CAUSE/EFFECT

This article was published in CAUSE/EFFECT journal, Volume 22 Number 3 1999. Copyright EDUCAUSE. See http://www.educause.edu/copyright for additional copyright information.

From the Editor

This issue of CAUSE/EFFECT continues a theme begun in the last issue about how to support the transformation that is taking place in higher education through the expanded use of technology in teaching and learning. In that issue, we heard from author Dorothy Frayer about an outstanding support program at Duquesne University that emphasizes the role of technology in supporting institutional goals and helping faculty make fundamental pedagogical changes. (That article, incidentally, has been selected by the CAUSE/EFFECT Review Committee to receive EDUCAUSE�s 1999 CAUSE/EFFECT Contribution of the Year Award. If you missed it, you can find it online at http://www.educause.edu/ir/library/html/cem/cem99/cem9923.html.)

Successes in faculty technology support�

In this issue, authors from two institutions that are very different demographically share their campus models for providing support for faculty teaching with new technologies.

In the case of the University of Washington, a major rethinking of faculty support has occurred. UW�s UWired program, well known for its early and intense approach to supporting faculty through its Center for Teaching, Learning, and Technology, has reinvented its support structure and redefined the role of the center. The Catalyst project, begun last year, now captures and disseminates �ideas, resources, and tools that allow both faculty members and local support personnel to make innovative use of new technologies with a minimum of duplicative effort�--and it does it by itself using the Web! This is a fine example of an emerging support mechanism that will enable the leveraging of faculty contributions institution-wide, providing scalability that has been missing in what EDUCAUSE vice president Carole Barone calls �boutique� support services--models that focus on the special needs of faculty members who engage in �cottage industries� of courseware development while failing to reach the majority of faculty who are increasingly ready to explore some fundamental technology tools to improve courses and curriculum.

The second support model described in this issue is Carleton College�s use of discipline-focused technology support to promote curriculum innovation. Emphasis at this small Midwestern liberal arts college is on providing academic computing coordinators to work with faculty at the departmental level to help them apply the most appropriate tools to their pedagogical needs--sometimes as simple as identifying and leveraging good courseware that already exists for adaptation by Carleton faculty. Again, this strategic institutional approach aims at supporting not only advanced users of technology but faculty who are approaching the venture for the first time.

A Good Ideas article describes an exciting new tool that promises to bring some standardization to online teaching and learning across a university system--a course management application developed at Indiana University that permits faculty and students to create, integrate, use, and maintain Web-based teaching and learning resources. The application, called Oncourse, also links these dynamically created resources with components of IU�s administrative information systems, such as class lists and student profiles.

�and success in reengineering and replacing a student system

By now we have all heard rumors of enterprise system implementations that are behind schedule, costing more than anticipated, and not delivering what was promised. Rice University offers a refreshing tale of success in replacing an antiquated student system with a state-of-the-art model while simultaneously restructuring business processes for undergraduate admission, financial aid, student registration, student accounts, and overall record management. It�s a good-news story of how sweeping changes, when properly managed and carefully staged, can lead to cost-effective and service-oriented results. We expect to continue addressing the issue of enterprise system implementations in the next and future issues of CAUSE/EFFECT and invite you to share your experiences in this arena as well as your plans and experiences to date in gearing up to do e-business at your institution.

You may recall completing an EDUCAUSE communications survey late last fall. Now the results are available in a full online report as well as a brief summary of key points on the following pages. Your feedback about our publications is always welcome, so let us hear from you!

Julia A. Rudy, Editor

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