Stanford News

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CONTACT: Elaine Ray, News Service (415) 723-7162;
e-mail elaine@news-service.stanford.edu


CTTL seeks proposals using technology

For two and a half years, the Commission on Technology in Teaching and Learning has been examining the ways in which technological changes will affect the university's culture. A variety of experimental programs have been launched, including courses taught on the Internet and on Channel 51, the university's cable television station. Several faculty members have received grants from the commission to help get new ventures off the ground.

Now the commission is hoping to broaden its reach by making more funds available. Generally, these grants will range from $25,000 to $50,000 each for projects with a duration of one or two years. Any member of the Academid Council may submit a proposal.

Chris Thomsen, managing director of the commission, hopes the grants will "draw creative responses from a broad cross-section of the faculty. I am delighted that we have this chance to support some immediate teaching efforts and, at the same time, explore the ways in which technology can enrich teaching and learning across the campus."

The deadline for the proposals is March 10, and awards will be announced no later than the second week of Spring Quarter. The commission welcomes projects designed to increase faculty productivity in teaching. Ideas for using technology to help attract, retain and engage the brightest students in the traditional context, as well as through continuing education, are encouraged as well. Those that offer opportunities for the university to reduce the cost of delivering education or develop partnerships with industry, government or other educational institutions are also welcome. Projects that have the potential to be self-supporting, attract matching funds or generate income will be given serious consideration.

Among the projects that have received funding from the commission in the past is one that brings courses first taught at Stanford to several Swedish universities. Mass Communication and Society, taught by communications Professors Byron Reeves and Clifford Nass, and Technology and Economic Change, taught by Nathan Rosenberg, professor of economics, were videotaped, then delivered to the Swedish campuses. The Swedish students not only earn credits from their home institutions but receive certificates for course completion from Stanford as well. Human Computer Interface Design was taught last fall by Music Department chair Chris Chafe and computer science and electrical engineering faculty at Princeton and San Jose State. The collaboration used videoconferencing to deliver the lectures to the three institutions simultaneously. Another project, the Stanford Information Network, designed by computer science Professor Michael Genesereth, is an effort to create a system that gathers information across databases to provide answers to questions that may not come easily from one source.

For more information and detailed requirements, see the commission's website "1997 Call for Proposals" <http://www.stanford.edu/group/CTTL/rfp.html>.

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By Elaine Ray