BU Creates Council on Educational Technology and Learning Innovation

in Digital Technology Sector, Faculty, Information Systems, News, Operations & Technology Management
November 6th, 2012

SMG Professors Dellarocas and Heineke named as members

On October 12, 2012, Boston University President Robert A. Brown and Provost Jean Morrison announced the establishment of the Council on Educational Technology and Learning Innovation (CETLI), a University-wide group charged with discussing “the potential role of educational technology both in our on-campus, residential programs and as a means for reaching new learning communities.”

The University is already considered a leader in online education among major private research universities. Last year, 4,400 online students registered in the graduate and professional programs offered through Metropolitan College, the College of Fine Arts, Sargent College, and the School of Social Work, which employed innovative web-based formats coupled with community-building tools, according to President Brown. The School of Management is also on the forefront of the high-tech learning revolution with an array of educational classroom technologies, including the recently-launched Digital Learning Studio.

The Council is co- chaired by Professor Elizabeth Loizeaux, Associate Provost for Undergraduate Affairs, and Professor Azer Bestavros, Director of the Rafik B. Hariri Institute for Computing and Computational Science & Engineering, and its members include the School of Management’s Professor and Chair of Information Systems Chris Dellarocas and Professor and Chair of Operations and Technology Management Janelle Heineke. Heineke also serves as the Director of the Center for Excellence in Teaching.

Excerpts from BU Today:

What if millions of people around the world with internet access could join BU students and take University classes—online, for free, without getting the academic credit BU students pay to receive?

Such “massive open online courses,” known by the inelegant acronym MOOCs, conceivably could benefit enrolled on-campus students, says Elizabeth Loizeaux, associate provost for undergraduate affairs, “by allowing them to get credit for BU courses that are offered as MOOCs, with implications on overall tuition costs and schedule flexibility.”

The innovation is just one of many that Loizeaux, a College of Arts & Sciences English professor, will spend this academic year studying with colleagues on President Robert A. Brown’s recently appointed Council on Educational Technology and Innovative Learning.

Other innovations the council will explore include linking students studying abroad in different countries online; developing online courses solely for students in other countries; creating classes in which students create some of the material to be studied and discussed; and modifying existing large lecture courses to spend more time in small discussion groups, linked by laptops.

“This is a time of real transformation in higher education, when we are rethinking the models and strategies for education on a global scale,” says Loizeaux. “The ability of technology to expand the variety of ways of learning and teaching, and when and where they happen, can make education more flexible and potentially reduce time to degree completion and improve retention and graduation rates for students.”

Read the full story on BU Today.

Banner photo via BU Today

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