Call Number, Volume 70, Number 2, Fall 2011 Page: 4

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Dean's Column

Hard as it is for me to believe, in my 20 years
at UNT, an entire generation has been born and
p graduated from college. That makes these young
people, in contemporary jargon, digital natives
and me a digital immigrant. That would be an
unsettling thought if I didn't also know that
we-the faculty-have been growing along with
For all of the fast and flashy advancements
in technology in those two decades, one thing
Linda Schamber has remained the same: our reputation for
being technology-savvy. I was pleased to see that
validated on at least four occasions this fall. One was an inquiry from a dean
at another university about that university's students taking our technology
courses. Another was questions to COI from a newspaper reporter seeking
expert opinions about online instruction.Two more examples were the choice
of COI researchers by UNT to test new research software applications, and
the starring role of COI as primary sponsor of Places & Spaces, a large
touring exhibit of scientific visualizations (see pgs. 12-13).
One aspect of the technology theme of this issue is distributed learning.
Both College of Information departments were pioneers in distributed
learning at UNT, putting their first courses online in 1997-98. Library &
Information Sciences jumped in with Dr. Philip Turner at its helm (see
pg. 8) and Learning Technologies with its computer-based approach to

instruction. COI is consistently the top producer of online delivery at UNT,
with 24% (3,787) of Internet enrollments in Fall 2011. Faculty members use
at least two dozen systems and applications for instruction, from learning
management systems (Blackboard, Moodle, Sakai) to communication and
collaboration tools, to grading and course-specific tools. And that doesn't
count the research software used by faculty outside their courses.
Unfortunately, distributed learning is still misunderstood, even by
some digital immigrants. As anyone who has taken online courses knows,
the content and rigor are comparable across delivery modes, but the human
interaction level is typically higher, with daily emails and discussions instead
of lulls between classes. Undoubtedly the most appealing feature for students
is the convenience of online, and that in turn appeals to the college, because it
allows us to attract and serve more students in the U.S. and abroad.
But online is hardly the whole picture. We continue to offer web-
based, blended, and traditional classroom courses, with elements of video,
social media, and even virtual reality in the mix. And all that is in addition
to extracurricular events such as speakers and workshops to boost students'
professional knowledge and networking. In short, the departments share a
culture of innovation and variety in teaching and a commitment to providing
a mix to suit students' needs. This kind of leadership is just one of the ways
our college does us proud.
Linda Schamber
COI Acting Dean

Information and Research Analysis Lab Received Sponsor

Dr. Kim Nimon, director of the Information
and Research Analysis (IRA) Lab, and Victoria
Martinsen, College of Information Development
Associate, are pleased to announce that FISH
Technologies, Addison, TX, has agreed to be a
sponsor of the Lab. FISH Technologies works
with brands, and agencies that support brands, to
deploy immersive media technologies that collect
real-time actionable data. This data is leveraged
to strengthen brand relationships, drive return
on investment, and understand the impact of
experimental marketing.
In recognition of their financial
contribution, the IRA Lab will be supporting
FISH Technologies by researching the value of
social media marketing and its relationship to

information behavior. The partnership between
the IRA Lab and FISH Technologies is the first
of many such relationships to be developed in the
For more information about the IRA Lab or
to sponsor the Lab, please contact Kim Nimon
at or Victoria Martinsen at
The mission of the new Information
Research and Analysis (IRA) Lab is to advance
best practices in research and analysis methods
and to facilitate the interdisciplinary research
endeavors of the faculty, staff, and students within
the College of Information. In addition, reach is
extended beyond COI by way of a web-based
repository of best practices and techniques by
offering fee-based services
to non-profit and for-profit
Dr. Kim Nimon, an
assistant professor in the
Department of Learning
Technologies, serves as
lab director. A corporate
veteran of the high-tech
* industry, Dr. Nimon is
committed to teaching
" and applying methods that
bridge the gap between
research and practice.
Her research agenda
focuses on improving
human performance
through the practice of
workplace spirituality,

the measurement and evaluation of employee
attitudes, and the development of quantitative
statistical methodologies to evaluate human
performance technology interventions. Her work
has been published in journals such as American
Journal of Evaluation, Behavior Research Methods,
Human Resource Development International,
Human Resource Development Review, Human
Resource Development Quarterly, Journal of
Management, Spirituality
& Religion, and
Multivariate Behavioral "
Research. She provides
leadership for several
national professional \
organizations and serves
on the editorial review
board for a number of
peer-reviewed publica-
Amanda Kraha, Amanda Kraha
who is serving as the research consultant for
IRA Lab, is a doctoral candidate in experimental
psychology at UNT. She double majored in
psychology and sociology at Arkansas Tech
University, where she received her bachelor's
degree in 2007. Amanda is active in psychological
advocacy and is currently serving a two-year
term on the science committee of the American
Psychological Association of Graduate Students.
Her research interests include prejudice and
discrimination, autobiographical memory, and
quantitative methods. Her research has been
featured in various news outlets including msnbc.
com and The Today Show.

- 4 call number fall 2011

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University of North Texas. College of Information. Call Number, Volume 70, Number 2, Fall 2011, periodical, Autumn 2011; Denton, Texas. ( accessed July 21, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library,; crediting UNT College of Information.