Penn State Intercom......April 5 , 2001

Quality Expo 2001
to be held April 12

By Bill Campbell
Special to Intercom

If you're interested in the latest in electronic learning, programs aimed at enhancing the climate for diversity or student efforts to improve classroom learning, make plans to visit the University's Quality Expo on Thursday, April 12.

The theme of Quality Expo 2001 is "An Innovative Odyssey of Discovery." Exhibits will be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Ballroom of The Nittany Lion Inn on the University Park campus.

Thirty-eight Penn State exhibitors representing 42 teams, as well as exhibitors from four other universities, including the University of Wisconsin and the California State University, will share their experiences using quality improvement principles and tools. Two of this year's Central Pennsylvania Quality Award winners, C-Cor and HealthSouth Nittany Valley Rehabilitation Hospital, also will have exhibits.

The annual demonstration of the University's commitment to improvement, innovation and teamwork is sponsored by the University Council on Continuous Quality Improvement and the Center for Quality and Planning.

Expo visitors also will have the opportunity to engage several of the University's leaders in conversations about institutional change. At 9 a.m., Rodney Erickson, executive vice president and provost, and Gary Schultz, senior vice president for finance and business, will lead an informal discussion on "Leadership for Institutional Innovation." At 11:30 a.m., Judy Olian, dean of The Smeal College of Business Administration, and Nirmal Pal, executive director of the Center for e-Business Research, will discuss "e-Technology as a Tool for Change and Process Improvement." The sessions are open to all members of the University community.

At the "Students Improving the Classroom" exhibit, visitors will be able to view a video showing quality teams at work and featuring reactions from students, faculty members and team leaders involved in the program. The Schreyer Institute for Innovation in Learning sponsors a completely student-run initiative in which student quality teams monitor the work processes of students and instructors to find opportunities for changes that lead to better learning outcomes. The teams, composed of 125 student team members, have worked successfully over the last three years to improve the education of almost 3,000 students.

"The team works closely with the faculty member to survey the class and collaboratively develop different ways to improve the class and learning outcomes in the class," Matt Levendusky, team leader, said. "It gives students in the class a sense of ownership and heightens their awareness of their own role in the classroom.

"We hope the video shows how working with quality teams helped change students' attitudes toward learning and promoted innovation in the classroom. We also plan to have some students and team leaders on hand to discuss the program."

The exhibit on "Inter-unit Collaborations Aimed at Enhancing the Climate for Diversity" is sponsored by the Office of the President and the Office of the Vice Provost for Educational Equity. It will feature information on the Commission on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Equity, Commission on Racial/Ethnic Diversity, Commission for Women and other units within the Office of the Vice Provost for Educational Equity.

"Our goal is to highlight some of the programming improvements that we have initiated over the last few years in the Office of the Vice Provost," Michael Blanco, team member, said.

The School of Information Sciences and Technology will have three computer terminals at which Expo visitors can try their hand at a Web-based version of the school's foundation course, IST 110, Introduction to Information Sciences and Technology. The latest in e-learning, it was piloted last semester and now is available on a rolling enrollment basis. Members of the IST Solutions Institute, who created the course, will be available to answer questions and guide visitors through the course.

Expo 2001 will be preceded by a workshop, "Using the Balanced Scorecard to Improve Performance," to be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday, April 11, at The Nittany Lion Inn. The workshop, sponsored by the National Consortium for Continuous Improvement, will be led by Chet Warzynski, director of organizational development and employment services at Cornell University, and Ron Coley, associate vice chancellor for business and administrative services at the University of California-Berkeley. James Ryan, vice president for Outreach and Cooperative Extension, will be the luncheon speaker.

For more information on the workshop, check the Web at http://www.ncci-cu.org/. To learn more about the Quality Expo, visit http://www.psu.edu/president/cqi/expo2001/index.htm.  

Bill Campbell can be reached at wjc1@psu.edu.

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