Technology Open House Celebrates SJU Computing Efforts

Monday, October 22, 2007

As technology continues to become a ubiquitous facet of our daily lives, members of the Saint Joseph's University community regularly look for ways to improve the academic experience through computing. In the 10th Annual Technology Open House, held October 11 in the Haub Executive Center, faculty, staff and administrators gathered to assess their progress and look to the future.

Paul DeVito, Ph.D., executive director of the Early Responders Distance Learning Center (ERDLC), presented the keynote address at the open house, exploring the history of distance education at Saint Joseph's, beginning in 1996 with a hybrid criminal justice and statistics course run with the help of an off-site chat room.

With the addition of Blackboard, video conferencing, and the creation of the ERDLC, the distance learning capabilities on campus have expanded to allow 32 courses at both the undergraduate and graduate levels to be taught to remote students. He also said that work in the future could allow as many as nine academic programs to be taught completely online within four years.

The open house also featured faculty sharing their experiences of using technology including iPods, podcasts, and wikis in class and teaching online courses through Blackboard. In his keynote, DeVito encouraged a fuller embrace of technology throughout the faculty, putting forth a goal of 100 percent faculty usage of Blackboard by 2010. He also previewed the new home of Saint Joseph's online education, which is set to launch in January.

"The work of our colleagues has put the University at the forefront of distance learning," DeVito said. "Technology can give many potential students education options based on their needs, and it can enhance the pedagogy in the classroom."

--Jeffrey Martin '04, '05 (M.A.)

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