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Idaho State University receives Technology Incentive Grants to fund MBA outreach program, virtual program for clinical instruction

September 1, 2010
ISU Marketing and Communications

The Idaho State Board of Education has awarded an $81,000 Technology Incentive Grant titled "Technology Enhanced Business Education" to the Idaho State University College of Business and a $65,700 TIG grant titled "Growing Your Own: Developing a Virtual Classroom for Clinical Instruction in Rural Idaho."

Additional details on the two grants follow.

• "Technology Enhanced Business Education." The primary objective of this project is to increase student access to core business classes, including those needed by beginning Master of Business Administration students, in order to support economic development and workforce training for potential students throughout east Idaho.

This project will utilize an array of innovative technologies, including Web conferencing, on-demand video recordings, and asynchronous technologies in business "core" courses to make them accessible to students in underserved areas.

The principal investigator is Joanne Tokle, Idaho State University College of Business MBA program faculty director. 

"We are expanding the number of classes we offer online to help people who have scheduling issues," Tokle said. "And we want to incorporate better technologies for all of our online classes. Eventually, we want to get all of our core classes online, and this grant helps us take a major step toward that goal."

The ISU College of Business plans to increase its online offerings from five classes to 10 classes.

Offering online classes is a great benefit for people with busy schedules or for people living in outlying areas such as Soda Springs or Burley," Tokle said. "Students in outlying areas don’t have to drive here to Pocatello, and with web conferencing and other asynchronous interaction it improves the quality of the classes for the students."

For more information on these online classes or the ISU MBA program, contact Tokle at (208) 282-2934

"Growing Your Own: Developing a Virtual Classroom for Clinical Instruction in Rural Idaho."  The principal investigators are Kathleen Kangas, chair of the ISU Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders and Ramesh Ramloll, research assistant for the ISU Institute of Rural Health. 

This proposal provides a critical element to the clinical instruction of speech-language pathologists in rural Idaho, specifically, development of a virtual classroom for use in the online master’s degree program.

Virtual reality training is an established method of providing direct interactive experience for individuals at remote geographic sites. Under this project students will be directly supervised by speech-language pathologists in the field at their geographical sites.  They will receive on-site, intense clinical instruction from an ISU-based clinical faculty member who meets weekly with each student to discuss cases, view their clinical videos, and provide clinical process instruction.

Through the virtual environment, individuals can interact with each other in pairs or groups by means of avatars. The virtual classroom will enable significantly greater interaction, including presentation of clinical videos, formal presentations by faculty or students and group discussions, erasing the very real gap between rural and urban settings.

This project funds development of a replicable virtual classroom, providing a model for expansion of this classroom to other virtual educational settings at ISU.

The Idaho State Board awarded a third TIG to ISU for the 2010-11 that was for $135,700 and was titled "Education Modules Using Virtual Museum and Collections for K-12 and University Instruction in Idaho History and Culture." That grant was the subject of another ISU release posted online at http://tortilla.isos.isu.edu/?p=2707.





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