by James L. Morrison and Peter Suber // Commentary
Online publications have come a long way since The Technology Source published its first issue in March 1997. The sheer number of online journals available today speaks volumes regarding the academic community's burgeoning interest in anywhere-accessible scholarly material. In this issue's Commentary feature, editor James L. Morrison interviews Peter Suber on the Internet's contribution to today's scholarship. An Earlham College professor of philosophy who also teaches legal studies and computer science, Suber has a unique perspective on online academic publishing. Suber describes in detail the technological, legal, and philosophical aspects of the various forms of "free online scholarship." Suber also identifies the main advantages and barriers to online publishing, assesses its current status in the academy, and discusses its future development.
by William R. Klemm // Commentary
As threaded-topic discussion boards have become common tools for online teaching, instructors may find themselves asking if there isn't a better way to enhance communication and promote collaborative learning. In his Commentary, William R. Klemm argues that there is a better way: a jointly prepared, "shared document" format. By giving students greater ease in navigation, posting hyperlinks, and building directly upon one another's insights, such a format allows for a much more integrated approach to course discussion. Klemm provides readers with an illustration of these virtues in his development and use of Forum MATRIX, a software program designed to maximize the potential of the shared document format.
by James L. Morrison and Carl Berger // Vision
In this issue's second interview, editor James L. Morrison shares with Technology Source readers his conversation with Carl Berger, a long-time pioneer in adapting information technology tools to education. Morrison asks Berger to draw upon his decades of experience in the field to predict the characteristics of the next "killer app"the software application that will change the ways in which educators, students, and businesspeople engage with technology every day. Berger describes how he and others all over the country have already created and put into use major pieces of this killer app. Berger also offers his Vision of a scenario in which all these pieces may work together in a seamless fashion, thereby integrating technology more fully within the daily experience of the learner.
by Thierry R. H. Bacro // Case Studies
When the Medical University of South Carolina transformed its undergraduate occupational and physical therapy programs into a masters-level program in rehabilitation sciencesand extended the program to a satellite campus at the same timeits faculty needed innovative tools to serve their new population of students. Thierry R. H. Bacro describes how computer-assisted instruction enabled the faculty to deliver their critical gross anatomy course to more students over a broader geographic area. Bacro describes the challenges he and his colleagues faced as well as the creative solutions they devised to meet their students' needs. His Case Study is not just for educators in the medical sciences; he writes for anyone curious about incorporating distance education at any level, from a whole degree program to a single component of one course.
by Gene Abrams and Jeremy Haefner // Case Studies
Gene Abrams and Jeremy Haefner offer Technology Source readers a glimpse of the possibilities for mathematical instruction in this issue's second Case Study. Abrams and Haefner describe their experiences with the MathOnline system, which allows university instructors to combine traditional and online methods in teaching regular math courses. Instructors' lectures are streamed synchronously to students' computers, and lecture notes appear online; students may choose to attend class in the lecture hall or in the computer classroom. This flexibility not only benefits the college students, but also allows accelerated high school students and teachers already in the field to take advantage of the university's offerings. Abrams and Haefner report that the MathOnline tools have allowed them to reach students with a broad range of learning styles without becoming overwhelmed, and without losing touch with traditional learners.
by Carol Stroud and Brenda Stutsky // Case Studies
In building a distance education program, some institutions may already have a substantial community of interested students and willing facultybut still lack the financial resources for the undertaking. For members of these institutions, Carol Stroud and Brenda Stutsky share their perspective in this issue's third Case Study. Stroud and Stutsky outline a collaboration between Manitoba's Health Sciences Centre and the University of Manitoba that resulted in the offering of a much-needed advanced neonatal and pediatric assessment course for regional nurses. In doing so, they strongly advocate the sharing of community and university resources, not only by describing their own experience but also by offering suggestions for institutions facing similar economic constraints.
by Jerome R. Kolbo and Casey C. Turnage // Faculty and Staff Development
Jerome R. Kolbo and Casey Turnage offer an overview of current efforts to use technology to enhance faculty development programs. While Kolbo and Turnage acknowledge that the educational community is still far from fully realizing technology's transformative potential, they report on a broad range of programs and activities designed to support Faculty and Staff Development at all levels of the higher educational continuum, and in all higher-education instructional contexts. Finally, Kolbo and Turnage offer a prospectus for future efforts.
by Michael M. Danchak // Tools
Conscientious teachers know that excellent online instructionjust like that in the classroommeans more than cognitive engagement. In our Tools feature, Michael M. Danchak tells readers about a couple of techniques that help to combat the real problem of creating affective relationships in Web-based instruction. Recognizing the difficulty of establishing instructor personality without face-to-face contact, Danchak suggests several ways in which instructors can reassure students of their presence and concern. As Danchak explains, resolution of these issues will make e-learning a more human, and therefore more satisfying, experience for the learner.
by Stephen Downes // Spotlight Site
For our Spotlight Site, Stephen Downes reviews LearnScope Virtual Learning Community (VLC), an Australian site that focuses on the use of information technology in teaching and learning. Through its multiple featuresincluding guest columns from experts; "hands on" access to resources; online discussion; and specialized listings of articles, current projects, and conferencesLearnScope VLC provides a comprehensive online learning community to its participants.