Dean’s Notes: September 2013

Dear COE Faculty and Staff,

Welcome back to our returning faculty, staff and students. We especially extend a welcome to the new faculty joining us. We begin this new academic year with increasing numbers of students and a record amount of dollars for funded projects. We introduce this year three newly approved degree programs, the Ed.D. in Curriculum and Instruction, the Ph.D. in Kinesiology with a concentration in Physical Education Teacher Education, and the Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies with a Concentration in Human Learning and Development. Congratulations to the faculty who conceptualized these degrees and our best wishes as you proceed to implementation.

Beginning this year we will invite a member of the faculty to be the speaker at Fall Convocation. Our inaugural speaker will be Dr. Joyce King. Dr. King is the Benjamin E. Mays Chair of Urban Teaching, Learning and Leadership, and is president-elect of the American Education Research Association. Fall convocation will be Monday, December 16, at 4 p.m. in the Rialto Center for the Arts.

The university and the college continue to explore and experiment with emerging strategies for university instruction. Georgia State has been designated by the Board of Regents as the lead university for a system-wide exploration of new learning models, including MOOCs, adaptive learning, and other technologies.

Recently at the Deans Council and again at a retreat for deans and department chairs, discussions were held concerning how we may improve learning while improving efficiency through the use of adaptive learning systems. One of the systems presented is the partnership between Pearson and Knewton. The Knewton system’s data-collection engine measures the amount of time students spend on particular text, video and graphics; and ties that to how well they do on subsequent tests and assignments. Once the system identifies a pattern, it begins making data-driven content and sequence recommendations for the particular student. Underlying this system is a foundation of learning theory from educational psychology and the use of Bayesian networks to suggest related learning activities. Introductory courses in the Robinson College of Business and the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies have been identified for pairing with Pearson and piloting this system. We will be exploring a similar opportunity in the COE.

We look forward to an academic year in which we set records for student quality, research dollars gained and widening service to our Atlanta community.

Sincerely,
Paul A. Alberto
Interim Dean

 
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