Johns Hopkins Gazette: January 2, 1996

On Technology:
First electronic education minigrants made by provost

Steve Libowitz

     The future of medicine, says Harold Lehmann, is on the

     Lehmann, an assistant professor of pediatrics and director
of Medical Informatics Education at the School of Medicine, came
to Hopkins three years ago to help ensure the school's place in
that future. And now one of his department's major projects,
LectureLinks--a searchable World Wide Web site for first- and
second-year medical school course information, lecture notes,
handouts and sample exams--has been selected as one of 10
projects receiving the first round of minigrants offered by the
recently established Provost's Subcommittee on Electronic and
Distance Education (The Gazette, 9/18/95).

     The subcommittee, part of the Provost's Information Systems
Coordinating Council, wants to enhance teaching by encouraging
faculty to rethink their curricula and the way students can and
may want to access course materials and information. The
minigrant program is designed to encourage faculty who are both
already comfortable--or already using--information technologies
in their classrooms, as well as those who are new to the idea but
who want to get up to speed, says Elizabeth Mayotte, director of
the School of Continuing Studies Columbia Center and a member of
the selection committee. 

     Mayotte says 38 letters of intent were submitted during the
fall semester by faculty seeking funding. The selection
committee, chaired by the Whiting School of Engineering's
associate dean for external relations, Candice Dalrymple,
requested formal proposals from 14 of those applicants and
initially funded five at a total of $20,000. However, the
holidays came a bit early for the SEDE committee when Provost
Joseph Cooper, along with Vice Provost Ted Poehler, more than
doubled SEDE's initial budget, which allowed the committee to
make grants to a total of 10 projects (see below).

     "One reason we were able to offer complete funding in almost
every case is that the proposals were really cost conscious,"
Mayotte says. "They looked for ways to stretch the funds. That
was one of our criteria, and I think the Provost's Office
appreciated it and felt these projects all were worthy of the
additional funding.

     Mayotte says if there is any unifying aspect to the 10 SEDE
projects funded for the spring, it is that each proposal followed
the committee's rather specific criteria, which also includes
increasing collaboration among students and/or faculty and
enhancing the ability for students to work independently in terms
of identifying and accessing course resources.

     Harold Lehmann's LectureLinks is an excellent example of
what the SEDE committee was--and is--looking for.

     "The first two years of medical school are very regimented,"
Lehmann says. "We have 120 students in each year's class, and we
know where each one is almost every minute of the day. We know
what they are learning and what they will learn. In their second
two years they do their clinical rotations, and their experience
is widely variable. This project tries to integrate the first and
the last two years."

     The fundamental intent of the project is to give third- and
fourth-year medical students a method to refer to the basic
science information of their first two years, information that
often becomes more real to students as they apply it to clinical

     LectureLinks, which was put up on the Web in August, also
gives first- and second- year students the chance to make up
missed classes or enhance their own lecture notes. But Lehmann
says the project will not replace class time.

     "There's some fear and dread among the faculty that on-line
notes will keep students away. But students learn in multiple
ways," he says, "and I don't think someone spending upwards of
$20,000 a year [on tuition] is going to be satisfied only with
computer access to notes. It will never replace the primacy of

     Lehmann does hope, though, that LectureLinks plays a greater
role in medical students' education, and sees the SEDE minigrant
as a helpful boost toward that goal.

     "Columbia University has a large externally funded project.
We're doing it with $6,000 on top of what others are doing at the
university. We have an exceptional group working on this."

     Included in the LectureLinks project are Joan A. Freedman, a
courseware design specialist, "the de facto project leader and
the one who really came up with the idea," Lehmann says; Martin
R. Wachter, the systems software specialist; David J. Wang, an
Internet programmer, who is the InfoNet programmer creating the
data base; Bonnie S. Cosner, the secretary responsible for
obtaining, collating and marking up the lecture notes and exams;
and medical students Melissa Marks-Sparrow and Oletha Minto, who
created the first- and second-year curriculum links,

     "What impressed us so much about all these proposals," says
the selection committee's Mayotte, "is how much of the cost of
doing the initial labor is being absorbed by the staffs. This is
one reason we feel confident of funding again for the fall."

     The fall also will be the time for members of this first
crop of SEDE minigrant recipients to get together to share their
experiences with other faculty, staff and students.

     "Dissemination is an important aspect of the minigrant
program," Mayotte says. "The SEDE committee has not yet decided
on how to do it--but a university-wide information technology
fair in the fall is one idea we're exploring."

     More information about the subcommittee and the minigrant
program is available on JHUniverse under "Libraries, Computing
and Information Technologies."

     The following faculty members received a total of $42,000 in
minigrants from the Provost's Subcommittee on Electronic and
Distance Education to develop projects during the spring

     Harry Sieber, Hispanic and Italian Studies
     Cynthia Requardt, Milton S. Eisenhower Library

     To create an on-line exhibit of images from early Spanish
and English editions of El Ingenioso Hidalgo Don Quixote de la

     Michael Karweit, Chemical Engineering
     Cila Herman, Mechanical Engineering

     To develop CD-ROM-based interactive, introductory-level heat
transfer course unit.

     Elliot McVeigh, Biomedical Engineering

     To develop a comprehensive set of electronic teaching tools
for use by students at remote locations, including Web-based
lecture notes and animated illustrations of the classroom
demonstrations for the course Magnetic Resonance in Medicine.


     Renee Dintzis, Cell Biology and Anatomy

     To expand the digital Overlayer Imagebase developed by the
Office of Medical Informatics Education.


     Harold Lehmann, Medical Informatics Education

     To extend and fill LectureLinks , an online distributed
curriculum project that extends course notes, handouts, sample
exams and relevant Web links to students on the World Wide Web.

     McGregor Boyle, Electronic and Computer Music

     To establish real-time computer links with McGill University
and Oberlin College for the purpose of electronic, interactive
music education, performance, composition and collaboration.


     Ichiro Fujinaga, Electronic and Computer Music

     To develop an interactive multimedia package that permits
study of chromatic harmony via multiple musical performances of a
single musical example--the Neapolitan chord--to enhance
understanding of how a single musical structure varies in
changing context.


     Scott Smallwood, Electronic and Computer Music

     To produce an interactive CD-ROM to facilitate the teaching
of advanced orchestration techniques, consisting of instructional
hypertext, audio examples produced by a live orchestra and
written musical notation.


Susan Weiss, Music History

     To produce a CD-ROM-based multimedia learning environment
for the study of medieval and Renaissance music through the
incorporation of live performances of musical instruments of the
period and comprehensive texts that can be accessed through an
intuitive and attractive user interface.


Dorothy Blankenship-Baldwin, Preparatory

     To produce interactive multimedia software for students and
their families studying Suzuki violin.

     SEDE selection committee members include Candice Dalrymple
(chair), Whiting School of Engineering's associate dean for
external affairs; Elizabeth Mayotte, director of the School of
Continuing Studies Columbia Center; Todd Kelley, the Milton S.
Eisenhower Library's librarian for information technology
initiatives; Jonathan Links, associate professor in the School of
Public Health; Geoffrey Wright, Peabody Institute's director of
the Department of Electronic and Computer Music; and Luciano
Corazza, CTY's academic program director.

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