Technology Issues from the Fall Session

Ric Matthews, Technology Committee Chair

The Fall Plenary session approved a number of resolutions around the issues of technology. The Executive Committee, through the Technology Committee, put forward a paper entitled "Guidelines for Good Practice: Technology Mediated Instruction." There are a series of recommendations concerning good teaching, applicable to any form of teaching, but with an emphasis on the use of technology mediated instruction. We encourage faculty and curriculum committees to read and incorporate these suggestions for good practice across the curriculum. This document will be mailed to your campus Senate Office and will be on the senate Web Site:

A series of resolutions also passed concerning a redefinition of the Title 5 language, which many had come to know as the face to face requirement. It was moved that this language would become "Effective Instructor-Student Contact," where the emphasis is on requiring that the faculty member needs to insure that there is "effective" contact with their students. The resolution also recommends that the Ed. Code be amended to include interactive forms such as email, chat rooms, video-conferencing, and the telephone. The Executive Committee will be working with the Intersegmental Committee of Academic Senates (ICAS) on defining effective contact that is acceptable for articulation. This underscores the primacy of the faculty in establishing effectiveness as a key to maintaining the quality of the curriculum. The Executive Committee will come forth with guidelines for effective interaction at the Spring session. The steps necessary for these resolutions to actually change the language of Title 5 will be for the Executive Committee to agree on the exact language in early January, take the item to the Consultation process in mid-January, and to the BOG for a first reading in January. A second reading by the BOG will take place in March following public hearings. If all are in agreement, it could be become statute by July 1, giving the colleges new direction for technology mediated instruction. This statute would sunset in the year 2002, and a report to the BOG concerning the future of TMI would be made, based on data collected from practicing colleges. An additional resolution was passed which would ask the BOG to enforce distance education regulations and deny funding to districts violating these regulations. It is important to maintain the integrity of the curriculum of the entire system, as local liberal misinterpretation of the regulations can jeopardize the articulation agreements of all campuses. Several resolutions addressed the need to secure additional funding for technology. While many individuals see technology as some magic panacea for all the aliments we have it is obvious that we will need increased and ongoing funding to support the purchase, maintenance and technical support for the best tools to do the job. The importance of technology was underscored by the resolution ensuring the access to computers and other technology by faculty in locations most productive to faculty (i.e., their office), with the appropriate support, and ongoing maintenance. A resolution also broadened the definition of technology beyond the computer.

A final resolution directed the Executive Committee to look at models for a new instructional curricula, where technology mediated instruction might offer courses that have very different start and ending dates than the traditional campus based courses.

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