Wednesday, June 24, 2009

UIS takes lead role in international symposium on online teaching and learning

Representatives from the Center for Online Learning, Research and Service from UIS attended an international symposium for the Sloan-Consortium on online teaching and learning in San Francisco in June, and UIS was the only university at the symposium that presented a pre-conference session, plenary session and multiple regular sessions.

More than 600 attended the conference.

"We renewed relationships with our colleagues from California State Eastbay and Southern Oregon, while making many new contacts among other universities," said Ray Schroeder, director of COLRS at UIS. "And, there were many viewing live media streams across the country of nearly all of our sessions."

Schroeder said there was a "tremendous response" to the UIS pre-conference session Social Networking: Twelve Top Tools You Can Use in Class Tomorrow, which attracted a full house of participants from around the U.S. and a couple of foreign countries. The session can be found at

Schroeder said he had an overflow group for a session he co-presented with Maureen Yoder of Lesley University called Beyond Google: Easy-to-Use Innovative Resources and Alternative Search Engines You Can Use Today. UIS Professor Burks Oakley also held a well-received interactive session on The Impact of Integrating a Web-Based Document Management System into the Educational Process at UIS.

All of the UIS staff and faculty also actively participated in many other sessions, and UIS was mentioned multiple times during the conference as an example of excellence or leadership by symposium executive director John Bourne and president Bruce Chaloux, Schroeder said.

“I had a great time moderating the ‘expert plenary’ session on Higher Education Meets the S Curve (found at,” Schroeder said. “The representatives from Microsoft and Google were great, and Stewart Mader (author of Wikipatterns and Using Wiki in Education) spent the following hour chatting with Shari McCurdy (associate director of COLRS) about potential wiki applications. I also had a great conversation with all of the panelists."

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