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May 22, 2003

Two ULM Professors Receive Board of Regents Grants

Dr. Rhonda Adams-Jones, Director of the Teaching and Learning Resource Center, and Dr. Chris Michaelides, Foreign Language Instructor, both at the University of Louisiana at Monroe, have received funding from the Board of Regents Enhancement Fund.

Michaelides' project proposal for the grant was "Multimedia Environments for Foreign Language Instruction and Faculty Development." The funding award of $60,012 will be used to provide ceiling-mounted projectors in main classrooms and the Language Learning Center in addition to new laptop computers for Foreign Language faculty. Instructional material prepared on these lightweight computers, with their standard package of multimedia tools (DVD, CD-ROM, Powerpoint, browser, etc.), now will be easily transportable into the classrooms, complete with wireless internet connectivity. The grant will also allow for significant equipment upgrades for Foreign Language Department staff.

Funding for Adams-Jones' $97,900 project "Impacting Education through Online Teaching and Learning" was also funded through the Education Supplement of the Board of Regents Support Fund Enhancement Program. Proposals funded through this program must demonstrate the potential to enhance educational opportunities and promote higher achievement for all PK-16+ students in Louisiana.

In this project, ULM proposes a yearlong professional development project to train and support university faculty in their development of electronically delivered courses. Project participants will be selected from faculty members who teach courses that enroll preservice teachers. This project enhances the redesign efforts and has three goals. The first is to enhance instruction by preparing and supporting University faculty in the development and delivery of online courses. The second is to support uncertified teachers and paraprofessionals in their efforts to comply with the mandates of No Child Left Behind. The third is to attract individuals to the field of teacher education

To achieve these goals, 15 University faculty members will participate in a week-long training program from July 21-25, 2003. Topics for the training program include online course components, best practices in online learning, and teaching effectively online. A schedule for course development will be established during the summer program, and academic year meetings will be held to confirm progress and provide ongoing support. The courses that are to be developed for electronic delivery are courses required of preservice elementary education majors. These courses will be suitable for individuals seeking certification as a teacher or those seeking certification as a paraprofessional. No Child Left Behind legislation has mandated that these two groups meet certification criteria by the end of the 2005 school year. The courses will also provide an avenue to recruit high school students to the field of education, as they will be available for college credit for this population of potential ULM students.

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