ITC Meeting Minutes

October 18, 2004  2:00- 3:30

In attendance were: Dennis Aebersold, Fran Ayres, , Cheryl Carney, Robert Dougherty, Robert Kelly, Donald Maletz, Matthew Matos, Burr Milsap, Sarah Robbins, Mike Sewell, Adam Westerman, Deborah Trytten, Nathan Kula.

Absent: Nick Hathaway, Hunter Crowther-Heyck, , Dimitrios Papavassillou

Visitor: Steve Cade

 

The meeting was called to order at 2:00.

 

The minutes from the September meeting were approved without corrections.

Course Management

Continuing problems with course management systems were discussed. Difficulties with the usability of WebCt were discussed, both on the faculty and student side. Deborah Trytten is the ITC representative to the Course Management Task Force. Robert Dougherty and Dennis Aebersold also serve on the task force.  Monthly reports from this task force will continue at each ITC meeting.

Clickers

Steve Cade, from IT, came to talk about the options that are available for automated student response systems (clickers).  His PowerPoint presentation is posted on the ITC web site (http://www.ou.edu/committees/itc/).

 

Clickers work by having a receiver which detects and records votes that students enter by selecting a choice (labeled A to G) on a small transmitter that they purchase and carry with them.

 

Multiple vendors provide clickers using a variety of incompatible technologies.  This presents a problem for students, since different systems require students to purchase separate clickers.  Students also have to carry multiple clickers around if different professors are using different systems.

 

One challenge for clicker companies has been having a sufficient number of unique identifiers for a campus of this size.  Ideally, each student would have one clicker, have to register with the vendor only once, and would have their registration automatically show up in each of their classes using clickers throughout their time at OU.

 

We cannot standardize on a clicker vendor  that relies on RF technology because of the construction of some of our classroom buildings.  Clickers that use infrared technology have a limited range (less than 75 feet).  This technology is, however, compatible with the construction of our classroom buildings. An advantage of infrared technology is that the clicker has to be in the line of sight of the receiver.  This discourages students from bringing other student’s clickers to class and committing academic misconduct. Clickers can be resold by students, if the technology has not changed. Unfortunately, the rate of technological change has been too rapid to permit resale.

 

Seven departments are currently using clickers (Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics, Computer Science, Botany, Political Science, Zoology).  Rooms where the clickers are installed include: Dale Hall 200 – seats 573, Nielsen Hall A102 – seats 225, Nielsen Hall A204 – seats 310, Physical Sciences 108 – seats 175, Physical Sciences 201 – seats 275, Physical Sciences 224 – seats 80, Physical Sciences 416 – seats 55.  Rooms being considered for installation include: Adams Hall 150 – seats 282, Adams Hall 255 – seats 180, Dale Hall 211 – seats 400, GL Cross 123 – seats 252.

 

For people interested in clickers, there is an email list available called clickers from puppeteer.ou.edu.

 

IT plans to implement clickers in classrooms from the largest classrooms to the smallest. The reason for this is that the biggest learning gains are seen in large classes. Improvements made in these classrooms also impact the largest number of students.

 

Hyper Interactive Teaching Technology (H-ITT) receivers have been installed on campus at the request of a group of faculty.  H-ITT seems to be ahead of the curve.  This company has announced that their new clickers will show students that their vote has been correctly recorded.

 

Publishers are currently packaging clicker receiver hardware with textbook adoptions. This presents difficulties for IT because the publisher owns the equipment and can recall it at any time. Students also get charged every semester for registration of the clickers, which could be expensive if many faculty start to use this technology.

 

It costs about $1500 to install receivers in a classroom.  IT expects to perform about 10 new installations in classrooms in the next year.  IT plans to keep a stock of receivers to enable rapid repairs.

 

Dennis Aebersold indicates that a shake out is expected in this area in the next two to three years. Any decision made in this area will have to be re-evaluated as the companies and technology changes.

 

Major vendors currently in this space include http://eInstruction.com and educue at http://www.gtcocalcomp.com/interwriteprs.htm, and http://h-itt.com.

 

After discussion, the ITC decided to compose an email to teaching faculty informing them of the existence and location of installation of clicker systems, and encouraging--but not requiring--them to standardize on H-ITT.  This email will be approved at the November meeting. We will also inform faculty of the email list on clickers so that they can learn more about this technology. This email will also be distributed to the NetAdmin listserv.

Vision Task Force

There was no report from the vision task force this month.

Web Policy

We began reviewing the web policy document.  Several changes were suggested.

 

We decided to do a line by line review of the policy document at the November meeting before sending it forward to the Faculty, Staff, and Student Senate for approval.

Adjournment

The meeting was adjourned at 3:30.