Enhancing Instructional Technology at Queens College
Report of the Instructional Technology Task Force
Nationwide, the march towards integration of technology and campus culture has forced major shifts in how colleges acquire, maintain, and embrace technology. To be at the apex of these trends, Queens College must assess its current needs and look towards the challenges of the new millennium, one in which the preparation of students will be increasingly tied to technological as well as academic excellence. New York State Regents requirements mandate that education graduates be prepared to teach in media enhanced classrooms with multimedia learning tools. Globalization and changes in the workplace are linked to advances in technology, and Queens College graduates must be prepared to work in these environments. The College's educational priorities should recognize these trends, and sufficient resources must be allocated to upgrading and enhancing its technological teaching and learning environments.
In January 1999, the Vice President for Graduate Studies and Research, Hamid Shirvani, formed the Task Force on Faculty Development in Instructional Technology. (The composition of the task force, and its activities are in Appendix V.) The official charge of the task force was to: "Develop a prioritized list of the data communications and audiovisual resources with which Queens College classrooms should be equipped and a strategy for encouraging and assisting instructors to make appropriate use of these resources."
This report presents the findings and recommendations of that task force.
The task force assessed the current situation by gathering information from OCT (Appendix III) and by conducting an informal, but exceedingly informative, survey of the academic departments (Appendix IV). The findings include the observations that: OCT delivers thousands of audiovisual items to classrooms each semester, many faculty have already begun to use technology in their classes in various ways, and existing college support for instructional technology is inadequate now and will rapidly fall further behind without immediate action.
While the charge to the task force asked first for a list of classroom equipment and second for a strategy for encouraging its use, the task force found the latter part of its charge the more urgent one. Without active faculty involvement in the transition from conventional classroom techniques to technologically enhanced techniques, any recommendations centered on selecting equipment for classrooms would rest on unproved hypotheses at best.
Right now The College needs to do the following:
A survey of all academic departments indicates that there is strong interest in most departments for enhancing instruction with media, Web, and other interactive technologies. However, most departments feel they do not have the equipment (PCs/scanners/projection devices), appropriate classroom configurations, appropriate software, nor technical expertise to do so. The appended survey results (Appendix IV) indicate the nature of the technologies used in departmental instruction. It is clear from this preliminary survey that numerous faculty are ready to begin using presentation software as instructional tools but need technical and instructional support to do this.
Most departments favor a divisional approach to equipping appropriate teaching spaces, developing curricular materials, and technical support. A departmental approach results in isolated developments and doesn't provide an environment for collaborative work and opportunities for synergy. However, the desire for responsiveness provided by divisional facilities must be weighed against the economies of scale provided by centralization of these services.
A review of the QC home page indicates that at least 75 courses/sections have a Web component. Some 40 faculty teach these 75 courses. The majority of the courses are in the English Department, concentrated in English composition courses with multiple sections. Anthropology, Elementary and Early Childhood Education, Graduate School of Library and Information Studies, and Computer Science each have at least three Web-enhanced courses. Most courses are offered through Web in a Box; many are created in HTML as part of a faculty member's personal homepage. Some are via other courseware. There is no consistent way to identify what courses are Web-enhanced although all Web Course in a Box offerings are listed together at http://www.qc.edu/wcb/.
Using Instructional Technology Effectively
This section discusses some of the issues involved in making effective use of educational technology at Queens College.
Pedagogical Issues and Strategies
Broadly speaking, information technology serves two different roles in the educational process. On the one hand, the technology itself may be the object of study. Many courses in computer science, media studies, and journalism fall into this category. We can call this, "the medium is the message." On the other hand, technology more often is simply a means to assist in the educational process. That is, "the medium is the tool." The two models often have very different requirements for their effective use of technology.
The traditional "sage on the stage" classroom may not be best way to educate students, but it has a long history, and we do not see the college abandoning this instructional model wholesale in the near future. What we do envision is the college rapidly supplanting traditional chalkboards and overhead projectors with current presentation methodology (digital projectors connected to laptops and VCRs).
We also see a movement towards real-time networked access to media (broadcast and cable television, or live Web downloads) in courses for which the medium is the message. (Non-laboratory classes are more reliably served by having media pre-loaded onto Zip disks or CD-ROMs.) But laboratory classes, such as the Library's Lexis-Nexis training sessions, are already experiencing network bandwidth problems, and the college must take steps to increase both low speed and broadband connectivity to various classrooms across the campus.
Technology opens the door to some exciting possibilities for non-traditional pedagogy to take the educational process beyond the traditional sage on a stage model. Faculty should be encouraged to develop, use, and evaluate techniques like structured collaboration and interactive Web sites or CDs.
Laboratory instrumentation and automation is another area of instruction that can benefit greatly by technological advances. However, the technology tends to be discipline-specific, and we felt that individual departments, not the college, will have to be the agents of change in this area.
Class management activities can be automated to a great extent. Faculty can use email for receiving assignments, spreadsheets for recording and computing grades, and standard word processing software to generate Web pages for assignment descriptions or supplementary material. The College already provides Web Course in a Box, which provides a single package that handles much of the work of class management in a simple, menu-driven, way.
The task force observed that there is tutorial software that should replace computer classrooms for instruction in the use of various computer applications, such as word processors, spreadsheets, and the like. Where this software is not already available, the college should consider providing incentives to faculty to develop such tutorial material.
Diverse Faculty, Diverse Needs
We have a diverse faculty with diverse needs with regard to instructional technology. Some faculty are self-starters and technically self-sufficient, given the proper infrastructure. Others need an introduction to what is available, and can carry on from there. Others are technophobes, although they would use IT if it could be made non-threatening. Some are unwilling to invest effort in improving their effectiveness in the classroom. Luddites exist. The college needs to support the first three categories actively, which implies that no single approach will serve all users.
Promoting Effective Use of Instructional Technology
There are two ways to promote effective use of IT. Events provide the focus needed to get middle-grounders started and to provide handholding for the technophobes. Interchanges provide specific information about IT, but the information is supplied and consumed either on a demand basis or through periodic publications. Examples include:
There are four kinds of resources needed.
1. Faculty Development Program
1.1 Create and staff an Educational Technology Coordinator (ETC) position within the Provost's Office to direct and coordinate campus faculty development with OCT, the CUNY Educational Technology Office, and academic departments. See Appendix I for job description. (Summer 1999)
Cost: HEO Associate Salary: $42,000 to $68,000.
1.2 Each division should have an Information Specialist Assistant to give technical support to divisional faculty using divisional priorities. These positions should be based in OCT, but be deployed within the divisions, follow the priorities of their divisions, and should work closely with the college's ETC. This position should emphasize technical and not content development issues. There is already such a staff position in place in the Social Sciences division.
Cost: Information Specialist Assistant Salary: $27,000 to $50,000 per division.
1.3 The Provost should establish an Educational Technology Advisory Committee (ETAC). This would be a faculty committee on faculty development to advise OCT and to work with the new ETC (Fall 1999). The committee should be representative of the divisions and should retain some members of this Task Force for continuity.
1.4 The provost should request each academic department and program to develop an instructional development plan which, would include faculty development needs as well as software and equipment needs during Fall 1999. The Chair/Program Director and a faculty member with one course release time would develop the plans. The provost could fund such release time with additional adjunct funding. Appendix II provides guidelines for structuring these development plans.
Cost: Adjunct funding for one course for one term per department.
1.5 The ETC, in conjunction with the faculty committee recommended in 1.3 should organize a series of "Teaching with Technology" workshops in which QC and off-campus faculty would demonstrate what/why/how they use technology to enhance their teaching.
Cost: Refreshments; honoraria for off-campus speakers.
1.6 The ETC should establish a calendar of faculty development activities for 99/00 based on current facilities and equipment and publicize it via multiple methods (Web site; FYI; direct mail) early in the academic year.
Cost: Part of ETC's salary.
1.7 The ETC should establish an Educational Technology support hotline, separate from the OCT Help Desk, as soon as the ETC is hired, and publicize its existence.
Cost: Student Aides to answer phone calls and track incidents.
1.8 College/Foundation funds should be allocated for Spring 2000 to commence on fulfilling departments' development plans.
Cost: To be determined.
2. Instructional Facilities and Software
2.1 An instructional media base package should be available in multiple locations in all classroom buildings. The base package should include a mobile cart with a PC, a video projector, and a VCR. The PC should be equipped with a wireless keyboard, CD-ROM drive, and a Zip drive. The video projector should include facilities like the currently owned Sanyo unit that allows two PCs to be connected to it in addition to the VCR. (This feature is to accommodate faculty who bring their own laptops to class.)
Ideally, the equipment on the mobile carts would be housed permanently in each classroom on campus. The mobile carts provide a way of phasing in this resource over time.
Cost: $6,000 per cart.
2.2 Purchase Zip or writable CD-ROM drives for faculty who wish to download Web sites or prepare other media for use with the equipment in Recommendation 2.1.
Cost: Zip drives: $100 each.
Writable CD-ROM drives: $300 each.
2.3 All classrooms should have a screen installed if the room does not have an appropriate white wall.
Cost: $300/screen + Building & Grounds personnel time to mount.
2.4 Powdermaker classrooms designed to contain telecommunications, multimedia computing, and video projection must be so equipped when Powdermaker is reopened.
Cost: $8,000 per classroom. ($6,000 for equipment plus $2,000 for wiring)
2.5 Network connections should be available in all new classroom spaces, and in any significantly renovated spaces. Renovation plans should include provisions for wiring closets to support network connections. The connections should include a mix of LAN connections to the campus data backbone as well as feeds to/from the Media Distribution Center being installed in Kiely-112.
OCT has suggested the following network configuration for network connections to all classrooms on campus, designed for maximum flexibility as well as redundancy:
Front of Room
Back of Room
4-pair category 5
Multimode fiber (# strands)
75 ohm coaxial cable
Costs: Planning, conduits, cable, and closets.
2.6 In consultation with the ETC and divisional representatives, OCT should request a separate annual budget for acquiring educational software.
Cost: $40,000 per year ($2 per student).
2.7 Departments that have already acquired video projectors and equipment for departmental teaching space/labs should be given high priority for installation or other modifications required to use this equipment effectively. (See survey results in Appendix IV.)
Cost: Wiring and Installation costs.
2.8 OCT should publicize widely and give workshops on use of equipment in the electronically equipped classrooms that currently exist in Kiely, I Bldg., and NSB. OCT should also publicize new classroom space as it becomes available for use.
Cost: Use existing staff and begin immediately, using the OCT Web site and newsletter for publicity.
2.9 Media and instructional technology preparation facilities for faculty should be distributed and not concentrated in one central facility. A central facility should be established as an interim step, but low-cost items such as scanners and CD burners should be available at least within each department, and in many cases in individual faculty offices.
2.10 After departmental development plans (Recommendation 1.4) have been evaluated, additional fully equipped classrooms should be constructed in major classroom buildings and in the library. Divisions that are consistently assigned classrooms in particular buildings should be involved in the design of divisional discipline-specific needs. A policy for multiple use should be adopted so that multiple departments have access to the classrooms. Classrooms should be designed with multiple learning/teaching modalities, and should provide a variety of configurations. A system for adequate technical staff support for classrooms should be in place with divisional staff involvement before any classroom goes online.
Cost: Estimated at $1,000,000. Efforts should begin immediately to secure funding for these classrooms.
2.11 One of the duties of the ETC should be to lead efforts to secure funding for educational technology at the college. Two possibilities are (1) A self-imposed student fee, independent of the CUNY computer access fee now in place. This model has been used at many SUNY campuses and other publicly funded institutions. (2) Grants from local industries and federal agencies.
Cost: This is an income item!
3. Student Access
3.1 Each student should be provided with a campus email account at the time of initial registration. Provision must be made to ensure each student activates his/her own account in a secure fashion to prevent repetition of an event at the college in 1998 in which one student abused another student's account.
Cost: OCT staff time to set up and manage accounts. Overhead of changing PC Lab software to provide access to the accounts.
3.2 Each student should be able to connect to the campus network from both on campus and off campus, perhaps via proxy server, in order to access course materials and information resources.
Cost: OCT staff time to set up the proxy server, plus the cost of the server itself.
Educational Technology coordinator
The person filling this position will be responsible for assisting faculty in integrating new strategies for teaching and learning using present and emerging information and instructional technologies. Duties will include:
Salary and Rank
The job title is Associate HEO (Higher Education Officer). The annual salary range, effective October 1, 1999, is $42,616 to $68,174.
Department/Program Faculty Development Plans
Each Department/Program that wishes to use Instructional Technology will be asked to submit a plan to the Provost. The plan will be prepared by the Chair and should include a brief curricular rationale for intended use of the technology including:
This may include overhead projectors, computer projectors, audio equipment, films, VCRs, computers, cameras, scanners, etc.
The Provost and Vice President for Graduate Studies and Research shall review the plans with the Educational Technology Coordinator (ETC), the Educational Technology Advisory Committee (Recommendation 1.3), and OCT, prioritize requests, and allocate appropriate funds for the program.
Inventory of OCT Supported Teaching Spaces
Classroom and Laboratory Facilities.
This information is available on the Web at http://www.qc.edu/OCT/labs.htm.
Inventory of software available college-wide.
This information has previously been available on the Web, but is currently unavailable.
Summary of OCT Audio/Visual Activity
Data are for the 1997-98 academic year, including Summer and Intersession terms. A total of 8,033 items were delivered. Of these, 3,892 items included VCRs, 3,730 included overhead projectors, and 266 included 16 mm. projectors. Other items delivered included slide projectors, Laserdisc players, audiocassette players, laptop interfaces, PA systems, and filmstrip projectors.
Survey of Department Chairs and Faculty
Division of Education
All three departments make extensive use of VCR and Overhead Projectors; some equipment from within departments, some from OCT. We expect this will continue.
Elementary and Early Childhood Education
Current: Several undergraduate and graduate courses are offered each semester in Learning Technologies for teachers. Use our own Mac (6214) systems. 12 in class with new Epson projector; 3 other computers with printers and scanners available for Web browsing (IMAC, 7500 MAC, and a new Dell). Courses taught by adjuncts or full time or half-time instructors. Microsoft grant available provided much software; site license for other software. Lab has 2 Laser printers and 4 video cameras. A scanner and color printer also available. John Craven brings his science class to the MAC lab several times during the semester. Turkel teaches a math class in the MAC lab. Bisland uses the lab with her Social Studies classes. Use of this lab by other EECE faculty is sporadic but expected to increase. We provide supervised help in open labs for students and faculty.
Secondary Education and Youth Services
Current: P. Anderson teaches a course in MAC Lab (writing and English). David Gerwin brings his class for Internet searching. On occasion, two part time art instructors use the MAC lab for entire courses or parts of their course. Next semester SEYS will offer three different IT grad courses.
Educational and Community Programs
Current: One faculty member (Goh) uses OCT facilities for a course in SAS or SPSS. Other faculty use the MAC Lab (Hittleman in Reading) and Todd for an Administration Course. The Division of Education expects to have its own Web server up and running by May 99. Our Web page, particularly of our dean (N. Dill) is a very active site for the distribution of timely data. We are working on getting a computer and printer and Internet access for all faculty. This job is about 75% complete.
Division of Arts and Humanities
Current: Art History: slide projectors, VCRs. VCRs often unavailable and/or poorly maintained. Studio: slides; video; images download from net; computer generated visual aids (all produced at home from lack of equipment in department). Graphical Design: Mac labs (OCT); Graphic Design Studio (Klapper); digital scanners, graphics tablets, video, digital cameras; professors. Use of equipment limited to those in GD program.
Needs: Across all three parts of the department: equipment, faculty training in use, and technical support. Specifically, Art History: Slide projectors permanently assigned to classrooms (2/room, possible 3). Convert slide collection to digital format would eliminate the need for slide projectors, but would require computer equipment, projection equipment in classrooms. Studio: computer based projection capability; color scanners; color enlarger (photographs); digital cameras; video editing equipment; multimedia animation and design software and computers on which to run it. Graphical Design: renewal, upgrading of equipment and software in Graphics Design Studio, or centralized graphics facilities which incorporate faculty and student into planning, design, and use policies.
Classics Middle Eastern and Asian Languages and Literatures
Current: Faculty use videos. Some classes use college labs but scheduling in the labs is difficult and labs do not have software in using different alphabets. 25% of faculty make use of instructional enhancements prepared at home as equipment in offices is not sufficient or appropriate. The QC Japan Homepage is a highly sophisticated use of homepage access to syllabi, homework, bulletin board, class discussion, media clips, software, student projects, and serves as a model for the other language group in the department.
Needs: Discipline specific lab/classrooms with preinstalled LCT (Less Commonly Taught) Languages software. Interdisciplinary multimedia environments, studios geared towards production rather than labs geared toward input. These studios would be equipped with high end PCs, scanners, digital cameras, printers but their configuration should be mobile rather than fixed so that multiple groups could work on projects. Instructional support from staff that are both technically proficient and knowledgeable about the pedagogical and creative aspects of the content to be presented.
Current: Word processing for preparation of class materials; slides (prepared by professor and by Photo reproduction services); videotapes.
Needs: Video projection for clarity of presentations; computer based presentations for online manipulation of images, comparisons of texts; Web access in classrooms; more PCs for faculty/graduate students to use; encouragement and technical support for faculty as they learn to use new software
Drama Theatre Dance
Current: Video; slides; overhead transparencies; and theatre-specific technologies such as design
Needs: Large screen video projection; large screen slide projection; more projection equipment; and instruction in use of these technologies; faculty are still without computers and network connections.
Current: Video (department owns VCR); Multiple sections of English 110, 120, 95 use Web in a Box. Eleven other courses also use Web in a Box. Other faculty use variety of computer resources to teach bibliographic information retrieval. Web enhanced classes are generally taught in OCT labs.
Needs: Basic equipment--student lab needs 12 new computers so faculty could use it for workshops and increase pool of PCs available for faculty and students to use; faculty computers. More support from OCT for using instructional software. English or Arts and Humanities Division) should have a technical and instructional support specialist.
Hispanic Languages and Literatures:
Current: Media used as supplement to texts in Elementary and Intermediate Spanish courses. Publishers supply audio and videotapes ancillary to the text. Attempts to incorporate new media (CD-ROMs and Internet sources) into instruction and testing have been unsuccessful despite the new Kiely 226 multimedia lab that replaced the old language lab. The new lab is has fewer student stations so full classes cannot be accommodated, and used by many campus departments so all sections cannot be scheduled. Students are assigned to use these facilities on an independent basis and their attendance is tracked. The two other larger Kiely labs do not have audio, which is requisite for language instruction.
Needs: Ideally, a true "Language Laboratory" designed by those responsible for instruction across all language departments with professional language person as its director and appropriate technical support. Increased number of language teaching resources: CD-ROMs, software, CD-audio, and videotapes to be used in the labs and classrooms. Long term: server to support a languages network and support distance learning so that ancillary audio and computer support could be reached by students from off-campus.
Needs: Discipline specific classroom with student-networked PCs, quality printers and scanner; software for graphics, design. Needs file server for production of Queens World for external community access to the paper. Tech support for this facility.
(Response regards instructional role only.)
Current: Library faculty teach research skills in a library classroom (14 networked PCs; LCD projector) or in library classroom with instructor PC and LCD projection; teach LIB 100 in OCT, GSLIS, and Library facilities. Contention for appropriately equipped classrooms presents problems for expanding number of sections of LIB 100. LIB 100 has a Web site attached to the Library homepage, but not used interactively. Several faculty have begun to use PowerPoint to prepare class materials.
Needs: Additional Large classroom with 30-35 student workstations to accommodate QC class sizes with video projection unit; video projection for existing classroom; laptop and portable video projection for library faculty to take presentations to other parts of campus; faculty instruction in use of PowerPoint and other instructional technology. OCT plans include power outlets at study carrels for student laptops, but it is unclear whether there are sufficient funds for this penetration of network connections. Library faculty training in use of presentation software and other instructional design software.
The Music Library needs additional networked multimedia PCs and Macs for students to use in conjunction with the materials used by the Music faculty in their planned multimedia instructional activities, and increased number of such multimedia materials in the collection. A long-term need of the Music Library is the conversion of the large LP collection to digital format to facilitate access and to preserve the recordings which are not all available as audio CDs.
Linguistics and Communication Disorders
Current: VCRs through media services.
Needs: More readily accessible VCRs available in each classroom building; better quality equipment. Faculty computers (quantity and quality). More responsive Help Desk. Technical support to go with equipment.
Current: Continuing use of a variety of computer based presentation programs and multiple forms of media: films; video; slides for very large class sizes. Three faculty use this approach heavily. Other faculty incorporate video and slides into classes. Two faculty requesting equipment to use PowerPoint in courses. About 30% use some form of technological enhancements in instruction.
Needs: Midsize (40seats) classrooms video projection and network connections; large classrooms with large screen video projection; software to create media integrated presentations; campus or department LAN to which students have access to courseware and course resources; instruction in creation and use of these technologies; bandwidth and classroom equipment to download film and multimedia from the Web; zip drives to store Web downloads.
Current: All classrooms have audio equipment and pianos. Department multimedia room with eight computers (in need of upgrade or replacement) to use multimedia CDs, audio clips from Internet. Video projectors (from OCT)
Needs: Three classrooms equipped with VCRs; computer workstation with projection capability, CD-ROM drive, sound card, screen, and security. Multimedia Room: 10 multimedia level PC and Macs; networked printer; scanner.
Instruction for faculty in design and use of relevant instructional technologies. Faculty time to identify appropriate software to acquire, learn to use and instruct other faculty.
Division of Mathematics and Natural Sciences
Current: There is a fair amount of effort to use computers in freshman labs and lectures (Cadieu). Computers are connected to experimental apparatus to control the experiment, collect data, and display the results. Room C201/203 is outfitted with a rear projection screen, onto which are projected computer, laser, and VCR images used to enhance lecture material. Physics 104 students are given instruction in a computer language and then asked to write a small program and use it to calculate an effect. They are also given Web addresses where they can find data and applets. They are asked to write a paper using www info, and may in the future be asked to post their paper on the department/course Web site. Prof. Lysanski is the Web Master for the department, but there have been no formal discussions among the department members.
Current: The department maintains about 40 PC's for use by students who collect experimental data and which they treat statistically using SAS. Programs that describe experimental paradigms are also available. The department does make use of films in lectures. Although no course links exist on the Dept. Web site, Prof. Johnson has begun to use Web facilities for an advanced experimental course. He is looking into the use of Power Point and would like the use of a computer-overhead projector for course presentations.. Dr. Lanson is the Webmaster for the department, but there have been no formal discussions among the department members.
Current: In C-205, a PC may be plugged into a jack at the lecture table, and the monitor is displayed on the rear-projection screen. Prof. Lord, for instance, uses it to demonstrate the uses of various programs, such as how to construct a Web site and Web forms. The department has a CD-ROM "burner," and Lord and Vickery plan to assemble a Java development kit, as well as construct a library of programs and data for introductory courses for homemade and commercial CD-ROMs. Ten courses mentioned on the department Web site have direct links to further material: syllabi, test results, problems, explanations, etc.
Needs: Professor. Lord (the CSCI Webmaster) requests the following: C-205 needs a better screen- wider and higher resolution. The department used to have, now defunct, a Tech Commander, which allowed interactive control of student PCs by the instructor. Lord is aware of a newer generation facility (Wizard) in Kiely Hall. Classrooms with Internet connections; computer-overhead projector for small Classrooms; In Rosenthal Library carrels with Internet connectors for laptops; or PC's which have Internet connections. FASTER connections from QC to Manhattan (57th St.). It does not matter that the present (T-1?) line is not fully utilized, it is too slow. Could we use microwave?
Current: The department uses overhead projections and slides for lecture. The Ecology course uses computer programs to simulate competition, extinction, and allelic events. Students are given assignments to use SAS for statistical treatment of data. Professor Bienkowski has links to problem sets from the department Web site for Biol. 750. Prof. Marcus has Web sites for Biol. 230, 330, and 781.1, which contain the syllabi and links to lectures, SAS instructions, discussions of probability, bibliographies, data, and other materials. Dr. Rao is developing a program of www resources as a text supplement for use in the Developmental Biology course (Biol. 365). The course Web site will also be interactive and will allow students to converse with each other and the instructor. Prof. Magazine uses a computer in the 372 laboratory to exhibit cell shape changes with ligands. Prof. Marcus is the dept. Webmaster.
Needs: The department would like to have a computer projection system.
Current: Prof. Mansfield maintains the Mathlab, which contains 18 computers running Mathematica. The Web site lists the Dorance Blanche Weill Mathematica Laboratory, and Math 255 has a link to a description of the use of Mathematica. The Mathlab is only available when Prof. Mansfield is available (He has moved his office to the Mathlab to make it available more often.) To expand the availability, the department has bought 9 additional copies (for $5,000) but OCT at present can only supply 4 working computers in its lab . Additional computers are required. Prof. Roskes The department requires the use of TI- 83 graphical calculators in many courses: ll calculus, plus some linear algebra, statistics (introductory to advanced), advanced numerical analysis. His Web page lists various numerical analysis programs available for the TI-83. The Department has developed a 2 hour lecture course (during the free hour) plus a video tape in the Math lab on how to use the calculator. Prof. Roskes and Prof. Sultan are developing a "Calculus Web Site" for student use. It will have about 20 subsections, covering such subjects as a) how to solve problems involving limits, derivatives, integrals, double integrals, etc.; b) FAQ's; c) use of the TI-83 calculator; etc. They plan to have interlinks between subjects, and will investigate the possibility of a bulletin board or chat-room for information exchanges. Prof. Ralescu has evinced interest in starting a Web page for Applied Statistics, but has not proceeded since the course was canceled this term. Prof. Mendelsohn has received (with Prof. Artzt of SEYS) an NSF grant to induce bright High School students interested in teaching math to join their "Time 2000" program at Queens College. 33 students entered the College FYI program in Sept. 1998, and will major in Math, Minor in Sec. Ed. as a cohort. The grant will pay for their tuition and schoolbooks during the first two years. Their Math courses will require the use of TI-83 graphical calculators. Prof. Artzt is preparing a Web site, primarily for the purposes of reporting progress.
Needs: Additional computers are required or the Mathlab which is used by a variety of courses, among them both introductory and advanced numerical analysis; differential equations; and algorithms.
Chemistry and Biochemistry
Current: Prof. Koeppl has used a Proxima Display Tablet in the past to project programs he developed for Physical Chemistry laboratories. More recently, he has been using a Proxima Desktop Projector, Model5610 ($5,600), which has a 500 lumen projector capacity, sufficient to display a picture without darkening the room. The projector can be used for both analog (VCR) and digital (PC, Mac) inputs. Koeppl has used the projector for Chem16 (LASAR) and 361,2 (physical chemistry) as well as graduate courses, to display www sites, and programs for calculating molecular parameters, harmonic oscillators, quantum mechanical wave functions, kinetics, and other functions. In Chem16, he assigned students the problem of finding the course syllabus on his Web site. Profs. Disch and Schulman use computers extensively in the Physical Chemistry courses (365,366): students are taught the elements of MSDOS, programming with QBASIC, and how to use various software programs, e.g. to draw and minimize chemical structures (PC Model), do simplex and statistical calculations. Students use these programs to find the roots of a quadratic equation, employ Newton's method, do a least-squares analysis of experimental data, find the constants of the Van der Waals equation using pressure and volume data of a gas, derive kinetic parameters, and correlate structures with dipole moments. Prof. Hersh uses computers extensively as a source of extra study materials for his students. a) for Chem. 19 (general chemistry for nutrition majors): software on 2 Mac 6100 computers in the Chemistry Office; also Cliffnotes, a study guide which includes problems and answers. b) Chem. 251: 2 programs: i) Beaker, an interactive study guide for organic chemistry, including stoichiometry, spectra, reactions, etc.; ii) Chem. TV - kinetic strips covering many demonstrations. Prof. Engel has also made these materials known to his classes. Prof. Rotenberg offers the following: Students use Macintosh and PC workstations that are on-line in Remsen 318 (a Biochemistry lab). They down-load 3-dimensional crystallographic coordinates from the Protein Databank and, using graphics software available free on the Web (e.g. MAGE), view protein 3-D structures (e.g., lysozyme) in different formats. The students follow a tutorial that takes them through different procedures for analyzing the domain structures of the proteins, the substrate binding sites, and the distances between key amino acids.
Needs: Prof. Hersh is particularly interested in a (color) projector which will take computer (MAC or PC) inputs, for use during both lecture and laboratory classes, in order to display and demonstrate software for model building, molecular parameter calculations, data base usage, and kinetic displays. Professor Rotenberg requires more powerful software, such as GRASP and GRASS, available for a decrypting fee of $500 from a Columbia University site, gives impressive visual renderings of crystallographic data, as well as identifying charged sites, hydrophilic and hydrophobic patches, etc. This software requires a UNIX based machine, Silicon Graphics or Sun workstations being preferred.
School of Earth and Environmental Science
Current: The department is building a computer lab in NSB (12 PCs) to run CARIS, a program which handles the Geological Geographic Information System. This program will add geological, demographic, economic, biological, transportation, and other data to geological maps that are either in-house or obtainable from the US or State Geological Surveys and other sources. The data may then be compiled, compared, projected, and otherwise manipulated. A ground water flow/fluid dynamics package is also available. A special CARIS course is being considered, to teach both grads and advanced undergrads cartography and cartographic correlation. One departmental PC is set up to access the Web, and more will be added in time. Prof. Brueckner, with the help of Gwen Sanchirico, has initiated a course Web site: Students are given the URL of the site, which has a syllabus, plus extensive descriptions and exercises for 13 laboratories. There are numerous links to maps, governmental Web sites (e.g., National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the US Geological Survey, the EPA, etc.), El Niño, wetlands problems, a sewage plant, discussions of fossil and alternative fuels, automotive emissions, and many other subjects. This is a well-constructed site that will be of interest to other faculty.
Needs: (Mr. Cinquimani is the department's CLT and webmaster) a networked computer in every one of our lecture halls and laboratories. Unfortunately, one small computer monitor is not the best way to present information to a large group -- we should also have "video" projectors available for these rooms. Capability to produce color overhead transparencies using a color printer (a color laser jet would be best) would be very nice. A scanner would allow one to get just about anything up on the screen.
Current: Prof. Toner described a computer lab, in Remsen, with 3 PCs, set up with "Nutrition 5," software, which allows students to analyze dietary intakes, recorded during a 3 to 7 day period. The software is also installed on 10 PC's in OCT. Prof. Fardy uses a computer projector (Valient International Multimedia Corp., Model LP225 "In Focus") to project information on two CD's (installed in a laptop) for a) interpretation of electrocardiograms; b) cardiovascular information, including risk factors, a short film on bypass surgery, anatomy, etc. Mr. McKiddie, the FNES CLT, says that the cost of the machine ($2,600 in 1998) has dropped by $1,000 in the last year, and the Dept. is considering the purchase of a second one. One machine will be ceiling mounted in a classroom in Fitzgerald Gym.
Prof. Newman has students in her nutrition Analysis lab use the Nutrition 5 program in the Departments computer lab in Remsen 308 (5 PC's) for analysis of recipes, and canned/frozen foods. The program is also on the OCT network. She has her students search the Web (using OCT computer lab machines) for nutrition information about recipes, commercial products, and find/investigate food service links, government (USDA, FDA) sites, Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions (an important nutrition information source), etc. She uses a computer projector to teach students how to use a word processor to fashion reports, tables, and posters. The department also has Computrition, a much larger (and more expensive) program devoted to food service management on the OCT network.
Social Sciences Division
There is a great deal of interest in having up-to-date classrooms that can deal with the latest in electronic technologies for teaching. A number of departments either have virtually no computers and printers for faculty or have outdated equipment. Because you cannot use even a modestly equipped classroom without having the basics, it was difficult for some of the chairs to make the leap into teaching applications. At the other end of the scale are departments rich (in terms of the division) in technology that have computer labs and faculty who are working on, or close to, a number of cutting edge technologies. Many were exasperated at a situation where the lack of support and equipment prevented faculty from trying out the new technologies, let alone conceptualizing creative uses in the classroom. [A number of chairs mentioned the current lack of window blinds or shades which has often render classrooms in Powdermaker incapable of using any technology at all.] Finally, it is recognized that pushing around AV carts, while seemingly cost effective, results in a great deal of damage to the equipment and increases the potential that Murphy will visit. Permanent installation of basic equipment in each classroom, or a set serving a suite of classes, is seen as preferable to the current practice.
Typical Classroom Uses of Technology: Overhead projectors, videos, and slides. Video is used by most of the departments; this is a significant point because video projection equipment is flexible enough to take a number of technologies including videotape and computer inputs.
Cutting Edge Uses of Technology: The Kiely Interactive Laboratory features prominently in many comments. It was pointed out that this is the only lab so equipped on campus. Those who utilize it would like to see the machines updated on a regular basis in order to keep up with the demands being placed upon them. Other cutting edge uses include assignments on the Internet, uses of specialized software and databases (GIS features prominently) and utilizing departmental and college computer labs as direct and indirect adjuncts to teaching. In the division there are currently two courses being taught in the GSLIS almost completely on the Internet as a result of a Sloan grant. The University has just received Sloan funding and the experiment at the GSLIS will continue next year. There has also been some experimentation with the so-called multimedia which necessitates things like video capture boards, sound cards, speakers, large monitors and specialized software. While this group is quite small it will grow as the technology matures and students become equipped (hardware and software) to deal with it; and while it may be limited to specific areas where full multimedia use is imperative it will eventually filter down to other ambitions faculty.
Equipment: Access to well equipped computer labs is a must. Stable Internet connections are highly desirable for those classes that require concurrent access (Kiely lab and other electronic classrooms. There is a recognition that web materials can be downloaded so that they can be projected in a regular classroom. Local control of labs with staff support dedicated to them is critical as a bonding process and ensures a higher degree of accountability than we presently have.
Library resources: The library was praised for providing as much online as it does. Some direct applications in the classroom (e.g. CCH Reports) were cited as evidence of the forward-looking stance of the library. Of course more would be better, including more online access to reference sources and databases, electronic reserves and full text searching and downloading. The library is being seen more and more as a direct adjunct to the classroom as we move farther into this age of information.
Software: Virtually every chair was interested in getting the latest software, learning how to use it and utilizing it in the classroom. Most often mentioned was PowerPoint with the generic "word processing" a close second. The GIS software was also singled out by many of the department chairs. The need to train faculty in various software packages, and their upgrades, was high on every list.
Infrastructure: Virtually all of the chairs are anxious to have the remodeling of Powdermaker completed as soon as possible. Expectations of well-equipped classrooms are high. Many want dedicated computer labs, interactive classrooms on the size and scale of Kiely and at least one classroom with jacks at each seat so students can download what is being presented and Internet access.
Faculty Development: Three items repeated themselves: mentors for faculty and students, faculty training and assistance and support staff. The word mentor seemed to mean that each department would like to have someone they know, and who is sympathetic to their need, that they can call when there is a problem. While OCT was generally recognized as doing a good job there was a sense that priorities are set in such a way that faculty are too frequently on the bottom of the list. Faculty training and direct assistance (beyond the mentor) was stressed over and over again. To repeat what has been said above; local control of support staff was greatly stressed. Support staff capable of dealing with the day to day lab environment, uploading specialized software, assisting students and doing rudimentary computer repair was frequently mentioned.
Baseline for this division is to have classrooms that are able to be darkened, with permanently mounted projection screens, that have easy access to video (permanent or very close by) for projection, and Internet access to as many as possible. At least a few classrooms should be patterned after the Kiely lab and consideration should be made to a near future when students will want to download what is being presented as it is being presented. Departmental computer labs are increasing in importance as recognition of what is available online is made by the faculty in general. Sufficient support is needed for training and assisting in experiments in learning.
Task Force on Faculty Development in Instructional Technology
Vice President Shirvani formed the task force in January 1999.
W. Berkowitz (Chemistry); D. Brovey (EECE); J. Lee (Journalism); T. Surprenant (GSLIS); C. Vickery (Computer Science); R. Merrill (OCT); R. Wildeman (OCT); S. Bonk (Library), Chair.
The original charge to the task force was: "Develop a prioritized list of the data communications and audiovisual resources with which Queens College classrooms should be equipped and a strategy for encouraging and assisting instructors to make appropriate use of these resources." The charge was later extended to include development of a budget for phased acquisition of equipment need to implement the plan.
Task Force Activities
The final report of the task force was submitted to the Vice President for Graduate Studies and Research on July 14, 1999.