Assistant Director of Faculty Assessment
North Texas University at Denton
June 11, 2010
To Whom it May concern:
My name is Dr. Bradley Shope and I was the Coordinator of the Title III Project in the Office of the Provost at St. John’s University in Queens, New York (2005-2008). It has been my privilege to have worked with Dr. Pelham Mead for three years in the U.S. Department of Education Title III grant program. Dr. Mead was the education Technology Specialist, and he and I work closely together on a daily basis. This grant emphasizes exploring the possibilities of technology enhanced pedagogy.
Our main instructional goals are to emphasize the pedagogical aspects of integrating technology, critical thinking and information literacy into classroom instruction. Dr. Mead and I designed the faculty curriculum of training for the Title III grant which includes using Blogs, Websites, podcasting, Electronic Bulletin boards, PowerPoint, wikis, virtual sites and social networking sites. Our initial emphasis on curriculum design was to address the CORE course of Scientific Inquiry and to analyze and rewrite the CORE curriculum with new technology integrated with a pedagogical emphasis. We completed this phase of the grant in 2 ½ years. Our portal at http://www.t3portal.org demonstrates visually many of the curriculum projects we have worked on and the goals and direction of the title III grant.
Dr. Mead and I set up monthly seminars of training for the faculty enrolled in the Title III grant program using best practices and curriculum methods used by the best professors on campus. Nationally recognized education leaders were also invited to conduct two-day seminars on topics such as case study approaches to teaching by Dr. Margaret Waterman (S.E. Missouri Univ.), Dr. Ethel Stanley (Beloit College) and Dr. Dan Bernstein (Univ. of Kansas). We also had Dr. Frank Lopresti from New York University come in and train our faculty in ARCgis mapping software that they could integrate into their pedagogy. All of these instructional technology seminars and workshops have sent a ripple of interest in pedagogy and technology across the many St. John’s campuses.
The T3 Portal mentioned was put together by Dr. Mead, and I to demonstrate online educational sample units, educational materials, and curriculum rewrites that we have completed to date from different academic departments. Dr. Mead strength in understanding grant administration, including this 2.5 million dollar Title III grant, has been invaluable.
To facilitate better communication for St. John’s Faculty, Dr. Mead and I evaluated many programs and decided to test out the Apreso Classroom software for automatic podcasting for a year. The product records faculty lectures remotely from the Faculty Learning Lab computer. We anticipate that podcasting software will be installed in every classroom on campus in Queens, Staten Island, Oakdale, Manhattan and Rome campuses eventually after our trial program.
Dr. Mead and I also had the fortunate opportunity to plan, construct, implement, and evaluate an innovative new classroom training facility in St. Augustine’s Hall (the campus Library building). The Faculty Learning Lab, as it was called, is completely wireless in its design. The tables and chairs are all moveable on wheels to allow different configurations from a U-shaped 25 seat conference table to Collaborative tables seating 5-6 students. The room is also equipped with a computer podium, movie screen, ceiling mounted projector and ceiling mounted speaker system. Dr. Mead oversaw the installation of a Polyvision Electronic Bulletin Board at the front of the Faculty Lab and a walk and talk system on a Flat screen HD 50” TV at the rear of the room. Both technology tools have the capability of copying the screen and saving it to the computer or printing the image immediately. Faculty can draw on the Polyvision Electronic white Board or the Walk and Talk TV module by Polyvision.
We have achieved a lot of success under Dr. Mead’s direction. He has also trained at the University in two online training courses making him eligible to teach online courses and hybrid courses that the University offers. His knowledge of the instructional development methodology has been a major asset to the Title III grant program.
I highly recommend Dr. Mead for any Title III or Title V grant position due to his extensive experience for the past 8 years in these two Federal grants and their policies and assessment systems.
Dr. Bradley Shope, Assistant Assessment Director at N. Texas Univ. at Denton