Jean Kreis


Jean Kreis earned her bachelor's degree in English from the University of Maryland; a Master of Education in Interdisciplinary Studies of Curriculum and Instruction from National Louis University in Heidelberg, Germany; and a Master of Art in Rhetoric, Composition, and Teaching of English at the University of Arizona. Her interests have included administration and analysis of community and collaboration in online environments, especially the use of simplified technology such as MOOs for supporting peer-reviewed writing projects and endangered languages.

As a rhetorician and composition teacher, Jean understands and supports the transparent development process for expressing the outcomes of scholarly work that is required of EDUCAUSE's National Learning Infrastructure Initiative (NLII) fellows and is part of the NLII culture. One of Jean's practices in teaching rhetoric and communication has been to share her own early work in all its 'ugliness' and show how the work was refined and evolved over several different drafts. She admits that 'The idea of doing this internationally is a bit gut-wrenching, but I recognize the advantages and support the approach, and will just have to deal with any ego issues. The exposure of the process will improve the body of scholarship better than a single-minded focus on product.

Jean became involved with the staff and projects of NLII when she served on the focus session planning team for the NLII Spring 2003 Focus Session, co-hosted by the University of Arizona in March 2003. She is a co-leader of the NLII's Next-Generation Course Management Systems work group that came out of the focus session and has been leading the effort to develop scenarios to describe the use of next-generation course management systems, for reference in particular by standards and technical specification development organizations like IMS. Kreis notes, 'I see the standards organizations work as vital to technology's ongoing usefulness in higher education and also necessary to opening up new venues for the learner, the faculty, and the community.' She adds, 'The whole idea of developing a suite of abstract and usage scenarios for use by technical organizations is also very appealing. I'm abnormal as a writer in that I don't invest my ego in what I've written; I'm the same way with ideas. I truly like to collaborate and find a place in common that energizes everyone in the group.'

Much of jean's work in the last three years has been faculty development, especially in facilitating the choice of pedagogically appropriate technology. As a result, Jean has begun development on a conceptual framework that buttresses learning activities with learning design, theory, assessment, and technology. This tool, a Module Organizer and Teaching Suggestor (MOATS), provides guidance in developing theory-specific learner-centered practices across a variety of instructional technologies, including conference systems, synchronous communication systems, and assessment systems, but in a way that addresses the learning problems that the faculty are interested in, while the theoretical basis remains transparent

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