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Tech Briefs

Web Site Matches Athletes to Colleges
Westport, Conn.— C What We C Enterprises Inc. has launched a sports-recruitment Web site that offers high school athletes another venue — and in some cases, the only venue — to gain exposure and provides colleges a new method to scout talented players.
Career Sports, located at, is the first high-tech site dedicated to helping student athletes find a college that matches both their athletic and academic needs. The site uses advanced database technology.
The site’s services are free for students. High school and junior college athletes can post detailed academic and athletic information in the national database for college recruiters to view. Additionally, the Web site will offer links to college Web sites so student athletes can research various institutions.
Students currently can post profiles online for eight sports — basketball, baseball, football, tennis, ice hockey, archery, track and soccer. Organizers expect the site to expand soon, allowing student athletes to post profiles for 29 other sports including softball, field hockey, wrestling, cross country, lacrosse, crew, golf, volleyball, swimming and gymnastics.
Officials with the Westport, Conn., company say they are dedicated to providing all students with an equal opportunity to participate in collegiate sports. The Web site also offers a free recruitment aid for high school athletes.

Study Unveils Online Distance Learning Benchmarks
Washington D.C.— What are reliable benchmark criteria for establishing quality distance-education courses? A study funded by the National Education Association and Blackboard Inc., a leading online education company, has identified 24 quality measures for online courses in higher education.
The report, Quality on the Line, which was completed by the Institute for Higher Education Policy and announced last month during the Blackboard Summit 2000 conference, describes the quality benchmarks.
“The benchmarks identified in this study are important guideposts as our nation navigates the future of online higher education,” says Dr. Bob Chase, president of the NEA. “[They] will help ensure that the human touch in learning is not lost.”
The benchmarks fall into seven categories, which include institutional support, course development, teaching/learning, course structure, student support, faculty support and evaluation and assessment.
The NEA and Blackboard joined together in 1999 to commission the study following the Institute for Higher Education Policy’s publication of What’s The Difference: A Review of Contemporary Research on the Effectiveness of Distance Learning in Higher Education.
“[Quality on the Line] was a follow-up to [What’s The Difference]. The question we looked at is, how do you measure the quality in online education?” says Dr. Jamie Merisotis, IHEP president.
Blackboard officials and the NEA’s Chase announced the study’s release at Blackboard’s annual meeting for higher education policymakers, faculty and administrators on March 21. The study is available this month at

Student’s Web Study a Wake-Up Call for Oliver North
VALPARAISO, Ind. — A Valparaiso University senior induced conservative radio and television talk show host Oliver North to clean up his Internet site.
Senior Angelica Mortensen found links to the Aryan Nations white supremacy group on North’s Web page, and asked the retired lieutenant colonel about the link when he spoke at Valparaiso earlier this month.
At the time, North scoffed at the suggestion such a link existed. But the next day, his Web site was down much of the morning for “repairs.” When the site was back in action, North left a note saying his staff had erred in allowing the link to be posted — and he thanked Mortensen for letting him know.
North then dispatched a fax to the Post-Tribune of Gary:
“I was advised today that deep in the site, links to organizations which I vehemently oppose had been established without my knowledge or authorization. Those connections and references have been removed from my site. I appreciate the students at Valparaiso who brought this to my attention.”
“That’s pretty cool; that makes me feel good,” says Mortensen, a 21-year-old English major. “Imagine. Somebody in power to react to something I said.”      

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A New Track: Fostering Diversity and Equity in Athletics
American sport has always served as a platform for resistance and has been measured and critiqued by how it responds in critical moments of racial and social crises.
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A New Track: Fostering Diversity and Equity in Athletics