Grey Tales


Tales from an Instructional Technologist in the world of legal education and beyond…

NERCOMP: Educational Technology in Professional and Executive Education: Panel Discussion

Best practices and lessons learned regarding the use of educational technology in professional and executive education

Carla Tishler, Director, Program Innovation, Harvard Business School

Twenty-four person department, part of larger IT organization. 900 students each year with 12 required courses for first-year students. There are 80 electives for second-year students. Executive education has four long programs, 70 + open enrollment courses annually. There are 60 custom programs for Fortune 500 companies. They have action learning resources, games and simulations, assessment tools, tutorials, delivery/support tools, web-based multi-media and learning networks.

Carla demos a case study of Threadless: The Business of Community.

Ken Martin, Manager, Instructional Technology Services, Harvard Law School

There are 1950 students , 460 staff and 170 faculty. There are 1650 JDs, 250 LL.M.s and 50 SJDs. There is a manager of Instructional Technology Services, a Legal Practice Management Systems Analyst, an Instructional Technologist and PITFs. They (we) strive to

  • increase the appropriate adoption of learning technologies,
  • support faculty in their adoption to their degree,
  • fulfill needs with systemic solutions when possible,
  • encourage broad use of best practices,
  • sustainability, stability and trusted resource.


  • raising awareness
  • assessment
  • developing competence and comfort
  • time
  • thinking about teaching
  • “making the case” to lawyers

Core services: PITF program, MyHLS (course management, clinical program support, R&D, custom solutions, consulting and training and documentation.

Clinical programs: There are 15 faculty run programs, 6 student run programs and the number of student placements is approximately 800. They use case management software (time matters) and course sites. HLS students graduate with knowledge of law practice technologies.

HLS library – InfoAdvantage: to help faculty and students connect quickly with key information sources and collaborative effort between instructional technology and HLS reference librarians.

Tova Garcia Duby, Operations and ePlatform Manager, Babson College

They have a group of about 8 people on their team. 3-4 of those 8 are instructional designers. Most of the time is spent on what might be possible with teaching and how they can take it to the next level with technology. They support both the undergraduate and graduate level community. The fast track MBA program is blended meaning partially in the classroom and online.

Mike Krikonis, Academic Technologist, Clark University

There are three members on his team. They partner with the Publishing Consulting Group (PCG). The partnership is a blended MBS program offered by the Graduate School of Management. The curriculum focuses on “applied” skill building. One of the things they think about is ‘how do you get faculty to think about the transition to blended instruction’?

The supported technologies are:

  • learning management systems
  • web conference
  • audio conference
  • video conference
  • streaming media

He reviews two projects:

  1. “Video Vignettes: chapter based tutorials”: small scale video production, tablet PC with camtasia studio, windows streaming services, embedded links in Blackboard
    • didn’t want a talking head so the faculty member used a tablet pc and the lecture was recorded and then the video was edited with annotations of statistical concepts.
  2. “PowerPoint Slides with audio annotations”: publisher provided slideshows, record narration tool
    • faculty could take their PowerPoint slides and record narration right within PPT.

Lessons Learned:

  • faculty find it difficult to transition to online teaching
  • students prefer the use of Webex and Raindance
  • students prefer compressed course structure
  • quantitative courses required more flexibility
  • further growth of blended programs require more technical infrastructure

Gina Siesing, Associate Director for Educational Technology, Tufts University

Educational technology is within the Academic Technology Department within the main IT group (12 members in group). Their mission addresses educational and research needs within the schools. There are three campuses: Boston (medical, dental, science and policy and biomedical sciences), Grafton (veterinary medicine) and Medford/Somerville (engineering, fletcher school of law and diplomacy, arts & sciences and Tisch college for citizenship and public policy).

Core Services:

  • Instructional Design
  • Faculty Development
  • Curriculum/ Program Design and Review
  • Communication / Collaboration Tools
  • VUE Concept & Content Mapping Tool
  • Audience Response System
  • Emerging Technologies R&D
  • Rapid Solution Design & Development

Trends: Programs are conducting strategic planning (matching goals with curricula, and redesigning where needed [with technology where appropriate]), curriculum design and review processes, learning goals and outcomes assessment focus, scholarship of teaching and learning models and audience response systems.

Questions for Panel?

    • Does any group have a governance body?
      • Tova Duby: get their strategic goals from Dean and faculty.
      • Carla Tishler: work directly with faculty and starting to develop a faculty advisory group
    • Metrics? Measurements?
      • Gina: in faculty development programs, speakers bring in tools so faculty can articulate “what is my hypothesis?” and how to conduct research and share with peers.
      • Tova Duby: Fast track is used for alot of cultural changes. After every course is taught, faculty come back and debrief with her team. There are also student surveys around usability and meeting expectations. Then work with managers of instructional design team to make real time changes to continue to enhance programs.


Filed under: Educational Technology, Instructional Technology, , ,

2 Responses

  1. Maximus says:

    I would like to see a continuation of the topic

  2. Prepared says:

    Somehow i missed the point. Probably lost in translation 🙂 Anyway … nice blog to visit.

    cheers, Prepared.

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