Support for Technologies



Patricia Harris

Debbie Krumtinger
Group Support

Holly Antosz, PC         Florence Landon, MCC
Al Battle, PC            Cynthia Leshin, DIST
Jerry Baxter, PVCC       Paul Maxson, GCC
David Bonnici, MCC       Irwin Noyes, SCC
Cindy Cloud, PC          Catherine Osborne, DIST
Frances Colley, DIST     Donna Ransom, SMCC
Joyce Elsner, GCC        Charles Sessions, SCC
Marian Gibney, PC        Cynthia Viera, PC
Chrystle Hall, DIST      Emma Walters, SCC
Susan High, GCC          Chuck West, GCC
Alan Jacobs, SCC         Roger Yohe, EMCCC
Edward Kelty, RSCC       Paula Yslas, DIST


Focus on the District's need for preparing people to use technology and provisions for support for these users. Examination of Support for Technologies this year surrounds technology pioneers and college leadership/support.


These are exciting times. Recent advances in technology have given us a host of wonderful, new tools for instruction. These tools are technological gifts we should accept graciously; gifts we must learn to use.

This year's report will mention some of the college technology innovators, leaders and support centers. The report focuses on showcasing their innovation, implementation, delivery method, and "tools" for instruction. This report is not inclusive of all of the pioneers in our District who initially brought the tools of technology into the classroom. However, it does portray the vision, leadership, and support of a few who started this process.

The final meeting for the Support for Technologies committee this year was held over the Video Conference Network. The discussion was open to all members of the college community to discuss:

From those attending, the committee heard concerns regarding: technical assistance and support, resource allocation, curriculum design and delivery, student advising, and support issues regarding implementation of technology for students.

Although this year's report did not deal with these issues, the committee felt that these were valid concerns which should be examined by future Support for Technologies committees. In fact, due to the significance of the issues discussed, they may warrant inclusion in the charge for the next Support for Technologies committee.

What follows is a portrait of visionaries expressing an alternate form of delivery for their discipline. Their stories include what technology they had to learn themselves in order to advance their dreams, what college/district resources were employed, and what instructional implications for learning their creativity has brought to education. We thank them for sharing their creativity with us.


I. Project Description:

This project involves the development of a HyperCard-based set of simulations of the classical Split-brain Studies conducted by Michael Gazzaniga and Roger Sperry on humans during the late 1960s. Students will manipulate both stimulus and response parameters in preparation for the actual "conducting" of any one of a series of experiments. Scanned images, animation and real voice presentations will render the simulations as life-like as possible.

Students will also be required to hypothesize about the results of their manipulations prior to "conducting" each study. Students will formulate general conclusions about the distribution of brain functions based on their observations in these experiments. Psychology 101 students will "conduct" these experiments in the SCC open computer lab.

II. Product

There are several areas in introductory psychology, like the split-brain studies, that are quite complex and conceptual. A fifty-minute class period is often not enough time for all students to grasp the conceptual material. Furthermore, students should learn the process of science: how researchers formulate hypotheses, how variables are manipulated to test these hypotheses, and how conclusions, based on observations, are drawn. These factors inspired the development of this project.

HyperCard was the program chosen for several reasons. Other faculty on the SCC college (Don Snow, Mike Morgan, Alan Jacobs) have used it to develop highly successful programs. HyperCard is highly interactive and visual, easy to use, and is very effective. HyperCard has been called a "Software Erector Set:" all basic components are in HyperCard; just build the product. HyperCard was also the most logical choice because of its availability and its ability to run on the computers available in the open computer lab.

III. Process:

This project took approximately two years and like any other project is "never" finished. The first year, 1991-92, involved developing the idea, planning the process, and building the HyperCard program. During the second year, 1992-93, the program was piloted for student use in Psychology 101, evaluated by the students, as a result, improvements and revisions were made.

This project is one of a series of nine or ten exercises in a computer-based psychology lab to be implemented in the Fall of 1993. Two of the exercises are Bernie's HyperCard programs, PREPNR and this project, Split-brain Studies. Seven exercises are from a commercial program which has been evaluated by twenty volunteer students this year. The feedback has been very positive. During the 1993 summer, Bernie will be writing a manual which will integrate the psychology lab into the Psychology 101 curriculum.

IV. Effectiveness:

The objectives of the project have been effectively accomplished and the anticipated outcomes attained. Generally, the students who completed the lab experiments achieved better scores in the course than those who did not complete the lab experiments. However, the evaluation data from the students was mostly based on questions such as the following:

The students' responses were very positive and the lab will become a required part of the course in the fall of '93. The students liked the program and wished there was more of it. They liked the opportunity to work in a medium that offers practical experience rather than lecture. There is not enough time in class to perform experiments. Computers give students the opportunity to experience a scientific approach to the discipline.

V. Training:

Before beginning this project, Bernie studied HyperCard on his own since there was no HyperCard training available anywhere in the District. He then developed a simple HyperCard tutorial program called PREPNR which helps students master four behavior modification (operant conditioning) principles.

VI. Outcomes:

The use of computers is presently the only way to effectively give large numbers of students "experience" with concepts. The students "loved it" and felt it added a dimension to their learning that they would otherwise not have had. Many of the students said they would have done the lab even if they had not received extra credit. Many of them voluntarily repeated the lab as review for tests. Bernie has also found that students sometimes do these computer exercises in "pairs," collaborating on the correctness of their responses, which facilitates learning.

Bernie would like to continue to develop software if resources are available and is willing to mentor colleagues who wish to develop other HyperCard programs.

VII. SCC Technology Resources:

SCC is in the process of creating an Instructional Technology Development Center. Sharon Blanton, Coordinator of Instructional Technology, was hired July 1, 1992. Since then, SCC acquired a videodisc player, a thirteen inch preview monitor, a barcode reader, a color flatbed scanner, a CD-ROM drive, and some development software. The videodisc player is available for faculty to check out and use in the classroom.

Faculty interested in incorporating technology into classroom instruction are encouraged to meet with Sharon to discuss their plan. Currently, there is no funding available to hire technical assistance or to purchase additional equipment.