April 26, 2011

Highlights from the 2011 Emerging Media Initiative Faculty Symposium

As emerging media continues to be an increasing area of interest in higher education, Ball State University has taken a vested interest in expanding its media capabilities over the next five to 10 years. With this goal in mind, the 2011 Emerging Media Faculty Symposium provided some insight into how the University is planning on further developing its services and research to students and faculty through innovation and strategic thinking.

The Symposium, which is now in its 4th year, is part of Ball State’s Emerging Media Initiative (EMI) which focuses on the areas of leadership and sustainability, faculty and research, engagement and economic development, and student opportunities, according to its website.

Photo by Corey Ohlenkamp
With the key focus of this year’s symposium being on the faculty and research component, President JoAnn Gora revealed the formation of four newly formed task force teams that would usher in a new wave of strategies to help promote Ball State’s growing online education programs. “We need to continually market the case for Ball State’s value,” she said, emphasizing the rapid growth and changes in the way people consume information.

Each task force is comprised of an interdisciplinary team of faculty members on campus and are each assigned specific goals and objectives. A representative from each team gave a short presentation on their research and also offered recommendations that could be used as BSU moves forward in expanding its online capabilities. The four teams include:
  1. Emerging Media Curriculum Task Force: Presented by Lori Byers, Associate Dean, College of Communication, Information and Media
  2. Healthcare Task Force: Presented by Kerry Anne McGeary, Phyllis A. Miller Professor of Economics
  3. Online Learning Task Force: Presented by Jen Bott, Associate Professor of Management and the Executive Director of the Master of Business Administration and Certificate Programs
  4. Education of the Future Task Force: Presenters Phil Repp, Vice President for Information Technology and Susan Tanock, Professor of Elementary Education
Following this session, professors from the department of mathematics, theatre, elementary education and psychological sciences discussed some of the major myths to online education, which included:
           Myth 1: “I won’t be able to connect with my students”
           Myth 2: “Teaching quality is compromised online”
           Myth 3: “It’s just a talking head on a screen"
           Myth 4: “Online teaching requires too much time and tales away from my research”

At the end of both informational sessions, time was allotted for Q&A with the audience. You can read more about the symposium at the Ball State Daily News. You can also learn more about BSU’s Emerging Media Initiative by visiting the program’s website.

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