Nine faculty members at Indiana University Northwest are among the 60 IU educators system-wide who will receive funding and technological support for the innovative use of podcasting in their classes through the Indiana University Faculty Podcasting Initiative. Faculty podcasting projects will begin in Fall Semester 2008 with equipment, software and technological support from Apple and AT&T.
Of the four IU regional campuses participating in the podcasting initiative, IU Northwest has the most participating faculty members with nine, including one professor from the IU School of Medicine — Northwest (IUSM-NW). IU South Bend and IU Kokomo have four each, and IU East has two. Indiana University/Purdue University Indianapolis leads all campuses with 21 participating educators, and IU Bloomington has 20.
Participating IU Northwest faculty members include: Professor of Management Ranjan Kini, Ph.D.; Associate Dean and Associate Professor of Business Cuthbert Scott, Ph.D.; Assistant Professor of Geosciences Erin Argyilan, Ph.D.; Professor of Education Paul Blohm, Ph.D.; Visiting Assistant Professor of Education Dana Dodson, Ed.D.; Assistant Professor of Educational Technology Judy Donovan, Ed.D.; Assistant Professor of Physiology Michael La Pointe, Ph.D.; Clinical Coordinator for Health Information Management Linda Galocy; and IUSM-NW Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Marshall Anderson, Ph.D.
Scott said that his proposal actually represents the entire School of Business and Economics faculty, members of which will have access to the technology and training provided through the initiative. Two vacant department offices will contain the audio and video recording equipment and computers and software necessary to record and post podcasts and vodcasts to the IU podcast portal at http://podcast.iu.edu/Portal/ and also to Oncourse, IU Northwest’s own online learning site.
“The big advantage with this is that we can put something out there and we can do it fast and easy,” Scott said. “If there is some new discovery or development that comes out during the course of the week, our professors can sit down, do a five- or 10-minute podcast, and get it out there for the students. If there is an assignment or concept that students are having difficulty with, the professor can explain it in more detail in a podcast.”
The immediacy and accessibility of podcasts should be especially useful to the business school’s graduate students, Scott said, many of whom only meet once a week. Students in the new Weekend MBA for Professionals courses only meet every other Saturday and also take a number of online classes, he noted, so the podcasting initiative will provide instructors with another convenient method of transmitting up-to-date information to students whom they may not see frequently in person.
The addition of podcasts will be the latest technological upgrade for the School of Business and Economics, which last year added its simulated stock-trading program, Wall Street on Broadway, to its offices in the university’s Dunes Medical/Professional Building. Scott said there was much enthusiasm among business faculty about the podcasting initiative.
“We have a few non-technology professors,” he said. “But most of them, when I brought this forward, they jumped on it and seemed to be very excited.”
The Faculty Podcasting Initiative, which is administered by University Information Technology Services (UITS), will distribute funding for podcast recording equipment and computer software to encourage faculty to create and apply forward-thinking instructional and student-learning opportunities using new media. Part-time and full-time faculty members, and entire departments, from a broad range of disciplines, at six of IU's eight campuses statewide have received hardware and software grants totaling more than $113,000.
While podcasting is not new to IU, this initiative expands that activity across the university and integrates multiple paths for faculty podcasters, offering a variety of ways in which users can choose to access IU content, and enabling instructors to accelerate their use of podcasting.
“We are delighted with the enthusiastic response to the Faculty Podcasting Initiative,” said Stacy Morrone, associate dean for learning technologies at IU. “The number of proposals submitted, almost 100, vastly exceeded our expectations. Three faculty review committees made recommendations for funding, and we were pleased to be able to fund nearly 60 percent of the proposals.”
In the IU Northwest School of Education, professors won’t be the only ones creating podcasts. Donovan, one of three IU Northwest education professors to receive program support through the initiative, said that she plans to ask students to make their own podcasts and vodcasts as part of their coursework in her instructional-technology classes. Donovan said that she would also create instructional vodcasts to demonstrate the use of software programs for classroom instruction and management.
“It’s much easier for students if they can actually see the program being used, instead of just reading directions,” said Donovan, who plans to make substantial use of podcasts and especially vodcasts in her online courses. “And this is an instructional-technology course, so the students should be using this technology, as well, and creating their own podcasts and vodcasts. I think when they share their work with others in this way, it has greater relevance than if they just write a paper and turn it in.”
Donovan noted that many students today routinely use Facebook, MySpace and other online programs or sites as part of their everyday lives, so the use of instructional technology in class should come naturally, she said.
“These are people who are studying to become teachers, so if they use this technology in class, they’re more likely to use it later on when they teach,” she explained.
Funded resources in the Faculty Podcasting Initiative shall include podcasting equipment -- microphones, headsets and camcorders -- as well as iPod Nano personal .mp3 players and digital audio and video editing software.
“We are very pleased to provide support for this very innovative and exciting podcasting initiative by Indiana University that will bring a new digital learning platform to thousands of students,” said Carl Done, vice president, sales, higher education, EBS-GEM, AT&T Global Business Services. “AT&T has a long history of supporting higher education and efforts to enhance the student life experience, improve the education process and help colleges and universities use technology to meet their educational and administrative goals.”
University Information Technology Services (UITS) at Indiana University, with offices on the Bloomington and Indianapolis campuses, develops and maintains a modern information technology environment throughout the university in support of IU's vision for excellence in research, teaching, outreach and lifelong learning.
UITS provides tools and services to support the academic and administrative work of the university, including a high-speed campus network with wireless access, central web hosting, a rich selection of free and low-cost software for personal use, tools and support for instruction and research, and supercomputers for data analysis and visualization.
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