Internet Edition Volume 1, #3
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Educational Media, Volume 1, #2
Need to survey your advisory board about a pressing issue? Need to ask your former students about employment or continuing education needs? You can do it on the web. You can also give your class an online quiz, or put up a vocabulary practice exercise. Debbie Crumb, RTC’s Instructional Librarian, is one of several RTC faculty who uses Quia to do these kinds of tasks.
You probably got an email in early July from Debbie. She invited you to think about library workshops for fall quarter. If you wanted to schedule one—or more—you clicked on a link that took you to her survey page at Quia.com. Using a combination of yes/no, multiple choice and fill-in-the-blank questions, the survey asked for program and contact information, what you wanted taught, and about convenient class times. Then you clicked the “Submit Answers” button, and the information was collated for Debbie to collect at a later date.
There are many survey sites on the Internet. Quia, Zoomerang, and SurveyMonkey are three of them.
Surveymonkey.com and Zoomerang.com both offer a free service, although you may be limited in the number of questions you ask or the number of responses you can receive.
Quia (pronounced kee-ah) at www.quia.com is a subscription service that allows you to put surveys, quizzes, and learning games up on the web for your students. You can sign up for a free 30 day trial—long enough for most one-time surveys.
For a look at the kinds of things Debbie does with Quia, go to http://www.quia.com/pages/libraryterminology.html
Trivia: Over 65% of Americans go online. Of those, 57% have used the Internet to do research for school or training. From the Pew Internet & American Life project.
“It’s a place for RTC Dispatch students to network.” Noreen Light uses Yahoo Groups on the internet to encourage her students to explore online communication, to enhance their computer skills, and to learn to work effectively with each other. “It’s one more tool to build community in the class.”
She began using Yahoo Groups with her dispatch classes in March, 2005. This free service gives Noreen and her students the ability to post messages on a discussion board, store files and photos for downloading, to create polls and calendars and send emails to the entire group. The students contribute much of the content. “They are building their own environment.” One student from each class will be the Group moderator. The moderator administers requests to join the group and monitors the discussion boards to make sure inappropriate or off-topic discussions don’t develop. “It’s another way to get them involved in a leadership role,” Noreen comments.
“A big part of it is getting students comfortable with online technology and communicating in an online forum.” Dispatch work requires a high level of comfort with computer applications. “It’s a fun way to go online.”
Some of the current Group postings cover hot topics in the dispatch field. Several students are discussing the difficulty voice-over-Internet-protocol (VOIP) has caused; when callers use VOIP, dispatchers can no longer automatically locate them. Other postings cover job opportunities or advertisements for useful on-campus workshops. One posting that Noreen is particularly proud of is from a student who began the program with few computer skills; the student is now comfortable enough with the Internet to write an online request asking for technical help with a file.
Instructor and students both post files for downloading. Recent entries include a PowerPoint on customer service and a student’s hints on studying for a course module.
By allowing Dispatch alumni to continue to have access to the group, Noreen hopes that the community-building will continue past graduation. “This might be one way to connect students to potential mentors.”
For more information on Yahoo Groups, see http://help.yahoo.com/help/groups/ .
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