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Department of Educational Technology

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  1. What is Educational Technology?

Educational technology is a field of study of human learning and deals with complex, integrated process involving people, procedures, ideas, devices and strategies for analyzing problems and devising solutions to those problems. It is technology because it is concerned with a "systematic application of scientific and other knowledge to practical tasks"; it is qualified as educational because the practical tasks are within the context of all levels of education.

The field is officially defined as ... the theory and practice of design, development, utilization, management, and evaluation of processes and resources for learning.

Educational technology has a total commitment to search systematically for new and effective ways of organizing the teaching and learning process; it is not a "bag of mechanical tricks" and must not be thought of as being synonymous with technological devices. It attempts to find ways of organizing, designing, implementing and evaluating learning systems. The field is fundamentally concerned with the best possible application of technological developments to educational practices, and involves a continuing reconsideration of all elements in the teaching-learning process. [Back to Top]

  1. For what kinds of jobs and positions does the program train its students?

Educational technology prepares individuals to be knowledgeable about learning resources, about the processes for analyzing and devising solutions to those problems through research, theory, design, production, evaluation, utilization, and about the processes involved in organization and personnel management. Such an approach leads to employability in a myriad of situations, so it is not surprising that the positions for which the graduates of our program qualify are listed under different headings, such as educational specialists, instructional designers, educational software developers, training specialists, and of course, classroom and resource teachers. [Back to Top]

  1. Is a Bachelor’s Degree in Education needed to enter the program?

No, but some experience in teaching or training is very useful. What is important is the applicant's understanding of, and commitment to, the field of educational technology. [Back to Top]

  1. What undergraduate degree is needed or preferred by the program?

A bachelor's degree in any field is acceptable, as long as it has been earned at an accredited institution; the GPA (Grade Point Average) of 3.0 on a 4-point scale is necessary to consider the applicant for regular status admission. Majors in Journalism, History, Political Science, and Nursing, among others, have successfully graduated from the program. [Back to Top]

  1. Some programs require completion of one or two prerequisites before an applicant may be admitted. Does this program have any such pre-requisites?

Yes. At UH, they are called "pre-program deficiencies". There are two areas which we want our applicants to be reasonably well experienced in before taking the first program course. One area deals with the knowledge and skills often designated by the general term "media", and includes a diversity of channels and materials used in the context of instruction. The other area is specifically concerned with the applicant’s understanding of, and ability to use, computers. The admission committee looks for evidence in the applicants' transcripts that these have been covered academically; often, however, more information is requested from the applicants. There may be other evidence that the requirement of one or the other of the areas may be waived. Because the EdTech courses covering these two areas are lab courses (meaning that there are hands-on experiences and tasks to be performed), their acceptance cannot be obtained through "credit by examination" process.

If any pre-program deficiency is identified, the applicant must indicate his or her intent to remove it by enrolling in the appropriate course or courses prior to (usually during the summer) admission. The university rule states that pre-program deficiencies must be removed not later than during the first semester of admission. The department prefers that the removal is accomplished before the first semester, and makes sure that space is available in scheduled classes to new students.

Applicants with one or both deficiencies but otherwise qualified may be admitted on a conditional basis, which means that the student must remove them by the end of the first semester. Failure to do so will result in denying the student to register in the subsequent semester. [Back to Top]

  1. If the GPA is below 3.0, or is not at all available, how is the application evaluated?

The Graduate Division, which evaluates applicants' meeting the overall university graduate admission criteria, recommends resubmission of the application after at least 12 credits of graduate courses are earned with a B or better average. These courses cannot be in the field of study to which the applicant is seeking admission.

If the applicant's GPA is not available (as is the case when the degree had been granted by an institution whose grading practice does not generate GPAs), the university will require that GRE be taken; the departmental criterion of scores at least the 50th percentile rank in each of the three parts of the GRE will be applied. [Back to Top]

  1. Does the applicant with the minimum 3.0 GPA need to take the Graduate Record Examination?

Not if the GPAs from previously attended institutions are available; as additional information about the applicant, good scores (indicating at least 50th percentile standing on each of the three parts of the examination: verbal, quantitative, and analytical) will be viewed favorably by the admission committee. [Back to Top]

  1. Are other tests required before being considered for admission?

Yes, but that requirement applies only to students from foreign countries where English is not the main language. Those students need to submit TOEFL (Test of English as a Second Language) scores; the composite score of 650 (representing about the 87th percentile rank) is expected, though a lower score may be accepted if other criteria are exceeded. [Back to Top]

  1. What is the ratio of admissions to applications?

With the stringent requirements that are in place, the number of serious applicants is approximately 15-20 percent of the total number of inquiries about the program. From among that number of applicants, the program accepts roughly between 50 and 60 percent. [Back to Top]

  1. How long does it typically take for a student to complete the program?

Typically, these days most students are part-time students, their main time being devoted usually to income-producing employment. It is, therefore, quite clear that a typical length of time needed in the educational technology program is more than the absolute minimum of two years (from Fall semester of one year to the Spring Semester of another) &emdash; non-stop. Minimum is 2 years, and that requires being a full-time student. A major part of being a full-time student is carrying a full load of 9 credits in each sequential regular semester, and at least 3 credits in the intervening Summer Session only. (Each course must be an ETEC course of 600- or above level.) Another, also major, part consists of the student's other responsibilities The two-year plan, therefore, cannot be met, and certainly not easily, by any student who either:

  1. shall need to remove the pre-program deficiencies by enrolling in one or two 400-level courses, and/or
  1. has other commitment (work, family responsibilities, etc.). A reminder is apropos here: we are talking about the completion of a program, not about taking the minimum of 13 3-credit courses. There is a difference, especially when you consider that this is a graduate program, requiring a graduate-level performance. [Back to Top]
  1. Can a part-time student accomplish all the requirements by attending just the Summer Sessions?

No, for at least two reasons: 1. The Summer Session class periods are condensed into just a few weeks, with instruction going on daily. That does not permit most of the graduate courses to be taught or be learned from. Such a schedule does not allow for absorbing and internalizing the knowledge and skills that are the expected outcomes. 2. Not all regular faculty members are available during the summer when many of them need to engage in research and/or professional travel. Right or wrong, the expectation that faculty do research and publish the results of that research militates against making summer-only plan viable for many programs, including educational technology. [Back to Top]

  1. Are there educational technology courses offered on the Internet, thus eliminating the problem of regular attendance on campus?

Faculty is actively exploring the ways in which graduate courses, in a right sequence, might be made available to students on the neighbor islands. Currently, the program occasionally offers one course (ETEC 602) as a web-based course; at other times, it is offered as a campus-based offering. Many other courses are web-enhanced, meaning that they utilize instruction on the web to support regular instruction. [Back to Top]

  1. Are campus-based courses offered late afternoons, evenings, and/or weekends?

All required graduate-level courses (600-level and above) are offered on a once a week basis at 4:30 to 7 p.m. during the regular semesters; summer session offerings of graduate courses are on a M-F schedule for 3 weeks, though not necessarily in the late afternoon. Pre-requisites, however, are usually offered during the daytime (before 4:30 p.m.), though sometimes, there are exceptions.

All scheduling must consider the availability of appropriate facilities and resources. At present, there are no weekend-only offerings of Ed Tech courses. [Back to Top]

  1. Are all courses for a grade A-F, or are some on Pass or Fail basis?

At the University of Hawaii, graduate courses, in order to be applicable to a degree program, require A-F grading, unless they have been approved as mandatory C/NC (credit/no credit) courses. (Pass/Fail designation had been changed to NC/NC basis years ago.) [Back to Top]

  1. Is the coursework for a degree all pre-set, or can the program be individualized?

All students must first take the five core courses. Electives are what the name implies, restricted only by the time they are offered &emdash; each student will be selecting five electives. Three additional required courses lead toward the program completion. [Back to Top]

  1. How many courses can be taken for credit through internship?

There is a lot of confusion about internship, and what role it plays in an academic program. "Internship" in the Educational Technology program at the University of Hawaii is not an equivalent of work experience that other institutions count as replacement for a to-be-determined number of credits. In this program, internship is a culminating experience arranged by the students, in consultation with their respective advisors, and serves as a means for students to "profess" what they have learned, and to add to their knowledge and skills through that experience.

While an internship is an individually arranged activity, a practicum is a group activity in which students close to their program completion plan workshops for faculty or other college students. A faculty member closely coordinates the practicum.

Both the Internship and the Practicum are required of all majors. [Back to Top]

  1. May assignments be submitted via e-mail or fax?

This will depend on the instructor's instructions, and definitely on the type of assignment. Work that requires special formatting will not transmit dependably in its original format by either fax or e-mail &emdash; even when sent as e-mail attachments. [Back to Top]

  1. What is the policy on transferring course credits to the UH program?

Generally, only 6 credits of courses with A or B grade are transferable, but it depends on the type and content of the courses. In order to be considered, the courses must be completed by the time student intends to enter the UH EdTech program, and their completion and grade documented by official transcript(s). In order to be transferred, a course must fit logically into the EdTech degree program. [Back to Top]

  1. Do you accept online coursework done for other institutions as credit transfer?

Though the ultimate approval is lodged in the Graduate Division, the departmental program bases its recommendation on the same criteria as indicated in the item 18 above. [Back to Top]

  1. Is there an organization of EdTech students, and how can it be reached?

Yes, there is an active organization called ETEC HUI, and its officers may be reached by e-mail at etec-hui@hawaii.edu. It is an officially recognized organization. Inquiries by prospective applicants are welcome by Etec Hui members. [Back to Top]

  1. Is the use of departmental equipment available to students?

Yes, but only for instructional purposes stemming from courses, and then only during the instructional time. Classrooms and other facilities do not serve the purposes of "open labs". Several computer labs, outside our Department's purview, are available to students while on campus. Coin-operated copy machines are available in the libraries (one is just across the street from the department).

The program expects all students to have their own computers with necessary peripherals, and appropriate software to accomplish the required work. [Back to Top]

  1. Do you have lockers for students?

Unfortunately, with space being at a premium, we do not have lockers or other storage space for students. The department, however, maintains open mailboxes for every major, where students can find materials and messages from their instructors, from the office, or from other majors. Students are expected to check the mailboxes at least on a weekly basis. [Back to Top]

  1. Is free e-mail available to students?

Yes, the University provides that service to all its enrolled students without additional costs. Use of e-mail is mandatory in this program, and only the name@hawaii.edu style of e-mail address is used in departmental communications. Students may have other e-mail services for personal correspondence. The same policy applies to faculty and staff. E-mail addresses are made available to all majors, but not revealed for any non- departmental use. [Back to Top]

  1. Are there any scholarships or assistantships available?

To start with, it is necessary to distinguish between scholarships, tuition waivers and similar awards, which are direct grants to students, and teaching or research assistantships that are awarded for specific work to be performed by the recipient.

Furthermore, the source of the funds for either type of financial assistance determines whether it is available in this program. Scholarship monies most often come from private donors, and in that category, the College of Education (CoE) has been quite successful in recent years: several of ed tech majors have obtained sizeable CoE scholarships. The deadline is well publicized, but the applicants must be enrolled as majors in one of the many programs of the College and have a recommendation by one of the college faculty.

The current distribution of state-funded assistantships at the University of Hawaii does not provide such positions for Educational Technology. However, some outside grants allow such appointments. When available, these are also well publicized, and qualified applicants are selected on the basis of how well suited they are for a particular grant.

Tuition waivers are state-funded grants, of which the department has been allotted one in each of the last few years. The administration of the tuition waivers allows the waivers to be split and thus provide some financial help to two rather than just one major. Because in Educational Technology awards of tuition waivers are based primarily on academic merit, only continuing students are eligible. Additionally, applicants also need to provide information on financial need.

Finally, there is the Financial Aid Office (956-7251) that administers campus-wide scholarships, grants, and loans, and the Student Employment and Cooperative Education Office (956-7007), which coordinates the Federal Work-Study program. [Back to Top]

  1. A graduate planning to go for a doctorate would want to know: what is this program's academic reputation?

Very good &emdash; but that is the faculty speaking. While some fields are ranked by their professional organizations, there is no ranking of programs in the field of educational technology. We can offer as evidence of the program's reputation what our graduates who pursued doctoral program on the mainland have told us: they considered their preparation through our program's Master's degree to be better and more comprehensive than of many if not most of their new doctoral classmates from other institutions. [Back to Top]

  1. I understand it is difficult to find parking on campus; does a graduate student have a chance to get a parking permit?

It is true that parking is very limited on campus, especially during the day. It gets a little better after 4 p.m. (and that is when EdTech graduate courses are offered), but unless you obtain an "evening parking permit" ($18 a month, renewable), or pay daily fee of $3 to park in the parking structure or the visitors’ parking zones (Zone 14 next to Sinclair Library, or Zone 10 next to Kennedy Theatre), you may need to hunt for a spot in the vicinity. Alongside Metcalf Street are metered stalls, but be forewarned: the City "meter maids" check those places quite frequently. The Parking Zone 1 next to Wist Hall is off-limits without a permit, and there, too, the checks are frequent and violations can be costly.

For an evening parking permit, you will need valid driver’s license, valid car registration, valid no-fault insurance card, and valid safety check.

Some students (and some faculty) rely on the city bus system, which serves the campus with Routes 4, 6, and 18. [Back to Top]

  1. Where can I find more about this program?

For detailed description of the program, admission requirements and procedures, and to initiate an application for admission, click on www.hawaii.edu/edtech. Our website contains links to the application forms. To find out what currently enrolled students and recent graduates think about the program, send a request to etec-hui@hawaii.edu. If you wish to talk to the department spokesperson, send an e-mail to edtech-dept@hawaii.edu, or call (808) 956-7671. [Back to Top]

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