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At the Senate
Teaching in the age of technology

Archived article from Dec 11, 1998

By Douglas Frank  

University faculty members must become proficient in new information technologies in order for higher education to remain competitive with the many alternative forms of education available today.

This was the message of economics Professor Gary Gigliotti, director of the Teaching Excellence Center, in a special report to the University Senate Dec. 4.

Gigliotti pointed to several challenges facing traditional universities, including internal educational structures developed by large corporations to deal with specific issues, private for-profit teaching bodies, virtual universities "all over the place," and learning centers in shopping malls offering "brand-name education at a cut-rate price."

"Our problem is that teaching and curriculum design is going to be able to be purchased from almost anywhere," he added. "We have to get ourselves in gear and understand how this technology works and what good or bad it can do so that we can be the ones to decide its appropriate use."

Gigliotti said university money has been provided to help faculty and departments introduce technology into their teaching. Innovative projects are already under way, he noted, in such areas as geography, cell biology, Spanish and Portuguese, and the classics.

In other business, the senate passed resolutions suggesting changes in the kind of student information displayed in the Rutgers online directory; endorsing the University Libraries' long-range digital-library initiative in principle while noting some areas of concern; and thanking the Board of Governors for "its commitment to providing benefits to bona fide, same-sex domestic partners of Rutgers employees."


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