New York University Skip to Content Skip to Search Skip to Navigation Skip to Sub Navigation

Meeting Minutes Fall 2013

Meeting of December 18, 2013

AGENDA

1. Approval of the minutes of our December 11 meeting

2. Announcements

3. Space and infrastructure

4. The future of assessment and learning analytics (Russ Neuman)

5. Review of issues and questions that emerged from faculty consultations

6. Discussion of the final report

Read the Committee minutes for December 18, 2013

AGENDA

1. Approval of the minutes of our December 11 meeting

2. Announcements

3. Space and infrastructure

4. The future of assessment and learning analytics (Russ Neuman)

5. Review of issues and questions that emerged from faculty consultations

6. Discussion of the final report

Present: Mark Alter, Richard Cole, Tom Delaney, Carol Hutchins, Larry Jackson, Ben Maddox, Ted Magder, Rick Matasar, Peggy McCready, Russ Neuman, Shankar Prasad, Joyce O’Connor, Dan O’Sullivan, Jan Plass, Ryan Poynter, Matthew Santirocco, Peter Schilling, Clay Shirky.

Joined via teleconference: Tom Augst, Joshua Blank, Barbara Krainovich-Miller.

Absent: Dalton Conley, Gigi Dopico-Black, Mitchell Joachim, John Keshecki, Patricio Navia, Keith O’Brien, Lisa Springer, Victoria Stanhope, Marc Triola.

MINUTES

1. Announcements

a. Next semester. Although the committee is now wrapping up its work, Matthew Santirocco asked the group to hold all previously scheduled meeting times for the spring 2014 semester. The committee can use those times to work on its final report; the subcommittee charged with planning the spring conference on technology-enhanced learning can also use those times for planning.

b. Technology development lab. Matthew reminded the committee that it had discussed the creation of a space or incubator (real or virtual) for faculty who are interested in experimenting with technology, and asked whether a subcommittee should be formed to explore this concept. It was agreed that committee members from Global Technology Services (Ben Maddox, Peter Schilling, and Peggy McCready) would work on the project and make recommendations to the larger group. Tom Augst, who had proposed the idea at an earlier meeting, also agreed to consult with the group.

c. Final report. The committee agreed that its final report should include not only a summary of its accomplishments and recommendations on technology-enhanced learning at the University, but also the principles and tensions that the committee has identified through its discussions. To that end, several members of the group identified possible tensions for inclusion: (a) Rick Matasar noted that consultations with faculty have revealed that not all of the schools’ proprietary classrooms (i.e., those rooms that are owned, scheduled, and maintained by individual schools) have adequate technology. This is in contrast to the University’s general-purpose classrooms (GPCs), which recently underwent a major $10 million renovation, to bring their technology infrastructure up to date. Matthew also noted that there is a perception among some faculty that there aren’t enough classrooms equipped with videoconferencing capability, but that this may in fact be a result of scheduling pressures related to the Global Network. (b) Mark Alter pointed out that, as schools develop their own policies on the uses of technology, there could be a tension between different schools’ handling of matters such as compensation and intellectual property. (c) Jan Plass suggested that there is a tension between the credit hour and competency, adding that the credit hour is an anachronistic measure of learning progress. When Richard Cole suggested that this tension could not be resolved by the University due to state and regional regulatory bodies (e.g., the Middle States Commission on Higher Education), Ted Magder replied that schools often have some flexibility in how they interpret these accreditors’ standards. (d) Clay Shirky suggested that there is a tension between experimentation and standardization, and argued that experimentation should be encouraged most when it is isolated, as in a single unit, class, or department, and has little impact on the rest of the University.

d. Consultations. Matthew asked the committee to review the comments and questions culled from the group’s extensive consultations with schools and other units this semester, and to get back to him with their thoughts.

2. The future of assessment and learning analytics

Russ Neuman then led a discussion on the impact of technology on learning assessments. He cited three major changes to the landscape of higher education that have taken place in recent years. First, the digital age is putting pressure on universities to rethink the competencies that students should learn, and these pressures may ultimately transform how we think about the overall goals of a liberal arts education (just as the industrial age ushered in changes to the traditional liberal arts education in the 19th and early 20th centuries). Second, the U.S. Department of Education may develop outcomes and assessment measures that will be tied to the funding of students through Pell grants. Third, and most importantly, technology now allows for greater student feedback, enabling instructors to understand better what is working (and what is not working) in their classes. Clickers allow for real-time feedback, while technologies such as e-portfolios enable long-term assessment of student learning.

Several committee members commented on Russ’s presentation. Richard suggested that assessment is particularly important in those classes that are experimenting with technology. Rick noted that the committee should encourage the development of a culture of assessment generally, and that the University should also consider how analytics could be used to gauge the success of technology-enhanced classes. Mark suggested that, in many of the discussions of assessment that Russ’s presentation highlighted, it has not yet been articulated just what is being assessed (e.g., the learner, the professor, the interaction or process). When Russ noted that learning outcomes such as “critical thinking” are typically vague, Ted suggested that assessment should always be tailored to a specific class or discipline to avoid such generalities. Finally, Mark suggested that a randomized study might be designed at NYU to determine how different modalities affect learning outcomes.

The meeting adjourned at 12 noon.

 

Meeting of December 11, 2013

AGENDA

1. Approval of the minutes of our December 3 meeting

2. Announcements

3. Best practices for institutional support of TEE and common standards of academic
quality, pedagogy, and production

4. Spring conference

5. Open Ed

6. Space and infrastructure

7. Next meeting

Read the Committee Meeting Minutes for December 11, 2013

AGENDA

1. Approval of the minutes of our December 3 meeting

2. Announcements

3. Best practices for institutional support of TEE and common standards of academic
quality, pedagogy, and production

4. Spring conference

5. Open Ed

6. Space and infrastructure

7. Next meeting

Present: Joshua Blank, Richard Cole, Carol Hutchins, Larry Jackson, Rick Matasar, Shankar Prasad, Dan O’Sullivan, Jan Plass, Matthew Santirocco, Peter Schilling.

Joined via teleconference: Tom Augst, Barbara Krainovich-Miller, Russ Neuman.

Absent: Mark Alter, Dalton Conley, Tom Delaney, Gigi Dopico-Black, Mitchell Joachim, John Keshecki, Ben Maddox, Ted Magder, Peggy McCready, Patricio Navia, Keith O’Brien, Joyce O’Connor, Ryan Poynter, Clay Shirky, Lisa Springer, Victoria Stanhope, Marc Triola.

MINUTES

1. Best practices

Matthew Santirocco distributed revised versions of two documents created by the subcommittee on best practices, one of them offering recommendations for institutional support of technology-enhanced education, the other with recommendations for course design and instruction. Noting that the committee may want to post them online in the future, Matthew asked that the group review both documents and get back to him if they had any suggestions by the time of the next meeting (December 18).

The committee then discussed how to incentivize innovation among faculty. Tom Augst recommended that the University create institutional mechanisms for conversation across schools and departments with the goal of encouraging cross-disciplinary experimentation. One such mechanism could be a virtual space for faculty who are interested in learning from, and collaborating with, other faculty and instructional technologists. Richard Cole noted the importance of providing faculty with tools that are easy to use and do not require substantial support or expense. Observing that faculty also need time to be experimental, Jan Plass recommended that the University find ways to relieve them of other responsibilities (e.g., by offering course releases). Josh Blank suggested that highlighting faculty achievement in newsletters and at conferences would also incentivize innovation.

It was noted that, in its final report, the committee could recommend complementary strategies that would unfold at both the University and the school levels. One example is represented by the request that the Provost made to the Deans that each school have at least one instructional technologist to support faculty. The Provost offered to provide modest bridge funding, if needed, to enable schools without such an individual to bring someone on board. These instructional technologists, who will have disciplinary or professional expertise relevant to their schools, will meet regularly with the University’s instructional technology team, sharing information and partnering on initiatives.

2. Spring conference

Rick reminded the group that it had agreed to organize a conference in the spring semester on the subject of technology-enhanced education, and asked for volunteers to serve on a planning subcommittee. Russ Neuman agreed to pull people together, and Barbara Krainovich-Miller, Carol Hutchins, Jan Plass, Peter Schilling, and Josh Blank agreed to participate; Rick and Matthew will also be available. There was a consensus among those present that the conference should be focused on the NYU community. It was also agreed that the program from the last conference on technology would be circulated to the committee.

3. Open education at NYU

Rick described an open education project (NY You) that he has been developing for the University, which will consist of a peer-to-peer website where members of the NYU community can share their own instructional content and access curated online materials. Users interested in learning about new subjects or acquiring new skills can search on the site and submit requests for teachers. This is a new approach to open education (OE) and is more in the spirit of early OE initiatives, which were more “bottom-up” (i.e., coming out of departments) than those that have emerged in the wake of the MOOC movement, which have tended to be more hierarchical. A pilot for the project has been authorized and is now in development, with a soft launch planned for spring 2014.

The group had a number of comments. Jan noted the importance of developing an intuitive user interface and of collecting user data. Shankar Prasad expressed enthusiasm for the project as a way of building community. A number of people also raised concerns about how content would be curated. Shankar suggested developing a crowd–sourced peer review process. It was noted, however, that, even with this approach, low-quality materials would remain on the site, and even if not displayed prominently, would appear to have the University’s endorsement. Dan O’Sullivan responded that users are discerning enough to distinguish between high- and low-quality content, and to understand which items have institutional backing. The group also discussed a number of websites that could serve as potential models for curating online content. Dan cited Stack Overflow, a website where users submit questions and answers, which are then voted on by other users. Jan contrasted highly curated TED talks with YouTube’s unregulated submissions. Josh noted that Wikipedia includes a visible chain of edits and discussion pages where contributors are identified. Noting that several approaches could be used to curate content, Rick described using labels to indicate which content has been approved by experts (e.g., NYU faculty) and which content has been endorsed by other users.

4. Next meetings

The committee will have its last meeting of the semester on December 18. It will need to meet again in the spring semester to finalize its report; subcommittees (e.g., the planning group for the spring conference) will also continue meeting.

The meeting adjourned at 2:00 p.m.

 

Meeting of December 3, 2013

AGENDA

1. Approval of the minutes of our November 12 meeting

2. Announcements

3. The future of instructional technology—Clay Shirky

4. MOOCs—continued

5. Spring conference

6. Future topics

Read the Committee Meeting Minutes for December 3, 2013

AGENDA

1. Approval of the minutes of our November 12 meeting

2. Announcements

3. The future of instructional technology—Clay Shirky

4. MOOCs—continued

5. Spring conference

6. Future topics

Present: Mark Alter, Joshua Blank, Richard Cole, Tom Delaney, Gigi Dopico-Black, Carol Hutchins, Larry Jackson, Barbara Krainovich-Miller, Ben Maddox, Ted Magder, Rick Matasar, Peggy McCready, Dan O’Sullivan, Jan Plass, Ryan Poynter, Peter Schilling, Clay Shirky, Lisa Springer.

Joined via teleconference: Tom Augst, Joyce O’Connor.

Absent: Dalton Conley, Mitchell Joachim, John Keshecki, Patricio Navia, Russ Neuman, Keith O’Brien, Shankar Prasad, Matthew Santirocco, Victoria Stanhope, Marc Triola.

MINUTES

1. The future of instructional technology

Clay Shirky led a discussion on the impact that technology will have on higher education. He began by arguing that much of the press on this subject has focused on the idea of replacement (e.g., will grading machines replace professors or will MOOCs replace lectures?). Using the batting machine as an analogy, Clay then suggested that displacement is actually a more appropriate concept. Batting machines will never replace pitchers entirely, but they have taken over some of the pitcher’s work by helping batters practice. Similarly, technology can enable faculty to displace some of their labor, freeing up time for other teaching-related tasks.

Clay then described the cost-value tradeoff associated with technology-enhanced teaching. The invention of the microphone, for example, multiplied the number of students who could attend lecture classes, lowering their cost; the advent of the MOOC has now multiplied that number by thousands. Clay noted that MOOCs are not utilizing particularly new technology, and that their emergence in the last 18 months has been a response to other factors, such as cost. But he then argued that discussion about MOOCs has taken attention away from other pedagogical uses of technology, such as flipped classes. Students can now watch a lecture before going to class, preparing them for the work they will do once they are there.  One benefit to this is that, since many students watch lectures shortly before attending class, the time between initial instruction and practice is reduced, thus enhancing student learning.

Clay then made four observations:

(1) Unbundling is a bigger threat to academic institutions than replacement. The greatest threat that universities face is not the replication of their “bundled” services, but a new, trustworthy path to learning that employers will recognize without the agreement or consent of universities.

(2) Subsidiarity is better than centralization for experimentation. The stakes are lower and the variability is higher when experiments occur at a granular level.

(3) It is more effective to let faculty spread the word about technological innovation laterally than for the University to tout it officially.

(4) Advance publicity (e.g., press releases announcing new University initiatives) can inhibit flexibility and demotivate those people who are interested in experimentation.

The group offered a number of comments in response to Clay’s presentation. Speaking to Clay’s endorsement of flipped classes, Richard Cole noted that MOOCs could provide the tools that would both allow students to practice problems and enable professors to provide timely feedback, something that is needed in mathematics instruction. Jan Plass suggested that the University should support faculty research on instructional technologies that could lead to better, more effective online courses (i.e., “MOOCs 3.0”). Peter Schilling argued that subsidiarity needs to be balanced with standardization, noting that the multiplicity and diversity of approaches to some areas of instruction at NYU (e.g., statistics) can lead to confusion and redundancy. Clay replied that the initial experimental phase should respect this variety of approaches, but he acknowledged that some common ground should eventually be reached.

A number of comments focused specifically on Clay’s remarks about unbundling. Rick Matasar asked how the granular experimentation Clay endorsed in his second, third, and fourth points might take into account the danger of unbundling that he spoke of in his first point. Rick then suggested two parallel tracks, one of institutionally sponsored projects to address the threat of unbundling, and another of localized experimentation. Ted Magder argued that universities must revisit the semester and the credit hour, rethinking what contact with students means, given that faculty now interact with students regularly through email and conversation online. Rick then recommended that the committee address these questions in its final report.

The meeting adjourned at 4:00 p.m.

 

 

Meeting of November 12, 2013

AGENDA

1. Approval of the minutes of our October 30 meeting

2. Announcements

a. Faculty consultations update
b. Workshop update (Ben Maddox)
c. Enhanced service model update (Ben Maddox)

3. Crowdsourcing (Shankar Prasad)

4. Spring conference

5. Open Ed

6. Space and infrastructure

7. Next meeting(s)

Read the Committee Meeting Minutes for November 12, 2013

AGENDA

1. Approval of the minutes of our October 30 meeting

2. Announcements

a. Faculty consultations update
b. Workshop update (Ben Maddox)
c. Enhanced service model update (Ben Maddox)

3. Crowdsourcing (Shankar Prasad)

4. Spring conference

5. Open Ed

6. Space and infrastructure

7. Next meeting(s)

Present: Mark Alter, Tom Augst, Joshua Blank, Aswath Damodaran, Tom Delaney, Gigi Dopico-Black, Carol Hutchins, Larry Jackson, Ben Maddox, Rick Matasar, Peggy McCready, Dan O’Sullivan, Jan Plass, Ryan Poynter, Shankar Prasad, Matthew Santirocco, Peter Schilling,

Joined via teleconference: Richard Cole, Joyce O’Connor.

Absent: Karen Adolph, Dalton Conley, Mitchell Joachim, John Keshecki, Barbara Krainovich-Miller, Ted Magder, Patricio Navia, Russ Neuman, Keith O’Brien, Clay Shirky, Lisa Springer, Victoria Stanhope, Marc Triola.

MINUTES

1. Announcements

Faculty consultations: Matthew Santirocco asked the group to continue submitting the consultation report forms for each of their meetings with faculty at the schools. His office will go through them and distill common issues, questions, and ideas.

2. Enhanced Service Model

Ben Maddox distributed an interim report on the enhanced service model for faculty technology support, which was piloted this semester at Steinhardt. Over the course of five weeks, staff from the University offices involved in the pilot received nearly 800 inquires about the University’s LMS, “NYU Classes”; approximately 500 inquiries about Google apps; and around 500 inquiries about classroom technology. Ben noted that the enhanced collaboration among tech support teams at the University has enabled project staff to do a better job identifying and meeting faculty technology needs.

Now that the service model has proven capable of handing a large number of requests, the committee agreed that the pilot phase should end and the system be promoted among faculty throughout the entire University. To that end, the committee will send a letter to all University faculty prior to the Thanksgiving holiday.

Several committee members noted that faculty requests for certain types of tech support could raise complex pedagogical questions and touch on matters of school governance and academic freedom. Noting that a substantial change in the modality by which course materials are delivered could be viewed as a significant curricular change and thus require approval from school curriculum committees, Mark Alter identified a possible tension between the innovative ideas of individual faculty members and departmental or school policies. Responding to Gigi Dopico-Black’s idea that the committee could distribute guidelines to faculty explaining the kinds of requests that would require school or curricular approval, Rick Matasar noted that the tech-support teams have been trained to inform faculty when their requests necessitate such consultation. He added that the committee’s final report could highlight the tension that Mark described, but that it should not try to resolve it.

The committee agreed to add a phrase to its letter about the enhanced service model reminding faculty who are interested in using technology to make substantial changes to the pedagogy or content of their courses to check with their departments or schools first.

3. Crowdsourcing

Shankar Prasad gave a presentation to the committee on the Open Peer Engagement Network (OPEN) at NYU, a project of the Governance Lab (GovLab) research institute at Wagner. Funded by grants from the Knight and MacArthur Foundations, GovLab aims to rethink governance and solve problems collaboratively through the use of technology. Shankar explained that OPEN NYU is now in the early stages of working on a number of projects at the University, and that it is interested in working with our committee on technology-enhanced education. The goal will be to use online tools to gather information and ideas from NYU faculty, students, and staff, and to engage them in decision-making, so that the University will benefit from these stakeholders’ knowledge.

Shankar then introduced three guests: Hollie Gilman, a Democracy Fellow at Harvard Kennedy School’s Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation, and a Governance Lab Fellow; Jinny Jeong, a student at Wagner; and Justin Longo, a post-doctoral fellow in open governance at the Center for Policy Informatics at Arizona State University who is working with GovLab this semester. Justin explained that crowdsourcing projects like OPEN NYU begin by identifying a targeted set of questions that will be matched to communities of experts. Other early steps involve eliminating any barriers that stand in the way of gathering and implementing ideas, and exploring ways to improve the quality of discussion. Shankar asked for the committee’s help in the project, and to that end, he distributed index cards for committee members to write down questions they would like to have answered through this process and the types of people who could answer them.

The committee agreed to participate in this project. A subcommittee will serve as a focus group, and the OPEN NYU team will also reach out to individuals directly.

The meeting adjourned at 11:00 a.m.

 

Meeting of October 30, 2013

AGENDA

1. Announcements

a. New members: Lisa Springer (SCPS) and John Keshecki (Student Senators Council)
b. Faculty consultations update
c. Workshop update (Ben Maddox)
d. Enhanced service model update (Ben Maddox)

2. Technology-based disruptions to higher education (Aswath Damodaran)

3. Crowdsourcing (Shankar Prasad)

4. The Future of Instructional Technology (Clay Shirky)

5. Next meeting(s)

Read the Committee Meeting Minutes for October 30, 2013

AGENDA

1. Announcements

a. New members: Lisa Springer (SCPS) and John Keshecki (Student Senators Council)
b. Faculty consultations update
c. Workshop update (Ben Maddox)
d. Enhanced service model update (Ben Maddox)

2. Technology-based disruptions to higher education (Aswath Damodaran)

3. Crowdsourcing (Shankar Prasad)

4. The Future of Instructional Technology (Clay Shirky)

5. Next meeting(s)

Present: Mark Alter, Joshua Blank, Richard Cole, Aswath Damodaran, Tom Delaney, Gigi Dopico-Black, Carol Hutchins, Larry Jackson, Mitchell Joachim, John Keshecki, Ben Maddox, Rick Matasar, Dan O’Sullivan, Ryan Poynter, Matthew Santirocco, Peter Schilling, Clay Shirky, Lisa Springer, Victoria Stanhope.

Joined via teleconference: Tom Augst, Barbara Krainovich-Miller.

Absent: Karen Adolph, Dalton Conley, Ted Magder, Peggy McCready, Patricio Navia, Keith O’Brien, Joyce O’Connor, Jan Plass, Shankar Prasad, Marc Triola, Russ Neuman.

MINUTES

1. Announcements

a. New Members. Rick Matasar introduced two new members to the committee: Lisa Springer, a faculty member at SCPS, and John Keshecki from the Student Senators Council.

b. Enhanced service model update. Ben Maddox reported that the new service model has provided faculty with better access to support for the use of technology to enhance teaching and learning. Staff from the four University offices that are involved in the project (ITS, GTS, Library, and the Center for the Advancement of Teaching) have already handled hundreds of inquiries about classroom technology, Google apps, and the University’s learning management system, NYU Classes. Ben noted that the collaborative service model will also yield a better understanding of emerging technology needs and trends at the University. An analysis of this information will be part of an interim report on that will be provided to the committee in November; a final report will appear in March.

2. Disruptive technologies in higher education

Aswath Damodaran delivered a presentation to the group on the threat that new technologies (e.g., MOOCs) pose to higher education. He began by noting that universities provide “bundled” services to their students, offering them not only educational opportunities and credentials, but a sense of community, career networks and advice, and even entertainment. The presentation then explored whether it is possible to unbundle these services, as online education providers purport to do, and what the impact of this might be on universities. Aswath concluded that technology could effectively deliver content and screen students in those disciplines in which competence is easily demonstrated or common exams exist. In other areas, such as course sequencing and creating communities and career networks, universities still have the advantage, though Aswath added that it may already be slipping due to social media.

A robust conversation followed. When Richard Cole suggested that it was not yet clear whether the average student can be educated both effectively and inexpensively online, Aswath argued that online competitors do not need to provide an entirely inexpensive education, just one that costs less than the competition. In response to a question from Carol Hutchins about whether online education could provide the same group experience that universities offer, Aswath claimed that placing more emphasis on teaching, rather than research, might protect the advantage that universities still have in this area. Clay Shirky suggested that universities could learn from recent disruptions to other industries, such as entertainment, which failed to miss the threats posed by new technologies capable of delivering the same products because they conflated their own businesses (i.e., record and movie companies) with the products they create (music and film). The conversation ended with Rick suggesting that universities cannot raise tuition indefinitely and maintain the quality and diversity of their student bodies. He added that this committee is in a unique position to bring these issues to the University.

3. Next meeting(s)

Rick reminded the committee that it agreed to have Shankar Prasad and Beth Noveck (Wagner) present to the group on crowdsourcing, and to have Clay lead a discussion on the future of instructional technology. Matthew suggested adding to the list of future topics the impact of technology on space and infrastructure planning. The group agreed and also planned to discuss the recommendations made by the best practices subcommittee at a future meeting.

4. Final report

Matthew asked the committee to begin thinking about its final report, which should be ready for review in February. He added that the report should include exactly the kinds of issues that arose in Aswath’s presentation, and that it can also spot emerging issues and recommend a range of solutions without solving all problems. In fact, the committee could recommend the establishment of a standing committee to succeed our committee (which is really an ad hoc working group) and to deal in depth with the issues we flag. Matthew then suggested that, once it wrapped up its University-wide consultations, members of the group could begin to focus on other projects, such as the spring conference on technology and education.

5. Consultations

Matthew asked the committee members to provide as much detail as possible when filling out their consultation reports, including all of the questions, concerns, and ideas that were raised in these conversations.

The meeting adjourned at 4:30 p.m.

 

Meeting of October 17, 2013

AGENDA

1. Announcements

2. Faculty consultations

a. Consultations that have taken place since we last met
b. Consultations that took place last semester or over the summer
c. Revised spreadsheet
d. Revised feedback form

3. Communications strategy

a. Letter to the community, to announce our plan for consultations
b. Second letter by individual school representatives to their fellow faculty
(perhaps sent by their Deans’ offices)

4. Workshops

5. MOOCs (Russ Neuman)

6. Next meeting(s)

Read the Committee Meeting Minutes for October 17, 2013

AGENDA

1. Announcements

2. Faculty consultations

a. Consultations that have taken place since we last met
b. Consultations that took place last semester or over the summer
c. Revised spreadsheet
d. Revised feedback form

3. Communications strategy

a. Letter to the community, to announce our plan for consultations
b. Second letter by individual school representatives to their fellow faculty
(perhaps sent by their Deans’ offices)

4. Workshops

5. MOOCs (Russ Neuman)

6. Next meeting(s)

Present: Mark Alter, Joshua Blank, Richard Cole, Aswath Damodaran, Carol Hutchins, Larry Jackson, Mitchell Joachim, Ben Maddox, Rick Matasar, Jan Plass, Ryan Poynter, Shankar Prasad, Matthew Santirocco, Peter Schilling, Clay Shirky, Victoria Stanhope, Marc Triola.

Joined via teleconference: Tom Augst, Barbara Krainovich-Miller, Dan O’Sullivan, Joyce O’Connor.

Joined via videoconference: Russ Neuman.

Absent: Dalton Conley, Tom Delaney, Gigi Dopico-Black, Ted Magder, Peggy McCready, Patricio Navia, Keith O’Brien.

MINUTES

1. Announcements

a. FAQs. Matthew Santirocco reported that the FAQ list had been revised to incorporate members’ suggestions and that it had been posted to the committee’s website.

b. Enhanced service model. Ben Maddox gave an update on the new model for instructional technology support. Noting that the pilot phase (with Steinhardt faculty) had yielded some valuable evaluation data about each of the service units involved, he reported that a thorough report was forthcoming.

c. The conversation then turned to the expansion of the pilot. Ben explained that the Dean of Social Work had agreed to have her school be the next pilot. The Dean of Gallatin preferred to engage more directly with Ben’s team, by having the latter organize workshops for school faculty on how to incorporate instructional technology in their teaching. Tom Augst asked whether members could refer to the pilot and the new “Instructional Technology Support” website during consultations with faculty in the schools. Matthew replied that members should feel free to do this, since the new service model (which is already accessible to the entire NYU community) was mentioned in the Provost’s recent letter to the faculty. In regard to the proposed “hard launch” to the entire faculty in November, Clay Shirky suggested that use of these services could instead increase more organically through committee members’ consultations within the schools. Matthew agreed that faculty-to-faculty communication channels can be effective, but that it would also be necessary to make a larger announcement, perhaps by each of the Deans to the faculty of his or her school.

2. Faculty consultations

The group reviewed the list of consultation meetings, focusing in particular on schools where visits had not yet been planned. A few members also reported on consultations that had taken place since the last committee meeting. Marc Triola then gave a brief update on developments at the Medical School, where a proposal to establish an institute for innovation in education was under review. He promised to report back to the group once a decision had been reached, noting that it might be appropriate for the committee to delay consultations with the Medical School until then. In the meantime, however, he noted that discussions at his school had shifted from having technology as a driver for changes in pedagogy to thinking of how pedagogical innovations can drive developments in instructional technology. Jan Plass stressed that the committee’s discussions, too, should focus on the future of education and the role that technology can play in it. Rick agreed and reminded the group that the proposed spring conference would be devoted precisely to such discussions.

3. MOOCs

 Russ Neuman gave a presentation on recent discussions in the media about MOOCs. He noted that although media coverage of MOOCs was still robust and sentiment toward them still quite favorable, a reality principle had nonetheless set in, with more acknowledgement being given to the large investment of time and financial resources that MOOCs require. A number of important questions, moreover, are still unresolved, such as the potential of MOOCs to generate revenue, their credit-worthiness, and the effect that they have on institutions’ reputations and enrollments. In this transitional moment, it appears that some of the major players (e.g., Coursera, Udacity, edX) are adjusting their business models and developing more nuanced approaches to operating within the field of higher education. Finally, Russ observed that the discussion of MOOCs in the media had eclipsed that of other types of technology-enhanced education (TEE), and that little attention had been paid to how technology can improve assessment of educational outcomes or to how TEE might shape curricular design.

In response to Josh Blank’s question about the business model for MOOC consortia such as edX, Rick explained that while their endgame has not been very clear, some areas for development have emerged, such as “mini-credentialing” (i.e. certifying mastery of smaller skill sets or knowledge areas), pre-graduate school certificate programs, and admissions sourcing. Some organizations are seeking to have college credit awarded for their online programs, with the specific aim of competing with community colleges. Aswath Damodaran observed that a better strategic objective might actually be to target colleges and universities with higher-paid faculty, since such institutions might be inclined to pursue agreements with consortia as a means of achieving efficiencies. He noted that online instruction has proven to be more effective in situations in which one’s ability to demonstrate mastery (e.g., through a credentialing test) is more important than the process by which one has achieved it. Certain disciplines and professional subject areas thus lend themselves more readily than others to online instructional formats. Finally, Aswath noted that MOOCs that merely replicate traditional classroom lectures do not work; as studies have shown, students are far more receptive to shorter online video segments (e.g., 6-9 minutes) than they are to longer ones.

The discussion then turned to the role that book publishers, particularly academic presses, have been playing in online education. Rick explained that some publishers have been approaching faculty to develop online courses based on the textbooks they have authored. There is, however, a downside to partnering with these organizations, since they have no more expertise in TEE than exists currently at NYU, and since they do not necessarily have the best interests of our students in mind. Richard replied that MOOCs are widely understood as a new form of textbook, since they contain materials that can be used even by instructors of in-person courses. Clay observed that book publishers seek to reduce universities’ “complement” (i.e., a good or service that is used in conjunction with another good or service) and vice versa, and that both sides view online instructional materials as a means of doing this.

Finally, the group discussed some of the educational implications of online courses. Mark Alter cautioned that institutions risk losing the dynamics of the teacher-student paradigm in order to make a profit through online instruction. In response, Rick stressed the need for a University-wide conversation about the relative value that classroom instruction brings to different kinds of educational experiences, from traditional lectures to courses that require a higher degree of interaction between instructors and students.

4.  Next meeting(s)

There was consensus among the group that this conversation should be continued at the next meeting on October 30. To that end, Aswath agreed to give at that time a brief presentation on disruptions to higher education that he had previously delivered at Wake Forest. Shankar Prasad also agreed to say a few words about crowdsourcing, and Clay proposed, if time permitted, to lead a discussion about the future of instructional technology. Jan asked that “the future of assessment” be discussed at an upcoming meeting, and Matthew said that it would definitely be put on the agenda. Finally, Josh proposed creating a task force about business models for online education.

The meeting adjourned at 2:30 p.m.

Meeting of October 2, 2013

AGENDA

1. Announcements

2. Strategies for faculty consultations—continued

a. Consultations that have already taken place
b. Revised spreadsheet
c. Consultation meeting report form—review draft
d. Talking points (revised)
e. FAQs (revised)—are they ready to be posted?

3. Communications strategy

a. Letter to the community, to announce our plan for consultations
b. Second letter by individual school representatives to their fellow faculty
(perhaps sent by their Deans’ offices)

4. Next meeting(s)

Read the Committee Meeting Minutes for October 2, 2013

AGENDA

1. Announcements

2. Strategies for faculty consultations—continued

a. Consultations that have already taken place
b. Revised spreadsheet
c. Consultation meeting report form—review draft
d. Talking points (revised)
e. FAQs (revised)—are they ready to be posted?

3. Communications strategy

a. Letter to the community, to announce our plan for consultations
b. Second letter by individual school representatives to their fellow faculty
(perhaps sent by their Deans’ offices)

4. Next meeting(s)

Present: Mark Alter, Joshua Blank, Richard Cole, Carol Hutchins, Larry Jackson, Ben Maddox, Rick Matasar, Peggy McCready, Joyce O’Connor, Ryan Poynter, Shankar Prasad, Matthew Santirocco, Peter Schilling, Clay Shirky, Victoria Stanhope.

Joined via teleconference: Tom Augst, Barbara Krainovich-Miller, Russ Neuman.

Absent: Karen Adolph, Dalton Conley, Aswath Damodaran, Tom Delaney, Gigi Dopico-Black, Mitchell Joachim, Ted Magder, Patricio Navia, Keith O’Brien, Dan O’Sullivan, Jan Plass, Marc Triola.

MINUTES

1. Announcements

Matthew Santirocco reported that the password protection had been removed from the committee’s website, as the members had agreed at the September 19 meeting. All materials on the website, including meeting agendas and minutes, are now accessible not just to the NYU community (as in the past) but also to the general public. The committee then discussed a new structure for future meetings, viz., an initial “round-robin” of reports on faculty consultations followed by an extended discussion of a topic relevant to technology-enhanced education (TEE), such as MOOCs.

Finally, Matthew reminded that committee that the enhanced instructional technology support model was being piloted with Steinhardt faculty. He noted that it would soon be time to expand the pilot to another school, with an eye towards announcing it to the entire NYU community in November.

2. Strategies for faculty consultations—continued

a. Consultations that have already taken place. Joyce O’Connor reported on the October 2 meeting of the College of Dentistry’s Executive Management Council (EMC), which she and Rick Matasar had attended. She noted that there was significant enthusiasm for TEE among those present, particularly for “flipped” classes and student-centered learning. A few faculty members, however, expressed concern about the amount of preparation time involved in teaching with such technologies. Finally, Joyce noted that Dean Bertolami had proposed adding this topic to a future meeting of the EMC, and also establishing a school committee dedicated to TEE. Barbara Krainovich-Miller noted that the EMC also includes the leadership of the College of Nursing and should therefore also be considered as one venue for consultation with that school, in addition to a meeting (or meetings) with Nursing faculty.

b. Revised spreadsheet. The committee discussed the spreadsheet of consultation venues proposed by the Deans. The representatives of each school will take responsibility for liaising with their Dean and/or with the relevant school committee chairs, to schedule consultation meetings. The list of venues on the spreadsheet is, however, not exhaustive, and committee members can visit any faculty group within their schools that they deem appropriate. No matter what the venue may be, the primary goal is the same, i.e., to listen to the faculty and to bring back to this committee any ideas, unanswered questions, or concerns that they may have.

There was also a lengthy discussion about consultation with the Faculty Senators Council (FSC). Both Mark Alter and Victoria Stanhope observed that the FSC does not currently include representation by contract faculty, though a planning group will be convened later in the fall to address how this might happen. Mark stressed the need for the committee’s work to be seen as inclusive. While supporting a school-based model for the development of TEE initiatives, he expressed concern that such an approach was also vulnerable to a range of equity issues that currently exist within the various schools. One way of compensating for these is to ensure that there is equity of access to information. To that end, he suggested that each school be as transparent as possible about the model for compensation and/or course release that it will use for faculty who participate in TEE initiatives.

In response to Barbara’s observation that governance structures in the College of Nursing included both tenure-track and contract faculty, Matthew suggested that committee members who visit schools could make a point of requesting that their meetings include contract faculty. Rick noted that the crowdsourcing initiative that Shankar Prasad and his colleagues at Wagner are leading is a model for this kind of broad-based, inclusive consultation.

c. Consultation meeting report form. Joyce suggested some revisions to the form that committee members will use to report on their consultations.

d. Talking points. There were no further comments on the talking points, which members can use in their consultations with faculty in the schools.

e. FAQs. A revision of the FAQ list, which incorporated members’ edits, had been sent to the group via email prior to the meeting. It was agreed that this new version could be posted to the committee’s website. Matthew observed that the FAQs can change as new information emerges.

3. Next meeting(s)

A number of topics were suggested for future discussions and/or presentations by committee members—e.g., MOOCs, the future of instructional technology, crowdsourcing, Open Ed, the proposed spring conference on TEE at NYU, a common University platform, best practices, assessment, and workshops. With regard to the last topic, Peggy McCready noted that Global Technology Services (GTS) had compiled a list of workshops that were already being organized by the various University units. Matthew asked that the committee review this list before its next meeting and be prepared to propose any additional topics that aren’t being covered. Finally, Carol Hutchins observed that among most effective workshops or demonstrations would be the ones in which faculty present to their colleagues the innovative uses that they are making of instructional technology in their classes.

The meeting adjourned at 12:00 noon.

 

Meeting of September 19, 2013

AGENDA

1. Welcome and announcements

a. New committee members: TSOA and Poly
b. Student representative
c. Putting our interim report on the Provost’s website (which is not passwordprotected)
and also making our entire site open to the public
d. MOOC discussion changed over the summer (Russ Neuman)
e. Provostial and decanal activity over the summer

2. New instructional technology support model for faculty

3. Strategies for faculty consultations—finalize ASAP

a. Methodology
b. Talking points—working draft attached for review
c. FAQs—working draft attached for review, and then for posting on the
committee’s website
d. Questions that we will ask of people in the schools
e. Crowdsourcing
f. Educational workshops for faculty
g. Letter to the community in the last week of September, to announce our
plan for consultations
h. Second letter by individual school representatives to their fellow faculty
(perhaps sent by their Deans’ offices)

4. Next meeting(s)


Read the Committee Meeting Minutes for September 19, 2013

AGENDA

1. Welcome and announcements

a. New committee members: TSOA and Poly
b. Student representative
c. Putting our interim report on the Provost’s website (which is not passwordprotected)
and also making our entire site open to the public
d. MOOC discussion changed over the summer (Russ Neuman)
e. Provostial and decanal activity over the summer

2. New instructional technology support model for faculty

3. Strategies for faculty consultations—finalize ASAP

a. Methodology
b. Talking points—working draft attached for review
c. FAQs—working draft attached for review, and then for posting on the
committee’s website
d. Questions that we will ask of people in the schools
e. Crowdsourcing
f. Educational workshops for faculty
g. Letter to the community in the last week of September, to announce our
plan for consultations
h. Second letter by individual school representatives to their fellow faculty
(perhaps sent by their Deans’ offices)

4. Next meeting(s)

Present: Mark Alter, Richard Cole, Tom Delaney, Carol Hutchins, Larry Jackson, Ben Maddox, Ted Magder, Rick Matasar, Peggy McCready, Russ Neuman, Joyce O’Connor, Dan O’Sullivan, Jan Plass, Ryan Poynter, Shankar Prasad, Matthew Santirocco, Peter Schilling, Clay Shirky.

Joined via teleconference: Tom Augst, Gigi Dopico-Black, Mitchell Joachim, Marc Triola.

Absent: Karen Adolph, Joshua Blank, Dalton Conley, Aswath Damodaran, Barbara Krainovich-Miller, Patricio Navia, Keith O’Brien, Victoria Stanhope.

MINUTES

1. Announcements

(a) New committee members: Matthew Santirocco introduced Clay Shirky, a new committee member from TSOA.

(b) Student representative: Rick Matasar reminded the committee that the Student Senators Council (SSC) had expressed the strong desire to have a student representative on the committee. Dan O’Sullivan noted that the best practices subcommittee had included student representatives, and that their presence had been helpful. The committee voted unanimously to invite student representatives to join, and Rick said that he would write to the SSC.

(c) Putting the interim report on the Provost’s website: Matthew asked if there were any objections to posting the committee’s interim report on the Provost’s website, which has no password requirement and is therefore accessible to the general public. He also proposed that, in the interest of transparency, the password protection be removed from the committee’s website. The committee agreed unanimously with both of these suggestions.

(d) Provostial and decanal activity over the summer: Matthew reported that the Provost, in keeping with the recommendation in our interim report that schools should be the locus of decision-making regarding tech-enhanced learning, has asked the Deans to begin working with their faculty to identify strategic priorities and specific projects in this area. This topic will now be included in every school’s annual strategic plan, and the Deans Council has formed a subcommittee to explore the relevant issues, including a process for deciding when resource-intensive projects should get University-level funding. It was noted that the Trustees have a committee on technology, and that these separate conversations should all come together at some point this semester. Rick added that there are three critical issues at stake in these conversations: (a) how best to implement the committee’s recommendation that every new tech-enhanced course be of the highest possible quality; (b) how to ensure that schools remain both autonomous and respectful of one another’s decisions regarding which courses and pedagogies are acceptable; and (c) how to handle the potentially large number of requests for funding, which may eventually exceed available resources.

2. New instructional technology support model for faculty

The discussion next turned to the new model for providing support to faculty who wish to use technology in their teaching. Since our committee’s interim report had recommended that the University provide a greater level of support, Ben Maddox convened a collaborative team, with representatives from the Libraries, Information Technology Services, Global Technology Services, and the Center for the Advancement of Teaching. Over the summer, the team members developed an approach to enhance and streamline the instructional technology support services that their units provide. Key to this is a high degree of coordination among the units and a common intake and referral process that is close to “one-stop shopping.” Whether faculty access the services by telephone, online, or in person, the team members will identify specific needs and, wherever possible, direct the faculty to the appropriate resources. While the new service model is already available to all NYU faculty, it is being specially launched in Steinhardt so that the team can get feedback and improve the support model. Clay noted that he had previously been asked to provide feedback on faculty support for NYU Classes, which he found to be excellent.

3. Strategies for faculty consultations

The committee next turned to its major task this semester, viz. to conduct faculty consultations by visiting those venues that the Deans had suggested last year. Three goals for these consultations were discussed: (a) to inform faculty (briefly) about what the committee has been doing and to encourage them to read the interim report; (b) to listen to the faculty and to convey back to the committee their questions, concerns, and ideas; and (c) to stimulate discussion about tech-enhanced learning within the schools. The committee reviewed a proposed schedule of visits to department and school meetings that Ryan Poynter had prepared. Dan reported that he had been asked to lead a discussion on technology-enhanced education at a TSOA chairs meeting earlier in the year, and that the conversation had been productive, especially among colleagues from less tech-savvy departments. It was agreed that any consultations that had taken place prior to the start of the fall semester should be noted and included in the committee’s final report. Since the committee identified crowdsourcing as another way of soliciting faculty input, Shankar Prasad reported briefly on OPEN NYU (Open Peer Engaged Network at NYU), the crowdsourcing project on which he and Beth Noveck (Visiting Professor, Wagner) are working. He asked that a future meeting include further discussion of the crowdsourcing project. Finally, it was then agreed that the committee would review the drafts of the FAQs and talking points and send revisions to Matthew and Rick.

The meeting adjourned at 3:00 p.m.

NYU Footer