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Completed Projects

Projects successfully accomplished by CPDSC



International Workshop: Gaining Knowledge
International Workshop: Gaining Knowledge and Skills Needed for Scientific Collaboration and Communication (Financed by Sigma-Xi, UNESCO, American Academy Of Science, Iowa Satet University, IWISE, INASP and other international and Georgian organizations). 2004
 
Educating Georgian Community College Students in Engineering & Technical Subjects
Educating Georgian Community College Students in Engineering & Technical Subjects
A Proposal to EIF submitted by Iowa State University
Problem & Proposal SummaryThis proposal responds to the technology gap facing higher education in the Republic of Georgia. The solution which Georgian Technical University (GTU) and Iowa State University (ISU) suggest in this proposal is to 1)create a CD library of electronic course materials that students in Georgia’s new community colleges and vocational education centers can use in their local campus computer center and/or play using a computer in an internet cafe, at work, or at home; 2)produce and disseminate lectures, seminars, on-the-job situations, and lab experiences to be used as “virtual” labs and “virtual” internship experiences; and 3)develop competencies so that Georgian teachers can add to this digital archive after the grant ends. We are asking EIF for $20,600 for these purposes to complement and extend the financial support and in-kind activities we are receiving from USAID, the Ministry of Education and Science, and the American higher education partners (see summary of funders in appendix materials).
Technical Information Currently, electronic course materials are little used in GTU’s classrooms and none is available for students at higher education institutions outside of the capital, Tbilisi. A start-up grant secured from USAID in 2006 to create Georgia’s first community college is focused on collecting syllabi, training teachers in new pedagogical methods, and preparing curriculum materials for common 1st year courses, e.g., math, technical communication, etc. We also purchased one tablet PC to be used by GTU’s Teaching Center. Combined with Camtasia software, an inexpensive camera, and microphone for a cost of approximately $2500, this “mobile studio” captures all that a teacher is doing during a lecture, lab, or seminar, including equations or diagrams written on the tablet screen, exactly the same way that a blackboard or whiteboard is used in traditional engineering classes. Teachers also can write notes and highlight prepared slides – as in a powerpoint presentation – and the result recorded as shown on the screen for distribution in CD form to students.   Although the media-enabled classrooms and editing facilities are more complicated at ISU, this is essentially the system which ISU team member, Joe Monahan, uses to produce Internet distance education courses for ISU’s Engineering Distance Education. This innovative and low-cost approach facilitates sharing of modules and other course materials between the American and Georgian partners. For example, modules from an ISU safety or civil engineering course can be modified during the editing process, as Camtasia allows a second sound track to be laid down over what the professor said in the class. Thus, we can replace an English speaking instructor’s voice with the same content in Georgian or vice versa. Monahan, Mickelson, and Maney modeled the “mobile studio” concept, i.e., laptop linked to microphone and camera during a visit to Georgia they made in March.  This proposal to IEF will result in the creation of curriculum materials for 10 technical courses (see timetable in appendix materials). The work is separate from but complementary to a proposal we have sent to a NATO Science competition. NATO’s Networking Infrastructure Grant (NIG) competition will pay for equipment and for Internet upgrades but not for the work of teacher teams to design and develop course materials. And if the NATO proposal is funded, we can expand the “library” of curriculum materials by offering (and capturing) live Internet lectures, e.g., by an engineering professor at GTU and linking it to classes in the Gori college and at a vocational education center in Zugdidi. The NATO grant will allow us to set up virtual private networks (VPNs) which can seamlessly tunnel through the existing private ISP networks, and eventually, to use wireless technology to reach the more remote areas not currently hard-wired to the grid.  We have asked NATO for funding to pay the costs of using VPN network connections (at 256 Kbs) during 2009. The resulting network will also be used to facilitate video conferencing and to transport video files recorded of the teachers teaching, scholarly presentations and student presentations. The recordings made with the screen capture application (Camtasia) included on the additional tablet PCs we will purchase using the NATO equipment grant can be encoded in a variety of formats and with varying degrees of compression. The higher compression levels produce small file sizes that can more easily be transferred on less capable networks. The versatility of our primary tools will ensure the delivery of the best possible quality under any given condition. We have also asked NATO for funds to equip a media-enabled classroom at each of three sites in Georgia’s fledgling vocational education network.
Rationale and discussionAfter the “Rose Revolution” government came to power in late 2003, the new leaders at the Ministry of Education and Science (MES) charged Georgian Technical University (GTU), the main engineering and technical university in the country, to embark on a program to reform and upgrade engineering education. Teachers, classrooms, and institutional infrastructure were severely taxed during the 1990s when little money was available for higher education. Now, as the result of a new national entrance exam introduced into all higher education in 2005, fewer high school graduates will attend Georgian universities and new forms of higher education focusing on vocational education will be established in regional cities where students who would formerly come to Tbilisi will study for careers in Georgia’s emerging “knowledge economy.”  The educational reforms just described are already having important follow-on effects on students and students. The top-scoring students on the entrance exam will receive stipends. Those who are otherwise qualified for university study will have to pay tuition (or maybe will have access to loans). Also at GTU and other Georgian universities teachers have had to re-apply for jobs and compete for a reduced number of teaching places. Once hired, they – and their counterparts at the country’s new community colleges and vocational education centers – will be required to demonstrate continuous learning via professional development courses. Recently, economic activity in the capital, Tbilisi, and in Batumi, a resort city on the Black Sea coast, has spiked, heightening the need for well-educated specialists in technical fields. So far, though, little evidence of economic activity exists in many of Georgia’s regions.  In 2006, the Ministry of Education and Science (MES) made a decision to adapt the American-style community college model to the Georgian environment as a result of information brought back from the U.S. by Lali Ghogheliani, dean of GTU’s Faculty of Hydro-engineering. Iowa State University is a partner in that effort, along with the Ministry, Cedar Rapids-based Community Colleges for International Development, Inc. (CCID), and five CCID member colleges located in Iowa, Illinois, Wisconsin, and British Columbia. Prof. Ghogheliani now heads up the Georgian side of this effort and ISU’s Ardith Maney coordinates the work of the consortium on the American side. After a year of hard work, classes will begin in October 2007 in the regional capital of Gori, located one hour by car from Tbilisi. In October, 2008, students will start to take courses in their specialties, e.g., construction management chosen because of their usefulness for economic development in that region. It is expected that more specialties (majors) and more regions will be added to the community college network around Georgia.
Educating Georgian Community College Students in Engineering & Technical Subjects. A Proposal to EIF submitted by Iowa State University  Problem & Proposal SummaryThis proposal responds to the technology gap facing higher education in the Republic of Georgia.
 
Translation-Adaptation & Publication of the First Year Curriculums & Textbooks for the Professional Centers of Akhalkalaki, Gori & Chiatura (MES, CCID USA, GTU-)
Translation-Adaptation and Publication of the First Year Curriculums and Textbooks for the Professional Centers of Akhalkalaki, Gori and Chiatura
It is well known that after the collapse of Soviet Union the process of updating of the content of professional educational institutions was ceased in Georgia, which reasoned reduction of training of specialists with appropriate qualifications.Nowadays a lot of attention is paid to the problems of professional education and retraining of the population. One of the goals of the Professional Education Reform, which is carried out by the Ministry of Education and Science (MES) of Georgia, is to prepare/train fully qualified professionals that are oriented on market. In this regard, it is urgent to established the new type so called “Community Collages”, which will prepare/train specialists with eminent qualification in different fields taking into consideration the needs of the community (area, region). Under an initiative of the MES, three community collages will be founded in Akhalkalaki, Gori and Chiatura. This will serve as a basis for establishment and development of the essential community collage system iin our country. In year 2006 a memorandum of understanding was signed between MES and the Association of American and Canadian Collages (from Gio: she means CCID), which contributed to commence following projects in September 2006 under the collective agreement (12.11.06, 26.09.2006) between Georgian Technical University and mentioned association:
1. “First Community Collages in Georgia” – financed by USAID (USA) (3 years);
2. “Higher Professional Education – Catalyst of Economy – financed by ACCC    (Canada) (4 years).
The goal of the projects is to establish the first American-Canadian type 3-year community collage in Gori. Within the framework of the project the foreign partners will create curriculums,syllabuses and textbooks for the specialties chosen by the local community of Gori in English language. They will also conduct trainings to retrain the teachers (designing curriculums and syllabuses, modern methodologies for teaching and assessment, establishment of the career center, techniques for studying employment market, ways of searching funding resources, etc.)
According to the project, an engagement of Georgian side is to conduct study in conformity of the curriculums, textbooks and methodologies offered by the foreign Translation-Adaptation & Publication of the First Year Curriculums &Textbooks for the Professional Centers of Akhalkalaki, Gori & Chiatura Georgian Technical University 2 partners. But there is a serious challenge that is connected with the necessity of translation and adaptation of the materials in Georgian language. The last can not be implemented because of a simple cause – the project does not consider this kind of expenses. Foreign and Georgian coordinators of the project repeatedly mentioned this circumstance during their meetings.
Translation-Adaptation and Publication of the First Year Curriculums and Textbooks for the Professional Centers of Akhalkalaki, Gori and Chiatura        It is well known that after the collapse of Soviet Union the process of updating of the content of professional educational institutions was ceased in Georgia,
 
Sustainable Engineering – Lecture Course for GTU magistrates (Iowa State University, GTU)

Atlas of Our Changing Environment

Erosion Pictures

Global Challenges

IWRM & HYDROLOGIC CYCLE COMPONENTS -

Keith Kennedy, Swiss Center of Hydrogeology University of Neuchatel, 25 June 2003

New Orleans and Return Pd

Topo Data Analysis

Hydrologic Analysis - Francisco Olivera, Ph.D., P.E., Department of Civil Engineering, Texas A&M University

 
Development of an Accreditation System at Georgian Universities (TEMPUS Tacis grant, GTU, GSAU)

This project assists GTU teachers to apply new teaching methodologies in their classes in order to prepare bachelors,’ masters,’ and PhD students as active citizens and for careers as self-learners in Georgia’s changing workplaces. Prof. Lali Ghogheliani,

 
Science Education for New Civic Engagements and Responsibilities (USNSF, Harrisburg University, Geo

This supplemental award is sought by the Association of American Colleges and Universities to support a two-year pilot program in collaboration with the International Women in Science & Engineering (IWISE) program at Iowa State University and the most important research and teaching universities in the Republic of Georgia.

 
Translation-Adaptation & Publication of the First Year Curriculums & Textbooks for the Professional Centers of Akhalkalaki, Gori & Chiatura (MES, CCID USA, GTU-)

Translation-Adaptation and Publication of the First Year Curriculums and Textbooks for the Professional Centers of Akhalkalaki, Gori and Chiatura

It is well known that after the collapse of Soviet Union the process of updating of the content of professional educational institutions was ceased in Georgia, which reasoned reduction of training of specialists with appropriate qualifications.Nowadays a lot of attention is paid to the problems of professional education and retraining of the population.

 
NATO Low-cost, Sustainable Solutions in International Distance Education (Iowa State University, GTU)

This project responds to the needs of ISU faculty and staff interested and/or already involved in joint learning, scholarship, and outreach activities with international partners.

 
New Teaching and Learning Methodologies for Georgian Technical University Teachers (USA embassy, Georgian Ministry of Science and Education, GTU)

This project assists GTU teachers to apply new teaching methodologies in their classes in order to prepare bachelors,’ masters,’ and PhD students as active citizens and for careers as self-learners in Georgia’s changing workplaces.

 

 
First community college in Georgia (Georgian Technical University, Iowa State University, CCID

This partnership supports higher education reform plans developed by the Georgian Ministry of Education & Science (MES) designed to create a market-responsive higher education alternative to university study.

 
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