Issue #25, Spring 2016

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For all your UT Dallas online learning news and information

eLearning Team

Featured Online Students

Jindal School of Management

School of Economic, Political, and Policy Sciences

Meet our Faculty


eLearning Team


We have just about made it through the spring semester. The popularity and number of online/hybrid offerings continues to grow. As this is a good thing, we also want to make sure our technical resources are keeping up with the growth. Thanks to each of the 303 students who took the time to share their thoughts in responding to our last survey.

Here are the questions and your responses to the survey on Student Technical Resources and Support:

1. I needed training or assistance (on-line tutorials, help guides, help desk, etc.) to understand how to use the tools within my online course.

I found the reported ease of use encouraging. 94% of respondents did not need any assistance to understand how to use the tools within their course, while 6% did.

2. If Yes, please describe what you needed the training or assistance with.

15 out of 303 students reported needing further training/assistance. Here is a sampling of responses:

  • “Nothing was intuitive. I had to click around to find out how to do anything.”
  • “I needed to add permissions so that we could add subscriptions to our group discussion board.”
  • “How to use the basic tools provided.”
  • “It was hard to figure out how to use right away and took a lot of trial and error.”

3. I needed resources beyond those provided (on-line tutorials, help guides, help desk, etc.) to effectively use the on-line tools within my course.

11% of respondents reached out to other resources (such as classmates or professors) for assistance.

4. I think more student training options are needed on how to use tools in eLearning.

18% of respondents thought more student training options are needed.

5. If you would like more training/support options, what would you like to see implemented? Some examples you gave include:

  • “I did not know many of the tools existed - a short training course would have been helpful.”
  • “A YouTube video would suffice.”
  • “How to use the given tools more effectively and to their maximum potential.”
  • “How to submit assignments, etc.”
  • “Guides to helpful eLearning resources. Such as videos introducing you to resources Blackboard or Galaxy has to offer and how to use them”

If you do want to brush up on how to use eLearning Tools, please check out the following resources:

This semester’s survey is on Study Habits. Please take a moment to answer a few short questions to let us know how you engage with your online course.

Survey on Student Study Habits

Wishing you the very best of luck in the upcoming semester!

Darren Crone, Ed.D., Assistant Provost, Educational Technology Services

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Featured Online Student


The eLearning Team invites you to meet our students by viewing different student profiles in each newsletter. This semester's featured student is Pavan Banu Prakash.

Pavan Banu Prakash

Where do you work?
The UTD eLearning Department.

What do you want to do after you finish your degree?
After graduation, I want to see myself working for one of the Fortune 25 companies.

How many online courses have you taken?
I have taken one online course.

Why did you decide to take online courses?
Course structure and good reviews about faculty.   

How is the online experience different from the traditional classroom?
Online courses allow for more flexibility compared to traditional classroom courses. I need not worry about fixed schedules of attending my classes and most importantly I can go through the concepts over and over again.   

What makes an online course effective?
It offers convenience and flexibility. Students enrolled in traditional courses need to follow a consistent schedule each week, with in-class instruction followed by out-of-class assignments. Online courses offer better choices in terms of flexibility and students can communicate with faculty at any time, and (in my experience) expect immediate responses.

Who was your favorite professor and why?
My favorite online instructor was Prof. Dorothee Honhon. The course was Retail Operations. I loved how she had structured her course. Her lecture videos were not lengthy, hence fully captured my attention. She always presented a challenge at end of her lectures, which made me eager to listen to the next lecture, where she would discuss the solution.

Is there any advice you can give to other online students?
If you are not the kind of person who can sit in class for 3 straight hours of lectures, or if your schedule does not permit attending fixed classroom hours, online courses can help in these scenarios. Online courses enable you to review lectures from anywhere, and at any time. They are convenient, and you avoid having to commute. There is also more classroom interaction, and (in my experience) more opportunity to concentrate on the course materials.

If you would like to be featured in the eLearning Newsletter, email us!

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Jindal School of Management


Academic Advising

Time for a degree audit?  If you have completed at least half of your degree credit hours and have not previously requested a degree audit, we recommend that you do so now.  It gives us an opportunity to check on your progress and outline what is still missing for you to complete your program.  If you are planning on completing your degree this fall 2016 term, a degree audit is a must.

As always, please be aware of all academic deadlines - http://www.utdallas.edu/academiccalendar/ - and contact our Academic Advising Office with any questions.

Corina Cantua, Director | JSOM Academic Advising | [email protected] | 972-883-5963

Want to see an Advisor? Join the line from anywhere! Text JSOM to 626-414-3210 or Call: 855-883-5766

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School of Economic, Political, and Policy Sciences


New Course in Criminology: CRIM 4336: Introduction to Terrorism

(Offered in Summer and Fall 2016)

Terrorism – Intelligence – Homeland Security are three phrases that consume today’s news events. No other issue is so prominent, so compelling, or so critically important to our communities and our nation than these three separate but interconnected topics.

Some argue that as a nation, we are still suffering from the lingering effects of the attacks on September 11, 2001, an event that clearly changed our world forever. On that day, our security weaknesses were exploited, our vulnerabilities were exposed, and our fear became real.  And it continues today, as recent attacks in Paris, France; Brussels, Belgium; and San Bernardino, California continue to heighten our anxiety. Indeed, terrorism plays to our emotion, not our intellect. It strikes at the very heart of "who" we are as American citizens and highlights a critical error in our foreign policy: We as a nation have failed to understand the history, religion, culture, and social structure of the Middle East. We dismiss groups as simple "fanatics" rather than understand their purpose and reasoning behind specific actions.

Unfortunately, this is the not the first time, such failure to know those that threaten us, has placed our country in such a precarious positon. Witness the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor that marked the beginning of our involvement in World War II, and more specifically relating to terrorism, the emergence of left-wing groups like the Red Brigades, Baader-Meinhoff Gang in Europe, the skyjackings of the Palestinian Liberation Organization throughout the Middle East, or the genocidal massacre of people in El Salvador, Cambodia, or Liberia. Moving closer to home, the rise of hate and racism from the new right in the United States, expressed by groups like the Ku Klux Klan and the Christian Identity Churches, continue to plague our country and threaten the very tenets of democracy.   

This new course will help students better understand not only radical Islamic groups and movements from the Middle East (Al-Qaeda, the Islamic State, Hezbollah) that pose a threat to our way of life, but also help provide an appreciation of the unique history, culture, religion and people of that beautiful and diverse area. In addition, we will look inward to our own domestic problems and study those that would kill and destroy because of hate, or political ideology. And most important, we will study what happens when suppressive dictatorships and governments become the enemy of their own people.

For the last decade and half we have struggled to dramatically improve the security of our homeland from attack, whether these attacks are from abroad, or domestic sources. In this effort, we have sent troops to the Middle East to quell international threats in Iraq, Afghanistan, and now Syria. We have expanded our intelligence gathering and analysis capabilities to filter even our largest social media technologies. And we have developed entirely new departments of government to protect us, and to respond to emergencies whether they be caused by man-made terrorist events or natural disasters. Billions of dollars have been spent in this effort to make us safer. More importantly, our zeal to be safer and more secure has tested the limits of our government and the basic democratic values of “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” that underscores our country. 

This course represents an opportunity to learn and to contribute to the discussion of some of the most important issues of our times from a historical as well as contemporary perspective interrelating terrorism, intelligence and homeland security.

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Meet Our Faculty


Robert W. Taylor, Ph.D.

Dr. Robert W. Taylor is a professor in the Criminology Program and former director of the Justice Administration and Leadership Program at UT-Dallas. He was the founding Executive Director of the Caruth Police Institute within the Dallas Police Department and former chair of the Department of Criminal Justice at the University of North Texas. 

Dr. Taylor has over 35 years of experience and study in the areas of policing, and responses to terrorism, and has been a consultant to numerous federal, state and local agencies, as well as foreign governments. He is a past lead instructor for the U.S. Department of Justice, Institute for Intergovernmental Research (State and Local Anti-Terrorism Training Program -- SLATT) charged with training all Joint Terrorism Task Forces and integrated narcotics (High-Intensity Drug  Trafficking Area - HIDTA) task forces in the United States on Intelligence and Middle East Terrorist Groups. He is also a former instructor for the U.S. Department of State, Anti-Terrorism Assistance Program (ATAP). He has worked extensively throughout the Middle East.

Dr. Taylor is senior author of four major textbooks,

  • Terrorism, Intelligence and Homeland Security (Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Publishing, 2016);
  • Digital Crime and Digital Terrorism, 3rd edition (Pearson, 2014);
  • Juvenile Justice: Policies, Practices and Programs, 4th edition (New York: McGraw-Hill, 2014);
  • Police Patrol Allocation and Deployment (Pearson, 2011). 

He is also the co-author of two landmark textbooks,

  • Police Administration: Structures, Processes, and Behavior, 8th edition (Pearson Publishing, 2012);
  • Criminal Investigation 11th edition (McGraw-Hill, 2012). 

Dr. Taylor believes that we must become much more educated about the Middle East, particularly within those agencies now responsible for countering the terrorist threat. This will require significant role changes within primary law enforcement and intelligence agencies, a directed effort to coordinate and cooperate between agencies, and a re-thinking of U.S. foreign policy toward the Middle East.  

Robert W. Taylor, Professor | School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences | [email protected] | 972-883-4959

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Newsletter edited by Rita Cubie, Administrative Assistant, UT Dallas eLearning Team

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