UW Schools Have Strong Showing in New US News Report

The magazine U.S. News and World Report released a new report ranking the quality of online degree programs. Here’s how some University of Wisconsin schools ranked:

School Category Rank
UW Superior Faculty Credentials and Training 48
UW Superior Student Engagement and Assessment 123
UW Superior Student Services and Technology 15
UW Green Bay Student Engagement and Assessment 41
UW Green Bay Student Services and Technology 158
UW La Crosse Student Engagement and Assessment 157
UW La Crosse Student Services and Technology 168
UW Oshkosh (Graduate Nursing) Student Engagement and Accreditation 80
UW Madison (Graduate Engineering) Faculty Credentials and Training 5
UW Madison (Graduate Engineering) Student Engagement and Accreditation 1
UW Madison (Graduate Engineering) Student Services and Technology 1
UW Milwaukee (Graduate Education) Student Engagement and Accreditation 142
UW Milwaukee (Graduate Education) Student Services and Technology 69

Mr. Leif goes to Madison

With professional development funding from the LTDC (as well as from the UW Green Bay Academic Staff Professional Development Allocations Committee), I went to the 2011 New Media Consortium Summer Conference (and stopped by the Games and Learning Society Conference) in Madison.  Here is the vlog I made about the trip.

Leif Nelson Attends QM Conference with LTDC Professional Development Grant

Thanks to a professional development grant from the LTDC, I was able to attend the second annual Quality Matters Users Conference in Oak Brook, Illinois. I spent two days networking, learning, and participating in many excellent sessions at Hamburger University and the beautiful McDonald’s campus.  Here are some highlights:

  • I attended a session about a training course in which faculty members learned how to effectively use their learning management system while adhering to the QM standards, all while actually creating the content of their courses. It appeared to be a very efficient model which successfully enabled them to implement QM college-wide.
  • I learned about L Dee Fink who writes about significant learning experiences http://amzn.to/9Q3xAZ. Fink was mentioned in two of the sessions I attended.
  • I engaged in very interesting discussions and questions about the future of the QM rubric (e.g., how to evaluate design that accomodates serendipitous learning or how to evaluate publisher course packs).
  • I learned that peer influence is an important tool in the adoption of QM among faculty members.
  • I spoke with a gentleman who is designing courses for cell phone delivery in west Africa.
  • I learned about a very user-friendly QM checklist tool that was created using Edit Grid http://www.editgrid.com/.
  • I received a very positive reception to my presentation about the online Applying the Rubric course I developed.
  • I witnessed the unveiling of a new QM website with social networking tools.

Please contact me if you would like more information about Quality Matters, the conference, or any of the great ideas and resources I gained while there. Thanks LTDC!

-Leif Nelson nelsonl@uwgb.edu (920) four six five – 2933

Geographical Distance a Non-Issue (with High Speed Internet)

Thanks in part to some creative communication solutions, students from the University of Wisconsin Green Bay (UWGB) and Universidad Nacional Agraria La Molina in Lima, Peru (UNALM) are able to work together in the field of water resources engineering.
This project is the brainchild of Jack Day, Professor Emeritus from UWGB. It involves two main components, one of which is ongoing.

The first component was a two week graduate level class taught by Day in Lima in January, 2010. The students were leaders and professionals in water resources engineering throughout Peru. These students studied three watersheds: two in Peru and the Fox River in Wisconsin. The second component is a semester long research project by two UWGB undergraduate students. These students will analyze the resources and reports from the UNALM students and conduct a comparative study of the three watersheds.

There are many critical requirements for a project such as this one to be successful, and one of them is communication. As part of the two week class in Lima we were able to conduct a lecture and discussion between subject matter experts and students in Cincinnati, OH; Lima, Peru; and Green Bay (via Skype). We also included a five hour discussion between the participants in Lima and subject matter experts and our two students in Green Bay (compressed video). Finally, the grad students in Lima presented their final reports to us in Green Bay (compressed video). All resources, including documentation, reports, videos, etc are organized in a D2L course available to whomever needs access. And to facilitate communication between our two UWGB students and the professionals in Peru, we created an ongoing Elluminate meeting which they can control.

Reports from the participants at UNALM are very positive, and the opportunities for our students are immeasurable. All this is made possible by decent Internet connections and having the right people on all sides.

Submitted by Andy Speth

Transition to Qualtrics a Smooth One at UW Green Bay

The Qualtrics online survey tool has successfully been introduced to UW Green Bay.  The UWGB Learning Technology Center communicated to our campus that the former survey software (SelectSurevy ASP) will be eliminated next spring as Qualtrics becomes our new campus standard. Our Learning Technology Center staff is helping the transition be a smooth one. We have conducted group training, one on one consulting, and even have dedicated staff to transfer surveys, and in some cases survey results, from the old application to Qualtrics.
Qualtrics is already being used by many individuals and departments at UWGB and the feedback about Qualtrics thus far has been very favorable. People are finding Qualtrics to be user-friendly and intuitive. One department will be using Qualtrics for online course evaluations at the end of this fall semester. We hope more departments and people will consider this tool for course evaluations in the future.  Meanwhile, Qualtrics is suiting the needs of our campus survey users, due to the quality of the product and the available support.