Woodroof expanded the current course content of ACTG 451- Accounting Systems to include database technology and Internet technology in order to provide accounting students with the knowledge and experience they will need in order to get and keep a job in a increasingly technical work environment.
Current technology makes it feasible for firms to deliver financial information to decision makers through the internet. No longer will users of information be content to wait for quarterly or annual reports to be published. This technology provides on-line access to events-driven databases so that decision makers can retrieve disaggregated, real-time data and compile it m whatever ways seem appropriate to the user. Because of this technology, visionaries in public accounting believe that the role of the accountant is going to drastically change in the next five years
THE OBJECTIVE OF THE PROJECT:
The objective of this project was to introduce this new technology into the accounting systems courses at MTSU. Our students must be not only familiar with, but adequately trained in these emerging technologies so that they will be well prepared for working in the dynamic technical environment of business in the 21st century. The project expands the current course content of ACTG 401 and 451 to include database technology (knowledge and practical experience) and internet technology (as it relates to database technology). Specifically, I developed course content and projects to teach students how to design a front-end form web page and a back-end database, and how to make these two components communicate through web server software. A web page form allows web users anywhere in the world to enter data (using common database objects such as check boxes, radio buttons, pull-down lists, etc.) into a web page, and this data can be submitted to populate a specified database or spreadsheet (or any ODBC compliant software).
- I obtained four software applications: WebSite Professional - web server software (came bundled with Cold Fusion - software that allows communication to occur between a form on a web page and a local database); software to make my computer an FTP server; AOLPress - a WYSIWYG web editor; and Visual FoxPro - a database
- John Smit assigned me a domain name for my server (http://www.woodroof.mtsu ecu).
- Passwords were assigned to give students access to my server.
- I designed an application (http://www.woodroof.mtsu.edu/publish/prof.html) in order to link and fully test everything. I designed a form on a web page View Professor asked the user to select (from a drop-down box) a department in the school of business. Once the selected department was submitted, a database on my local computer having two fields (name and department) was scanned, and the records matching the selected department were sent back to the web and displayed in another drop-down box. I also designed another component (<i>Add Professor</i>) where a user could add a professor to the database on my computer from anywhere in the world.
- Summer I students enrolled in ACTG 401 were asked to experiment with this technology.
Because of their help (and patience) I was able to work out the problems that were
encountered, and I believe the Fall 97 course should go very smoothly.
THE RESULTS OF THE PROJECT:
This grant has enable me to learn many things. I've learned:
- how to set up a web server.
- how to secure the editing of a web page on the server through AOLPress and FTP server software.
- how to secure the access to the web page through the WebSite web server software.
- how to create a URL address.
- how to embed commands in HTML code (see attached code):
- how to issue a call to run another program.
- how to embed SQL commands so that communication can occur between the web and a database, using Cold Fusion software.
- how to embed OUTPUT commands so that formatted results of a database query can be
displayed back to the web.
I believe my potential for instructional effectiveness in the accounting systems courses has been greatly enhanced because of this new knowledge. As a professor of Accounting Information Systems, it's important that I remain current with these emerging technologies. And I truly believe that our students will be better equipped when they graduate due to their hands-on exposure to database and web page design and implementation. I've never had a group of students who seemed to enjoy and be captivated by what they were learning more than did this little summer test group. I fully expect that this excitement will translate into the larger classes this Fall.
IMPLICATIONS OF THE PROJECT
As I stated in my arrant application, similar course content could be developed in other university departments, which would make it possible to reach large numbers of students. Applications that would he useful in a university environment could take advantage of the database and internet technologies. For example A form could he designed in a web page that would capture and score student evaluations of teachers. Such an application could be used by the entire College of Business. All department, college, and university forms could be designed as web pages and archived, managed and updated from a single source (pay for performance travel parking, etc.). Surveys could be designed in a web page, the results of which could be downloaded and analyzed instantaneously. Tests could he designed in a web page -- with the appropriate controls. Students could take tests, electronically submit them to a database, the database could grade them, and the results could be immediately presented back to the students. Thank you for the support of the Office of Information Technology and for the summer grant.
Basic and Applied Sciences
Developed and updating web pages for BIOL 334 - Pathophysiology. Through the use of images, animation, video, and links to other Pathophysiology web sites McCombs provides greater access to course information in and out of the classroom. First, thank you for the opportunity to devote more of my time to instructional technology. I believe the grant program is an excellent incentive to stimulate faculty incorporation of technology into their academic commitments. I must admit that I have not followed my proposal submission. I had intended to concentrate my attention on my existing website for BIOL 334, Pathophysiology. I have been able to make additions to this site, and as well, establish two home pages related to disease through assigned class projects. I have shared my ideas with Gina about the role of actively involving students through cooperative activities such as these. I would like to think that these were successful endeavors. However, as this is my last semester here, I spent the majority of time improving the departmental site and helping colleagues with various aspects of their technology demands. Basically, anything you see at /~biol/ was written by me or was set up through me. There is a broad spectrum of confidence and interest on the faculty's part in the use of the web as a classroom resource. Those that have an interest in expanding the confines of the traditional classroom find a way to do it. I have enjoyed my interact ion with my colleagues in their pursuits.
I would like to acknowledge several OIT staff members for putting up with me. I could probably name the entire department but special thanks to Gina, Sylvia, Tim, Kendall and Russ. Their expertise, cooperation and assistance kept me from returning to the manual typewriter.
Business Education, Marketing Education and Office Management
Utilized PowerPoint and other multimedia technologies to enhance the delivery of course content in BMOM 351 Business Communication. He uses technology to deliver his lectures and requires his students to use technology to complete course assignments.
The purpose of this project is to enhance classroom instruction in business communication through the incorporation of multimedia technology (presentation software, video, compact disc, internet, email, etc.)
Expand and improve instructor skills and knowledge related to the use of technology in the classroom. The instructor attended the following workshops during the semester.
Network Management Scenario Analysis Program
Computer Information Systems
Roberts designed and developed a simulation program to create various network scenarios for students to manage on an actual LAN (Local Area Network) implementation. The simulation program will be used in INFS 490 and 690 and will have the potential to be used in other courses within CIS and Computer Science.
Development of Course Materials
Basic and Applied Sciences
William H. Ilsley
Developed materials for Group Theory and a proposed course, Modeling and Computational Chemistry.
Two- dimensional and three-dimensional modeling packages were used to develop visual aids for the students. Many of these visual aids were translated into a form that can be made available to anyone via the Internet. In addition, students are being required to use molecular modeling software packages and Internet resources to complete course assignments.
A Web-Based Toolkit for Creating On-line Course Materials
Basic and Applied Sciences
Nancy J. Wahl
Created World Wide Web based tools to help MTSU faculty develop on-line course packages. The toolkit helps faculty create a course home page, syllabus, announcements, outline of lectures, sample tests or quizzes and solutions, and other course materials.
I received an Instructional Technologies Development Grant during the Spring 1997 semester entitled A Web-Based Toolkit for Creating On-line Course Materials. During the semester I worked with a computer science graduate student to create a package that would allow faculty to create Web pages for courses using forms only. We created some simple tools to generate Web pages. We ran into what seemed like a major problem. The problem was that we could not write the created pages to the faculty person's directory. I had hoped to be able to save files in each faculty person's account so that they would have control over the pages that our tool created. I decided to look at tools already created for this purpose to see how other people had solved this problem. Clay Harris told me about a package at Virginia Commonwealth University so I looked at it. We downloaded this program and installed in on Ritchie, a Hewlett Packard workstation in KOM 3 5 1. We tried to get the program installed on frank but there is something wrong with the Perl libraries on frank and OIT could not get the program installed correctly. The name of the program is Web - Course - In - A - Box (WCB). It is a great program. The creators of WCB had the same problem that I had in that they could not save Web pages to faculty accounts. They save all files under WCB directories. This means that the faculty person can change WCB pages only through the forms provided for this purpose. This is a limitation of the package. On the whole, WCB is an excellent package, It allows faculty to create a syllabus page, schedule page, Web-based bulletin board, a personal home page, and activities page by simply filling in forms. The faculty person can set up accounts for students and send them all email at once. It allows the faculty person to pick the background and font colors as well as icons for their home page. WCB is still being improved and does have some bugs. It is not totally forgiving of errors that the administrator or faculty person makes. I have given two hands-on workshops about WCB. Both of the workshops were in April. I will give another hands-on workshop in July at the 1997 MTSU Faculty Instructional Technology Institute. I wrote an introductory hand-out and put it on the MRSU Home Page under MTSU Web Help/Web tools. I would like to thank the committee for providing me with release time to work on this project. I think that many faculty will benefit from WCB. I believe that about 40 people attended my workshops to date.
Authoring Intermediate Algebra Presentations
Dawson used HyperStudio, Mathwriter, and CD-ROM segments to develop presentations to be used by Developmental Studies faculty in teaching Intermediate Algebra in the Developmental Studies master classrooms. During the summer of 1997, I used HyperStudio to author presentation software for use in Intermediate Algebra. I created about 20 different presentations incorporating much use of color, buttons, animation and other techniques available with HyperStudio. I am currently involved in trying to share these with my colleagues.
Developmental Studies Math 085, Intermediate Algebra, on Hypercard
Vivian R.M. Alley
Alley developed lesson plans for DSM 085, Intermediate Algebra, on HyperStudio, for use in Master Classrooms. By having these lessons in HyperStudio format, they can be utilized by other faculty members or even the students themselves.
Economics and Finance
Internet Data Sourcing Created Web sites for Fin 321 Money and Banking and Fin 436 Management of Financial Institutions.
William F. Ford
The sites contain course syllabi, readings, data sources, and references. In-class presentation materials were revised to take advantage of the Internet connection in the new Business/Aerospace building. WEB Page: We have completed about two-thirds of the work on the Weatherford Chair of Finance web page and plan to have it on line this summer. Internet Data Sourcing: It turns out that my colleague, Duane Graddy, has already created a rich assortment of data links, on his web page, which cover essentially all the sources I want to make available to my students. Therefore, I plan to link our web page into his to give both of our students access to the data. However, after investigating the idea of bringing internet data down directly into the classroom, on an on-line basis, I have learned that this is not practical at the present time due to delays in getting through to most of the data sources. Therefore, I am just going to use overheads containing updated information from the internet when we get into our new building.
Intercultural Communication and Understanding for the 21st Century
Management and Marketing
Jacqueline A. Gilbert
Gilbert developed presentations for International Human Resource Management using Multimedia Toolbook. Presentations such as these are ideally suited for Master Classroom use.
During the Fall 1997 Semester, I worked on developing a multimedia toolbook application, and I successfully uploaded my first web page. The web page, combined with listserve, has helped me to more efficiently reach students and organize my courses. The toolbook application will be loaded onto my webpage this semester; it will contain audio in several languages, intercultural quizzes, and digitized video.
Engineering Technology and Industrial Studies
Technology Tools for Engineers of the Future
Basic and Applied Sciences
Nasab is developing courseware modules to aid students in several engineering technology classes in understanding engineering concepts and analyzing "what if" scenarios. The modules will be developed with equation solver software that has the capability to solve simultaneous equations in any order and offers useful tools such as plotting routines.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank you and the members of the Instructional Technology Development Committee for giving me this opportunity to work on this project during the summer of 1997. Our students in several courses (Introduction to Engineering, Thermodynamics, and Strength of Materials) are already using the procedures developed in this project. Students in each class are provided with a summary of instructions on the use of TK Solver. This section is immediately followed by exercises in various fields of study and is designed to gradually increase the degree of difficulty and involvement of the software. As an example in the Introduction to Engineering class, students are asked to solve a simple three variable linear equation. As a second assignment, students are to solve for a list variable ( a variable that can take many values). Later they are instructed to use Table and Plotting facilities of the software. As a final activity in this introductory class the students are instructed to solve non-linear equations which involve initial guessing of the unknown. Problem sets in upper division courses such as Thermodynamics and Fluid Power are more demanding and require a much faster learning curve. Some examples of the work by students in various classes are attached. Given the opportunity, I would like to expand this activity to include instructions and other instructional components on a web site so that on-line help will be available to students. Once again, I thank you for your support of this project and hope that MTSU continues funding projects which utilizes instructional technologies to enhance teaching.
Development of a Web Page for Nursing 460/462
Nursing Barbara J. Draude
Basic and Applied Sciences
Draude developed a web page to provide ready access to course materials such as syllabi, course objectives, learning assignments and study aids. It was designed so that students can review class content before or after presentation, view graphic, video or audio used in class and access case studies. The class web page was completed and successfully used by students to review class materials such as syllabi, course objectives, learning assignments and study aids. It contained test, graphics, video and audio. Student feedback was obtained at the end of the class and improvements were implemented in subsequent semesters.
Geography and Geology
Multimedia & On-line Instructional Technology for Earth Science
Harris is developing a series of multimedia presentations and a World Wide Web-based student resource for GEOL 100-Earth Science. The visual aids for lecture use and on-line resources for independent learning and investigation should enhance student learning and experience while making class subjects more accessible and interesting.
My grant project (Multimedia and On-line Instructional Technology for Earth Science) consisted of two parts, which I discuss under separate headings below. Please excuse the delay in submitting this progress report but the demands of the Fall semester and a number of computer related problems, including carpal tunnel syndrome, made it rather difficult before now.
Visual Aids for Lecture Use
Before the end of spring semester I began work on my visual aids for use in GEOL 100 (Earth Science). As originally envisioned, these would be presented during lecture via computer, using a video projection unit. By late spring, however, I learned that contrary to earlier assurances, my department would not have ready access to a 120+ seat lecture hall equipped for computer presentations before fall semester of 1998. For this reason, I decided to concentrate my efforts on developing a student lecture guide with computer-drafted figures and text. At a later date, I will integrate them with slides to develop a series of complete multimedia lectures as originally proposed. In class, I am currently using the figures from the student lecture guide as overhead transparencies. This seems to be fairly effective, although not what I had envisioned. I have enclosed a copy of the student lecture guide for your benefit. As is probably obvious, drafting, editing and correcting the hundreds of figures contained therein was a monumental task.
On-Line Resources for Independent Learning
I was, likewise, somewhat foiled in my plans for developing on-line resources for GEOL 100 this summer. Obviously, the figures and text from the student lecture guide were to be an integral part of my Earth Science website, so the effort that I expended on them has not gone to waste. However, by mid-June, I was informed that in all likelihood I would not have a network connection to my UNIX account this summer. My plans for development of a website were contingent upon moving from the modular offices (which are not on the campus-wide network) to KOM by mid-summer. Since I currently have a text-only Internet connection, development of a graphically oriented website would be nearly impossible. I have collected numerous resources, such as URLs, invested a lot of time considering the design and layout of the website, written HTML code for a number of web pages, plus various and sundry other things. I have not, however, actually posted any documents for GEOL 100 on the Internet. As it turns out, access to a graphical network connection is still months away, so I am glad that I did not devote any more time to this part of the project.
Obviously, I am somewhat disappointed by what I was able to achieve on the project this summer. However, as I am sure you now realize, the circumstances involved were beyond my control. The time and effort that I have already expended on preparing my lecture guide and developing my website far exceed the time I would have expended in preparation for and presentation of a three hour class. Even so, I continue to work on my web page materials, and am editing the graphics and text from my lecture guide based on student input and classroom experiences. When the necessary facilities become available, I will be ready to implement both my multimedia lecture presentations and web site.
During the Spring semester, 1998, I will be teaching an Honors section of Earth Science in a master classroom. Therefore, by then I will have my multimedia lecture presentations completed, and even though I won't have a graphical Internet connection, I will be maintaining a presence on the web. I will upload a first draft of my web site by periodically accessing my account from our student computer lab in KOM. Since I am in the modular offices, this is going to be rather inconvenient and time consuming. However, I want to take advantage of the small class size in Honors' sections while I work out the bugs in my web site.
Produced a set of CAI (computer assisted instruction) modules for self-paced instruction in English grammar specific to the needs of media writers. The modules are being used in JOUR 171 - Media Writing as well as other writing courses in the College of Media and Entertainment.
Gary R. Wolf
The purpose of the grant was to explore the possibility of using computer-assisted instruction as a remedy for the poor grammar skills of some students who are not adequately prepared to take JOUR 171, Media Writing, which is required of all majors in the College of Media and Entertainment. The goal is a not-for-credit grammar refresher clinic that students could complete at their own pace. Ideally, it would be interactive, providing students correction for their mistakes and examples of correct usage. In addition, students in the College and University generally could have access to the online clinic for help with specific grammar points. The effort to implement such a system was twofold: to explore the technical feasibility of such a clinic and to begin writing the content. A study of existing programs was made to see what others are doing in this regard. It was discovered that online writing labs (OWLS) are common. A variety of sources showed that at least 225 university writing centers provide some form of online assistance to student writers. A half dozen of the more popular sites were visited, and an email correspondence was carried out with the directors of three of them. An OWL is typically a Web page and an email address. In most cases, the OWLs are dedicated to answering specific questions from students -- an email version of handling queries by phone or in person. Typically, they are handled by English Departments through established writing centers available to all students at a campus. (Middle Tennessee State University has a Writing Center, although it currently has no online capability.) Some Web-based OWLs also provide exercises on specific language e points and Internet links to online writing resources or other OWLS. (Indeed, such links appear to be encouraged, disregarding whether the ultimate users of the OWL are students at the campus supporting the OWL.) The Purdue University OWL, for instance, was one of the earliest online writing labs and is mentioned by several as the pre-eminent example. Several other OWLs use it as a primary link. It lists over 100 documents providing tips and practice. It also points interested students to resources available elsewhere online, including language reference works, style and editing guides, and special interest topics (such as writing for children or for business and technical purposes, but not for media writing). While the handouts begin to address the present concern with providing grammar instruction, none provides a comprehensive grammar refresher. Nor was any online site discovered that approaches the subject from the unique perspective of media writing. The grammar instruction is invariably geared to English Department needs and, while useful, is only partly applicable to media writing and sometimes in conflict with it. In many cases, grammar instruction is geared toward K- 12 or English as a Second Language.
Given that online writing labs are a well-accepted if not completely developed means of providing students help with grammar, implementing such a system at MTSU might be a wise first step toward the goal of computer-assisted grammar instruction, In addition to not reinventing a proven wheel, this first step would necessitate less immediate need to learn complex programming software. The content of the OWL beyond the help function could be designed to be compatible with both the redesign of JOUR 171 and the more complex goal of providing an interactive, comprehensive refresher course in grammar -- something that appears not to be available anywhere on the World Wide Web This suggests the project is important and needed, but also that it is perhaps a grander plan than can be immediately accomplished. To this end, an MTSU OWL web page is under construction and grammar clinic content is being written. The web page will explain what the online writing tab can do for students and provide links to other online resources identified in the course of the past semester's research as most relevant and useful. When it is ready to go online, an email address (eg., email@example.com) will be requested and publicized. As suggested, grammar clinic content will dovetail with the revision of JOUR 171, which is being tailored not to specific forms (news stories, press releases, advertisements, etc.) and modes (print, television, radio) of media writing, but toward basic media writing skills (brevity, clarity, accuracy, the handling of quotes, numeracy, etc.). This will not only make it more useful to the College of Media and Entertainment but relevant to other MTSU students as well. Ultimately, it will also provide a true tutorial rather than a help-fine only or a grammar reference, many of which are already available online. A testing function will eventually be included to help the student identify problem areas and be referred to specific portions of the tutorial. The OWL will be functional by the beginning of the Fall 1997 semester. Effort will be made to coordinate it with the English Department's Writing Center, which already fulfills the help function off-line, but it may be primarily publicized through t he twenty JOUR 171 sections as a trial. A course outline for the grammar clinic has been written and several of its units completed. Depending on the author's ability to write more of it during the summer and convert it to a Web page design, at least a portion of it should also be available during the Fall semester if not by the beginning of classes.
Using Instructional Technologies to add 'Personality' to the Personality Psychology Course
Education and Behavioral Science
Thomas M. Brinthaupt
Brinthaupt is working to integrate multimedia technology into Psychology 351 - Personality Psychology. He will integrate video clips and CD-ROM segments into his course lectures, convert his lecture overheads to PowerPoint format, and adapt his assessment demonstrations to a multimedia format.
During the past summer, I was able to accomplish much of what I had proposed in my grant application. Whereas there were some things that I was not able to address, I feel that I made a very good start on changing my course for the better. In this report, I will review what I accomplished under each of the three major categories listed in the project description as well as some other things I was able to work on.
1) Incorporation of Video Materials
I had intended to survey and incorporate course-related video into the course. I was unable to devote any attention to this part of the project. Instead, I devoted my time and efforts to those parts described below. At this point in time, the course is now set up where bringing in such materials will be effective and efficient. In particular, I have identified those areas where supplementary materials are appropriate and should now be able to use these in a relatively seamless manner.
2) Switching to PowerPoint
The majority of my time this summer was spent learning about PowerPoint and incorporating my lecture outlines and overheads into this presentation mode. All of my lectures are now PowerPoint-based. I am very pleased with how this format has changed my classes. I have become much less dependent on my lecture notes and my lectures are much more spontaneous than in the past (i.e., I have been able to add more of my own personality into my lectures). So far this semester, my students have also participated more than in previous semesters (something I attribute to the use of PowerPoint and my more-relaxed teaching style).
3) Incorporating Assessment Demonstrations
The other part of my summer proposal was to adapt my existing in-class exercises, demonstrations, and measurement illustrations to a multimedia format. I was able to accomplish this goal to a large extent. Several of these specific activities have now been changed to PowerPoint presentations. This has allowed me to save a good deal of paper, run these demonstrations more smoothly, and actually do more of these (and in more depth) than I normally would.
4) Additional Activities
Finally, I was also able to participate in one of the summer's Faculty Multimedia Workshops. This helped me to get started with PowerPoint, web-page construction, and the incorporation of visual images into my lectures. I spent a good deal of time this summer working on a course home-page for Personality Psychology. This page now contains my PowerPoint outlines and overheads, exams from previous semesters, the current syllabus, and links to personality-related web-sites. This new addition to my course has been a strong success. In addition to helping me to eliminate paper and library copies of materials, I know of several students who have used the web for the first time because of the things I've put there. The course now has a strong multimedia foundation, and I am looking forward to bringing in video and cd-rom materials to enhance its content. I am confident that I can now do this in an effective way.
Utilizing Multimedia and the WWW to Teach RIM/RATV 458 and RIM/MUSI 419
Douglas S. Mitchell
Mitchell is producing multimedia and Web page presentations in order to more effectively teach Disk-Based Audio Post Production. Graphics and aural media will be incorporated into multimedia presentations and aspects of these presentations will be converted into World Wide Web pages
First check out my home page available: http://www.mtsu.edu/~dsmitche/
Alternatively you can go directly to each of the course pages: http://www.mtsu.edu/~dsmitche/rim419/
Principles and Practices of Electronic Music: http://www.mtsu.edu/~dsmitche/rim440/
Techniques of Recording: http://www.mtsu.edu/~dsmitche/rim458/
Disc-Based Audio Post Production: and http://www.mtsu.edu/~dsmitche/rim460/
Electronic Multimedia Production. I would appreciate any feedback you can give me on the pages. The experiences I have had both with on-line course supplements and in-class course web-based media with my classes thus far has been very positive. By the way, although I have completed the original intentions of the research grant, I find that I am constantly updating and adding to these web pages in order to make them work better for classes and to make them more useful for my students. They have provided me with good information and feedback on what they would like to see on them as well. I'll close this brief report with a recent email message I received from a graduate of our program
Sociology and Anthropology
Technological Enhancement of Existing Courses and Website
Carroll developed PowerPoint presentations utilizing video clips, graphics and other visual material to illustrate and supplement lecture descriptions. She also developed WWW course materials including links to useful sites on various Life Cycle topics.
Sociology and Anthropology
Produced a set of learning modules for the enhancement of students' learning experiences in SOC 101- Introductory Sociology. Statistical analysis modules address the basic techniques of data analysis and research methods central to current sociological research and Internet modules introduce students to newly developing information and communication systems.
I used data from 95 Tennessee counties and had students develop multiple indicators of concepts, such as poverty. I then had students develop causal models and identify independent variables, such as county education, family structure, race, percent urban, etc.
Students then did zero order correlations, then looked at cross tabs and finally developed multi-variate models to explain variations in poverty across Tennessee counties. The project worked well because students were motivated and felt the exercises related to their own lives.