ruminators' ilk

faculty development, educational technologies, intellectual curieux, info provocations


Faculty Development News This Week:

--Faculty Development at Inver Hills


Faculty Salon: Proof: Ruminations on the Everyday

All are invited to a talk by Martin Springborg on his new book of photography recording the year 2001. He will show some of his works and discuss the process. One of his pieces is currently hanging in the library and his book is available on the reserve shelf.

The program will be on Thursday, January 29th from 4:00 to 6:00 PM in HH203.

Refreshments will be served.

Conferences / Workshops

--Sloan-C Announces the Spring 2004 Online Learning Research Workshop

Sloan-C announces an online workshop focusing on the latest issues in online learning. The workshop starts on February 15, 2004. "Pre-registration indicated a high level of interest in the workshop, so if you wish to attend, you are encouraged to sign up as soon as you can when registration opens on January 21. Developed with forty of the most influential researchers in the field of online learning and brought directly to your computer, this workshop can provide you with critical information about the most important issues in online learning including:
· Blended Learning
· Assessment Methodologies
· Improving Student Satisfaction
· Increasing Learning Effectiveness
· and Other Key Topics in Online Learning

Included with the workshop, you will receive a CD-ROM that includes fourteen video presentations from the researchers and their associated research reports, allowing you to see and hear the presentations as many times as you wish! And the workshop itself will allow you to ask any questions you have of presenters in both asynchronous and synchronous formats. The results of the workshop will be published by Sloan-C."

This workshop has been developed in collaboration with University of Massachusetts at Lowell, who will be offering optional CEU credit, as well as optional graduate course credit at the masters or doctoral levels.

Please visit the following URL for further details on the workshop and to register: "".

Learning Communities

--Social Software and the Politics of Groups

What social relationships are inherent in online groups?

To find out, read the article:

Social Software

--The Power of Dissent in Organizations

A health organization requires dissention, which is not the same as adversarial and contentious discussion.

This article is from the University of Chicago Law School Web site. It originally appeared in Los Angeles Times,September 17, 2003.

Read the article:

The Power of Dissent

--Social Networks

How to nurture social networks.

Social Networks

Online Instruction

--Instructional Design

This article addresses how to achieve flow in online learning.

Interesting article:

Instructional Design for Flow in Online Learning

--Online Instruction Toolkit

Instructors new to online learning will find this useful.


--Online Courses, Quality Control

This article provides a rubric for quality control of online instruction.

--Criteria for Evaluating the Quality of Online Courses

--Strategies for Blended Learning

Interested in a recipe book for blended learning.

Strategic vs. Doctrinaire Blending

This is a PDF file (77 pages)

--The International Center for Distance Learning (ICDL)

"ICDL is an internationally-recognised center for research, teaching, consultancy, information and publishing activities based in the UK Open University.
ICDL promotes international research and collaboration by providing information from its library and databases; other audiences are reached through publications."

Visit the site:

The International Center for Distance Learning

--The Importance of Human-Centered Web Design

This article discusses the use of gratuitous graphics in Web site design.

Human-Centered Web Design

--Distance Education Accreditation

Learn all about the accreditation process.

Distance Education Accreditation

--Design Principles for Online Instruction: A New Kind of Classroom

How to design an high quality online course.

Design Principles

--Web Writing Resource

How to write online text.

Web Writing that Works


--What is a Wiki?

What is a wiki? The short answer is that "wiki wiki" is Hawaiian for "quick". In terms of online culture, wikiWiki is a composition system, a discussion medium, a repository, a mail system, a chat room, and a tool for collaboration.

Find out more:

What is a Wiki?

--The Wiki Phenomenon

Read about using the Web as a collaborative workspace for open editing and knowledge management.

The Wiki Phenomenon

--NPR Commentary: Wikis

NPR commentator David Weinberger says wikis are one example of "social software," intended to allow people to work together with ease.

Listen to his commentary on wikis is an audio file of All Things Considered:

All Things Considered Audio

Blog Grab Bag

--University Policy Handbook Search Index

This is master index to online faculty, staff, and student handbooks, and it can be quite helpful to academics trying to construct their own policies.

Policy Handbook

--Find the Script that Fits

This database currently includes 12471 plays, 5618 writers, and 326 monologues, searchable by title, author, genre, cast size and gender, length, set complexity, keyword in plot description, and other factors, enabling you to match possible plays to your available budget, cast, and skills.

FInd the Script that Fits

--The Government Performance Project: The Way We Tax: A 50-State Report

This report from Congressional Quarterly's Governing
magazine analyzes "the tax structures and tax management of the 50 states" and evaluates "the way each state raises itsrevenues." It includes an overview of major sources of state revenue (sales taxes, personal income taxes, property taxes,
and corporate taxes) and features a description of the taxstructure for each state. Also provides related reports back to 1999.

Read the report:

Government Performance Project

--Minority Links

Quick links to the latest U.S. Census "data on racial and ethnic populations in the United States." Features browsable facts and statistics on Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino, Asian/Pacific Islander, and American Indian/Alaska Native populations in the United States. From the U.S. Census Bureau Public Information Office.

Minority Links

--World Bank Climate Change Team

The World Bank Climate Change Team"provides resources and expertise for the World Bank's participation in international climate change negotiations under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and provides technical advice to the World Bank's Global Environment Facility (GEF) Program." This site includes a data base of descriptions of the group's projects, publications, and press releases.

Climate Change Team

--Open Source Toolbox for Activism

This is a useful list of Open Source tools that can be used by "activists to spread the message and promote interaction by enewsletters, forums, blogs, wikis and epetitions."

This is from the blog Designing for Civil Society

Open Source Toolbox

--Holding Politicians Accountable

The site creators "examine recent statements by politicians or political organizations from any political party, and print the claim, test its truthfulness, and cite their sources."


--Social Capitalist Awards

Interesting title, yes?

Read about twenty organizations that are changing the world. This site supplements an article in the January 2004 issue ofFast Company about its Social Capitalist Award winners, people who use "the disciplines of the corporate world to tackle daunting social problems." It features "expanded profiles of the twenty featured organizations, details about their methodology, profiles of theur advisory board members, additional commentary, and ways to donate to the organizations involved."

Social Capitalists

--Nick’s Mathematical Puzzles

Math, anyone?

This site is full of mathematical goodies: geometry, probability, number theory, algebra, calculus, and logic. All require a certain ingenuity, but usually only pre-college math--I think! Explaining how an answer is arrived at is more important than the answer itself, right? To this end, hints, answers, and fully worked solutions are provided, as well as links to relevant mathematical topics.

Nick’s Mathematical Puzzles

--Places Online (Association of American Geographers)

This site provides access to the World's very best place-based Web sites." Most of the sites are prime image and map resources, like Nineteenth Century Mississippi River Scenes, Historic Colorado Photographs, Three Strolls through Paris, Sites and Scenes of Rio de Janeiro. This is an ongoing project; some continents are not as yet well-represented.

Places Online

--Bar Code Art

That's right. The bar code as an art form.

There are neat interactive features here. One example: a Flash project where you enter data about yourself to be bar coded.

Take a look:

Bar Code Art


--FURL(Frame Uniform Resource Locators)

Want to organize all your Web pages?

FURL" is dedicated to making it easier for users to archive and share information on the Web. With a couple clicks, Furl will archive any page (soon including its text and graphics). You can easily find it by browsing your personal directory of web pages or by using the full text search that only searches pages you've archived. It's like having your own Google. "

Try out the beta version of FURL.


Until next week!

Blog editor

Image Credits:


Faculty Development News This Week :

Faculty Development at Inver Hills

--Faculty Roundtable

Faculty Roundtable
Educational Technology: Friend and Foe?
Speaker: Mark Peterson
Date: Thursday, January 22, 2004
Time: 1:-00-2:00 PM
Location: Conference Room B

Are you one of the cyber-elated, or are you cyber-anxious? Do you foresee high-tech doom for education or a high-tech Renaissance? Is there a middle ground between techno-utopianism and neo-Luddism? According to Mark Peterson, Director of Academic Technology and Computing Services, the answer is yes. Technology can be both friend and foe, depending upon the individual's awareness of the tools she/he is using. In the next Faculty Roundtable, Mark will address the technological developments that are unfolding in education, and discuss how these developments are thrilling, disorienting, and intimidating.

Here is the abstract for Mark's talk:

As much as we would like technology to be adaptive and noninvasive, it just isn't. Even the most sophisticated applications will nearly always require the person using the system to do some adjusting. Those adjustments can be relatively simple like changing a routine or they can be very complex like changing how an enterprise is organized and operates. Come and find out what I think you can do to have some control over the encroachment of technology. There are some specific strategies that you can employ to decide if technology will be a benefit or a burden. You might just surprise yourself.

Intrigued? Please join us. Light refreshments will be served.

This event is sponsored by MNSCU / CTL and Inver Hills Community College, Active Learning and CTL.


The next Inver Hills Salon will feature Martin Springborg and his new bookProof: Ruminations on the Everyday. Martin will present selections from his new book.

Thursday, January 29th, 4-6 PM

Location: 203 Heritage Hall

This event is sponsored by the Inver Hills Faculty Development Committee.

--Innovative Faculty Development

Riverside Community College, Office of Faculty Development, created this Web site. Read the mission statement:

" is an online professional development network of resources and learning modules designed specifically for the needs of community college faculty. This site was created for you to share ideas, acquire new tools for teaching and is updated regularly with new materials and ideas. The more than 200 contributors to this site hope what you learn here will help you reach your students more effectively and enhance their learning experience. "

Take a look:



--Educating Citizens

Educating Citizens: Preparing America's Undergraduates for Lives of Moral and Civic Responsibility by Anne Colby, Thomas Ehrlich, Elizabeth Beaumont, and Jason Stephens.

"This new book by scholars at the Carnegie Foundation challenges U.S. colleges and universities to make moral and civic learning an integral part of the undergraduate experience. Educating Citizens provides concrete counsel on how campuses can meet this challenge."

The Table of Contents, a sample chapter, and ordering information are available from the Jossey-Bass Web site.

Trends and the Future

--"2003 Year-End Google Zeitgeist: Search Patterns, Trends, and Surprises"

Zeitgeist, as you know, is the general intellectual, moral, and cultural climate of an era. For a perspective on major events and hot trends, based on more than 55 billion Google searches, click here:

Google Zeitgeist

--"From Digitruth to Identity Terrorism"

The futurist Faith Popcorn makes predictions:

Digitruth to Identity Terrorism

--2004 Top Technology Trends

This article is from

2004 Top Technology Trends

--The Future is Now

This article is from The, United Kingdom.

The Future is Now

Media Literacy

--"Media Literacy Goes to School"

This article is from Technology Review, a publication of MIT.

To read the article, registration is required, although there is no fee.

Media Literacy

--Debates in the Media Literacy Movement

Renee Hobbs, the author of this article, is one of the leading researchers and advocates of media literacy education in the United States. This essay introduces some of the different sides in the debates about media literacy.

Read the article:

The Seven Great Debates in the Media Literacy Movement

Learning Objects

--"Learning Objects: Believe It or Not"

Cutting-edge material from the Maricopa Learning eXchange. Plenty of examples.

Learning Objects: Believe It or Not

"Learning Objects Need Instructional Design Theory"

This article is from the Virtual Centre for Innovative Learning Technologies. This is a PDF file (17 pages).

Learning Objects Need Instructional Design Theory

Online Communities

--Information Design of Community Building

A productive online community does not just happen. Find out how to achieve one.

Building Community

--The Association for Community Networking

Read the mission statement:

"The Association For Community Networking (AFCN) is an educational nonprofit corporation dedicated to fostering and supporting "Community Networking" -- community-based creation & provision of appropriate technology services. AFCN's mission is to improve the visibility, viability and vitality of Community Networking by assisting and connecting people and organizations, building public awareness, identifying best practices, encouraging research, influencing policy, and developing products & services. "

Check it out:

Association for Community Networking

Online Instruction Resources

--Resources for Game Based Learning

Articles, examples, and companies.

Resources for Game Based Learning

--Computer Simulations

Try them out! These are produced by Thinkport.

Computer Simulations

--Pew Internet Projects Report

Find out how America utilizes the Internet.

Pew Internet Projects Report

--2003 Search Engine Review

Read for tips about various search engines.

2003 Search Engine Review

--A Field Guide to Educational Simulations

The author, Carl Aldrich, considers high-end simulations to be "the front-runner candidate for creating broad, sharable, e-learning experiences."

This is a PDF file (24 pages).

Field Guide to Educational Simulations

Blog Grab Bag

--Martin Luther King, Jr.

Celebrate the life of a great American and humanitarian.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

--The Center for Academic Integrity

"The Center for Academic Integrity provides a forum to identify, affirm, and promote the values of academic integrity among students, faculty, teachers and administrators. The CAI Web site is divided into a public tier, which contains general information about the Center and its activities, and a members-only tier, which contains specific information on CAI projects, research, and a list-server for members to exchange ideas and information."

This site offers resources for starting an academic integrity endeavor on campus.

Center for Academic Integrity

--Motivating Students' Best Work

This useful link is from the University of California, Berkeley.

Motivating Students

--Achieving Individualized Instruction in Online Courses

"Making Learning Relevant to Individual Members of an Online Community," by James Thomas & Kezia Prater, addresses individualized instruction in distance education and advocates a teaching system that incorporates inquiry-based learning in real-world contexts.

This article is from the California Virtual Campus Web site.

Making Learning Relevant

--The Council for Higher Education Accreditation

The Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) is a private, nonprofit national organization that coordinates accreditation activity in the United States.

The Council for Higher Education Accreditation

--Internet Literature

This site claims to be the largest library ever assembled on CD (and so far the only one available on DVD).


Until next week!

Blog editor


Faculty Development News This Week:

Conferences / Workshops

--International Conference on Teaching and Leadership Excellence

May 23-26, Austin Convention Center, Austin, Texas.

This conference, sponsored by the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development, is the "largest international conference to focus specifically on the celebration of teaching, learning, and leadership."

For conference information, click National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development.

--8th International Conference on Bisexuality

This year's conference will be held at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis.

For information, click Bisexuality Conference.


--Technology Grant News

" This site is a companion to a publication that provides information about technology funding "for colleges & universities, K-12 schools, non profits, libraries & museums and towns & cities." The site features a sample issue, sample articles, and links to selected grants. Browsable by type of donor or recipient."

Technology Grant News

Trends in Higher Education

--Predictions for 2004

Read about what futurists and experts predict for E- education. This is from the Newsletter.

Trends in Higher Education

This is link will take you to a PDF file (20 pages).

Online Communities

--How to Build Online Communities

Online communities do not just happen; they need nurturing. This article, from MindJack , a digital publication on issues involving E- culture, gives useful suggestions for building online communities in distance education and faculty development.

Twelve Variables for Understanding Online Communities

--Effective Online Facilitation

This article offers advice on how to facilitate effective online discussion, chat, and E-mail communication.

Effective Online Facilitation

Educational Technology

--PDAs and Handhelds in Libraries and Academia

PDAs and handhelds : the new wave in education.

To read more: PDAs and Handhelds

Collaborative Learning

--Computer Supported Collaborative Learning

Rich resource for collaborative learning.

Computer Supported Collaborative Learning

-- Social Activism

Here is a site that combines collaborative learning with social activism. Read what the Homepage says about the site's purpose:

Who is this project created for? Prophets, that's who. Like the quotation says, people who can clearly see what's right and what's wrong in the world. But more than that. Prophets aren't whiners, they are doers! So who are these prophets? You, students, that's who! Who else do you think will change the world?

Although geared toward high school students, the site is a useful postsecondary model, too.

Take a look:

Nonprofit Prophets

Web Site Design

--Educational Web Sites Awards

Want inspiration? Take a look at what other educators are designing for their students.

Web Sites for Learning Awards


This article, from Practical Assessment, Research & Evaluation, a peer-reviewed electronic journal, addresses how to achieve authentic assessment of student performance.

The Case for Authentic Assessment

Blog Grab Bag

--Catalog of Information on Homelessness and Poverty

"The Institute for the Study of Homelessness and Poverty, a project of the Weingart Center, is a non-profit, non-partisan, research and policy organization serving the research and networking needs of academics, government, community based direct service agencies, policy-advocacy organizations, the media, philanthropic organizations, policymakers and other members of the community involved with the issues of homelessness and poverty."

Homelessness and Poverty

--New York Times Article Archives

The New York Times is now offering a complete article
archive from September 1851 to December 1995. Fifteen million articles plus!

New York Times Archives

--Dr. Web's Domain

You may have come across a librarian blogs, but how about a Guy-brarian blog? Take a guess as to what it is!

To find out more, click on Dr Web's Domain

--Baa Baa: Blog of the Crafty Librarian

Interesting potpourri of news and information.

Baa Baa

--A Scholar's Garden/ / Dans le Jardin d'un Érudit

The Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden in Vancouver,B.C., "is a living museum of Chinese culture, art, history, and traditions." The site includes information about the garden's history and construction; an explanation of historical, literary, and symbolic meanings of natural and architectural garden elements; and an interactive tour. Also provides activities, festival descriptions, and a bibliography. Available in English, French, and Chinese.

A Scholar's Garden

--The U.S. National Debt Clock

The clock is ticking:

National Debt Clock.

Until next week!

Blog editor