December 15, 2006; 2pm Eastern U.S. Time Zone
Interview with Featured Guest: Steve Ehrmann, Dir., The Flashlight Program, The TLT Group
In 1999-2006, the $25 million iCampus Program funded dozens of faculty- and student-led software development projects at MIT. Some of that software began having significant use and influence at MIT and at other institutions. In Dec. 2005, The TLT Group was asked to identify factors affecting the wider adoption of such software, and to make recommendations that would led to the wider use of such academic software.
We were asked to focus on five projects. They were, as you'll see, quite content-specific:
- iLabs – students can use web browsers to design experiments and collect data from distant laboratory equipment; several such labs were developed, along with a shared software architecture to make it easier to share such labs across institutions;
- iMOAT – the web is used to manage the process of large-scale assessment of student writing;
- TEAL – two terms of introductory physics have been redesigned around inquiry, discussion, experimentation, and visualization;
- XMAS – students can ‘quote’ video legally in their online discussions, presentations, and projects about films in courses such as Shakespeare
- xTutor is to be a tool kit for creating online courses; its strength is checking computer programming homework and providing feedback. Currently two free xTutor courses are available from MIT
We can answer questions about these projects, but what we'd most likely to discuss are our findings about factors affecting wide adoption of such innovations, and our recommendations for how to speed the spread of technology-enabled educational improvements.
We want to hear from you about how our findings and recommendations fit your institution and experience.
Question - please post your responses here!
"Most faculty in my institution continually search the world for ways to improve each of their courses."
- True now?
- If not, what changes inside or outside your institution might help that statement become true?
For a summary of our findings and recommendations, see the executive summary of our report: "Factors Affecting the Adoption of Faculty-Developed Academic Software: A Study of Five iCampus Projects"