2003 UNC Teaching and Learning with Technology Conference
March 2729, Greensboro, NC
Some discussions were too high tech to be useful for us.
One sit-down dinner would be nice. Also, it might be valuable to have some workshops (maybe 1/2 day) targeted to specific skills aquisition, particularly for more novice faculty.
Put all 45-minute talks on one day and all 20-minute talks on another day so that people can enter and leave talks more gracefully. Limit talk time of the lunch speakers. Include someone from UNC-GA as a lunch speaker who can address faculty issues.
I was disappointed in the Blackboard Interest Group, primarily because it was oriented so strongly toward the technical side of the equation. A group of faculty members (and perhaps instructional technology professionals who do front-line work with faculty) could have spent more time sharing ideas and techniques, and in many cases more experienced faculty could have answered questions for others (and each other) right then and there, as opposed to suggesting sources and planning new groups and meetings. The tech stuff (about Blackboard 6 and its faults, for example) is interesting, but I could have made better use of the time. Maybe there could be two separate interest groups that work together when appropriate? One other thing: I don't want to lose a meeting slot, so this may not be possible, but the 9 a.m. commute from Winston to Greensboro (or through Winston to Greensboro, and probably from the Triangle to Greensboro) is horrendous. Any change that would get us slightly out of rush hour--even a move to 9:30--would be welcome. (Having the food at the end of the day works well to solve this problem in the afternoon.)
For a technology conference, I thought it was odd that we did not have a computer room available to check email. I would certainly be willing to pay a higher registration fee in order to provide this service in the future.
Finalize and post the detailed schedule much sooner.
Arrange for some more Hands-On Workshops
1. Schedule workshops on a weekday rather than Saturday 2. The abstracts were too long, a "purpose" statement would help the audience know if the session was addressing their needs and expectations 3. I had trouble with the program booklet, a short listing of the session titles with the page number of the content would have been helpful 4. The 20 minute sessions were not listed in order, I went to two sessions that were not the ones I selected 5. Print handouts are still useful 6. If print handouts aren't possible, possibly a list of the websites where the handouts are located in the program booklet
No 20 minute sessions! Too short! But 2 hours would've been too long for some as well.
More presentations on the "teaching aspect" and how technology is implemented. Having two presenters back to back in 45 min time frame was too rushed. I think it would be more beneficial giving the speaker 45 minutes.
Eliminate the 20 minute sessions or expand to 30 minutes, or expand poster session offerings.
Do not change format.
Make the shorter sessions a bit longer. Too much a tease and not enough time.
Better Food? Some of us got sick off this years meal.
Arrange preconference hands-on workshops
Notify us of abstract acceptance, presentation dates/times earlier.
I thought the conference was very well organized and I would not suggest doing anything differently.
Give all presenters longer than 20 minutes. This is just not enough time to fully describe the projects and discuss in detail or answer questions. Many of the demos I saw where quite fascinating, but there was not enough time to fully understand them or their implementation.
Just 2 days, a Wednesday/Thursday
Please schedule in more networking/meeting others time. Fifteen minutes is NOT enough. The schedule listing of the 20 minute sessions was confusing. All sessions of the same time duration should be scheduled together - not opposite longer sessions.
Reign in the key-note speakers -- they went far too long for what they were contributing.
Make many of the sessions longer than 20 minutes. Barely time to ask questions. The Q&A is where participants learn a good deal.
It was tough trying to grasp concepts and practices in 20 minute sessions when it would sometimes take that long to explain a process. Maybe try varying session times next year ... especially if it can warrant it within the tracks. Also, with all the ergonomic challenges we are facing with new technologies, it would be great to have an exhibit or session done by a few companies that offer new and proven, ergonomically correct hardware and accessories.
Have a bag that has the TLT Conference information on it. Have buffet style meals Have all workshops and seminars at the convention site (i.e. the Saturday Workshops at UNCG, have them at the convention center as well.)
The physical setting seemed to not encourage networking and people meeting between sessions Didn't see any information (workshops, presentations, etc.)by UNC Faculty Assembly group - where they REALLY co-sponsors?
You did super. I think stereo sound should be standard in some rooms for speakers needing to deliver with the full multimedia experience. In a cutting-edge TLT conference, speakers should not have to worry about pulling hotel staff aside to set up sound at the last minute.
It seems that there needs to be more time for preconference planning.. Adding the vendors greatly reduced the integrity of the conference.. If money is an issue, than UNC GA may need to reevaluate what they hope to gain..
Please don't increase the number of parallel sessions - I'm still feeling bad about how many I had to miss.
Maybe a mini vendor exhibition
Perhaps spread the schedule out a bit. I wanted to attend certain sessions that conflicted with each other.
Perhaps it's cost prohibitive, but have some kind of light activity after supper . . . perhaps some of the speakers could relate funny experiences, show campus facility tours, brainstorm about technological possibilities in the future, discuss untried technologies . . .
Skip the preconference session. Start Registration at noon. That way even WCU folks could drive in that morning. Workshops should be offered as morning options each of the following 2 days of the conference with other regular conference sessions going on at the same time. They should not be seen as adjunct to the conference. Start on Wed and go all day Thursday and intil 2pm on Friday. Schedule the sessions having 20 minute presentations only during the hour before lunch with a 10 minute break after the first to move from one to another. Put the 45 minute sessions opposite one another and not opposite 20 minute sessions. There were many cases where people wanted to see one 20 minute session but not the other or one 20 minute session and a 45 minute session going on at the same time. Have a public internet plug in for those of us without wireless capabilities.
Don't have speakers during lunch. Things were too tight for those folks presenting immediately after lunch on Friday.
registration should be handled earlier notification of speakers was late, making planning difficult
Promote more faculty involvement.
I wish there had been a room for checking email. The schedule for the first day with the 30 minute speech and the 45 minute lunch and then the other speaker talking for another 45 minutes was too long of a span to sit in the main room where lunch was served. Cut the speech time down. The speaker the second day was great. I wasn't very pleased with the food. I think more time was spent on making it look good rather than taste good. I guess I am used to home cooking and would have liked to had chicken grilled or fried, fish, pork, or beef. Some of the food was very blan. Other than the food the academic quality of the conference was great and I love Greensboro and Wilmington as a location.
I FEEL THAT WE COULD PLAY SOME TECHNOLOGY GAME IN THE FORM OF A QUIZ BOWL.
Get the conference information out to potential attendees well in advance. It seemed that for this year everything was not finalized until the last week.
Allow more break times and have facilities available that have wired or wireless connectivity. Also, some sessions should be held at multiple times to allow participants to attend more of what they desire.
I think shorter talks (and therefore more talks) would be more helpful. Some of the 45 min talks could easily have been shortened and still been quite effective. I think more short talks would provide a greater number and variety of ideas and allow participants to come away with more practical suggestions as well as more general ideas. Also, I think I would squeeze talks together more and have fewer long breaks. (For example, plan an hour session with 3 15-20 min talks instead of a 45 min. talk and a 15 min break.)
It would be helpful if you identified the primary audience for whom the session is intended. As a teaching faculty, I found myself sitting in sessions that were more appropriate for IT staff and directors. And it seems that there were not enough sessions intended for non-computer/tech faculty. (I know this is the result of who submits a proposal for presentation, and cannot be easily controlled by you.)
more poster sessions
HAve some of the same workshops presented throughout the day(s). I wanted to attend some of the same workshops that were offered at the same times. However, this is a good problem:)
A list of participants in the handout. An assesment of how technology is enhancing evaluation.
offer some more sessions that reach out and provide useable information for appplication in the classroom. administrative and intra-group research was top-heavy at current conference
I think having 20 minute long workshops doesn't help much. In such short time only surface details about a topic/project can be presented, hence limiting the benefits for the audience.
Ask all presenters to prepare handouts, so don't need to follow up. Have program, incl workshop info posted sooner.
Have a room where attendees can go and check their email and go online. Have a slight (5 min) break between 20 minute presentations.
I know that the conference planners try to be as inclusive as they can about who will present, and the topics. If there is a way to make the 20 minute slots a little longer, it would be very productive for all.
I found the Saturday session to be one of the most rewarding I attended. Unfortunately, Saturday intrudes on personal family time with is becoming more and more valuable. I understand the politics of having an activity on Saturday but I wish the conference could be shifted so the final morning is on a Friday rather than Saturday.
I would suggest choosing a different secondary hotel. The Park Lane was okay, but not stellar. The desk staff, for instance, was rather mediocre and unhelpful. The room (which was billed as non-smoking) had obviously been used for smokers, and the sink was cracked.
Allow payment by account adjustment. Payment by check is cumbersome.
Some of the sessions were frustrating because they were cut to 20 minutes. The 45 minute sessions were more beneficial.
Not sure ...
The Sat. workshops appeared to be too long therefore I did not attend. Have the conference at the mountains or the coast! Greensboro is boring.
Have bottled water constantly available. I find Greensboro water undrinkable, but it would probably do a good job as laundry bleach.
I cannot think of anything that should be done differently next year.
Eliminate a pre-conference workshop and to directly into th workshops. Eliminate Sunday activities.
Allow for a few minutes in between presentations (the 25 minute tracks) so that if you need to move to another room you do not interupt the speaker or audience.
Get the agenda together soon enough to post on the web site so we can decide on participation in the conference and particular events.
I REALLY liked it that we have brought in faculty members. I've enjoyed their presentations and it's nice to see the fruit of their work. However, I feel like the focus has shifted away from the ITC professional. I think that is why I was drawn to the IG sessions. It allowed us to discuss the challenges that we face with working with faculty. IG sessions are a good start, but I would like to see more sessions like Bob's or a how I solved this instructional problem sessions. To facilitate this, it might be nice to designate an ITC track to highlight these sessions.
I'm not sure having the workshops on Saturday is the best time to have them. I recommend putting them in the Thursday morning slot and have people stay Wednesday and Thursday nights. I think you'd have much better attendance at the workshops and possibly longer attendance overall at the conference.
More focus on reusability and learning objects.
Let us know that there will be ports avail for internet connection. Many people did not know this. Also set up email station for folks who do not have laptops. Make sure that tehre are enouygh handouts for all attendees. Make sure that each presenter has handouts for attendees. Standardize handout format. Tehre was no formal wrap-up session. Nit enough people attended hands-ons - not good incentive. Maybe have hands-on sessions at actual conference center? Poster sessions poor. Need free stuff & people standing next to their posters for incentive.
I would like a somewhat shorter conference.
The logistics were very well done. I can't think of a thing to improve it.
More sessions for the Library professionals. and more opportunity for the librarians to gather as an interest group.
Make sure that the conference isn't concurrent with a large conference involving high school (or younger) youth concentrated in the same location. I found it to be very disruptive and disturbing, and was fortunate that I didn't have to share a wall with a group of high school students. But it made it very difficult to use the elevators, sleep, etc. Also, I know that I probably should have asked about it ahead of time, but the TLT conference fell during Lent, and as a catholic, I observe (or try to observe) the practice of not eating meat on Fridays (including chicken). It would have been nice if the menus had been posted ahead of time, so that I would have known that lunch on Friday would have been a problem for me. I think that I saw a thing about arrangements for special dietary considerations when I was registering...but maybe if we had been given a choice of two or three items, that would have helped. I've been at lots of conferences/workshops where lunch isn't "served" per se--and tables are invited up to pick up their "lunch" which is something like a sandwich, fruit, cookie, and chips. I think that I would have preferred that to a pot pie and salad. I was also confused by being charged for non-alcoholic drinks during the receptions, especially since during the afternoon breaks, no one was charged for essentially the same thing. I think it would have been better to charge for the alcoholic beverages only--or at least provide water for free. I would also look at the times allotted to presenters. In most sessions that I attended, I really wanted more time. I would have liked a 30 minute slot, instead of a 20 minute slot, with a designated 5 minute or 10 minute break between, so that it would be easier for people to skip between sessions. Maybe instead of running them opposite 45 minute sessions, they could just be run opposite each other. I think there would have been enough.
No good ideas to present right now.
Please try to get more information about the workshops and overall program online before the conference week. If I had known more about the program, more people in my office might have attended the conference. At least 2 others would have come. The only thing I had to go on in terms of specific programming (for a LONG time) was the overview of the programs from last year. Try not schedule similar topics at the same time in case someone is trying to cover a topic in depth. Get a bigger room so more people can attend or run a popular session twice if you must schedule competing presentations concurrently.
Fewer planned sessions. More time for discussion: during sessions, small groups after session (in same room, perhaps with speaker roaming the groups), etc Were librarians explicitly included in the invitations? If not, it would be good if they are in the future.
The Conference was a great success, but I think longer sessions might be more effective. Many presenters were too rushed and participants had little time for questions and answeres.
Just keep growing as the need seems to be there and will presumably expand as more teaching is tied in several ways (not just online) to technology
Don't schedule the conference at the same hotel as 3000 other high school students.