includes a mounted computer/video projector, large
pull down screen, large digital whiteboard for anno-
tated projection or electronic capture, a
classroom configuration that allows for laptop plug-
in, wireless access for both students and instructors,
and on-demand multi-media playback. The distance
learning mode adds two large plasma video/TV dis-
plays capable of showing students on other campuses,
remote-controlled mounted video cameras, and
microphones for use in videoconferences and for
recording class sessions.
With funds for training and assistance in course
development, also included in the Belzer’s gift, stu-
dents and faculty will be prepared to maximize the
use and impact of these resources. Faculty will then
be able to walk into a classroom, plug-in a laptop or
play other media, without special requests or the
need for a technician to set-up specific resources.
Yet “the e-classrooms are not just about presenting
the material in new ways, but using educational tech-
nology to expand and extend the learning experience,”
says Gregg Alpert. Using these facilities, faculty will
be better able to coordinate, collaborate, and even
team-teach with their colleagues on other campuses,
and students will engage with and learn from esteemed
faculty and their fellow students on all campuses.
Through such inter-campus learning, the e-class-
rooms help HUC-JIR fulfill our vision of
institution/four campuses
promoting excellence in
all of our academic programs and facilitating student
learning and faculty scholarship.
The new Student Information System (SIS), funded
by a generous gift from Nicki and Harold Tanner,
has the power to improve management, organization,
and recruitment for the College-Institute. A single
database holds information for all students, enabling
administrators to track their progress, maintain con-
tact, and provide support at the highest level. The
SIS prospect database enhances contact between
HUC-JIR and prospective students, building
stronger relationships and tracking their interests and
communication with faculty and administrators.
Sakai, an “open-source” online Collaborative Learning
Environment (CLE), provides a powerful set of orga-
nizational, communication, assessment, and pedagogic
tools that allow for enhanced communication among
faculty and students. With this endeavor, HUC-JIR
joins major universities around the world that are
jointly developing such programs. Sakai is being
piloted across all campuses and will be fully available
in the 2008-2009 academic year, as will online regis-
tration for all HUC-JIR courses.
Starting in 2008, applications for all HUC-JIR pro-
grams will also be available online. Students applying
to the rabbinical program had access to an online
application in 2007, enabling a U.S. soldier in
Afghanistan to apply. In the words of Dr. Panken,
Such technological advancements take HUC-JIR’s
ability to recruit, educate, and inspire the next gener-
ation of Reform Jewish leaders to new heights.”
Page 14 |
Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion
Annual Report
E-Learning at HUC-JIR
continued from page 13)
An American Jewish his-
tory class in the electronic
classroom housed in the
The Jewish Foundation of
Cincinnati’s International
Learning Center in the
Edwin Malloy Education
Building at the Jacob Rader
Marcus Center of the
American Jewish Archives.