Volume 2, Issue 4, Spring 2004

Transforming the Topography of Teaching With Technology: A PT3 Holmes Partnership Project

Betty Nelson
University of Alabama at Birmingham

Lois M. Christensen
University of Alabama at Birmingham

Jo Ann Lan
Southern Methodist University

Jeffrey Anderson
University of Alabama at Birmingham

Kathryn Sheridan
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign


The University of Alabama at Birmingham, School of Education, as lead institution, initiated a collaborative PT3 project to infuse technology into the teaching/learning experience for prospective teachers in the Greater Birmingham Holmes Partnership. It featured the following projects: (a) assistive technology, (b) mentoring between K–12 and higher education faculty modeling technology infusion during prospective teachers’ field experience, and (c) preparation and mentoring for higher education faculty to infuse cutting-edge technology into content/pedagogical courses. The project reached prospective teachers in five teacher education institutions and enabled participants to realize effective uses of technology and assistive technology for teaching, instructional management, reflection, and lifelong learning. This practical piece serves to disseminate the ideas from successful on- and off-line technology interaction.

Defining and Measuring Quality in Online Discussions

Alexandru Spatariu
Kendall Hartley
Lisa D. Bendixen
University of Nevada, Las Vegas


In support of research examining relationships between learner characteristics and the quality of online discussions, this paper surveys different methods for evaluating discussions. The paper will present coding methods used in our own research as well as methods used by others interested in quality online discussions. Key topics include what constitutes quality in online discussions and how that quality can be measured?

Best Practices for Online Information-Literacy Courses

Thomas J. Tobin
Southern Illinois University


Remote access to resources has become increasingly important in academic libraries, spurred largely by the growth of online education. Through bibliographic instruction (BI) courses, librarians must prepare both on-site and remote patrons in information literacy. Challenges exist for remote-user BI: among them are perceived characteristics of the typical “virtual patron” and limitations of current software and infrastructure. However, recent remote-patron BI models—stand-alone Web pages, video-based programs, and class-integrated electronic modules—offer librarians templates for future best practices.

Establishing a Community of Learners: A Case Study of a University Graduate Orientation Program for Online Learners

Laura Zieger
New Jersey City University

Joe Pulichino
Athena Learning Group


Following the theory that a community of practice must be comprised of three elements: domain, community, and practice (Wenger, 2001), this case study examines the extent to which a university was successful in establishing a community of learners in their orientation program for online graduate students. Specifically, it explores the objectives of the orientation, identifies critical questions involved in the design decisions that are made, explicitly or implicitly, analyzes the success to which goals are met, and provides recommendations for future planning based on this research.

Go to top