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A non-profit publication of the Office of the University Relations of Virginia Tech,
including The Conductor, a special section of the Spectrum printed 4 times a year

Scholar to focus on instructional technology

By Catherine Doss

Spectrum Volume 20 Issue 21 - February 19, 1998

Stephen C. Ehrmann, vice president of the Teaching, Learning, and Technology Affiliate of the American Association for Higher Education (AAHE) will visit the Virginia Tech campus February 23 and 24.
Ehrmann's visit, sponsored by the Office of the Provost, the Center for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching, Educational Technologies, and the Center for Innovation and Learning, will include discussions with key administrators, a consultation with the Self-Study Steering Committee, a seminar on AAHE's Flashlight Project, and a university-wide forum on the integration of instructional technology into the classroom.
Ehrmann serves as director of The Flashlight Project, which develops and applies research tools for studying local uses of technology in education. These tools include survey items, interview questions, cost-analysis methods, and other resources that educational institutions can use to study and steer their own uses of technology. The first of these products, the Current Student Inventory and its Evaluation Handbook, have been licensed by the university and are available from the Office of Educational Technologies.
Many of the Flashlight methodologies and findings to date will be discussed at a seminar led by Ehrmann on February 23 at 3:30 p.m. in Hillcrest Hall. More information on the Flashlight Project may be found on the Internet at http://www.aahe.org/technology/elephant.htm.
On February 24, Ehrmann will conduct a university-wide forum on "Implementing the Seven Principles for Good Practice in Undergraduate Education: Technology as the Lever." The forum will be at 3:30 in Hillcrest Hall.
The forum will be based on seven principles first proposed to the higher-education community by Art Chickering and Zelda Gamson in 1987. Since these principles were introduced, new communication and information technologies have become major resources for teaching and learning in higher education. According to Ehrmann, if the power of the new technologies is to be fully realized, they should be employed in ways consistent with the seven principles.
Chickering and Ehrmann authored an essay in 1996 that describes some of the most cost-effective and appropriate ways to use instructional technology to advance the Seven Principles. Ehrmann will lead a discussion based on this essay, which may also be found on the Internet at http://www.aahe.org/technology/ehrmann.htm.
Virginia Tech faculty members Sue Magliaro, chair of the Academy of Teaching Excellence; Terry Wildman, director of the Center for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching; and Monte Boisen, professor of mathematics, will lead a discussion following the presentation.
Ehrmann is an expert in a variety of areas including innovation in education, evaluation of the role of technology in education, distance and distributed learning, and the development and viability of computer courseware. He has led roundtables at educational institutions around the world and has authored four books including his newest, Adult Learning in a New Technological Era, which analyzes recent progress in the use of technology to support postsecondary education in many countries and suggests policy options of decision-makers.
For more information about Ehrmann's visit, call Tom Head at 1-6822.