Primary Persona - Sarah Windsor
Eilleen jumped on the digital band wagon a few years back. Since Eilleen teaches a sub-discipline, the 19th Century Russian Avant Garde art movement, there are not any text books that fit her subject. Her students requested that she make her course images available online so that they wouldn't have to go to the Art History building's basement to view color plates. She now provides her students with a website of images that supplement the material she presents in lecture and posts a digital course reader online.
Establishing her first course gallery was overwhelming. Eileen did not feel directly rewarded for the 25 hours a week she spent scanning and describing images. Although a student helped her, she still felt that this activity was outside of her core interests. Eilleen is always in the process of publishing her "next book", and these extracurricular activities became a burden.
After her first digital semester, she was scheduled to teach the same course the following semester. She realized that the large amount of images she amassed could potentially be reused with minor changes. She started to collect more images, and started to search for images online to lessen the burden of digitizing her own images. Her department has recognized the potential benefits, and has become more supportive of her needs by providing her with digital copies of copystand images requested for course use.
In the past few years her collection has grown past 1000 images. In order to organize her collection, Eilleen originally threw her images in folders representing broad categories. This approach had provided enough organization so that she didn't have to spend alot of time finding her images. Now that her image collection has grown, she has noticed that some images should live in multiple places. As a result, copies of her images live in separate categories and multiple powerpoint presentations. Although she has ample space on her hard drive she is concerned that she will eventually run into space problems. She has also grown wary of keeping track of her images' various locations.
Images are Eilleen's life blood. Unlike most other disciplines, the images determine the concepts and structure of her lecture. As she prepares for a lecture, she meticulously chooses and organizes her images and explores concepts and themes in her head as she works through this process. Once this process is complete, she concretizes her thoughts as lecture notes based on the images final arrangement.
Eilleen has now reached a point where it is easier to present her lectures digitally. She has found that in some ways this approach is more flexible than the traditional slide projector. For example, many of her images are best compared horizontally due to their long widths. Using Powerpoint enables her to show images on top of each other as opposed to side to side.
Eilleen does not see herself as a "techie" and finds it amusing when her other colleagues comment on her advanced abilities. In many ways, she still feels like a beginner. Before her first digital lecture, Eilleen went through a few dry runs in the lecture hall to become more accustomed to the technology. It still causes her great distress when the projector flickers or her computer does not cooperate in the middle of a lecture, but her tolerance for these random distruptions has increased semester by semester.
Eileen has also taken great pleasure in sharing images with some of her gsi's. She views herself as their mentor, and has shared much of her collection with them as a way to bootstrap their own research. Her students appreciate her generosity and use her images in their own sections for teaching. She is very open to sharing but is afraid that one day she will get in trouble for owning and distributing images that are not hers. Although she tries to keep separate images that she has purchased or taken personally from those taken from other web sites, her diligence waxes and wanes.
- Spend time on activities that support her research and writing.
- Decrease barriers between her students and the content
- Allow her students and TAs to leverage her collection
- Inspire students to consider Art History as an intellectual pursuit
- Easy access to relevant images.
- Stay Organized
Level of Expertise
Office products, basic functionality image repository software, email, on-line shopping
Sara taught at the University of Pennsylvania before joining MIT 2 years ago. She is married with 2 kids and stays extremely busy teaching an undergrad psychology course for the 2nd year and a new on-line course in organizational management. She is fairly comfortable with computers. She's excited to be using technology to help with her teaching but she sees as a means to an end in order to stay in touch with students and allow them access to course resources when they need it. In fact, the LMS will replace her face-to-face communication with students for her on-line course.
She knows that even students she sees in class twice a week would like to her to be more responsive and looks to the course site to help with that. She used Blackboard at PA and notices that she has expectations based on that experience...some good, some bad.
- Build on course materials from term to term
- Not to have to ask for help
- To spend as little time as possible doing administrative work; she'll delegate to her TA's
- To get tenure (get credit for tenure for everything she does)
- Use technology to help create an engaging and interactive environment for her on-line students where she can track their progress
- To be respected by students, colleagues and dean of school
Level of Expertise / LMS Use
- Teaching for 10 years, uses software apps like Word, excel, ppt, email, on-line research.
- Has used other LMS's and has used Sakai as a compliment to her f2f interaction with students in the classroom for 2 semesters.
- She interacts with the system a lot at the beginning of the term as she sets up her site. Throughout the semester her use is sporadic.
Sarah as blind user. Since Sara is attempting to communicate more online this term with her students, some of whom may have disabilities, she will make extensive use of online communication tools. To do this:
She will need to have fully accessible tools for discussion and online chat:
- Enabling her and her students with disabilities to respond to online postings;
- Informing her and her students with disabilities of updated discussion threads and chat traffic; and
- Facilitating her sorting of contributions by students and topics so she can evaluate them more easily.
She will also need to insure accessible visual content, including organization diagrams, bar charts, photographs of subjects, etc., including:
- Descriptions of visual content in student submissions;
- The ability to create visual content in text-based editor; and
- The ability to tag visual content in text-based editor.