Instructional Designers: An Introduction

When you are newly employed it can be a natural impulse to speculate about the nature of the work done by your colleagues. As a recently hired staff member, I admittedly spent a little more time trying to figure out how to weasel my way out of a cubicle and into an office than I expended pondering the backgrounds and responsibilities of Instructional Designers. This is especially true since the title seemed largely intuitive to me. Yet, as I began to better know my co-workers, I found that though I was correct about certain aspects of their positions, there was…

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Proctored Testing – What Does the Future Hold?

At the University of Pittsburgh Testing Center [UPTC], we’ve seen a steady increase in testing volume each semester for the past two years. In the Fall 2014 semester just ended, UPTC administered 4,114 exams – an increase of 13% from Fall 2013. In fact, testing during the summer semester, which traditionally sees the lowest volume per year, increased 23% between 2013 and 2014. That’s an impressive jump – but what does it mean? Will it continue? What it means is: the value that testing centers offer a University is greater than ever. At Pitt, a growing number of online courses…

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ECAR Study of Student Technology Experiences

by Cynthia Golden, Director, CIDDE Just before the end of the Fall Term, EDUCAUSE, a nonprofit association whose mission is to advance higher education through the use of information technology, released its annual student study. I was working for that association in 2004, when the first survey of students’ technology experiences and expectations was launched. At the time, a dozen institutions participated and about 4,000 students responded to the survey. Ten years later, EDCAUSE’s Center for Analysis and Research (ECAR) received responses from over 75,000 students in the US and 15 other countries. While it is interesting for me to…

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