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College of Forestry

Departments    Forest Engineering, Resources & Management | Forest Ecosystems & Society | Wood Science & Engineering

Enhanced Instruction

Distance Education

We have experience developing distance education courses, starting with content development and ending with course instruction! Our experience with all phases of distance education, and our knowledge of the technical necessities, strengths and limitations of this teaching and learning method arguably makes us the best equipped shop for distance education of natural resource content in Oregon.Students at Fort Cox College of Agriculture learning to use media design software

But why stay in Oregon? The FMC has also been intimately involved in providing training in the integration of digital media into teaching and communication on an international level. Assignments have included the procurement of digital media equipment and delivery of associated workshops to the faculty and staff of the University of Fort Hare and Fort Cox College of Agriculture and Forestry in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa, and recently, Ethiopia. Equipment delivered included digital still cameras, DVcamcorders, computers, scanners, supporting AVhardware, and software for editing video, producing websites, and creating graphics.

Enhanced Classrooms

Several College of Forestry classrooms are computer-equipped and networked to campus servers and to the Internet for complete large screen computer data and video projection for classes ranging in size from 10 to 80. In six classrooms a faculty member can now come into the room, open the teaching podium, turn on the equipment and begin instruction immediately. Video conferencing is available in an enhanced meeting room, Richardson 201Q. A fully-functioning distance education classroom, Richardson 107, can be used for presentations requiring video capture. In addition, three development laboratories are available to students, faculty, and staff.

Since its inception, the FMC has provided training for College faculty, staff, and students on the use and application of media to teaching, research, and extension. Recent FMC offerings include workshops on video production, Photoshop, Dreamweaver, PowerPoint, Digital Photography, and media integration.

Videoconferencing

New in 2006: Forestry Media Center now checks out, free of use for all College of Forestry faculty, staff, and students, a state-of-the-art Polycom videoconferencing system. It is on wheels, can be used in any class or meeting room in Peavy and Richardson halls, and is simple to use. Click here to download our system spec sheet (PDF).

In addition, our distance education facility now is equipped with a Polycom VSX 7000 unit, configured into our facility so that any programming within the classroom can be piped as IP videoconferecing signal to two remote sites, or as a stream.Click here to download our system spec sheet (PDF).

Innovative Use of This Technology

The FMC has worked closely with faculty to equip and train students in the use of the new digital media, culminating in an award-winning integration of video production into a course on Natural Resource Communication (FOR 391). Learning to use digital video camcorders in the "Natural Resource Communication" course

From 1998 through 2002, The Aldo Leopold Leadership Program chose the Forestry Media Center to provide equipment and audiovisual services in support of their nationally recognized program to provide training to leading environmental scientists to communicate their work effectively to a variety of lay audiences.

In 2006 the College of Forestry offered, for the first time, a graduate-level course that tapped students and faculty at a university in Argentina, using the portable videoconferencing unit. A collaborative distance education-style course between our College and the University of Washington will be offered, using videoconferencing technology, in 2007.

While technology is not a panacea for teachers, learners, or institutional budgets, there exists a growing set of studied reasons to use technology.

Consider the following ways that technologies in teaching can be used:

  • To do tasks that faculty cannot do, like helping students experience times, places, people, and events that cannot be otherwise brought into
    class.

  • To do tasks that faculty can do, but better, like helping students visualize phenomena that may be too small or too dynamic to convey effectively in print or with static models or by gestures.

  • To do tasks that are routine, like helping students overcome learning differences and/or deficiencies best remedied through drill and practice.

  • To better prepare students for the world of work where they may be required to use things like spreadsheets, word processing, data bases, or computer-aided design technologies.

  • To increase student and faculty productivity, by reducing time that routine recordkeeping or communicating may require.

  • To reach students who are unable or choose not to attend conventional on campus classes.

Cited by Michael J. Albright and David L. Graf, "Instructional Technology and the Faculty Member." In Albright and Graf, eds., Teaching in the Information Age: The Role of Educational Technology (Jossey-Bass). New Directions for Teaching and Learning, no. 51 (Fall, 1992): 7-15.

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