Clicking a new course -- A new lab at KU will explore technologys role in teaching

Lawrence,KS (02-02-2001)

Two KU research centers have teamed to sponsor a new research and development laboratory, the e-Learning Design Lab.

A joint endeavor of the Center for Research on Learning (CRL) and the Information and Telecommunication Technology Center (ITTC), the lab will be used to explore ways to improve teaching and learning using new technology.

It is my hope that the e-Learning Design Lab will become one of the international leaders in the research of technology-enhanced learning environments, said Scott Hinton, one of the labs co-directors and chair of KUs electrical engineering and computer science department. I also hope that our contributions will help KU, local industry and government successfully move into the knowledge-based society that is rapidly approaching.

One of the most explosive areas for growth is e-learning, the ability to engage in educational activities at any time or any place using technology such as the Internet, intranets, the World Wide Web and interactive CDs. Responding to a need for leadership in this new and wide-open area, the lab will explore issues related to improving the quality of online education for all learners.

I think its important to point out that in e-learning, were concerned with far more than just the technology that makes it possible, said Ed Meyen, the labs other co-director. Were also concerned with the pedagogy of how you teach and how you learn in this environment.

Meyen is also director of the Online Academy, a CRL project that develops Web-based educational modules that focus on preparing teachers to work effectively with students who have disabilities.

The research on learning history of CRL makes us a very strong partner in this joint venture, Meyen said. ITTC has a strong history in the area of telecommunications, information science and development. When you bring the knowledge and expertise on learning and teaching together with the knowledge base and history on technology, it makes for a pretty good marriage.

Both co-directors see the new lab as a natural extension of the collaborative projects undertaken by CRL and ITTC in the last several years.

The lab, which will be located in the Dole Center for Human Development, initially will comprise faculty from the electrical engineering and computer science, special education, and teaching and leadership departments.

In addition, it will provide research and development experience for KU students as well as opportunities for professionals whose research interests coincide with the labs mission. It will encourage collaboration of university researchers, students, and representatives of industry, governmental agencies, the military and private foundations.

The lab will seek grants and contracts to finance its work. Meyen said he also expects the labs accomplishments to have potential in the private sector.

We hope that we can create new tools and designs that will benefit all learners engaged in e-learning, he said.

For more information, contact ITTC.

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Partner with ITTC

The Information and Telecommunication Technology Center at the University of Kansas has developed several assistance policies that enhance interactions between the Center and local, Kansas, or national companies. 

ITTC assistance includes initial free consulting (normally one to five hours). If additional support is needed, ITTC will offer one of the following approaches: 

Sponsored Research Agreement

Individuals and organizations can enter into agreements with KUCR/ITTC and provide funds for sponsored research to be performed at ITTC with the assistance of faculty, staff and students.

Licensing and Royalty/Equity Agreement

An ITTC goal is the development of investment-grade technologies for transfer to, and marketing by, local, Kansas, and national businesses. To enhance this process, the Center has developed flexible policies that allow for licensing, royalty, and equity arrangements to meet both the needs of ITTC and the company.

Commercialization Development

Companies with a technology need that can be satisfied with ITTC's resources can look to us for assistance. We can develop a relationship with interested partners that will provide for the development of a technology suited for commercialization.

ITTC Resource Access

ITTC resources, including computers and software systems, may be made available to Kansas companies in accordance with the Center's mission and applicable Regents and University policies.

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