Technology Implementation Plan for Higher Ed.

I wrote this report after reviewing a position for an educational technology coordinator. One of the duties was to implement a campus wide instructional technology plan to improve student achievement and faculty productivity. It was interesting to write the report and to think about the work from a different perspective.

The purpose of report is to describe campus-wide plan to implement instructional technology in Honolulu Community College to improve student achievement and faculty productivity. The proposal assumes that classes are currently conducted in a traditional face-to-face manner and a primary goal is to have both students and faculty have more online presence in their interactions.

Important would be an assessment to better understand faculty’s characteristics (course goals and objectives, instructional activities, current knowledge and use of technology including their use of LMS). An examination of students’ previous performances would also be needed. Selection of tools were based on the assumptions using following criteria:

  1. Ease to learn and use
  2. Flexibility: easy to integrate in a variety of courses offered at Honolulu Community College, easy integration of other forms media available on the internet, and be accessible through mobile devices
  3. Having the ability to apply different principles known to develop and apply critical thinking and enrich a symbiotic relationship of cognitive, social, and instructor presence. Tools that would allow for: self-direction, reflection, social interaction, and assessment

The instructional technologies chosen were WordPress, Voicethread, and Google Forms. WordPress allows for students to maintain a blog as a way to document a personal development of learning. The blog is directed by the individual, but the instructor has a strong influence by directing the topics, perspectives, and feedback. Blogs can also be a social tool by having classmates make meaningful comments or having the ability to create a network beyond the individuals in class. The second tool, VoiceThread, is a discussion tool that enhances social relationships by providing an easy way for users to share thoughts using their voice or video. The advantage it has over a discussion board is that it allows the learner to leverage resources from the internet such as images and video and tools inside their computer such as PowerPoint to present information in a more engaging way. Both of these tools focuses on the learners using and learning the tool to demonstrate and apply their knowledge. Google Forms, however, is more instructor controlled. This tool allows instructors to perform assessments in real time to make adjustments while teaching to better address the needs of the students. Assessments are sent via mobile devices which allows students to participate in a low-risk manner. It can be used as a poll to learn about opinions and beliefs, which can then be further explored through discussions as a class or in small groups. The data from each of the assessments are automatically stored and available to further study at a later point. Students can also use it as a way to collect data on any projects they may be working on. Google Forms was chosen because University of Hawaii has a partnership with Google which would allow for additional support and an easy integration of other Google apps.  In reference to Laulima, these tools will most likely be added as links, which will redirect them to their respective sites. If Laulima, has similar extension tools it would be worthwhile to check those. Among the three, VoiceThread has a licensing fee associated with it. A further analysis would be needed to determine justifiable costs.

The initial training for faculty could be done in 4 weeks before implementing into their classes. It could be done asynchronously to better meet faculty preferences and schedule. All learning materials would be organized in a social networking site or learning management program for them to access and interact with at their own time within specified deadlines. Using a software training program like Lynda.com might be good option to explore. They have professionally created tutorials that concisely explains the functions of a program. Each week would focus on how to use the instructional technology. Learners would research the tool and interact with one another using a discussion board to understand how the tool facilitates cognitive, social, instructor presence. The final week faculty would create a lesson to present and make available online. Continuously on going would be individualized support to provide technical assistant or answer other questions related to instructional technology. This could be done live online using Skype or in-person. A collection of tutorials would be organized and made available online using a Google+ or Laulima for faculty to refer to at any future time.

Advertisements

BBQ Chx Sandwich Needs Analysis

Busan City Park has an international festival every May, which highlights performances, crafts, and foods from different countries. The smells caught my attention, but unfortunately the tastes didn’t match the smell. But it did give people an opportunity to sample foods from other countries. One tent represented America, and it was also a disappointment in what they offered. They had cheap hot dogs and hamburgers, which didn’t make sense because Korea already has many hamburger and hot dog franchises with products better than what was offered at the festival. Something fresh and different that represented America seemed to be more appropriate. I thought that if I was here next year I would put in an application to participate as a vendor.

The original idea that I had was a was a steak and cheese sandwich, but instead opted for a BBQ pork or chicken sandwich for several reasons. The first reason was price. I’ve lived in Korea for ten years and beef has always been expensive compared to pork and chicken. In addition, a good steak and cheese requires ribeye meat which would further drive up costs. Pork and chicken is not only cheaper, but the taste is familiar to Korean people. Throughout Korea there are many choices in fried chicken and BBQ restaurants. Thus a BBQ pork or chicken sandwich would be an easy transition. The main adjustment would be the unfamiliar spices and sauces, which could negatively affect its appeal. Pho (Vietnamese noodle soup) in Korea has this problem. The characteristics of the soup doesn’t match Korean people’s taste, and so these restaurants are not particularly popular. An American BBQ sandwich may face a similar rejection. (Note: The preparation would include making the sauce from scratch.) For this reason I wanted to do an evaluation to clarify if a market would support the product. If results were positive, it would then be worthwhile to continue this venture. To make the determination I needed answers to the following questions:

  • Is the BBQ sandwich agreeable to Korean people’s tastes?
  • What are some tips for improving the taste?
  • Would they be willing buy the sandwich at a fair and reasonable price?
  • What would be a fair and reasonable price?
  • What is the average age?
  • What is the gender distribution?

This process used to create the sandwich so that it could be tested for feedback was borrowed from websites that specialized in restaurant and food service. The first stage was to conceptualize the menu item. Second was to refine it and have it taste tested by a select number of individuals. In the third stage the sandwich would be further revised until it was ready to be reviewed by people using a survey. The survey was created using an online application accessible by a mobile device and using the link. https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/FYQVVK5

Data collected from the survey would most likely be from people that I know.  An article on statistics recommended a sample size of least 100 to get data that’s useful and accurate. I will probably skip this because of lack of time and resources such as costs for ingredients, equipment, and preparation times. If collecting data was needed to do a formal report, it would then make sense to use the festival as the venue to collect data. There would be many people from different parts of the city converging in one location, a similar reason as to why Orlando is coveted location for restaurant companies to do tests for product development.

References and notes:
http://wornick.com/knowledge/what-consumers-want/
Site talked about needs of consumers in reference to food: taste, freshness, nutrition, and value.

http://www.fastcasual.com/articles/menu-product-development-takes-patience-collaboration/
Article provides additional insight on development process of introducing a new menu item. It’s important to use systematic process; consumer feedback; are they willing buy product

http://www.theretailingmanagement.com/?p=1038
Explains how corporate introduces a new menu item: ideas start in the kitchen; either at corporate office or from franchise owner; sometimes they invite customers to share recipe ideas

http://ctb.ku.edu/en/table-of-contents/assessment/assessing-community-needs-and-resources/conducting-needs-assessment-surveys/main
Overview of a needs assessments:

Boulmetis, J & Dutwin, P. (2011). The ABCs of Evaluation: Timeless Techniques for Program and Project Managers. : Jossey-Bass.

EDTECH 505 Evaluations

Introduction

Last week I started EDTECH 505.  This course explains the systematic process used to evaluate programs and products.  The course uses the textbook called ABCs of Evaluation written by Boulmetis and Dutwin.   Chapter 1 is titled What is Evaluation? and Chapter 2 is Why Evaluate?  For the assignments I use principles and from book and explain how it connects with my evaluation report project.  For other parts I answer questions stated in the book or asked by the course professor.

What is Evaluation?

Components common in all evaluations are objectives and a systematic process of collecting and analyzing data.  All evaluations have objectives with varying purposes.  These are to determine the efficiency, effectiveness, or impact of a program or product.  They can also be used to make a decision to improve or fund a program.  Collecting data plays a vital role because they provide the information on what’s happening within a program.  The data will dictate how to proceed with a decision or make improvements.  My evaluation project will evaluate a business English website which is used to help students learn vocabulary for the BEC exam.  The objective is to improve the website to make it more effective and interesting for learning.  In order to make the necessary changes, data collection is needed.  The data will show the strengths and weaknesses of particular areas and show are changes are needed.  The website owner/instructor and I discussed three possible categories to improve vocabulary learning.  One was to get students to log in more. Second was to determine the existing activities on the website which are effective.  Third was to determine the activities are meeting the objectives.

When considering the evaluation objectives, efficiency is the cost of program in relation to benefits received or the effectiveness of a program.  Effectiveness examines if the objectives of the program has been achieved.  These objectives usually refer to changes in knowledge, attitudes, or skills.  A third objective of a program is the impact.  It is similar to effectiveness but looks at the long term changes a program has had on the participants.

When thinking about the reasons for doing an evaluation, it is to determine if the program is doing what it was set out to do.  The data will show if a program is meeting or is not adequately meeting its objectives.

Why Evaluate?

In my evaluation report, I will focus more on justifying activities of an existing website used to help adult students learn business English vocabulary.  The evaluation will pinpoint the website’s strengths and weaknesses to determine the activities that should be kept and those that require a change. An evaluation will allow me to carefully examine the product and make notes about the product to to understand its framework.  Through regular discussions with the stakeholder we can reexamine the goals and objectives and decide methods for collecting data to determine its effectiveness.

A limitation in all evaluations is that it will not guarantee objective results.  This could be based on how the sample was selected and how the data was collected.  For example, in my evaluation report the instructor distributed the survey with the students knowing that it was about the website she created. This may prevent the students from being completely honest. Also the total population of small of 21 was small, and so, having a larger sample would provide a more accurate picture how the students are using the website.

The results from the evaluation project will show if the objectives are being met and to what degree.  This will be done by collecting and analyzing the data.  From the results, I’ll know the the activities that were effective and interesting and those that were not.  By using the open-ended questions I also hope to generate new ideas for activities that were previously not considered.  As an instructor of reading comprehension for second language learners, the results from this evaluation may help me to understand how plan activities for vocabulary acquisition.