AAHE - Teaching & Learning & Technology Roundtable

Report on 2nd Annual Summer Institute

Scottsdale Arizona 7/12-16/96


In mid-July I spent four days in Arizona with a group of faculty and staff from 50+ institutions. We were a diverse group (from tiny private college to the Australian National University) with the common interest of using Technology in Higher Education. The occasion was the second annual meeting of the American Association for Higher Education (AAHE) workshop devoted to their "Teaching, Learning & Technology Roundtable" (TLTR). AAHE believes (and I now believe as well) that there is great benefit for institutions to form a group whose focus is to develop ideas and strategies which will allow the institution to address the difficult issues of when, how and where to use educational technology. They call it a Roundtable to distinguish it from the usual committee.

The workshop provided a workbook (which I'm happy to share) which suggests who should participate as well as the kinds of questions and operations which will help the roundtable work effectively. In a large number of large and small sessions an enormous number of issues were raised and quite a few solutions suggested. What follows is not an attempt to summarize everything that occurred. Rather, it highlights things that I found intriguing and to suggest some steps that Drexel might take.



Drexel has a number of committees which are charged with various activities related to the use of technology in education. These include the Microcomputer Policy Committee, the Computer Advisory Council and the Teaching & Learning Committee. All these committees have a useful role, but the experience of other universities suggests that there is a role for a group which includes members of all affected groups and operates in a specific way.

Create a Drexel Technology & Education LISTSERVE

We need a ready way for communicating about issues related to technology and education. Committee meetings are difficult for many to attend. A listserve would take advantage of the near-ubiquity of EMail and would allow communication between all members of the faculty and interested staff. I would suggest that it be "moderated" by someone charged (and rewarded) for doing so. It should also be connected to a Web site for longer documents and a record of important conversations.



You may have read something in the last several months about the new coalition which has been formed by the governors of many of the western states. Initially it promises 'merely' to coordinate the offerings of many of the post-secondary institutions in those states so that students can get a degree taking courses from multiple sources. To do so the mechanics are being created to allow course offerings created not only in existing higher education institutions, but also from commercial sources as well.

I believe that this is a very significant development in alternative ways of offering degrees, one which merits close study by institutions like ours. The Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education provides more detailed information..


Annenberg/CPB has undertaken to create a set of tools (primarily survey questions) to allow those who are experimenting with technology in education to document the effects. The product will initially be a CD-Rom which will allow users to generate a survey questionnaire from an "item bank" of questions which have been tested both for reliability and meaningfulness at five disparate schools who have helped develop the questions.

The CD should be available this fall (price uncertain) and should be extremely helpful to those who are innovating and wish to understand its effects. I was very impressed with the care being taken to develop it and the effort to make it relatively easy to use.

I have a copy of the draft materials which anyone is welcome to review if you are interested. You can also find more information on the Annenberg/CPB site under the their evaluation/research subheading

These ideas are only a few of those I brought back with me. I'd be delighted to share more details.

Curator: James E. Mitchell - Drexel University
Email: < James.Mitchell@CoE.drexel.edu>
Last Updated: 7/17/96

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