Spring 2006 Issue

OSU Ecampus Faculty News
"Your Electronic Link to Teaching at a Distance"

Published by: OSU Extended Campus
Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon; Vol. 1, #3

May, 2006
http://ecampus.oregonstate.edu (Ecampus website)
/staff/departments/default.htm (Faculty website)


In this issue:

  • Message from the Dean
  • Faculty Questionnaire
  • New Advising Tool
  • 2006 Student Survey Feedback
  • Blackboard Course “Welcome” Videos
  • Ecampus Program Proposals Acceptance
  • Tech Tips: Home Computer Protection
  • Parting Notes

Message from the Dean

Dr. William T. (Bill) McCaughan, Dean
OSU Extended Campus
Oregon State University

Unsolicited comments from students. Sure, we get all kinds--both positive and negative. But the negative kind is rare indeed, and usually the result of a misunderstanding, or someone looking for a short-term “smoke screen” to cover the fact that something they were responsible for didn’t get completed. A large share of our – your – students are responsible adult learners with hopes, dreams, and goals. Coupled with those are responsibilities, knowledge and experience, and full lives.

Overwhelmingly, the unsolicited comments we at Extended Campus get about you, the faculty, and the courses that your/our students are taking, are effusive in their praise and appreciation. These people are being helped to achieve their dreams by dedicated teachers and mentors making a difference.

Dr. Larry Roper, Vice Provost for Student Affairs for OSU, recently talked with Ecampus staff about the diversity of the OSU student body. It became very apparent, in the discussion that followed, that the growing off-campus student body is adding a new dimension to our diversity, a dimension that will help shape the 21st Century University. Larry emphasized the importance of the environment we create for our distance students and how crucial this is to their success.

Of all environmental variables, you, the faculty, are primary in demonstrating our service and educational ethic and in maintaining students’ “anchor” to Oregon State University. It is exciting to be a part of this adventure. We appreciate so much your willingness to be our pioneers, our guides into this future. The contribution you make to the reputation of OSU and the quality of the OSU Experience we are providing for these students is immeasurable. Thank you!

Ecampus Faculty Questionnaires

Administrative Program Specialist
Faculty Services

To help Ecampus better understand your experiences online teaching, we are asking for your thoughts on a variety of issues to help us improve our services and distance education. The online questionnaire will take approximately 10 minutes to complete.
We appreciate your taking the time to give us your thoughts.

Note: The Survey has closed. Results will be posted in the next issue of the eFaculty News.

New Advising Tool for Online Degree Programs

Josh Dean, Ecampus CSSA Graduate Assistant
Department and Student Services

For the past year, Ecampus has been working on developing interactive advising guides for the various degree programs, with the goal of providing a way for advisors and students to work together on course selection and degree planning. So far, the General Agriculture, Environmental Sciences, and the Natural Resources degree programs have new advising guides on their Ecampus website pages. Advisors for the programs have tailored the guides to best meet the needs of their students and are excited to work with the new tools. Plans for the future include making the advising guides even more interactive so that students can plan their course schedules with ease and intentionality.

Early Feedback from the 2006 Student Survey

Josh Dean, Ecampus CSSA Graduate Assistant
Department and Student Services

Ecampus’ annual survey of students has just wrapped up. We had 770 students answer our survey, giving us a 22% response rate. We received input from distance students about why they take Ecampus classes, communication with Ecampus, course instruction, course completion, the technology they use, and services they receive, such as exam proctoring, video rentals, and library use.

In the coming weeks we will be doing an in-depth analysis of the data. Once we have completed our analysis, we will be sharing it with all those who are involved with Ecampus, including our instructors. We will be sending you an informative email, highlighting key areas of interest for instructors and a link to the complete survey data.

Through the information gleaned from the survey we hope to improve the online learning experience and provide more comprehensive support for students and instructors, which will increase the likelihood for student success.

Introduction Video for Your Blackboard Course

Victor Yee, Blackboard and Design Specialist

In anticipation of the upcoming term, we’d like to remind you that one great way to establish rapport with your students is to create an introduction/welcome message. While having an introduction for the student to read is a good way to welcome them to the course, having it on video is even better.

Although the course syllabus and written course introductions give information on the nature and structure of the course, when students are able to watch you give an introduction to the course, a more personal connection is made. They are also given the chance to see who you are and what you look like. Your introduction can be taped outdoors on-campus or indoors if you wish.

The above service is provided free of charge from Ecampus’ Project Development and Training department. We also provide the following course-specific services free of charge:

  • Creating a banner for your course with its own unique graphic.
  • Video production and filming
  • Multimedia services, including development of graphic interactivity of learning materials.
  • Streaming video content for students to view online.

Please contact Victor Yee to schedule a taping, or to discuss other course development needs at (541) 737-9974 or Victor.Yee@oregonstate.edu

Ecampus Proposal Acceptance

Paula Minear, Director Department & Student Services

OSU Extended Campus is pleased to announce acceptance of three proposals for new online programs. Each proposal achieved high ratings for its ability to contribute to goals defined in the OSU Strategic Plan: excellent presentation of rationale, evidence of ability of the program to become self-sustaining, and potential to share OSU expertise with a wider audience from Oregon, the region, and beyond.

The Graduate Certificate in Sustainable Natural Resources will be offered by the College of Forestry, under the program leadership of Steve Radosevich, Department of Forest Science Courses in this 18-credit certificate will begin winter term 07 with final completion of all coursework within the’06-’07 academic year. These courses will be taught by 11 instructors from three colleges, reflecting the interdisciplinary nature of this program.

The English Department will offer online Writing Minor, under the facilitation and instruction of Peter McDonnell and Joshua Weber. Writing courses are important to the success of students in all areas of their education and emphasize critical thinking, communication, and analytical skills. The courses in the minor are under development and will be rolled out over the next four terms.

An undergraduate degree in General Science will be available by fall 2008 and is being developed, under the leadership of Dean Bloomer, COS. This degree will provide training across disciplines for students who will work in science-related fields, and for future elementary and middle school teachers. Coursework toward this degree will be developed in two phases over the next two academic years. Future plans include an additional pathway for students seeking careers in the health professions.

We look forward to this opportunity to expand students’ access to these important OSU academic programs. Ecampus thanks these departments and colleges for their progressive thinking and their willingness to project their knowledge into the online world for the attention of a wider audience. Complete information about each of these programs will be available on the Ecampus website in the near future.

Tech Tips: Home Computer Protection

Ian Cavalier, Ecampus Website and Design Specialist

Concerned about protecting your home computer, your personal information, and your confidential electronic documents?

New viruses are discovered daily and without the ability for your computer to detect them, it is vulnerable to virus infections and other types of malicious code that could result in operating system attacks, identity theft by hackers, and/or the destruction of your electronic files.

To read the full article of tips for home computer protection, see http://ecampus.oregonstate.edu/enews/spring06.htm#tech

Parting Notes

Thank you for taking the time to read this issue of Ecampus Faculty E-News. We hope you found the information informative. If there is a topic you would like addressed in future issues, feel free to let us know: vickie.bailey@oregonstate.edu. We would like this newsletter to be helpful and informative for you.

OSU Extended Campus Main Office
4943 The Valley Library
Corvallis, OR 97331-4504
800-235-6559 or 541-737-9204
fax 541-737-2734