Blog Pile

MERLOT: CATS and WebQuests

“Herding CATS: A Model for Professional Development for Academic Technology”
Abbe Altman, CSU Sonoma

CATS= Community of Academic Technology Staff (CATS) also part of MERLOT, see MERLOT repository of CATS materials

(Comment- the dogs here are riled at the feline metaphors ;-)

conference, includes an online conference system (online proposal submission)
– regional workshops
– local campus events
– email lists
online seminars via HorizonLive
TIGERS Grant program(/a> (Technology Integration Grants for Educational Resource Sharing)

(Comment- CATS web site needs some separation into content areas rather than lumping on single pages and please, send them a copy of Zeldman’s Designing for Web Standards– send MERLOT a copy as well for their 1997 vintage use of crusty HTML 3.2)

At Conference TIGERs grant recipients must present results of projects.

Email lists- general listserv, SIG lists.
Uses Ezmlm open source mailing list

Seminar Topics
– Desiging interactive online assignments
– rubrics for online instruction
– managing student assistants
– 3D animation
– ADA-compliant web design

TIGERS grants
– modules on training staff on accessibility
– modules on Blackboard 6 usage (Comment- note in MERLOT deadlink fashion, the item link is 404)

New project:
“CATS is beginning to establish service groups in areas that will have a broad impact throughout the CSU. The Interface Design Evaluation & Assessment (IDEA) project is designed to train web developers and others in heuristic design principles with the goal of establishing a team of reviewer to evaluate designs submitted by staff throughout the system.”

Part 2:
“Wiring the WebQuest Community”
Bernie Dodge, San Diego State University

WebQuests began as lesson plan format in 1995 to better structure online activities, and exploded since then (pretty good since “I have a budget of $10 per month and a staff budget of Zero”). 3000 google links to WebQuest site. MERLOT 2003 award.

But there are Problems…
Sturgeon’s Law– “90% of everything is crud”

Reason? Memtic Drift – the concept gets passed virally and changes menaing with every transfer.

Another reason? The “Bernie Bottleneck” – managed as a “hobby project” done only by Bernie. At one point had 500 submitted wequests to be processed.

Solution?
– interaction
– distribute judgement
– dialogue
– access to more resources

Tools?
Internet Scout Portal Toolkit – but ran into problems installing, but in retrospect it is “overkill” for what he wanted to do
Moodle free open source course management system, good tool (did a 200 student course in it), but maybe not up to capacity
Tapped In– Teacher Ed resource site, virtual community tool

Ended up building a new WebQuest portal by “cobbling tools”
http://webquest.org/ (done in Blogger, can assign other editors to create news)
– front page news
– public calendar uses Calenderix
– Uses phpBB for discussion forum
– search engine
– matrix of examples now split into 2 sections,
—- the rated ones (public rating now done online).
—- the newest, un reviewed webquests

Coming Soon
— Find others like this
— Barn Raising (need help adding keywords to make search features more versatile) have students do it on a volunteer basis
— Hunting Expediting, have students help find webquests not in the matrix

(Comment- RSS feeds would help spread webquests)

Profile Picture for Alan Levine aka CogDog
An early 90s builder of the web and blogging Alan Levine barks at CogDogBlog.com on web storytelling (#ds106 #4life), photography, bending WordPress, and serendipity in the infinite internet river. He thinks it's weird to write about himself in the third person.