

so we are developing initiatives that will take reference and instruction

services to the students and the classrooms.

To answer the first question I will list some of the resources

we subscribe to in the social sciences that we feel support student learning

and then I'll discuss what initiatives we are undertaking to expand students'

critical information gathering skills.

Although we still subscribe to the print indexes and abstracting

services for the social sciences, we are slowly dropping those to purchase

online databases. I will not list the print resources, but only the social

science electronic resources (fewer than what we have in print). Unless

specified, they are citation and abstracting databases.

1. America History and Life: North American history, 1964-

2. Boston Globe: Comprehensive full text coverage of Massachusetts

business and economy, 1980-.

3. CAB Abstracts: land use, agriculture, rural sociology, tourism,

etc. 1993-

4. Center for Research Libraries: collections include more than five

million volumes of research materials rarely held in North American libraries.

5. ComAbstracts, communications, 1980-

6. Contemporary Women's Issues (full text)

7. Dun and Bradstreet Million Dollar Database: Covers 1,260,000 U.S.

leading public and private businesses.

8. EconLit (economics worldwide, 1969-)

9. Electric Library: (full text) over 6 million 100% full-text documents

from six different media sources updated daily

10. ERIC (education, 1966-): We will be subscribing to the full text

documents component of the database (currently on microfiche).

11. Ethnic NewsWatch, the U.S. ethnic presses, 1993-

12. Expanded Academic ASAP: scholarly and general periodicals, some

full text, 1980-

13. General BusinessFile ASAP: business periodicals, some full text,


14. HAPI: Hispanic American Periodicals Index , 1970-

15. Historical Abstracts: history, non-U.S. and Canada, 1969-

16. IDEAL: 250+ full text journals, 1996-

17. JSTOR: full text backfiles of 100+ scholarly journals

18. Latin American Database: news and educational service on Latin


19. LegalTrac: law journal article citations, 1980-

20. LEXIS/NEXIS Academic Universe: thousands of full text titles in

law, news, business, and reference, 1980-

21. PAIS International: international public policy, 1972-

22. Project Muse: Johns Hopkins UP full text journals-recent.

23. PsycINFO: psychology, 1887-

24. SocioFile (Sociology and related fields from 1974 on-)

25. Sport Discus: sports science, physical fitness, 1975-

26. Sports Business Research Network (full text sporting goods equipment

market reports, trade magazines, newsletters, consumer market statistics)

27. Standard and Poors Net Advantage: financial information

28. Statistical Universe (indexes 5,000 federal statistical publications,

1000 state and nonprofit publications, 2000 international publications.

Links to full-text in public domain.

29. Stat USA (full text of business, trade, and economic documents

from 15 U.S. government agencies. Includes government periodicals, books,

import/export statistics, and market reports.

We will continue to add more databases and full text resources.

Providing access to library resources, however, is not, in itself, sufficient.

In addition, we are committed to developing web pages for each subject

area that can be used to support the curriculum for that discipline. We

have begun designing pages that include the course assignments and the

library and Internet sources that should be the first point of reference

for that particular assignment. These web pages are products of direct

and ongoing communication and class visits with faculty in the discipline

and are tailored for each course. Librarians attempt to insert critical

thinking and evaluative aspects with the resources and during their presentations

to the classes. A main objective for our library is to publicize our services

and be so connected with the departments that students will always go to

"their" subject web page first.

Other initiatives we are undertaking are developing web modules

for information literacy. One is a series of modules geared for the freshman

and sophomore that could be used individually to teach about the world

of information, books, journals and evaluating resources. The other is

a web course to be offered for credit geared towards juniors that teaches

more of the sources and functions of information in society.

Q. What roles and responsibilities do librarians on your campus currently

assume regarding the instruction in the use of electronic information sources

in support of student and faculty research?

Currently all subject specialists assume responsibility for teaching

information sessions when requested by someone from their constituency.

We tailor classes to the needs of each group and consistently spend the

bulk of our session on electronic resources (how to effectively search),

as well as selected web sites of importance for that subject area. English

112 classes are coordinated by our Library Instruction Coordinator. We

also set up independent research consultations and workshops for database

and Internet searching.

Q. What goals do you have for collaboration with faculty, students and

information technologists in the field of electronic information?

We would like to expand upon our ability to be a "team" with

the others and be proactive, rather than reactive, in our desire to bring

the information to the students and faculty, regardless of their location.

To do so will require much more contact with these individuals prior to

the semester, in order to develop appropriate web pages that will support

the curriculum for each faculty member.

Another dilemma is that many of our students do not have OIT

accounts and are not able to access our library databases if they are not

in the library, even though they are students here. Easier access for students

out of the area also needs to occur. Librarians have not interacted much

with staff from OIT. Currently, the librarians have been learning web applications

by themselves without much support. It would be a real asset to have a

stronger connection with OIT for support, rather than looking elsewhere,

as we now do.

Lori Mestre

Education Reference Librarian, Interim Co-Head of Reference

University of Massachusetts, Amherst


IT Response, University of Massachusetts


Q: What technologies could enhance student and faculty research/teaching/learning?

Network delivery of materials opens up opportunities for students

The Web (and other TCP/IP-based network services) are making

it much easier to get materials into the hands of students when and where

they are most receptive to learning. This not only makes possible "distance

learning" opportunities for non-traditional students with special geographic

and scheduling limitations, but also enhances the learning of the resident

student who may have a learning style that works best outside the traditional

limitations of building hours, classroom schedules, and daylight.

Network-based communication tools can move interactions beyond

the classroom

The variety of ways people can exchange text-based messages over

networks is transforming the way students and faculty communicate. Email,

bulletin-boards, chat rooms, and instant messages all create opportunities

for group collaboration, critical thinking exercises, and discussions outside

the context of a classroom. At our office we work a great deal with email

distribution lists and course-management tools such as WebCT.

Interconnected Internet-based resources provide simpler access

to related materials

The nature of the Web now makes it possible to interconnect content

and resources instantly. This makes it possible to create a context or

viewpoint for related materials and provide the students a framework on

which to hang their understanding. Students can even add to these collections

of materials. The challenge is educating the students (and faculty) to

question and review the credibility of online information sources.

Software and hardware is making it easier to create increasingly

complex teaching materials

The variety of creative desktop software and hardware available

these days allows anyone with a minimum of technical training to create

teaching materials that were once too expensive to produce. Color images,

graphic diagrams, audio, video and even interactive computer programs can

be produced and distributed to students relatively easily.

One challenge of this is training the producers of these materials

how to make them effective and high-quality enough to be credible to today's

media-savvy students. The other challenge is making the creation process

accessible enough and convenient enough that faculty will feel comfortable

(even enthusiastic) about adding this to their long list of teaching tasks.

;At our office we are currently focusing on the creation of Web

pages using WYSIWYG-ish Web creation software. We also provide support

in the use of Photoshop, Illustrator, Powerpoint and similar software.

In the near future we will begin offering faculty support in the creation,

editing and distribution of digital video on the Web. The data analysis

group in Academic Computing provides services related to using computers

in statistical data analysis. We offer consulting on all aspects of statistical

data analysis including the preparation of data, choosing an appropriate

analytical technique, choosing and using statistical software, and interpreting


On-the-fly assessment tools can provide feedback on instructional

goals to students and faculty

Online quizzes, self-tests, and other tracking mechanisms give

important information to faculty and students on which messages are getting

through and which pedagogical goals are being met. This allows faculty

to make adjustments in class if key concepts are not being grasped by the

students. This also gives students feedback if they personally need to

make adjustments in their studies. We use WebCT to provide these tools

to our client faculty. Other areas on campus are using homegrown solutions

such as OWL or DUCK.

Q: What roles and responsibilities do you currently assume regarding

the use and instruction of technology?

As an evangelist, I prepare materials and presentations that

encourage faculty to begin to use technology in the classroom, or consider

new applications.

As a planner and navigational designer, I consult with faculty about

their specific topic and help them discover the best ways to structure

the content and which technological tools would be most appropriate for

their audience and their pedagogical goals.

As a graphic designer, I help faculty (who do not have the skills or

time) create visual designs that are appropriate to their topic and that

can capture the attention of their (media-savvy) student or peer audiences.

As a project coordinator, I help faculty find the resources that

they need to complete projects: technical training, access to equipment,

students who can help with production work, and people with special skills

who can help make their wild ideas into concrete learning tools.

As a trainer, I help give faculty the skills they themselves need to

use the specific technologies and produce materials. My key goal in this

role is to give them the confidence to be self-sufficient and excited about

using the tools. I also train the students of faculty who want them to

have a certain level of proficiency with a tool being used in the class.

The Academic Computing unit within OIT at UMass takes the role

of supporting faculty as they incorporate technology into their teaching.

We provice one-on-one consultation, workshops, project support, student

training, and research into new technologies and their pedagogical implications.

The Office of Information Technologies (OIT) at UMass, in addition

to services provided through its Academic Computing unit, supports and

maintains a good deal of the technological infrastructure at the University

of Massachusetts. This includes: internet connectivity, local networks,

web servers, email servers, specialized servers, help desk support, computer

labs, software support, hardware support, special projects, administrative

databases, and the entire phone system for the university.

Q: What goals do you have for collaboration in this area?

The best service I can give to the faculty I work with is to

know what is available and what is possible. Connecting with people in

related areas at UMass, the Five Colleges and other institutions helps

me give my clients a more complete view of what is possible and who is

available to help.

Our office tends to work with newcomers to technology. I am looking

for ways to connect with the faculty who are more experienced with using

technology. Creating partnerships with experienced faculty will provide

greater challenges to our office and improve our service to the newcomers.

We have begun to set up forums in which the experienced faculty present

their work to curious colleagues.

Our office is having the common problem of hiring qualified full-time

technical staff. We rely a great deal on students for our technical and

production work. Sharing ideas about attracting and developing relationships

with the best students (and finding and hiring good technical staff) is

of great interest.

In order to remain up-to-date and excited about this topic, I

look for opportunities to exchange ideas (and war stories) with others

who do the same job. Talking about common challenges and new ideas with

colleagues is the best way to stay involved.

;Our office is taking part in an UMass-wide Instructional Technology

Council that is coordinating the many areas on campus that provide similar

and complementary services.

Q: What resources are you considering devoting to its future development?

We currently spend approximately three-fourths of our time supporting

use of current technologies and one-fourth looking at upcoming technologies

and new applications. We would like to increase the amount of time we spend

looking to the future and find ways to make our support processes more


We will be soliciting proposals from faculty and their departments

to provide them with direct assistance with forward-thinking projects and

prototypes. Assistance will range from help planning projects to giving

direct assistance in the design and production of teaching materials.

We will be developing our capabilities to deliver digital video

over the Web. We are currently ordering the necessary equipment and committing

time for staff training and experimentation. Our area will collaborate

with the other video-oriented services on campus to provide faculty with

the training and assistance they need to edit and produce their own digital


We will be evaluating and promoting software that makes it easy

for faculty to produce and post materials on the Web. These range from

simple form-based tools that create simple Web pages to course management

tools such as WebCT that make it easy for faculty to add bulletin boards,

quizzes, and other special learning tools to their course Web sites.

We will be developing ways to make intensive development tools

such as WebCT easier and more convenient to use. We have been working with

the software company and faculty who currently use the software to find

ways to clarify and streamline the processes.

We will be continuing to evaluate software and train faculty

in its use. These programs are in constant flux as new tools are developed.

We recently began replacing Claris Home Page web development workshops

with Macromedia Dreamweaver workshops. We will also be introducing workshops

that emphasize specific uses of specialized software: e.g. Macromedia Flash

for animation and Adobe Illustrator for information graphics and diagrams.

We will continue to research the pedagogical aspects of these

technologies. We have already collected quite a bit about copyright, effective

online communications, and the best use of online quizzes. Future topics

include visual information design, writing for the Web, understanding interactivity,

and appealing to different learning styles. We present the results of this

research through our workshops, special presentations and a series of online


We will continue to develop our data analysis group. In addition

to staying current with the frequent updates to the most popular software

that we support (SAS, SPSS, Minitab, SYSTAT, and JMP), the most exciting

developments are focused on integrating statistical software and Web technology

to create dynamic, Web-based databases. We are also concentrating on improving

the visualization of data through collaboration between the data analysis

and the graphic design specialists on staff.

Fred Zinn

Multimedia Applications Designer

University of Massachusetts