. The board identifies instructional technology priorities based on campus-wide interests and needs. The CIT director uses this information to design the Centers activities, which promote sharing information and coordinating planning across different schools and departments. For example, the
CIT Teaching with Technology Speaker Series in the spring of 1999 included presentations on topics of general interest to their colleagues from faculty in arts and sciences, nursing, business and medicine. Some of those presentations described classroom techniques, such as the use of on-line communication tools, while others focused on trends in instructional technology, such as new publishing models involving textbook publishers, faculty authors and multimedia designers.
Administratively part of the Duke Library, the Center for Instructional Technology calls upon the knowledge and experience of librarians and builds on the Librarys history of helping faculty incorporate new types of information technology into their research and teaching. Since arriving in January, Director of Instructional Technology Lynne OBrien has been working with librarians to identify places where there is a natural connection between the Librarys activities and those of the CIT. When humanities librarians planned a retreat in July of 1999, they invited OBrien and faculty from humanities departments to meet with them to explore uses of audio, video, graphics and interactive Web techniques in the humanities. After examining specific software packages and Web sites, the librarians, faculty and CIT staff discussed how they might together bring about the use of these tools in humanities courses.
A number of projects supported by the CIT bring librarians into the planning and development of instructional technology activities in courses. One of the most ambitious of these is the
Digital Durham project, which is being developed by history professor Trudi Abel. Drawing on the collections of the librarys Public Documents and Maps Department and the
Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections Library, the project will utilize maps, census data, tax list data, visual images, and correspondence from late nineteenth-century Durham. Abels students will create a database and Web site, and then they will analyze and interpret the materials. The students will translate their findings into teaching modules that will be used in the North Carolina public schools. The Digital Durham project will result in a research-intensive and technologically rich learning experience for Abels students and a resource for other Duke history professors who plan to utilize the projects materials. As Alex Roland, chair of the history departmen, comments:
The idea of putting this data on a web site and making it accessible to a broad range of researchers multiplies the power of this project and no doubt increases its appeal to students. They will surely come away from this exercise with a greatly enhanced notion of the lure and limitations of history and the ability of their own work to contribute to the greater historical enterprise.
Trudi Abels project also extends activities the Library has undertaken to make archival material available on the Web. Robert Byrd, director of the Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections Library, notes:
One of the issues we have been exploring is how to provide an adequate context for digital facsimiles of Special Collections materials. Simply offering a large number of images on the web without organized contextual information seems less than maximally useful. It is a virtue of the Digital Durham Project that its web site, with databases of census and tax data, will provide a context within which to examine and interpret the images and transcriptions placed on the site.
In line with its goal of serving the entire university, the CIT is establishing partnerships with other technology-support organizations on campus and building on existing instructional technology activities. For example, CIT funds will contribute to Dukes ongoing work with the
WebAssign project, which was initiated at North Carolina State University and expanded with funding and programming support from Dukes Trinity College of Arts and Sciences. WebAssign automatically delivers assignments from a central database of problems and can even set a limited time window in which students must complete their assignment. The program corrects the problems in real time and keeps statistics about students answers to questions. WebAssign reduces the amount of time instructors and teaching assistants spend on grading homework assignments, freeing them for more contact with students and allowing them to tailor classroom activities to the topics with which students have had the most difficulty.
Enhancement of WebAssign is in the offing. With the help of additional funding from the CIT, Duke physics professors Daniel Gauthier and Mark Johnson will collaborate with the other project developers to add the capability for peer and group grading. Johnson explains: "Students will be actively engaged in the work of others in the class and will get feedback on their own work as well. By using technology in this way, we hope to provide another context at Duke in which students develop their cooperative learning skills."
The CIT also is working with Arts and Sciences Computing, the Office of Information Technology and a group in the medical school to introduce
CourseInfo software to faculty and students in the fall of 1999. CourseInfo provides a powerful and easy-to-use tool suite for instructors in all subject areas. Instructors use Courseinfo to build course Web sites and to integrate on-line quizzes, electronic discussion boards, and network-based group projects. Duke faculty who experimented with CourseInfo during the summer of 1999 were enthusiastic about its potential for putting course materials on-line and encouraging experimentation with innovative teaching strategies.
CourseInfo is one of several new academic software tools the CIT will help make available to faculty. Growing numbers of faculty have expressed interest in tools that will allow them to integrate audio and video into their teaching. In response to that interest, the CIT advisory board has awarded funding to the
Video Professor project at Dukes
Fuqua School of Business. Key elements of the project include capturing on video segments of faculty presentations and lectures by guest speakers, editing and cataloging the video clips, then storing them in a virtual library for access by others. With the facility to search, access and edit multimedia archives, faculty have the opportunity to incorporate exemplary materials into their classes. Fuqua Associate Dean for Information Technology Nevin Fouts points out:
There are increasing expectations from students for high-quality multimedia content as part of their learning experience. The ability for professors to include video clips of their peers or guest speakers in the classroom (perhaps as embedded video within a PowerPoint presentation), would provide students with insight from more than just the professor assigned to the course and would allow the value of a faculty member's knowledge and perspective to extend beyond just the courses they teach. A clip of one professor's eloquent explanation of a particular concept might be the best way for students across many classes to quickly grasp the idea.
In return for CIT support, developers of this project will share their expertise and technology model with faculty in other schools.
Although the CITs goals focus on the University as a whole, many of its activities are tailored to the specific interests of individual schools, departments or faculty. For example, Earl Dowell and Marion Shepard (respectively, Dean and Associate Dean of the
School of Engineering in the spring of 1999) contacted the CIT about planning an
instructional technology workshop to help Engineering faculty take advantage of the schools technology classrooms and new computer projection equipment. In May 1999, eighteen faculty from the School of Engineering participated in a four-part workshop collaboratively planned and taught by Lynne OBrien of the CIT, Engineering instructor Michael Gustafson and Engineering library director Linda Martinez. Faculty who participated in the workshop received laptop computers from the School of Engineering so that they could offer technology-enhanced presentations and materials in class using the Schools new projection equipment. Other collaborative instructional technology workshops are planned for the Sociology departments Markets and Management program and for the
Divinity School faculty.
Throughout the 1999-2000 academic year, the CIT will work with faculty who are exploring the possibilities that new technologies offer for teaching and learning. The outcome will be students engaged more deeply with course materials, discussions that extend beyond the classroom walls, new sources of information discovered, and a broader sense of community developed. Together the Center for Instructional Technology and the Duke faculty will find ways to enhance teaching techniques that have worked well in the past while developing new strategies for preparing students for the future.
Web sites associated with this article:
Duke University Center for Instructional Technology
Duke University Libraries
Duke University Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections Library
Duke University Science and Engineering Libraries
Fuqua School of Business
Duke University School of Engineering
Instructional Technology Workshop for the School of Engineering
Duke University Divinity School
Thomas Witelskis Chalk-less Classroom project
Alex Harriss American Communities Photography website project
Paul Gronkes and Ken Rogersons Internet, Politics, and Public Policy project
Trudi Abels Digital Durham project
Fuqua School of Business Video Professor project (multiple professors)
Strategic Plan for Information Technology in Teaching and Learning
CourseInfo at Duke University
WebAssign project at Duke University