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eLearning at the School of Business. Michael Getz Technology Manager School of Business. Mission of the U of A. The mission of the University of Alberta is to serve our community by the dissemination of knowledge through teaching and the discovery of knowledge through research.

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elearning at the school of business

eLearningat theSchool of Business

Michael GetzTechnology Manager School of Business

mission of the u of a
Mission of the U of A

The mission of the University of Alberta is to

serve our community by the dissemination of

knowledge through teaching and the

discovery of knowledge through research.

(Vice-President Research)

strategic goals of the u of a
Strategic Goals of the U of A
  • The University of Alberta will prepare our students for successful lives and careers as leaders of tomorrow.
      • [KSI 1.1] Recruitment of students with potential
      • [KSI 1.2] Providing the best possible learning experience
      • [KSI 1.3] Improve the learning environment inside and outside the classroom.
getting from a to b
Getting from A to B
  • What can be done to market our e-learning technology and attract prospective students to pursue a post secondary education at the University of Alberta? [KSI 1.1]
      • Identify “prospective students”
      • Talk to them
      • Market to them
      • Participate in out reach programs with them
      • Connect with them
getting from a to b1
Getting from A to B
  • What makes the learning experience delivered by the U of A the best available? [KSI 1.2]
      • Quality of the teaching
        • The School of Business hires the best and retains the best.
        • The School of Business has produced 4 winners of the prestigious 3M Award for University Teaching.
      • Quality of supporting services
        • The School of Business has invested in support that is local.
        • We hire highly skilled and qualified individuals for support.
        • We actively encourage a culture of change and progress.
      • Quality of the eLearning technology
        • Available, Accessible and Convenient
        • Reliable and Dependable
        • Focused on Customer Satisfaction (students and instructors)
getting from a to b2
Getting from A to B
  • How can we improve the learning environment inside and outside the classroom? [KSI 1.3]
  • Wireless Technology - if you build it, they will come to school with laptops, tablets and PDAs.
  • Smart Classroom Equipment – adopt a strategy of continuous improvement with respect to Smart Classroom equipment.
  • Sensored Classrooms – repeated measures of temperature and humidity levels.
  • Lighting, Aesthetics, Furniture – adopt a renewal cycle for classroom renovation that happens with a greater frequency than once every 15 to 20 years.

Inside the Classroom

getting from a to b3
Getting from A to B
  • How can we improve the learning environment inside and outside the classroom? [KSI 1.3]

Wireless Technology – make every space on campus a learning space.

Course Management Systems – the School of Business has invested in the Blackboard CMS making course materials accessible world wide.

Asynchronous Communication – enable real-time communication using asynchronous learning technologies. The School of Business is working on an asynchronous project currently.

Distance Learning – expand our base and enter into new markets, giving educational opportunities to people located in rural or smaller communities.

Outside the Classroom

and in the home…

strategic goals of the u of a1
Strategic Goals of the U of A
  • The University of Alberta will be a leader in the creation, integration, dissemination and application of knowledge.
      • Building partnerships to facilitate research and knowledge transfer. [KSI 2.2]
getting from a to b4
Getting from A to B
  • Strategic partnerships offer a variety of “win-win” opportunities for knowledge transfer.
      • The School of Business has formed strategic partnerships with several corporations and non-profit organizations.
strategic goals of the u of a2
Strategic Goals of the U of A
  • The University of Alberta will achieve institutional excellence.
      • [KSI 3.1] Retaining outstanding instructors, researchers and staff.
      • [KSI 3.2] Allocating the necessary resources to achieve the University’s mission.
      • [KSI 3.3] Renew and enhance the University's infrastructure.
      • [KSI 3.3] Provide high-quality support services to meet the needs of the future.
getting from a to b5
Getting from A to B
  • How do we retain outstanding instructors? [KSI 3.1]

Determine who the outstanding instructors are– utilize student (customer) assessments and credential evaluations to determine which instructors should be classified as “outstanding”.

Pay them well – salary levels will correlate with performance (quality) levels.

Allocate resources – empower instructors with the necessary resources (personnel, money, technology) to deliver a quality course.

Recognize their efforts – feature them on the front page of your web site, put them in contact with the media for features, promote them and encourage continued success.

getting from a to b6
Getting from A to B
  • How do we allocate the resources necessary for success? [KSI 3.2]

Location before Allocation– eLearning resources must be located as close to the user as possible. Displacing resources in locations inconvenient to the user is prohibitive to their utilization and to the users satisfaction.

Allocation based on population – course sections with larger student enrollments will be allocated more resources.

Allocation based on need – the topic or learning objectives of a course may naturally determine proper allocation.

Software for labs

Teaching Assistants

Instructional Designers

Funding for field trips…

Guest Speakers

getting from a to b7
Getting from A to B
  • When and how often do we need to renew or enhance the University’s infrastructure? [KSI 3.3]

What is infrastructure – Infrastructure as it relates to eLearning includes classrooms, labs, smart classroom equipment, network (wired/wireless) and hardware functioning to provide services (servers, microscopes, telescopes, etc…)Metrics– the ability to determine what to renew or enhance and at what frequency comes from analyzing quantitative and qualitative information (data) related to customer (instructors and student) satisfaction. These are the key indicators needed that inform us when something is not working as it should and what direction or action should be taken.


Satisfaction =


getting from a to b8
Getting from A to B
  • How do we provide high quality support services to meet the needs of the future? [KSI 3.3]

The future is a product of our metrics

-Measuring the satisfaction levels of our instructors and students with respect to each eLearning service provided, tell us how to meet the needs of the future and the direction we must take to get there.

strategic goals of the u of a3
Strategic Goals of the U of A
  • The University of Alberta will contribute to the needs of its communities.
      • [KSI 4.1] Enhance and build connections with our communities.
getting from a to b9
Getting from A to B
  • How do we foster and strengthen the sense of community at the U of A? [KSI 4.1]

Maintain close ties with our alumni

-Fostering a sense of community with our alumni requires providing something of value in the relationship. We must continue to offer opportunity and provide services to our alumni. In particular we must do more to help them find meaningful employment and prospective careers. Expand our definition of community-Not so much “indisputably recognized” so much as just being recognized. At present our community is limited to Edmonton and surrounding area. eLearning technology allows us to break this barrier and reach out to a much larger community. Get recognized first – the “indisputable” part will follow.


Alberta and beyond…

core elearning services
Core eLearning Services

Primary Services

  • Smart Classrooms
  • Computing Labs
  • Network Infrastructure (Wired/Wireless)
  • Course Management System (Blackboard)
  • Software Distribution Service
  • Student Portfolio Service
  • Terminal Service
  • Video Conferencing

Supporting Services

  • Support Personnel (Training)
  • Knowledge Base (Publications)
  • Metrics and Measurement
smart classrooms
Smart Classrooms
  • The School of Business has a compliment of 14 Smart Classrooms or approximately 12% of all Smart Classrooms on campus.

How is it serviced?

-After some discussions with the Technical Resource Group (TRG) they placed a full-time employee dedicated to servicing the smart classrooms and ensuring their smooth operation. The support is local, the technology works almost incident free, and customer satisfaction with this service is high. (1 X 10 X 100 rule)How is it measured?-The School of Business conducts satisfaction surveys with instructors and students related to smart classroom technology.

Setting direction?Presently we are putting together focus groups to determine the next evolution of the smart classroom as all of our equipment is due for renewal in 2006.

computing labs
Computing Labs
  • The School of Business maintains the largest computing lab on campus and has a computer to student ratio of approximately 1/12.
  • How is it serviced?
  • lab proctors (CNS and Business) How is it measured?
  • student satisfaction surveys
  • students have repeatedly told us they need greater access to computing facilities.
  • Setting Direction?
  • our response to these needs have been:
    • Increased wired and wireless access points for personal laptops
    • Negotiations with Risk Management and CNS for 24 X 7 labs.
    • Implementation of a terminal server to mimic the lab environment.
network infrastructure
Network Infrastructure
  • The School of Business services a large network using wired and wireless technology.
  • How is it serviced?
  • serviced by network administrators local in the School of Business. How is it measured?
  • network traffic statistics
  • student satisfaction surveys
  • student focus groups
  • Setting direction?
  • the School of Business will continue to expand our wireless network in response to feedback from students.
  • as the new “N” standard evolves we will look to upgrade our wireless infrastructure.
course management system
Course Management System
  • The School of Business has recently adopted the Blackboard CMS.
  • How is it serviced?
  • Training, assistance and technical support is provided locally in the faculty.
  • Providing local support is crucial to customer (instructor and student) satisfaction. How is it measured?
  • Student and Instructor Satisfaction Surveys
  • Student and Instructor Focus Groups
  • Western Canadian Blackboard Users Conference (April 29th)
  • Setting Direction?
  • Results thus far have been very positive
  • However students and instructors have both provided direction for improvements and enhancements
software distribution system
Software Distribution System
  • Providing students with the tools to assist in developing and discovering new ways to enhance business is one of our key priorities.
  • How is it serviced?
  • The School of Business has joined the MSDNAA
  • This allows us to distribute nearly every product Microsoft manufactures free of charge to students and faculty.How is it measured?
  • This is a new service that is not as yet operational.
  • When ready for deployment (2005) we will measure its effectiveness with network traffic analyses, customer satisfaction surveys and focus groups.
  • Setting Direction?
  • Our goal is to provide a single download site using a seamless single sign-on solution. Future direction will be determined by the users.
student eportfolio system
Student ePortfolio System
  • An online record showing all that I have learned at the School of Business, my skills and expertise is important to securing employment.
  • How is it serviced?
  • Maintained locally by the School of Business Technology Group. How is it measured?
  • This is a new service that was launched in 2004.
  • As with the rest of our services we will measure the level of customer satisfaction with surveys and focus groups.
  • Setting Direction?
  • Used for helping students attain employment.
  • Potentially will be used by alumni to foster that sense of community.



Searchable skill setdatabase for prospectiveemployers…

terminal service
Terminal Service
  • The School of Business Labs have specialized software licenses which do not extend to the home of students and instructors.
  • The Terminal server mimics the lab environment – allowing students to connect remotely an access software they otherwise would not be able.

Rather inthe student’s Home….

Rather accessingour wireless network on campus…

Your in theLab.

video conferencing
Video Conferencing
  • The School of Business has 1 video conferencing facility.
  • Presently it only has ISDN capability.
  • We are looking to upgrade the service to include IP-based Video Conferencing.
  • We have formed a partnership with the Business Link – to tie in to smaller centers enabling the potential for distance education opportunities.
  • These smaller communities, represent an untapped market.
  • We are looking to connect with the Alberta SuperNet in the interest of Recruitment. The SuperNet will eventually give us the ability to speak with high school students via video conference.

School of Business Stollery Centre