May/June 2002 Issue: The Technology Source

April 30, 2002

In an interview with James Morrison, Eduprise founder William Graves discusses the current state of today’s learning economy. Focusing on the perspectives of four groups of players in the field–students, instructors, institutions, and policymakers–Graves considers the impact of technology on these groups, and reflects upon the further changes in store for higher education. See

Chris O’Hagan explores the aims and methods of institutions with apparent global ambitions to determine how such universities might influence the trajectory of conventional schools. O’Hagan suggests that highly selective institutions protective of their elite reputations may have something to worry about as globalization offers broader access to educational, intellectual, and economic opportunities. See

George Lorenzo provides an up-to-date overview of eArmyU, a program in which the U.S. Army has established partnerships with a range of service providers, technical and managerial support services, and educational institutions to provide online learning opportunities for its personnel. For institutions looking ahead to the future of education, eArmyU represents a promising catalyst for the further expansion of online learning. See

In his case study, Gregory A. DeBourgh illustrates how a course management system offered some simple, yet elegant possibilities for managing the complex data in his clinical nursing course. With a threefold focus on multimode instruction, interactive discussion, and self-regulated, reflective learning, DeBourgh shows how these tools provided a crucial means to realize such pedagogical principles. See

Celina Byers suggests that whereas instructors usually grade students periodically and solicit feedback in summative evaluations at the end of the semester, Web-based tools can facilitate interactive assessment throughout the course. Instructors who have wished for better ways to gauge learning during the semester, rather

than after it, will not want to miss this article. See

If online courses show higher rates of attrition than traditional courses, can we conclude that online courses are not as good? David P. Diaz proposes that drop rates have a crucial relationship with the typical characteristics and circumstances of online learners–factors that do not translate into either their quality of learning or their ability to succeed. See

In his commentary, George Watson discusses how technology can enhance problem-based learning (PBL)a form of learning whereby students acquire life-long thinking and problem-solving skills by focusing their efforts on “real world” problems. Watson describes his use of a course Web site, electronic communication among student groups, controlled discussion forums, collaborative space, and whiteboard capabilities to enhance a PBL course. See

To discover how online instructors use tools designed for the Web, Lucio Teles and his colleagues gathered survey data from a range of instructors around the globe. Their results show that instructors especially favor tools offering flexibility and easy access to the online classroom, as well as those supporting the flow of communication and the sense of community. See

For his spotlight site review, Stephen Downes chose The Centre for Educational Technology Interoperability Standards (CETIS), a comprehensive, current site devoted to learning objects and content management systems. For serious (though not necessarily expert) investigators, CETIS features authoritative articles and links to relevant news items, with brief summaries written by a knowledgeable staff. See


James L. Morrison


The Technology Source

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