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UIS Office of Technology-Enhanced Learning to host national workshop

September 14, 2006

Will examine ways to keep students learning online in emergency situations

SPRINGFIELD – The Office of Technology-Enhanced Learning at the University of Illinois at Springfield will host a national workshop on "Online Learning in an Emergency: Delivering the Curriculum When the Campus is Closed," September 20 to 22 in New Orleans.

Related site

OTEL at UIS
Workshop home page
Alfred P. Sloan Foundation

The conference is funded by a $45,000 grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. OTEL Director Ray Schroeder will serve as workshop chair.

Schroeder explained, "Forty experts from around the country are gathering to join in this working session which has two main goals. The first is to develop a series of online workshops to be delivered by the Sloan Consortium that can help colleges and universities across the country prepare for the delivery of their curriculum online when emergencies – such as hurricanes, earthquakes, terrorist acts, or epidemics – close the physical campus.

"The second goal is to develop a Sloan Consortium response center to assure that national resources are brought to bear to help colleges and universities in their efforts." Schroeder said both goals are to be accomplished within 60 days after the workshop concludes. 

A link to three live panel sessions will be available online at www.elluminate.com on Wednesday morning, September 20. "We invite anyone with relevant expertise and interests to join us online," said Schroeder. 

Schroeder had originally submitted a proposal for this conference to the Sloan Foundation early in the summer of 2005, but before it could be implemented Hurricane Katrina struck. In light of the situation that was then unfolding, Schroeder and Burks Oakley, U of I Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs, conceived and spearheaded the major national initiative in which the Sloan Foundation contributed more than $1 million to provide free online college courses for displaced students.

Oakley will take part in this conference as a panel discussant, as will UIS Chief Information Officer Farokh Eslahi.

The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation makes grants in science, technology, and the quality of American life. Its Anytime, Anyplace Learning program has paved the way for more than 2.5 million learners nationwide to take online courses.

For more information, contact the UIS Office of Technology-Enhanced Learning at 217/206-7317. Progress reports from the working groups and further details of the workshop will also be available online at http://onlinelearningupdate.com/workshop.htm.

    The University of Illinois at Springfield, one of three U of I campuses, is a small, public liberal arts university that offers 42 degree programs – 21 bachelor’s, 20 master’s, and the Doctorate of Public Administration. UIS has a special mission in public affairs and service and is known for extraordinary internships, a wireless campus, extensive online offerings, and a commitment to teaching.
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