New Pathways to a Degree Program
Project Number 25 – 1993
Associate Professor in Information Management
Coordinator, New Pathways Project
Academic Computing Consultant
College of St. Catherine
2004 Randolph Ave.
St. Paul, MN 55105
(612) 690-6843 or (612) 690-6050
Fax: (612) 690-8636 or (612) 690-6024
Other Individuals And Organizations Associated With The Project
New Pathways Project Directorsjrunning@alex.stkate.edu
Associate Professor and Chairperson
Information Management Dept.
Funded by the Annenberg/Corporation for Public Broadcasting Project, the College of St. Catherine New Pathways Program eliminates time and space barriers adults experience in going to college. The program brings college coursework to students in their home, in their workplace, or where ever they have access to a computer and a modem. The main components of the course delivery system are hypertext based programs of HyperCard and ToolBook, electronic mail, and computer conferencing to link off-campus students and their personal computers to each other, faculty and the Internet, an international computer network. Students also use video cassette recorders to view lecture materials, demonstrations, art materials or video films.
The following examples show how course interactions change by using computer and telecommunication technologies.
Key interactions include:
- Lessons and assignments – lecture notes and syllabus are placed in hypertext.
- Students and instructor messages – faculty and students talk to each other by way of electronic mail and computer conferencing to provide classroom discussions, debate and a forum for asking and answering questions.
- Small group work – occurs by electronic conferencing, and it can be reported to the larger group.
- Video enrichment – versions of films are used as course sub-texts.
- Electronic library catalogs (local, national and international) – are accessed by computer and modem.
- Collaborative learning – students collaborate with others throughout the world using Internet.
- Electronic test administration – exams are administered by electronic mail with open book procedures or, alternatively, they are “locked in” for certain time period in the hypertext format.
This project is aimed at making the undergraduate degree programs more accessible to students who are unable to attend full-time, on-campus programs. The technologies chosen are self-pacing, portable and allow immediate or delayed response depending on student need and abilities.
The courses in the New Pathways Program are virtually the same courses as offered on-campus. College services (advising, career services, textbook purchase, registration, newsletters) have also been adapted to this new delivery format. In its third year the project staff has completed the design stage, the piloting and evaluation, and is now in implementation. The 1993-1994 academic year will see full implementation of the program with 17 courses being offered by means of the New Pathways format.
We propose to discuss the program and demonstrate the courseware in a presentation at the Educom 1994 Conference.
- The project depends on the Internet for access to remote library catalogs and for collaborative learning. Students also make extensive use of the listservs in order to retrieve and exchange information. In one course the students use the telnet network to access the datafiles available through Dialog Information Services.
- Students use electronic mail to communicate with the reference librarians on the main campus. They use telecommunication software to access local academic and public library catalogs, and they use a local library and information network bulletin board to download text files.
- Students have participated in collaborative learning discussions with students at Pudrue University in Lafayette, Indiana, Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, Clemson University in Clemson, South Carolina and with students at Supelec a computing institute in Paris, France.
- All course materials are conveniently and economically placed on a hypertext disk, virtually eliminating paper handouts, exams, etc. Students “travel” to campus without using cars, fuel or other polluting resources. Rather, they use computing power and phone lines. Some limited use is made of postal mail to send texts and videotapes.
- Because the courses are being placed on low-cost, easily accessible hypertext programs (Hypercard and Toolbook), the courses can be replicated with faculty willing to embrace the necessary e-mail and teleconferencing components.
- Overhead Projector
- Slide Projector
- A computer projector and extension cords would be very helpful, but not absolutely necessary
- A VCR and Video monitor