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Wednesday, October 17 • 1:30pm - 2:15pm
Adventures in Development: Building and Implementing an Oral Communication Assessment Webapp

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This presentation will offer lessons learned in an ongoing a collaboration between Baruch College, CUNY and Cast Iron Coding, a small Portland Oregon web development firm, in the development of VOCAT, an open-source oral communication assessment application that has now been widely integrated into the curriculum at Baruch. We will demonstrate the tool and detail the process of its development and chart the evolution of the collaboration between educators and web developers in developing and deploying an OER despite bureaucratic red tape, institutional resistance and a good dose of FUD. We will focus on the collaborative process of development and will approach the evolution of the project as parallel to the evolution of the relationship between web developers and academic administrators and faculty.

The Video Oral Communication Assessment Tool (VOCAT) is a web-based teaching tool and assessment instrument developed by the Bernard L. Schwartz Communication Institute at Baruch College. Built on an the open source CMS, TYPO3, VOCAT is a flexible, extensible, and potentially infinitely scalable web application designed to facilitate meaningful performance assessment and the collection and analysis of evaluation data in a wide range of instructional contexts.

Since 2007, we at Baruch College have used VOCAT with great success to teach and assess public speaking in several courses across our entire curriculum, from Speech and Theater to Accounting and Business Policy. It also has been used to collect data for our business school's program assessment. To date, approximately 9,600 of our students have used VOCAT in 26 distinct classes (673 sections total.) We are now moving toward sharing VOCAT with others thanks to two fairly recent developments:

1) The Middle States Commission on Higher Education?s site visit team to Baruch College recognized the promise in VOCAT for face-to-face and online instruction and noted that VOCAT ?should be celebrated as a national model for higher education.? 2) In the fall of 2010, The Chronicle of Higher Education ran an article on VOCAT that focused on future possible uses of the tool in all manner of instruction (is.gd/dPMvTR)

With more and more institutions reaching out to us to inquire about VOCAT, we are starting to make sense of what it means to share the tool and to work toward building an active, vibrant community of developers and users.

Wednesday October 17, 2012 1:30pm - 2:15pm PDT
C680 - HSBC Hall

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