Advanced Search


1999 (3)
2000 (21)
2001 (17)
2002 (37)
2003 (23)
2004 (36)
2005 (52)
2006 (47)
2007 (10)
Announcements (161)
Features (21)
In The News (80)
Press Release (10)

Archive Category: 2003

In The News:
Columbia's Center for New Media, Teaching and Learning Supports Digital Innovation in Classroom-Based Teaching and Learning

USC Learning Edge, December 2003. "We are living in the middle of one of three great transformations of Western civilization, a move to digital technologies that is changing the way almost all human transactions take place -- from the economic, to the political, to the educational," said Dr. Frank Moretti, Executive Director of the Columbia Center for New Media Teaching and Learning (CCNMTL) and Professor of Communications at Teachers College. The University of Southern California (USC) Center for Scholarly Technology highlights the efforts of CCNMTL. See full article.

C250 Event : "Digital Media in Education: A Time for Invention" POSTPONED

Nov. 21, 2003. This full-day event has been postponed until September 2004. However, the CCNMTL staff will be conducting a two hour presentation on Wednesday, December 10th in the Butler Library Rm. 523 from 10:00AM until noon. Refreshments will be provided.

Please RSVP by December 5th to Sherry Mayo, or 212-854-0205.

CCNMTL Presents at 2003 Educause Conference in Anaheim"

Nov. 17, 2003. Peter Sommer, Director of Education, represented the Columbia Center for New Media Teaching and Learning (CCNMTL) in Track 3 of the 2003 Educause Conference in Anaheim, California. Sommer presented a paper entitled, "Building to Learn: A New Paradigm for Design Research and Assessment." Educause is a national conference in education technology and one of the best attended in the field.

To view abstract and associated Web pages please see links below.

'Building to Learn...' Abstract

Educause 2003: Track

Design Research at CCNMTL

Client Survey Report

October 27, 2003. In the spring of 2003 CCNMTL conducted a client survey. The goals of the survey were to measure the quality of our service activities, to learn what modes of outreach have been effective, to improve current services, and to determine new directions. Three hundred randomly selected clients were sent an invitation to participate in a 20-minute in-person survey interview; 68 participated in the study. Please see link to pdf of the CCNMTL Service Survey Report below.

CCNMTL Service Survey Report

Press Release:
New Media in Education Conference at Columbia

October 7, 2003. On September 26th in Low Memorial Library, the Columbia Center for New Media Teaching and Learning (CCNMTL) and its faculty partners presented a series of innovative teaching approaches employing new media tools to an enthusiastic audience. Over two hundred people attended this year's conference, representing a cross-disciplinary array of faculty, technical specialists, and librarians both inside and outside the University.

The conference highlighted faculty panels constructed around approaches to teaching with new media, including "Third Spaces for Learning," "Using Multimedia Case Studies to Promote Focused Learning," and "Simulations as an Educational Tactic." These approaches have been applied across disciplines and have initiated new conversations between faculty regarding strategies for applying the distinctive properties of electronic spaces and instruments to particular challenges in teaching. Kiosks throughout the Rotunda gave attendees the opportunity to spend time with CCNMTL's Educational Technologists and experiment with a variety of new media projects. The workshops focused on scientific computing and visualization, the Courseworks course management system, and the use of digital video in the classroom.

Opening with remarks from Provost Alan Brinkley and University Librarian James Neal, this full-day conference incorporated faculty presentations, project kioks, and hands-on workshops. Neal placed the conference in the context of several pressing issues facing academic policy makers nationwide. "This transformation in higher education and response to preceived expansive markets for networked learning," he stated, "challenges the academy to rethink its nature and role. The electronic campus demands rampant digital content creation, new strategies for information storage and management, more sophisticated search and query techniques, dependable and secure distribution and access systems, and new approaches in rights management."

The goal of this conference was to share various strategies for incorporating new media technologies into teaching practices throughout the University. In the two years since CCNMTL's last conference there have been an increase in the number of its faculty partnerships and further advances in the application of new media. For streaming video of the conference presentations see link below.

New Media in Education Conference

Press Release

Director's Notebook Released

September 22, 2003. CCNMTL has released the first iteration of Director's Notebook, in partnership with Nicholas T. Proferes, a film professor at the School of the Arts. This environment aids students in conceptualization, planning, and visualization activities involved in the film directing process. The Director's Notebook project provides a digital workspace and activities to help students envision their films with clarity supported by a step-by-step film directing methodology outlined in Proferes' text, Film Directing Fundamentals: From Script to Screen.

Director's Notebook

Climate Prediction Project Released

September 8, 2003. Seasonal Climate Prediction for Regional Scales was developed in partnership with the International Research Institute (IRI) and Neil Ward. In this project, students learn to apply global climate forecast models to local environments through an online text, figures, and exercises that use a custom online mapping environment based on GrADS (Grid Analysis and Display System) software developed by the Institute for Global Environment and Society at the Center for Ocean-Land-Atmosphere Studies.

Seasonal Climate Prediction for Regional Scales

Press Release:
The Association of American Colleges and Universities Selects Brownfield Action as a Model Course

June 20, 2003. The Association of American Colleges and Universities (AACU) has selected Brownfield Action and its curriculum as one of its four SENCER models for 2003. The SENCER models are defined as a "course or program [that] teaches science that is both challenging and rigorous." The SENCER, Science Education for New Civic Engagements and Responsibilities, program is an NSF-funded major activity of the AACU.

Brownfield Action is an interactive simulation developed with Professor Peter Bower for use in his course "Introduction to Environmental Science" at Barnard College. The simulation and Dr. Bower's curriculum will become a national model that will benefit other science educators over the next five years.

Brownfield Action was first deployed in the fall of 1999. A major revision based on evaluation results was completed in time for the fall 2000 semester. The simulation enables students to conduct investigations of a suspected contamina
ted land site. The interactive study space captures much of the experience of an actual field investigation, including citizen interviews, financial constraints, and use of investigative and data-collecting tools. Students, working in pairs, assume the roles of environmental consulting companies and research the site to determine the presence, extent, and probable cause of any contamination. According to Dr. Bower, the Brownfield Action challenges students to integrate different forms of knowledge from the fields of geology, chemistry, physics, biology, history, civics, and law; at the end of the semester, Dr. Bower's students have an increased appreciation of the complexity of real-world environmental problems.

Press Release

Press Release:
Faculty Partners Recognized for Teaching Excellence

June 17, 2003. The Columbia Center for New Media Teaching and Learning (CCNMTL) is proud to have partnered with Nicholas Turro, Lawrence Engel, and Amy Fairchild, three of the five recipients of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Teaching at the 2003 Columbia University Commencement Ceremony. All three were recognized for successfully incorporating new media technologies in their teaching.

Nicholas Turro, the William P. Schweitzer Professor of Chemistry and Professor of Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry, has been a long-time partner of CCNMTL. During the award presentation, Columbia University President Lee Bollinger described Turro as "an influential curricular innovator and tireless promoter of the use of new digital technologies to enhance instruction and learning." In a discussion shortly after receiving his award, Professor Turro credited CCNMTL with "helping me ask questions of students throughout my course to gain feedback." He further stated that he would like to contribute to a scholarly view of this method as a means "to entice other faculty to embrace new media technologies in their teaching practice."

Larry Engel, Adjunct Professor in the School of the Arts, and CCNMTL recently completed the creation of a multimedia tool called the Deconstructor , which enables students to do a shot-by-shot analysis of film scenes by identifying dozens of elements related to cinematic structure. Professor Engel worked with CCNMTL to conceptualize and develop the Deconstructor as an integrated component of his course. "The Web tool gave me what I needed," he stated, "to improve what my students could learn about the specific structure of film -- it's sequence of shots that essentially convey the meaning, the mood, the actual narrative of the medium."

Amy Fairchild, Assistant Professor of Sociomedical Sciences, has incorporated many new media technologies into her teaching of history, health, and ethics in urban environments. President Bollinger credited Fairchild by stating, "She co
mbines the best of what teachers have always done in and out of the classroom with the imaginative use of the most advanced computer-based instructional strategies." She has frequently consulted CCNMTL in the use of the CU Analyzer and the SlideShow Maker in her lectures, tools created and supported by CCNMTL.

CCNMTL is honored to have such exemplary partners willing to explore the use of technology and new media in the classroom.

Press Release

CCNMTL Featured in Eduventures' CXO Monthly Newsletter

June 10, 2003. CCNMTL was featured in the June issue of CXO Monthly, an e-publication providing news and analysis to senior higher education executives. In the article entitled "In Practice: Columbia University Innovates with Applied Digital Media," Peter Stokes, CEO of Eduventures, describes CCNMTL as a successful example of fostering a culture of use in a skeptical market.

Full Article: In Practice..

In The News:
Environmental Sustainability Through GIS: An Online E-Seminar for Higher Education by Ryan Kelsey and Mark Becker, URISA Journal: Urban and Regional Information Systems Association

Vol.15, No.1, 2003

This article discusses the development of an online e-seminar that uses a geographic information system as the basis for its major activities. Students of the seminar explore the concept of environmental sustainability in a conference-style format with the perspectives of nine Columbia University faculty members affiliated with the Center for International Earth Science Information Network. Students experience innovative presentations from each faculty member, participate in online forums, and complete online activities using a customized mapping tool with data from the Environmental Sustainability Index. The activities are designed to engage the student as an active participant in exploring environmental sustainability.

Commencement Broadcast Archives Now Available

May 27, 2003. The archives for the 249th Commencement broadcast and Class Day broadcasts are now available for on-demand viewing. Additionally, we have provided a download option for those that want to have a personal copy of the broadcasts.

Commencement 2003 Broadcast

Media Archive: Prior Commencement Broadcasts

CCNMTL Presents at the Education, Technology and Curriculum Summit

May 19, 2003. CCNMTL participated in both the Higher Education and K-12 Summit at Columbia University. Eduventures launched the conference at CCNMTL with a virtual tour attended by a variety of educational technologists from universities around the country. Dr. Frank Moretti presented, "Reinventing Education with New Media," and moderated "Digital Media in Columbia's Educational Program: A Faculty Perspective." Peter Sommer Director of Education participated in a panel on professional development for K-12 teachers.

Education, Technology and Curriculum Summit

CCNMTL Presents at 21st Century Campus Conference

April 30, 2003. Dr. Frank Moretti and Maurice Matiz presented at the 21st Century Campus: How Internet Technologies are Transforming Higher Learning Industry Summit for Higher Education hosted by Cisco Systems at Stanford University. The conference was dedicated to how technology has transformed education and where it will be going next. CCNMTL presented "Digital Media and Education at Columbia: A Time for Invention." Conference attendees comprised CIO, university presidents and IT directors from Europe, Asia, Australia, and North America.

21st Century Campus: How Internet Technologies are Transforming Higher Learning

URISA Journal: Environmental Sustainability Through GIS

April 17, 2003. Published in a special education issue of the Urban Regional Information Systems Association (URISA) Journal, this paper describes the pedagogical strategies used in a CCNMTL e-seminar, "Environmental Sustainability: Perspectives on the World." The refereed paper was written by, Ryan Kelsey (CCNMTL) and Mark Becker (CIESIN), and it explores potential benefits of GIS tools for the teaching and learning of environmental science. (URISA Journal Vol.15 No.1)

URISA Journal

CCNMTL presents VITAL at TC Tech Demo Day

April 03, 2003. The planners of the annual Teachers College Tech Demo Day asked CCNMTL to participate by providing two kiosks: one for CCNTML general information and one for VITAL. David Miele, Gordon Campbell, Dan Beeby, and Sherry Mayo conducted guided tours of VITAL (Video Interactions for Teaching and Learning) for approximately ten faculty and a dozen graduate students.

Midnight's Children MSE Released Today

March 21, 2003. The Midnight's Children Multimedia Study Environment (MSE) has been released to the Columbia University community. The Midnight's Children MSE provides students the opportunity to gain a richer understanding of Salman Rushdie's acclaimed novel, the play derived from it, and the historical and cultural context in which the story is set. The MSE provides a wealth of related content including reflections from Rushdie, Columbia faculty, and members of the Royal Shakespeare Company.

The release has been anticipated by eleven courses that are using the MSE this spring semester. This first release also coincides with the ongoing Midnight's Children Humanities Festival and the performances at the Apollo Theatre.

Faculty interested in using the MSE for their courses should contact Cynthia Lawson, the MSE project manager, at

Midnight's Children Multimedia Study Environment

VITAL, Video Interactions for Teaching and Learning Released by CCNMTL

March 14, 2003. CCNMTL and Herbert Ginsburg, professor of psychology and education, have created an interactive learning environment for education and psychology students. In spring 2003, this Web-based application, Video Interactions for Teaching and Learning (VITAL), was first deployed in Professor Ginsburg's "Development of Mathematical Thinking" course at Teachers College.

The VITAL environment allows students to use a digital video library carefully chosen to reflect the educational goals of the course, to construct a series of weekly essays that foster understanding of the course concepts and that can be shared with other students who have completed the assignment. The video library includes over fifty interviews, observations and classroom lessons that Ginsburg has archived over the past twenty years. All students maintain a workspace containing their essays and edited video clips that help illustrate their observations and buttress their arguments. The videos are embedded as hyperlinks within the essays.

"Allowing students not only to view, but also to actively manipulate and comment on selected video clips in preparation for our classes has transformed my teaching and, I believe, my students' understanding of the course content," notes Ginsburg. "Developing the VITAL tool with CCNMTL has helped me to reflect on the educational goals of the course, and has resulted in an educational technology that allows me to teach my subject matter more effectively."

For many years, Ginsburg had successfully incorporated video in his courses through an assortment of VHS tapes that showed children engaged in "everyday mathematics," students grappling with mathematical problems and reflecting on their methods of solution, and teachers presenting mathematics instruction. VITAL now allows Ginsburg easy access to the video segments of interest. It also provides his students the opportunity to review the videos at will and to embed segments within essays so as to provide evidence for hypotheses and arguments.

Using a Design Research approach to develop VITAL required the documenting of decisions and hypotheses that led to the final design. In weekly meetings the CCNMTL project manager, David VanEsselstyn, Ginsburg and two teaching assistants brainstormed and discussed issues related to the course. Present at every meeting was a CCNMTL Design Research Fellow who captured goals, hypotheses, and ideas from each meeting.

After amassing an understanding of the educational issues, a technical framework for a system addressing the educational objectives was developed. As the framework became further defined, the team began developing the course syllabus and student assignments with VITAL specifically in mind.

The technical framework for VITAL includes an authentication system and a set of database tables to keep track of every student's effort, including maintaining markers to track student progress through the weekly assignments. The video library is stored on a media server, but all information related to the video excerpts used by the student is maintained with the student's profile. A simple essay editing and preview tool is also integrated into the system.

Three times during the semester, students were asked to evaluate key aspects of the VITAL system by responding to open-ended questionnaires. The data were analyzed in an attempt to identify successes and failures in the system as well as in the design process. Because Design Research endeavors to develop hypotheses and goals throughout the design process, the evaluation exercise allows the project team to tie results to ideas articulated in the project design. The results of the evaluation can then inform the design of similar educational technology projects.

Video Interactions for Teaching and Learning

Symposium on Assessment and Evaluation Showcases Existing Tools

March 03, 2003.The Columbia Center for New Media Teaching and Learning (CCNMTL) held a symposium for Columbia faculty on February 18th to discuss resources and tools used in the evaluation of teaching practice. Educational Technologist Liliana Pinto demonstrated three different assessment tools: Individual Development Educational Assessment (I.D.E.A.) Students Rating of Instruction System; the test, quiz, and survey features of CourseWorks@Columbia; and Flashlight.

The I.D.E.A. system, developed at Kansas State University, compares course objectives and student comments to similar courses in the I.D.E.A. database to suggest specific teaching strategies to improve learning outcomes.

The test and survey section in CourseWorks can be used to create and implement different assessment strategies about both course activities and student understanding of particular topics. CourseWorks provides tabulated results of student scores and a distribution of class responses.

The Flashlight Program is a collection of tools and resources to develop plans for evaluating and improving the educational uses of technology. One of its main resources is the "Current Student Inventory," an indexed archive of 500 questions for drafting surveys, questionnaires, and protocols for interviews and focus groups. It includes an evaluation handbook that provides guidance for creating studies, readings, resources, case studies, bibliographies, and related Web sites. Columbia University has a license to use Flashlight resources.

For more information on the symposium or any of the tools presented, including access to the Flashlight Program, please contact Lilana Pinto ( at 212.854.0207.

See more on I.D.E.A.: Track

See more on uses of CourseWorks

See more on Flashlight

See more on American Association for Higher Education, Assessment Forum

See more on ERIC Clearinghouse for assessment, evaluation, assessment, and research information: Track

See more on The Free Assessment Summary Tool (F.A.S.T.): Track

In The News:
Center for New Media Teaching & Learning Set Sights on Midnight's Children Program, Columbia University RECORD

Through hands-on research and international collaboration, the Center for New Media Teaching and Learning (CNMTL), has developed a new multi-media educational application in conjunction with Salman Rushdie's Midnight's Children. For more info see the Midnight's Children MSE.

Article: Columbia University Record - Center for New Media Teaching and Learning Set Sights on 'Midnight's Children' Program

Columbia Center for New Media Teaching and Learning (CCNMTL) joins the Information Services Division

January 31, 2003. Columbia's Center for New Media Teaching and Learning (CCNMTL) has joined the University's Information Services Division, which also includes the University Libraries, the Electronic Publishing Initiative at Columbia (EPIC), the Center for Research on Information Access (CRIA), and Academic Information Systems (AcIS). The move of CCNMTL to the Information Services Division signals the University's commitment to the Center as an important educational and research unit at Columbia.

Frank Moretti, CCNMTL Executive Director, said, "By becoming part of Information Services we, CCNMTL, are now closer to those who have been our strategic partners from the beginning." He continued, "We are excited by the new possibilities that this close relationship allows, as we continue the process with our faculty collaborators of discovering and inventing purposeful uses of digital media in the university's educational programs. At the Center, we have already established a very strong working relationship with Jim Neal and his team and foresee many opportunities for extending and enhancing our common efforts."

Jim Neal, Vice President for Information Services and University Librarian at Columbia, predicts "an outstanding partnership among our now expanded family of electronic pedagogy, electronic publishing, research and development, academic computing and network services, and digital libraries." He added, "The beneficiaries of bringing CCNMTL into the larger Information Services organization will be our students and faculty who will see new and expanded initiatives and innovation in educational technology and learning design."

Columbia Center for New Media Teaching and Learning (CCNMTL) is a service of Columbia University whose goal is to enhance teaching and learning through the purposeful use of new media. We form partnerships with faculty, providing them with as much support as they need in everything from the construction of course Web sites to the development of more advanced projects. CCNMTL is committed to remaining a leader in its field, engaging with its faculty partners in the reinvention of education for the digital age.

The Information Services Division at Columbia University includes Academic Information Systems (AcIS), the Columbia Center for New Media Teaching and Learning (CCNMTL), the Center for Research on Information Access (CRIA), Electronic Publishing Initiative at Columbia (EPIC), and the University Libraries.

CCNMTL goes to the U.K. to interview the RSC and film rehearsals

January 21, 2003. CCNMTL staff traveled to London, England to witness the final preparation for Midnight's Children's adaptation to the stage by the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC). The CCNMTL crew went behind the scenes, taping rehearsals and off-stage interviews with director Tim Supple, designer Melly Still, and key members of the creative team, gathering important artifacts for the development of the multi-media study environment (MSE). CCNMTL also captured the technical and full dress rehearsal in preparation for the preview opening of Midnight's Children, which took place last Saturday evening, January 18, at the Barbican Centre in London. In the production itself, the RSC used archival footage that was researched by CCNMTL.

In partnership with the Columbia University, School of the Arts, the CCNMTL is constructing a rich MSE based on Salman Rushdie's prize-winning novel, Midnight's Children. The MSE will enhance the understanding and appreciation of this significant work by adding context to selected text through direct links to glossaries of concepts and terms, significant web sites, profiles of relevant figures, scholarly commentary, archival historical footage, and artwork. The collaborative efforts of the School of the Arts, the RSC and the University Musical Society of the University of Michigan will bring this work to the stage of the Apollo Theater in Harlem in March. Beyond the stage, this MSE serves multiple cross-disciplinary courses throughout the University. Using the text of the novel and the play as frames, it presents Columbia faculty as commentators: the turning points of South Asian history, literary commentary, dramaturgic critique, and the process of adapting the novel to the stage, as well as the play itself.

Professor Neguin Yavari from Columbia's Religion Department, will be using the Midnight's Children MSE in her Religion, Gender & Literature: Muslim Women Write Islam course at Columbia this spring. As she states in speaking about her spring course syllabus:

"The Midnight's Children project focuses on a novel rooted in a specific locality at a certain juncture in history and yet invites questions and raises issues directly relevant to the interplay of religion and culture in different spheres and contexts And last but not least, it promises to exploit one of the web's most useful assets, its capability to respond to different users and provide for different needs. I therefore look forward to using the project with my students and am hoping to learn as much from their reactions as my own."

The MSE has broad interdisciplinary application and will also be used in Professor Anupama Rao's Political Modernity in South Asia, in the History Department at Barnard; Narrative and Identity: Rushdie's Midnight's Children, a Comparative Literature course, taught by Professor Deborah A. Martinsen and instructor John Frankfurt; and in Constructing Digital Educational Communities: Midnight's Children a Case Study in Self-Education at Teachers College. Distinguishing features of the MSE include Rushdie's video commentary, interviews with director Tim Supple and other creative artists on the stage production team, and interviews with Columbia University faculty whose expertise complements and enhances the understanding of Rushdie's work and the cultural history of South Asia. These Columbia faculty conversations include Peter Awn, Dean, School of General Studies; Dennis Dalton, Political Science; Nicholas Dirks, Chairman, Anthropology; and Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, English.

An initial release of the MSE will be made in January 2003, and a more comprehensive version will be released one month later.

See video trailer of MSE project for Midnight's Children

Frontiers in Science: Stimulating Scientific Thinking

January 8, 2003. This past semester the Columbia Center for New Media Teaching and Learning (CCNMTL) assisted Professors David Helfand, Darcy Kelley and Horst Stormer on a series of lectures entitled Frontiers in Science at the Miller Theatre. The series, which continues this spring with three additional lectures, is a prelude to a possible new approach to science in the Core Curriculum. The professors hope to institute a one-semester course, required of all first-year students with lectures such as those in this series.

In addition to the development of the dynamic presentations the professors use during the lecture, CCNMTL has helped define the pedagogical perspective of the discussion sections and the planning of an online casebook supporting the course objectives and competencies. The web-based casebook will illustrate notions of estimation, uncertainty, graphs, models, and perspective that will stimulate scientific thinking and discovery.

The fall lectures concluded with Professor Horst Stormer's talk entitled Small Wonders: The World of Nano-Science. One goal of the talk was to provide an insight on the nano-scale and our ability to manipulate it. This was highlighted when Professor Stormer invited a student to the stage to move a single atom at a California research lab with a program that remotely controlled the equipment in California.

All the fall lectures were videotaped and edited for future use with other online materials for the course. The spring lineup include Wallace Broecker, Don Melnick and Nick Turro. The next lecture is scheduled for February 3rd, 2003.

back to ccnmtl home page phone 212 854 9058 print brochure mail us back to top