Going Green with Wimba Supporting Campus Sustainability Initiatives with Wimba Classroom Jane E. Himmel, Associate Director Center for Learning Enhancement, Assessment, and Redesign University of North Texas
University of North Texas • Dallas/Ft. Worth metroplex • Close to 35,000 students • 2300 staff, 1000 faculty • Offer large number ofonline courses andprograms • Largely a commutercampus 75% of students travel to campus
Center for Learning Enhancement, Assessment, and Redesign (CLEAR) • Faculty support unit • Instructional design, online/ blended course development • Promote best practices using learning technologies • Training and support on Blackboard Vista, Wimba Jane E. Himmel Associate Director CLEAR http://clear.unt.edu firstname.lastname@example.org
Wimba Usage at UNT Note: Spring 2009 is current through April 5, 2009
Huge Benefits for Online Courses • Improved communications in online courses/programs • Improved time on task in courses • Supports student-centered learning (collaboration) • Supports innovation in teaching and course design • Instructor brings Spring Fashion Week to students from Paris • Best practices – master course • ASL Deaf tutor
Realizing Wimba’s Potential Although it was designed for education, it can be used across the university for daily business activities and in support of campus-wide initiatives. It can assist us in achieving our goals.
UNT’s Sustainability Initiative “UNT is the first large public university in Texas to sign the American College & University Presidents Climate Commitment, a growing nationwide initiative of college and university presidents and chancellors dedicated to counteracting climate change by taking steps to make their campuses climate neutral.” http://www.presidentsclimatecommitment.org/
Impact of the Climate Commitment • New focus on sustainability across campus • Working sustainability into the curriculum • Encouraging sustainable methods of teaching/learning • Taking immediate steps to reduce carbon footprint
Wimba as a “Green Tool” • Enabling more programs/courses to go online or be offered as blended instruction. • Fewer trips to campus • In 2003, 35% of students traveled at least 20 miles one way to campus and 34% stated they spent more than 30 minutes driving to campus • Side benefit: replicability with archiving
Wimba as a “Green Tool” • Carrying out university business on a daily basis • Supports telecommuting • IT Department policy • UNT System business • Reduces driving for employees on campus, too • Also improves productivity • Can be used in place of travel for interviews, etc.
Total Meeting Makeover - BEFORE Weekly one hour meeting with staff from two sites: • Conference room • Campus phone bridge • Travel time and gas expense/usage for three employees • Time for three employees to find parking • Time for three employees to return to offices post-meeting • Time to write and send minutes
Total Meeting Makeover -AFTER • Weekly one hour meeting with staff at two sites: • Wimbameeting room with archive enabled • Advantages: • Savings of time and gas • Freeing up resources • Increased productivity • Improved communications (visual resources & archive)
Challenges Ahead at UNT • While you may see the benefits, it may take time for others to embrace the technology • Fear of technology • Loss of direct supervision • Loss of jobs
Paths to Success • Getting attention of administrators • Offering demos and training (and support) • Starting pilot groups • Sharing success stories • Promoting tool through campus publications
Resources • “UNT becomes first major public university in Texas to sign presidents climate commitment,” UNT Insider (http://www.unt.edu/president/insider/apr08/climate.htm) • Fall 2003 Parking/Transportation Survey. University of North Texas. http://www.unt.edu/ir_acc/Surveys/Fall_2003_Transportation_Survey/Fall_2003_Transportation_Survey_index.html • America’s Most Congested Cities, Forbes; 2/25/09; Lauren Sherman • http://www.forbes.com/2009/02/24/traffic-congested-cities-lifestyle-real-estate_congested_cities.html