Tuesday, September 22, 2009

UMSurvey Launches


UMSurvey (LimeSurvey) is now available for use at the University of Minnesota. It is available for use by students, faculty and staff. UMSurvey is an academic online survey tool centrally managed by the Office of Information Technology which is available to current students, staff, and faculty at the University of Minnesota. Scenarios for its use include:

  • Instructors delivering formative assessments

  • Students learning about research design

  • Departments and Service units can use for both of employee satisfaction as well as informal ad-hoc surveys of staff on preferences for office decisions, upcoming events, etc

The benefits of UMSurvey over other other free online tools available include:

  • The professional appearance of an ad-free University branded service

  • Assurance of data integrity and security

  • Efficiency in using a single tool that comes with support staff, training and documentation, particularly in allowing faculty and staff to construct and collaborate in low-stakes on the fly surveys with no or minimal staff support

UMSurvey: http://www.oit.umn.edu/umsurvey/

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

E-Readers and E-Textbooks: Current Reality and Future Possibilites


An excellent online presentation was given August 26, 2009 by Jon T. Rickman (Northwest Missouri State University) and Roger Von Holzen (Northwest Missouri State University).

This (recorded - Adobe Connect) seminar initially addresses the current state of e-reader devices and their functionality as platforms for the delivery of e-textbooks, as experienced by Northwest Missouri State University in its 2008-2009 pilot study. The presenters then explore the full capabilities of e-textbooks for online, blended, and face-to-face classes, along with key practical considerations with respect to costs, infrastructure, and academic issues.

I found that this presentation answered many of the questions that have come to my mind whenever I have pondered the possibility of distributing e-readers and e-textbooks here at UMM.