Western Maryland's post-secondary institutions -- Frostburg State University, Allegany College of Maryland, Garrett Community College, Hagerstown Community College and Hagerstown Business College - will be expanding a program designed to equip faculty members with technology for teaching, thanks to a grant of $175,000 from the Maryland Higher Education Commission.
Started in the summer of 2000, the WhyTech program has held approximately 110 workshops of about eight participants each. Through the workshops, faculty members learned skills such as using PowerPoint presentations, graphics, interactive video and Internet resources. Each workshop allowed the faculty member to produce a product to be used in a current class. Another 100 workshops are planned for the coming year, according to Dr. Marthe A. McClive, an FSU associate professor in the Department of Business Management who is coordinator of the project.
Workshops were also held in learning styles and instructional design.
"It all translates to better teaching," McClive said.
The new grant will also include opportunities for one-on-one follow-up sessions to assist individual faculty members with their teaching strategies, building on elements learned in the workshops.
One purpose of the WhyTech project is to meet the University of Maryland System's resolution on technical fluency. One way to do that is have faculty members model technology for their students.
"The ultimate aim is to help students be more comfortable learning and doing business online. That will help them be more employable and help Maryland businesses," McClive said.
The project has also helped its leaders study what does and doesn't work in the relatively new field of online learning.
Among the five institutions, there are a potential 800 full- and part-time faculty who can be reached by this project.
All of the institutions involved except HBC are members of the Regional Education Service Agency of Appalachian Maryland, an educational consortium whose aim is to raise the educational level of all people in Appalachian Maryland.
McClive said each of the institutions has provided significant in-kind assistance valued at an estimated $250,000 total.
Faculty members of the five schools who want more information can contact McClive at (301) 687-4046 or the steering committee members on their campuses. The members are Dr. John Bowman, FSU Associate Provost; Dr. Lillian Mitchell, GCC Dean of Academic Affairs; Dr. H. Eugene Hall, AC's Vice-President for Instructional Affairs; Dr. Joe Sidlowski, Dean of Instruction at HCC; and Dennis Wenger, Academic Dean for HBC.
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