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Title III Part B, Strengthening Historically Black Colleges and Universities Program

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University of Maryland Eastern Shore
Using State-of-the-Art Technology to
Enhance Critical Foreign Language Acquisition

Clark Atlanta University
Academic Instructional Technology Center

Prairie View A&M University - Nursing Education

Prairie View A&M University - Distance Education

Electronic Conference

University of Maryland Eastern Shore
Title III Program
Using State-of-the-Art Technology to
Enhance Critical Foreign Language Acquisition at UMES

Foreign language instruction at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES) is reaching new heights. Since 2008, the U.S. Department of Education’s Title III, Part B Program has collaborated with UMES to establish a state-of-the-art Foreign Language Instructional Center (FLIC) with the mission of teaching Less Commonly Taught Languages (LCTLs) in order to help meet the need for critical language acquisition in the United States.

The Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA) of 2008 was based on the Higher Education Act of 1965 (HEA), which not only tied foreign languages to international education programs but also made changes to the programs authorized by Title VI of the HEA and is administered by the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Postsecondary Education (OPE). As a result of this legislation, 78 foreign languages were identified as priority in order to promote a language-competent society. FLIC has decided to focus on Akan-Twi, Arabic, Amharic, Chinese (Mandarin), Dinka, Haitian Creole, Hausa, Hindi, Russian, Swahili, Xhosa and Yoruba which fall into the group of foreign languages recommended by the Secretary of Education as "critical" to the U.S. security.

FLIC has established a 20-seat language learning laboratory equipped with the Sony-Virtuoso™/Soloist Language Learning System. The system allows teachers and students to easily share course materials and work together or independently. Students can practice with a classmate, listen to a computer-based dialog or record their own voice for immediate pronunciation feedback—all while being monitored by the instructor. A master panel displays the video being seen by all students; instructors can launch Web sites or other materials to an individual, a group, or the entire class in response to their language learning needs.

FLIC uses Rosetta Stone® software, 101 Languages of the World® software and EuroTalk® software to language acquisition. These well-respected programs enable the instructor to expand the capabilities of the traditional classroom to include a variety of pronunciation and grammar aids. Furthermore, students are exposed to a variety of dialects and cultural material to complement the instructor’s own background.

Customized instructional materials have been developed by FLIC in Arabic, Chinese (Mandarin), Hindi as well as Haitian Creole which, along with Spanish, is taught in response to the needs of growing Haitian and Hispanic population in the mid-Atlantic region.

In addition to advancing language proficiency, instructors at FLIC emphasize cultural understanding. Students are exposed to the traditions and norms of the countries where the foreign language is spoken so that they may put the language in practical context for interaction with native speakers either in the United States or in the respective world regions.

Before the advent of FLIC, the University of Maryland Eastern Shore offered only Spanish and French through its Department of English and Modern Languages. By supporting foreign language instruction, currently FLIC has given UMES students the opportunity to learn Arabic, Chinese, and Haitian Creole as well. Moreover, existing language instruction has benefitted from the modern laboratory setting, affording students the ability to listen and speak in ways that exceed traditional classroom limitations. To date, FLIC has the capacity to assist with instruction in more than 100 foreign languages.

"The Department of English and Modern Languages has internationalized its curriculum by using the Foreign Language Instructional Center (FLIC). As a result, our Modern Language courses have been infused with international dimensions," says department chair Dr. Kelli Randall.

In addition to credit-based courses in Arabic, French and Spanish and soon Chinese and Haitian Creole, FLIC is also home to short, non-credit courses for target audiences. Current offerings include Spanish (for Healthcare Professionals, Corrections Staff and Early Childhood Personnel); Haitian Creole (for Mission Travel and Healthcare/Social Work/Clergy); Arabic (for Travel and Social Work/Clergy); and Chinese (for Business and for Travel). These short courses are offered in formats ranging from one-day to three-weekends and are conveniently scheduled to meet the needs of the working professional.

Experts and government reports express continuing concerns about the foreign-language deficiencies and how they negatively impact our national security. Through FLIC, the University of Maryland Eastern Shore endeavors to teach selected critical foreign languages to increase the pool of Americans with adequate skills and thus improve U.S. agencies' ability to understand and translate foreign languages.

Foreign language instruction at UMES will provide opportunities for students, faculty, federal workers, non-governmental organizations, and private sector personnel, who will be traveling or working with foreigners to learn and be able to communicate in less commonly taught and critical foreign languages. FLIC is enhancing the University’s capacity and visibility abroad through research and development of foreign languages programs for regular college education as well as for targeted professions (i.e., healthcare, business, law enforcement, social work/clergy, and early childhood personnel).

UMES student assistants who are working with faculty in the Foreign Language Instructional Center are learning valuable skills for training new users of the technology and managing the state-of-the-art language laboratory.

For more information, contact:

Dr. Emmanuel T. Acquah
Executive Director, International Development Programs
Senior Executive Assistant to the President and Professor of Agricultural Economics
2118 J. T. Williams Hall
University of Maryland Eastern Shore
Princess Anne, Maryland 21853
(410) 651-6192 (office)
(410) 651-3990 (fax)

Dr. Frances H. McKinney
Title III Director
3103 Bird Hall
University of Maryland Eastern Shore
Princess Anne, Maryland 21853
(410) 651-6668 (office)
(410) 651-7513 (fax)


Clark Atlanta University
Title III Program
Strengthening and Enhancing the University Spotlight
on CAU's Academic Instructional Technology Center (AITC)
Dr. Beverly Edmond and Rollin Guyden

Providing today's students with the latest instructional technology is a critical component of an institution's educational program. Clark Atlanta University has been able to meet and surpass the ever-changing demands of a technology-grounded learning environment through its state-of-the-art Academic Instructional Technology Center (AITC). Owing in large measure to the generous support received by the university through participation in the U.S. Department of Education's Title III, Part B Program, Clark Atlanta University has been able to create a cutting-edge instructional technology center with programs that focus on infusing technology throughout all aspects of its curriculum and incorporating Web- enhanced instructional pedagogy to facilitate student learning.

Since 2002, Title III has provided over $1.2 million dollars towards building and improving the university's instructional technology capacity. These funds have been used to build the network's infrastructure, to renovate AITC's facilities, to purchase the required computer hardware and software, and to fund the center's administrative staff, faculty mentors and student workers. AITC's staff includes an Executive Director, a Director of Media Services and two Research Associates, as well as nine student assistants.

The overall mission of AITC is to facilitate learning by providing high-quality, reliable, and responsive instructional technology support services to CAU faculty, staff, and students that are consistent with the strategic plan of the university. The areas developed and/or enhanced in this effort are academic instructional technology support, digital media services, technology and training services, technology infusion collaborations and open access computer lab support. Attention on these focal points fosters a managed influx of technology into the academic programs and the day-to-day operations of the university.

The instructional technology support effort concentrates on helping faculty to develop and offer Web-enhanced courses and to increase the number of courses that utilize at least one of several instructional technology enhancements (course management software, audio/video conferencing, streaming audio/video clips, videotaped lectures, etc.). CAU has adopted WebCT as the course management system (CMS) of choice. With this course management software, instructors can provide centralized access for all students to any course in which they are enrolled at the University. AITC assists faculty with loading content into WebCT. Content includes online syllabi, online lecture notes, online homework assignments, online quizzes, online grade books, video clips and much more.

The technology training services offer a comprehensive professional development training program. This program trains faculty members on the use of WebCT, Banner, Microsoft End User Applications, and Technology Infusion. AITC staff actively trains, orients and advises faculty, staff, and students in general system use, equipment use, and the use of software.

These workshops range from introductory to advanced, using tools such as quizzing, student grade book management, file management, and development of Web pages. Each semester there are over 50 workshops to choose from, all conveniently scheduled to meet the needs of the university population.

To assess the impact of AITC, the following objectives were developed: 1) to increase the number of faculty adopting WebCT, and 2) to enhance the learning experiences of students enrolled in these courses. In terms of outcomes and benefits, these efforts have paid off. The improvements in our instructional technology infrastructure have had a major bottom-line impact on the way faculty teach and students learn. The number of faculty trained in the use of educational technology this past year increased by 20 percent and if you ask the faculty, the response is that WebCT allows for greater flexibility in teaching, better management of class assignments, posting of exams and communicating with students.

WebCT has facilitated my teaching tremendously. It inspires creativity.
- Barbara Moss, History Dept.

The responses from our students are equally compelling. They note that WebCT enhances the communication students have with professors and allows students to more efficiently allocate their time on course assignments.

WebCT facilitates learning interaction.
- Grant Campbell, Senior

In addition, the School of Business and School of Education have fully integrated WebCT offerings. Several departments (Psychology, Chemistry, Foreign Language, History and Physics) have also adopted WebCT for many of their courses.

Finally, the impact of adopting a course management system such as WebCT as well as our technology-training services has forged many campus collaborations including:

  • Offering instructional technology workshops with the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning;
  • Providing Praxis practice exams online for students in the School of Education; and
  • Partnering with the Office of Planning, Assessment and Research to offer training in various areas of institutional effectiveness.

For more information contact:

Beverly C. Edmond, Ph.D.
Vice Provost and Director of Title III
Clark Atlanta University
223 James P. Brawley Dr., S.W.
Room 309, Harkness Hall
Atlanta, Georgia 30314
(404) 880-6052 office
(404) 880-6157 fax

Rollin Guyden
Clark Atlanta University
223 James P. Brawley Dr., S.W.
Room 326, McPheeters-Dennis Hall
Atlanta, Georgia 30314
(404) 880-6052 office
(404) 880-6157 fax


Prairie View A&M University College of Nursing
Uses Cutting Edge Technology for Nursing Education
Dr. JoAnn Blake and Isaac Smith

Nursing education has met technology at Prairie View A&M University College of Nursing. Funding and support from the University's Title III program has enabled the College of Nursing to incorporate simulated learning experiences across the curriculum. Since September 2003, the College of Nursing has adopted high fidelity adult and pediatric Human Patient Simulators (HPS) as teaching-learning tools for baccalaureate and graduate nursing students. The simulators are lifelike computer driven mannequins, which emulate human physiological responses such as emitting palpable systemic and peripheral pulses, resonating heart and breath sounds, and exhibiting pupillary responses. What is most remarkable about the HPS is the consistent opportunity for students to observe human responses to illness conditions and receive feedback relative to the application of nursing decisions, intervention, and evaluation of the nursing care.

Simulations are conducted in the Human Patient Simulation Lab. The Simulation Laboratory is housed in a four-room suite that includes a student preparation area, the lab, a conference room, and the technician's office. The simulation laboratory contains the same state of the art equipment students' encounter in the health care setting. The cost to setup and equip the simulation laboratory since its inception is approximately $720,000 over a three- year period. Expenses that occur on an annual basis include the HPS staff salaries, medical, computer, and laboratory supplies, and training of staff and faculty. The simulation laboratory is presently in use five days a week.

Simulated learning uses cutting-edge technology to measure the learner's knowledge, technical skills and critical thinking abilities. In the clinical setting there is very little margin for error. As a result, students have limited opportunities to engage in appropriate decision-making and problem solving in the clinical area. Students need an opportunity to practice and receive immediate feedback. The integration of simulated learning experiences using the HPS provides students with enhanced skills, hands on practice, and decision-making skills which can be used in caring for patients in the clinical setting. The simulated learning experiences have been integrated into both the undergraduate and graduate nursing programs. Ninety-seven percent (97%) of the students enrolled in the College of Nursing have participated simulated learning activities.

For more information, please contact:

Dr. JoAnn Blake
Associate Professor
Prairie View A & M University
College of Nursing
6436 Fannin, Suite 1160
Houston, Texas 77030
(713) 797-7022 (office)
(713) 797-7075 (fax)

Isaac Smith
Director of Human Patient Simulators Lab
Prairie View A & M University
6436 Fannin, Suite 1087
Houston, Texas 77030
(713) 797-7076 (office)
(713) 797-7075 (fax )


Distance Education and Technology Mixed
Prairie View A&M University
Dr. John R. Williams

Distance Education at Prairie View A&M University has received a major technology boost from Title III funding. The University has embarked upon an aggressive development path to achieve greater participation in electronically delivered courses and programs. Classes are now delivered over the Web using the WebCT Course Management System and also delivered to remote sites using video conferencing technology.

Prairie View A&M University offered its first course using video technology in 1992. The first Web-based course was offered in 2003. These technology-mediated courses are designed to remove the barriers of time and distance from access to higher education. Web-based courses allow students the flexibility of completing course requirements without coming to a classroom at a time scheduled by the University. Students are able to complete course work at any time within the scheduled framework set by the instructor. Video-delivered courses require that the students meet at a scheduled time. Course sections meet in a local setting that reduces travel time. The University currently has graduate students in the Educational Leadership Program within the College of Education who take courses in Dallas and Houston taught by an instructor on the campus of Prairie View A&M University . These students are able to pursue a Master's degree or specialized certification without the additional burden of driving 215 miles from Dallas to Prairie View.

The University has expanded its telecommunications infrastructure to include a Polycom Multipoint Control Unit (MCU) and a Starbak Video Conferencing Gateway (VCG), which gives the capability for connecting multiple sites into a single conference and to record and/or stream the presentation over the Web. Many classrooms have been redesigned to support broadcast of classes. The University has developed an internal training program to assist faculty as they embrace the use of technology in the delivery of instruction.

For more information, contact

Dr. John R. Williams
Director, Office of Distance Learning
Professor, Department of Chemistry
P.O. Box 2522
Prairie View, Texas 77446
(936) 857-2353 (office)
(936) 857-3915 (fax)


U.S.Department of Education
Office of Postsecondary Education
Institutional Service
Title III Part B, Strengthening Historically Black Colleges and Universities Program
Webinar, Teleconference, and Videoconference on "Best Practices in Instructional Technology"

March 9, 2006, 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. (EST)
March 10, 2006, 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. (EST)


Title III, Team B conducted a conference on "Best Practices in Instructional Technology" to effect long range improvements in Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) through the dissemination of best practices. The conference included a combination of transmission modalities to allow a large number of participants to utilize facilities that were available to them in their local setting. Access was possible through telephone (land line or cellular) by teleconference, the Internet by Webinar (conference over the Internet), and by video conference using point-to-point video conferencing equipment. This conference combined the latest in telecommunications technology to offer an opportunity for collaboration by HBCU grantees.

The "Best Practices in Instructional Technology" conference was anchored by a multi-point video conference connecting the Title III, Team B in Washington D. C. with presenters at Clark Atlanta University (CAU) in Atlanta , Georgia and Prairie View A&M University (PVAMU) located in Prairie View, Texas connected by cascading multipoint control units (MCUs). Grantees, with a broadband Internet connection that participated using the Webinar, were able to see and hear the presenters on their computer screen, view the PowerPoint presentations, and utilize the CHAT to submit their questions. Grantees that participated in the conference using the Teleconference were emailed the PowerPoint presentations and utilized the telephone to hear the presentations. Video conference participants were able to see and hear the presentations via the video conferencing equipment.

The entire conference was conducted electronically and took place on the following dates and times:

Conference dates: March 9, 2006, 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. (EST)

March 10, 2006, 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. (EST)

The conference included the following presentations:

"Academic Instructional Technology Center"
Dr. Beverly Edmond and Rollin Guyden
Clark Atlanta University

"Enhancement of Technology Mediated Instruction"
Dr. John Williams
Prairie View A&M University

"Nursing - Human Patient Simulator as a Teaching -Learning Tool"
Dr. Joanne Blake
Prairie View A& M University

Thirty-nine grantees participated in this conference. Additionally, there were several participants from the Department of Education. All Team members participated in the conference: John Hunt, Mary Payne, Marion Steward, Jim Gladden, Denise Johnson, and Carolyn Proctor served as moderator.

The MCUs permitted the video conferencing units at each of the four sites to connect to each other. Each site had a coder/decoder (codec), which took the analog video, and audio input from the cameras and microphones and converted it into a digital signal for transmission across telephone or data lines. The codec at the other end then converted the digital signal back into an analog signal for display on a video monitor or into sound. Presentations were archived for 'on-demand' viewing.

Cost of the Conference:

This conference was broadcast at 384 kilobits. The generation of that bandwidth requires that six 64 kilobit calls be bonded to produce the required transmission bandwidth. Figures supplied from AT&T indicated that the charge would be $0.23 per minute.

The Department of Education placed two ISDN calls; one to the MCU at CAU and one to the MCU at PVAMU. Each "call" was actually six telephone calls that were bonded into one call. Six calls times $0.23 per minute equals $1.38 per minute, per site. The two-hour seminar (or 120 minutes) results in a cost per site of $165.60 per day. The total site cost is $331.20 for both days. Total cost for two sites is then $662.40 for the two days. (The receiving sites do not generate any additional charges just as there is no charge for a long distance call received on a home telephone.)

The true utility of the video/Web conference is the enormity of the cost savings. A single participant attending a conference in Washington, D.C. for a minimum of two days (including airline, hotel, mileage, per diem, and parking), would generate a cost of approximately $1,000 per participant. Additionally, one would have to add the cost of time lost from the Institution, as well as the additional time required of Department of Education staff to cover the logistics of hosting a Washington meeting (estimated $1,000 participant) and the meeting space (estimated $1,000 for one day including special equipment requirements). Therefore, this conference could have very easily cost over $80,000.

The telecommunication technology used to conduct this conference cost was significantly less than $1,000, making this a desirable medium for exchange. Although there are always added benefits of face-to-face interchange, the video network and the Webinar permitted this interchange in a more cost-efficient manner.


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Last Modified: 07/06/2011