Faculty-in-Residence for Instructional Technology
Virginia Community College System - 1995-1996

Donna Reiss, Humanities Division, Tidewater Community College-Virginia Beach Campus

On August 16, 1995, I reported to the Virginia Community College System offices in Richmond to begin a two-semester appointment as Faculty in Residence with an emphasis on instructional technology. A teacher of writing and literature at Tidewater Community College-Virginia Beach and former director of the Writing Center and Writing for Learning Across the Curriculum, I welcome the opportunity to further develop my interest in using communications technology for enhancing instruction across the curriculum.

Professional Development Programs

In order to make recommendations to the system office for professional development in instructional technology, I have been researching programs at community colleges and universities in Virginia. In addition to visiting Northern Virginia Community College, Central Virginia Community College, New River Community College, Virginia Western Community College, Thomas Nelson Community College, and J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College, I have visited Virginia Tech, University of Richmond, a nd Virginia Commonwealth University. During the next few months. I plan to tour several more community colleges and universities.

The World Wide Web has been a major source of helpful information. Many institutions have placed portions of their professional development-technology activities on the Web, as we hope to do as well. Virginia Tech is a noteworthy example. In addition, I have gathered information from a number of academic discussion lists on the Internet.

Several books and journals have provided useful information as well as leads to other resources. The results of this research will appear in my final report to the VCCS in May 1996.

New Horizons: New Directions-New Connections for Teaching and Learning

One of my charges as faculty in residence was to plan hands-on workshops for the VCCS annual technology conference, New Horizons 1996 . Eleven workshops will introduce participants to presentations software, Windows 95, electronic conferencing, and other software. For full details about the conference and workshops, see the New Horizons Home Page. One new feature for the 1996 conference is the CyberParlor , a room with 10 computers and a Netscape browser for the World Wide Web. Throughout the conference, consultants will be available to guide newcomers through the Web.

Learning Technology Skills Program

Already in place when I arrived was a description of the Learning Technology Skills Program developed for professional development with technology. I refined the language and some of the listings to make them more readable for non-technical faculty and staff who would like to join the electronic information age through a graduated program.

At present I am working with the Public Affairs office to design certificates to recognize the acheivement of individuals and institutions who have completed the program.

VCCS List Serv Discussion Lists

With the cooperation of the Center for Information Technology, we established electronic discussion lists for several committees and interest groups in the VCCS: VCCSNUHO, VCCA, VCCSLRIT, and VCCSENGL, the first peer group list.

VCCS Technology Mentors

Virginia Community College System faculty and staff are available as resources for their colleagues in Virginia and elsewhere.

Teaching, Learning, and Technology Roundtables (TLTRs)

Virginia is the first statewide initiative for American Association for Higher Education TLTRs, which help campuses and colleges coordinate their technology activities and cooperate in planning and implementing technology.

Faculty in Residence Goals for 1995-1996

Donna Reiss, VCCS Faculty-in-Residence for Instructional Technology 1995-1996, submitted the following goals at the planning meeting for Academic Services and Research, July 1995.

In collaboration with the Instructional Technology team, the Director of Professional Development, and the Vice-Chancellor for Academic Services and Research:

  • Emphasize instruction rather than equipment or administration as the foundation
  • Establish clear cross-disciplinary instructional goals
  • Establish clear discipline-specific instructional goals
  • Emphasize learning styles and the social construction of knowledge to encourage variety, collaboration, and community in both physical and virtual classrooms
    • Develop a model for evaluating instructional software and systems
    • Identify strategies, software, and hardware currently being used effectively for instruction across the curriculum and within disciplines
    • Identify strategies, software, and hardware to recommend for effective instruction within disciplines
  • At discipline-specific peer conferences and cross-disciplinary conferences like VCCA and New Horizons, demonstrate effective uses of technology for instruction
    • Provide electronic bulletin boards
    • Provide World Wide Web browsers
    • Offer demonstrations and hands-on workshops in technology that enhances communication, critical thinking, and learning across the curriculum
    • Offer demonstrations and hands-on workshops in discipline-specific technology that enhances communication, critical thinking, and learning
  • Refine the VCCS Professional Development Initiative on Learning Technology Skills
  • Work with Instructional Technology Team on Teaching, Learning, and Technology Roundtable design for VCCS
  • Ensure that faculty are adequately represented in decisions about academic computing

D. Reiss, Humanities Division, Tidewater Community College-Virginia Beach Campus, 1995