Karl L. Zinn papers: 1964-1997
Summary Information
Title: Karl L. Zinn papers
Creator: Zinn, Karl L.
Inclusive dates: 1964-1997
Extent: 20 linear feet
Abstract:
Karl L. Zinn, a specialist in computer-assisted instruction, joined the University of Michigan faculty in 1963 as a research associate with the Center for Research on Learning and Teaching. Promoted to research scientist in 1969, Zinn was instrumental in establishing the MERIT computer network and developing CONFER, the first computer-based conferencing systems on campus. Papers document the development and utilization of CONFER and contain extensive examples of print-outs of conferences, particularly those relating to the use of computers in instruction. Topical files chronicle various technological issues, including the development of MERIT and early uses of computers in the classroom.
Call number: 0476 Aa2
Language: The material is in English
Repository: Bentley Historical Library
1150 Beal Ave.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2113
Phone: 734-764-3482
Fax: 734-936-1333
e-mail: bentley.ref@umich.edu
Home Page: http://www.bentley.umich.edu/
Finding aid created by Nancy Deromedi 2004

Access and Use
Acquisition Information:

The papers (donor no. 9437) were received in 2001.

Access Restrictions:

The collection is open to research with the exception of some student educational material closed under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.

The Zinn papers include restricted material in the following categories:

  1. Student Academic Records -- Boxes 12-13

Access Restrictions for University of Michigan Records

University records are public records and once fully processed are generally open to research use. Records that contain personally identifiable information will be restricted in order to protect individual privacy. Certain administrative records are restricted in accordance with university policy as outlined below. The restriction of university records is subject to compliance with applicable laws, including the Michigan Freedom of Information Act.

Categories of Restricted Records

  • Student educational records : FERPA's protection of personally identifiable information in a student's education records ends at the time of a student's death and therefore is a matter of institutional policy. As a courtesy to the families of recently deceased students who were enrolled at the time of death, the University generally will not release information from their education records for five years without the consent of the deceased student's next of kin. Eighty-five (85) years after the date the records were first created, the University will presume that the student is deceased. Thereafter the student's education records will be open. Student records at the Bentley Historical Library are restricted for eighty-five (85) years, but may also be made available upon proof of the death of the student.

Restricted files are indicated in the contents list of the collection’s finding aid with a restriction note indicating the restriction type and the date of expiration.

For further information on the restriction policy and placing Freedom of Information Act requests for restricted material, consult the reference archivist at the Bentley Historical Library (bentley.ref@umich.edu) or the University of Michigan Freedom of Information Office website (https://foia.vpcomm.umich.edu/).

To protect fragile audiovisual recordings (such as audio cassettes, film reels, and VHS tapes), the Bentley Historical Library has a policy of converting them to digital formats by a professional vendor whenever a researcher requests access. For more information, please see: http://bentley.umich.edu/research/duplication/.

Copyright:

Donor(s) have transferred any applicable copyright to the Regents of the University of Michigan but the collection may contain third-party materials for which copyright was not transferred. Patrons are responsible for determining the appropriate use or reuse of materials.

Preferred Citation:

[item], folder, box, Karl L. Zinn papers, Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan


Biography

Karl L. Zinn joined the University of Michigan faculty in 1963 as a research associate in the Center for Research on Learning and Teaching (CRLT) and as a lecturer in psychology. Zinn was promoted to research scientist in 1969 and maintained this title until he retired from active faculty status in 1997. Zinn joined the Information Technology Division in 1995.

Zinn received his B.A. degree from Swarthmore College in 1959 and his M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Michigan in 1962 and 1964, respectively. Zinn's first work assignment in CRLT was to assist faculty with problems related to testing and evaluation of computer technology for classroom use. Zinns work in this area soon led to him being identified as one of the "best informed individuals in America in the area of computer-assisted instruction, establishing connections with other research centers and setting up demonstration projects using access to the experimental computer systems at IBM, Dartmouth and the University of Illinois."[1] Other significant accomplishments include writing a proposal to the State of Michigan for a possible shared information network to be used among major universities. This proposal resulted in a planning grant for a state-wide computing network. Zinn also authored the proposal to the National Science Foundations that led to the development of the MERIT (Michigan Education and Research Information Triad) computer network in 1966. Zinn was named an associate director of MERIT in 1969.[2]

Zinn is also credited for introducing computer graphics to the University of Michigan; putting the first interactive programming language on the Michigan Terminal System; programming simulations and academic games for instruction; and setting up the first computer-based conferencing system, CONFER, on campus.[3]

CONFER was developed in the mid-1970s when experimental psychology graduate student Bob Parnes attended a seminar which Professor Merrill Flood discussed aspects of electronic mail and conferencing on group decision making. Professor Flood had a prototype of such a program and approached Parnes to modify the application for MTS but, Parnes was interested in developing a program from the ground up.[4] With the support of the University, particularly the Center for Research on Learning and Teaching, CONFER was developed.

Parnes' vision of the system was one where the individual group participant would alternate between being a producer and being a consumer of information. The unique CONFER feature in this regard was initially the functionality of the "vote." This feature allowed the consumer to voice their "feelings" or opinion on a statement by voting. Initially, responses were limited in size.

The first major "test" for the CONFER system was the October 1976 International Society for Technology Assessment (ISTA) Conference held in Ann Arbor. Zinn was interested in testing the technology to facilitate the coordination of tasks among the conference staff as well as using the system to allow conference participants to extend discussions on conference topics. CONFER provided a new opportunity for group discussion and is credited for playing a "tremendous role in enlarging the electronic community" at the University of Michigan.[5]

CONFER continued to gain in popularity with faculty, students, administrators and staff through the 1980s. By 1991, a group of students established the first computer conference for exclusively for students called MEET: STUDENTS. This very popular conference marked, in a sense, the acceptance of online communications as a culturally accepted mode for student communication and exchange.

For many on campus, the benefits of CONFER included meeting new people with similar interests, engaging in group discussion, and communicating outside the normal parameters defined by time and space. The CONFER system continued to be a widely used communication tool until 1999. By this time, the university had moved from the Michigan Terminal System to a distributed computing environment and several newer digital technologies replaced the functionality provided by CONFER. [6]

_____________________________________

NOTES

1) Information taken from University of Michigan Regent's Proceedings, January Meeting, 1998.

2) Eric M. Aupperle, Merit—Who, What, and Why Part One: The Early Years, 1964-1983, Merit Network, Inc., website, http://www.merit.edu (last viewed September 14, 2004).

3)Information taken from University of Michigan Regent's Proceedings, January Meeting, 1998

4) MTS Fostered Creation of Computing Community, Information Technology Digest, May 13, 1996 (vol. 5, no. 5).

5) Susan E. Topol, Students Met Students on Confer U, InfoTech Digital, September 8, 1997.

6) ibid.


Collection Scope and Content Note

The Karl Zinn papers document the development and utilization of CONFER, the first computer-based conferencing system on campus, and contain extensive examples of print-outs of conferences, particularly those relating to the use of computers in instruction. Topical files chronicle various technological issues, including the development of MERIT, the Michigan state-wide computer network, and early uses of computers in the classroom. The Zinn papers are organized into three series CONFER, Topical Files and User Reference Documentation.

Subject Terms

This collection is indexed under the following headings in the finding aid database and catalog of The Bentley Historical Library/University of Michigan. Researchers desiring additional information about related topics should search the catalog using these headings.


  • Computer assisted instruction.
  • Computer networks -- Michigan.
  • Computer conferencing -- Michigan -- Ann Arbor.
  • Information technology.
  • MERIT Computer Network.
  • University of Michigan -- Faculty.
Contents List
Request materials for use in the Bentley Library
Container / Location Title
 
CONFER [series]

The CONFER series provides documentation on of the development and use of the CONFER software at the University of Michigan. (14 linear feet, 1975-1991) is comprised of two subseries: Background Material, and CONFER Sessions.

 
Background Material [subseries]

Background materials include Robert Parnes' dissertation Learning to CONFER: The Interplay of Theory and Practice in Computer Conferencing, "A Call for a Conference Topic" by Parnes and a CONFER printout titled "How to Get the Most from the Least: Some Thoughts on Microcomputers in Education" written by Karl Zinn.

Box   1  
Agenda for CRLT (Center for Research on Learning and Teaching): Research and Development September 12, 1979
Box   1  
Dissertation Learning to CONFER: The Interplay of Theory and Practice in Computer Conferencing, Robert Parnes 1981 (2 folders)
Box   1  
How to Get the Most from the Least: Some Thoughts on Microcomputers in Education Karl Zinn September 15, 1978
Box   1  
Introduction: Call for a Conference Topic Robert Parnes, (oversized printout) April 15, 1975
Box   1  
Model for Teleconferencing, Karl Zinn March 24, 1975
Box   1  
What is Computer Conferencing, CONFER.QUEST April 20, 1979
 
CONFER Sessions [subseries]

The CONFER Sessions subseries is comprised of paper printouts from a subset of computer-based conferences that ran on the University of Michigan mainframe computing system (Michigan Terminal System) from 1975 to 1994. These were printed by Zinn, and are indicative of his involvement and interests. This subseries provides an informative view of the introduction, evolution and use of a new technology designed specifically to support computer-based communications. The subseries includes RP.CONFER the original conference that utilized the CONFER I application program; student administered conferences; conferences used to supplement class discussion; and a series of conferences designed for the International Science and Technology Assessment Congress held in Ann Arbor in 1976. The CONFER Sessions subseries is divided into Public Conferences and University of Michigan Class Conferences. Access to the latter is restricted in accord with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.

The CONFER paper printouts are essentially a static snapshot of an asynchronous communications system. The term "snapshot" is used as the original functionality of the CONFER II system are features that could not be replicated in the paper printouts. In addition, not all entries, once posted within the system, could be captured in the paper printout as some entries were time-dependent and were deleted on a specific schedule. Lastly, the interactive nature of CONFER can not be adequately captured in a static document. As Zinn describes in a welcome message, literally "hundreds of participants passed by this electronic bulletin board from day to day."7 A sense of the features and the evolution of the use and functionality of the system can be gained by consulting the User Reference Documentation series and Robert Parnes' dissertation. The features and use of the technology can also be realized through some of the CONFERS themselves. Robert Parnes used CONFER as a testbed and one will often see Parnes "step" into a particular session to query users about the functionality of specific features and to announce changes to the system.

CONFER printouts are available in two sizes. For the most part, conferences dating from 1975 to about 1980 were printed on 15" x 11" paper, and conferences dating after 1980 were printed on standard 8 1/2" x 11" paper. For the larger sized conferences, the cover sheet of the printout includes the job number that produced the conference report, the system source, and the date and time the report was generated. Later printouts do not include all of this information but do include the date the session was printed to paper.

Entries within conferences generally include the item number, date and time, number of lines for a particular entry, author, subject line and a calculation of the number of related items on this topic within the conference. Many of the conferences include an index of topics discussed and a directory of participants. The index is generally found at the start of the conference and the directory of participants at the end. In addition, many conferences also include as one of the first entries a welcome message from the conference organizer that includes a brief description of the purpose of the conference. CONFER II and later CONFER U were in use at the University of Michigan from 1975 until September 1, 1999. A summary of the CONFER sessions located in this collection appears below.

[Sources: CRLT:MICROS, Volume IV, A snapshot of dialogue on microcomputers in education, ca. October 1983 and USER:FORUM, Recent changes to Confer, Item 6, 05:09 Sep08/82, posted by Bob Parnes.]

 
Public Conferences 1975-circa 1980
Box   1  
Activity Report 1977
Box   1  
CAP: SHARE August 1976-June 1977 (2 folders)
Box   1  
CAP: WAR 1976-1977
Box   1  
CAP: SUMMER June-July 1978
Box   1  
CONFER, List of Conferences at the University of Michigan 1976-1977
Box   1  
CONFER II, User's Guide, August 31,1977
Box   1  
CRLT: G804 (oversized printout) January-April 1979
Box   1  
CRLT: Conference, Listing of Descriptors and Items (oversized printout) circa 1975
Box   1  
CRLT: Conference September 1976-April 1977

(oversized printout)

Box   2  
2G2B: Staff January-April 1993
Box   2  
AIGP: Forum (Artificial Intelligence) March 1983-1987 (3 folders)
Box   2  
ARCH: Forum November 1986-April 1987
Box   2  
CABA: Micro-Ed February 1984 (2 folders)
Box   2  
CAUCUS January-April 1976
Box   2  
CPS: Word (CONFER Problems and Suggestions) February 1983-January 1984 (2 folders)
Box   2  
GRAF: Graphics November 1977-March 1989
Box   2  
IEAR: Advisors, (Advisory services for computers in education) December 1982-April 1983
Box   2  
LINK: ART April 1987-June 1988
Box   2  
LISA-MAC April-April 1984 (2 folders)
Box   2  
LOGO: Forum May 1985-April 1987
Box   2  
MICH: EIC, (Michigan Effective Instruction Consortium) December 1988-June 1989
Box   2  
MICH: GIFTEd August 1989
Box   2  
MICH: SPEDTEC November 1985
Box   2  
MCUL: CURE September-December 1986
Box   2  
MCUL: Forum January 1988-May 1989
Box   2  
MCUL: SIGCC April 1986-May 1989
 
MSTA: Forum (Michigan Science Teachers Association)
Box   2  
February 1985-April 1987
Box   2  
January-August 1989
Box   2  
NETI: Forum August 1984
Box   2  
NETI: Staff August 1984
Box   2  
PC2:!Conf June 1986-April 1987
Box   2  
RC: FoodSupply (Residential College) January-March 1987
Box   2  
Religion September-November 1987
Box   2  
RP.CONFER (Robert Parnes) June-July 1975
Box   2  
Span: MS (MicroSpan) March-July 1982
Box   2  
Span: Vision April-May 1990
Box   3  
K556: OLDMAGNA March 1977-March 1978
Box   3  
CRLT: CON.Ed February-May 1979
Box   3  
CRLT: CONF July 1975-July 1976 (2 folders)
Box   3  
CRLT: Conduit February-April 1976
Box   3  
CRLT: Planning September-March 1979
Box   3  
MICROS February-May 1978
 
MNET: CAUCUS
Box   3  
August-October 1978
Box   3  
August 1978-January 1980 (2 folders)
Box   3  
RP CONFER April-September 1975
 
STST:Con.CENSUS
Box   3  
February-April 1976
Box   3  
May 1976-June 1977
Box   3  
SPSS: Talk June 1976-June 1977
Box   3  
Untitled May 1975
Box   3  
Untitled, possibly Micros May 1978-May 1980
Box   3  
Untitled February-December 1979 (2 folders)
Box   4  
CRLT: Advisors December 1982-October 1983 (2 folders)
Box   4  
CRLT: AUC July-August 1984
Box   4  
CRLT: CBE (Computer Based Education) October 1975-March 1976
 
CRLT: EdMicro
Box   4  
Volume I August 1984-September 1985
Box   4  
Volume II October 1985-January 1989
Box   4  
CRLT: Expos September-December 1986
Box   4  
CRLT: HC March-May 1988
Box   4  
CRLT: Hypercard April 1988-November 1991
Box   4  
CRLT: Learning September-November 1986
Box   4  
CRLT: LT January-March 1986
Box   5  
CRLT: MAC.NOTES
Box   5  
March-June 1984
Box   5  
August 1984-September 1985 (2 folders)
Box   5  
October 1985-March 1987 (3 folders)
Box   5  
March 1987-November 1989 (3 folders)
Box   5  
CRLT: MERRA November 1976
 
CRLT: MICROS
Box   5  
Volume III June 1980-June 1981 (3 folders)
Box   5  
Volume IV January-September 1983 (2 folders)
Box   5  
Volume V September 1983-July 1984 (3 folders)
Box   5  
Volume VI August 1984-June 1985 (3 folders)
Box   6  
Volume VII July-March 1986 (10 folders)
Box   6  
Volume VIII March 1986-June 1987 (6 folders)
Box   7  
Volume IX July 1987-December 1989 (8 folders)
Box   7  
CRLT: Musiccomp October-November 1986
Box   7  
CRLT: OldMicros October 1981-December 1982 (2 folders)
Box   8  
CRLT: Peace January-April 1986
Box   8  
CRLT: Organizer September 1978-April 1987 (3 folders)
Box   8  
CRLT: RELIGION January-April 1988 (2 folders)
Box   8  
CRLT: Staff July 1981-June 1983 (4 folders)
 
CRLT: TA
Box   8  
April 1988-April 1989
Box   8  
February-July 1991
Box   8  
CRLT: Teachers April-June 1983
Box   8  
CRLT: QUEST February 1986
Box   8  
CRLT: UBMAC October 1985-September 1988
 
CRLT: USE.CONFER
Box   8  
March 1986-February 1987
Box   8  
February 1988-April 1990
Box   8  
CRLT: Use.CONFER1, December 1985-Feburary 1986
 
CRLT: WS351
Box   8  
January-March 1987 (2 folders)
Box   8  
CRLT: WORDP, March 1 1979-June 1981 (2 folders)
Box   9  
Second International Congress on Technology Assessment, sponsored by International Society for Technology Assessment (ISTA) Conference October 24-28, 1976

(oversized printout)

Box   9  
ISTA: AGRICULTURE October 1976
Box   9  
ISTA: ASPECTS October 1976
Box   9  
ISTA: DEVELOPMENT October 1976
Box   9  
ISTA: EDUCATION October 1976
Box   9  
ISTA: GLOSSARY October 1976
Box   9  
ISTA: MICRO February-March 1977
Box   9  
ISTA: PARADIGMS October 1976
Box   9  
ISTA: PERSPECTIVES October 1976
Box   9  
ISTA: PLANNING (background staff communications) October 1976
Box   9  
ISTA: PROJECTS October 1976
Box   9  
ISTA: SCHEDULE October 1976
Box   9  
ISTA: SOLAR, October 1976-Feburary 1977
Box   9  
ISTA: STAFF October 1976
Box   9  
ISTA: WRITINGS October 1976
Box   10  
MEET: OURSELVES May-December 1986 (3 folders)
Box   10  
MEET: PLANNERS April 1985-December 1986 (3 folders)

(originally started as LBFM: SAMPLE)

 
MEET: STUDENTS
Box   10  
Volume I (index) September 1985
Box   10  
Volume II September-November 1986 (3 folders)
 
MEET: UM
Box   10  
August-November 1986 (2 folders)
Box   10  
January-September 1988
Box   10  
MNET: CAUCUS, Volume IV August 1980-June 1981
Box   10  
NOW: CONSIDER March-September 1989
Box   10  
STAT: Con.Census, (background materials only) circa 1976
Box   11  
UMED: MEDNET, (index only) November 1987
Box   11  
User: UB April-September 1985
 
USER: FORUM
Box   11  
Volume I, started May 1979
Box   11  
Volume II July 1980-September 1981 (3 folders)
Box   11  
Volume III September 1982-June 1983 (2 folders)
Box   11  
Volume IV September 1985-September 1988 (2 folders)
Box   11  
User: OldForum, Volume 3 September 1981-April 1992 (2 folders)
Box   11  
USER Planning January 1980-March 1981 (2 folders)
 
University of Michigan Class Conferences circa 1978-1992
Box   12  
1CVA: Wonder September-October 1987 [Student records restricted until July 01, 2072]
Box   12  
1GDB: CS181 September-December 1992 (2 folders)  [Student records restricted until July 01, 2077]
Box   12  
1GHA: Writing September-December 1986 (2 folders)  [Student records restricted until July 01, 2071]
Box   12  
1JYA: 503 September-December 1986-1987 [Student records restricted until July 01, 2062]
Box   12  
1J3A: PEACE September-October 1985 [Student records restricted until July 01, 2070]
Box   12  
2GDA: Comp74 January-April 1987 (2 folders)  [Student records restricted until July 01, 2063]
Box   12  
2G2B: 181 CONFER January-April 1992 [Student records restricted until July 01, 2077]
Box   12  
2KSB: 181 CONFER January-April 1992 (2 folders)  [Student records restricted until July 01, 2077]
Box   12  
2Q1A: Argue February-April 1986 (2 folders)  [Student records restricted until July 01, 2072]
Box   12  
BAD: IDEA March-September 1986 [Student records restricted until July 01, 2071]
Box   12  
GULF: FORUM March-May 1991 [Student records restricted until July 01, 2076]
Box   12  
K9JK: UTEPSEM September-December 1986 [Student records restricted until July 01, 2061]
Box   12  
Linguistics and Computers December 1986 [Student records restricted until July 01, 2071]
Box   12  
MAYA: PEACE September-December 1985 [Student records restricted until July 01, 2071]
Box   12  
Professional Composer circa 1987 [Student records restricted until July 01, 2072]
 
RC.Community
Box   12  
October -- November 1986 [Student records restricted until July 01, 2071]
Box   12  
September-November 1988 [Student records restricted until July 01, 2073]
Box   12  
RC: WIN 86H445 January-May 1986 [Student records restricted until July 01, 2071]
Box   13  
5B2A:N830, School of Nursing January-July 1979 [Student records restricted until July 01, 2064]
 
LAW 814
Box   13  
September-December 1978 (2 folders)  [Student records restricted until July 01, 2063]
Box   13  
September-December 1979 [Student records restricted until July 01, 2064]
Box   13  
N630, School of Nursing January-March 1976 [Student records restricted until July 01, 2061]
Box   13  
SSHD, School of Nursing January-May 1976 [Student records restricted until July 01, 2061]
 
Topical Files [series]

The Topical Files series (6 linear feet, 1964-1997) includes a substantial amount of information on MERIT, MICIS (Michigan Inter-University Committee on Information Systems), Project EXTEND (Extending University Computing Resources into College Learning Activities) and the University Committee on Computer Policy and Utilization (UCCPU). The files in this series are arranged alphabetically. In addition, the subseries is valuable for the range of grant proposals, reports and other initiatives Zinn was involved in during this time period to learn about and integrate the use of microcomputers in education. Zinn includes additional context for many of the project files found within this series by his use of "notes" to the file. These notes, generally hand-written, are typically the first document located within a file.

Box   14  
AAAS (American Association for the Advancement of Science) Workshop June-July 1975
Box   14  
Academic Computing Policy Subcommittee February 1985
Box   14  
Ann Arbor Public Schools, demonstration of Computer Aided Instruction (CAI) undated
Box   14  
Author-Training Proposal circa 1967
Box   14  
Bell Telephone Systems circa 1965
Box   14  
Bell Telephone Laboratories circa 1969
 
CAI (Computer Assisted Instruction) circa 1966
Box   14  
Demonstration materials June 1966
Box   14  
Proposal Project 1965
Box   14  
Computer-based educational communications at the University of Michigan circa 1976
 
Computing Center
Box   14  
Internal Memorandums August 1973-March 1980 (3 folders)
 
Computing Materials 1972-1974
Box   14  
Dearborn
Box   14  
Flint
Box   14  
Oakland University
Box   14  
Wayne State University
Box   14  
Western Michigan University
Box   14  
Computer Sourcebook, background material circa 1973
 
CONCOMP (Research in the Conversational Use of Computers)
Box   14  
General 1968-1981 (2 folders)
Box   14  
Instruction circa 1967
Box   14  
Memorandum PDP-8 Simulator July 1967
Box   14  
Progress Reports circa 1967
Box   14  
Computers in Instruction Conference October 1-3, 1970
Box   14  
Conferences, general 1975
Box   14  
Conferences Lists of Topics and Potential Participants 1976
Box   14  
Conference on Instructional Computing in Michigan (ICM) March 1973
 
Correspondence
Box   14  
Robben Fleming February 1974
Box   14  
Ted Glaser May 1, 1972
Box   14  
(Related to) Sourcebook on Resource Sharing for Instructional Computing circa 1974
Box   14  
Educom, EST pilot undated
Box   14  
Educom Conference October 1972
Box   14  
EXPERIM (Experimental Simulation) 1976
Box   14  
Exxon Proposal circa 1971
Box   15  
Flyers, computing events circa 1975
Box   15  
Grant proposal, Languages and Technical Assistance circa 1970
Box   15  
INFONET, Educom Conference held in Ann Arbor, Michigan 1989
Box   15  
Instructional Development Fund (IDF), application and review notes April 1975
Box   15  
Instructional Technology Committee, Commission on Education, Meeting Notes November 17, 1969
 
International Congress on Technology Assessment (ISTA)
Box   15  
Conference List circa 1977
Box   15  
General Files October 1976
Box   15  
Project Report, Telecommunications at the Second International ISTA Congress: An Experiment in Extending Technical Communications through Computer-based Conferencing in Association with Professional Meetings June 14, 1979
Box   15  
Solar, background files circa 1977
 
Inter-University Committee on Instructional Use of Computers (IUCIUC)
Box   15  
Ad hoc Committee on the Instructional Uses of Computers 1965
Box   15  
Background and General Files 1966
Box   15  
Proposal draft, "The Prototype Development of a Computer-based Educational Network between Three Universities," November 22, 1965
Box   15  
Instructional Technology General Counsel, charge and membership circa 1988
Box   15  
Journal articles on CONFER circa 1984
Box   15  
LIPS (Languages for Interactive Problem Solving), meeting materials circa 1972
Box   15  
MAD.I: ConComp: Research in Conversational Use of Computers November 1966
 
MERIT
Box   15  
Addendum to a Proposal to Office of Computing Activities National Science Foundation April 1969
Box   15  
Barr's Report on Long-Range Planning for MERIT January 28, 1975
Box   15  
Brainstorming March 25, 1975
Box   15  
Brochure circa 1974
Box   15  
Chronicle of Merit's Early History October 22, 1997
Box   15  
Director March 1974
Box   15  
Director's Advisory Committee 1975
Box   15  
Educational Computing at the University of Michigan: A Survey of Activities and Resources April 22, 1974
Box   15  
Facilities and Resources, guide and background materials circa 1975
Box   15  
History of MERIT Computer Network November 13, 1974
Box   15  
Identification of Instructional Needs and Potential Uses of an Interuniversity Computing Network in the State of Michigan March 1970
Box   15  
Legislative presentation January 1968
Box   15  
Letter for Workshops undated
Box   15  
Memorandum to C. Overberger circa 1975
Box   15  
Memorandum to Staff 1972-1974
Box   15  
Miscellaneous Files 1974-1975
 
Papers
Box   15  
Development of Applications for the Merit Computing Network June 1972
Box   15  
Development of Applications for the MERIT Computer Network: Enhancement of Selected Resources circa 1974
Box   15  
Planning, general materials Fall 1974
Box   15  
Project Description
 
Proposal (MERIT)
 
Background and General Files
Box   15  
1967
Box   16  
1968
Box   16  
1969
Box   16  
Expanding the Facilities of the MERIT Computer Networks December 1973
Box   16  
Prototype Network of Users of Computers for Self-Instruction and Teaching November 15, 1970
Box   16  
Unique Resources at Merit Host Computing Center February 1970
Box   16  
Proposal Summary February 1970
Box   16  
Proposed Budget circa 1971
 
Publication
Box   16  
MAL (MERIT Assembly Language) User's Guide and Link11 User's Guide July 1971
 
Reports
Box   16  
Educational Computing at the University of Michigan: A Survey of Activities and Resources 1973-1974
Box   16  
Educational Computing at the University of Michigan: A Survey of Activities and Resources 1976-1977
Box   16  
Progress Report July 1969-March 1971
Box   16  
Progress on Applications Development 1970-1971
Box   16  
Site Visit April 1968
Box   16  
Survey of University of Michigan Users 1974
Box   16  
Workshop June 1970
 
MICIS (Michigan Inter-University Committee on Information Systems)
Box   16  
Agendas and Meeting Minutes 1973-1975
Box   16  
Association of Public Data Users April 1976
Box   16  
Background Materials circa 1973, undated
Box   16  
Computing Resources Directory undated
Box   16  
Directory of Unique Learning Resources for Higher Education in Michigan October 1975
Box   16  
Extensions Task Force circa 1966
Box   16  
Exxon Proposal January 1976
 
General Files
Box   16  
1966-1967
Box   16  
1968-1970
Box   16  
1974
Box   16  
Library Consortium 1972, undated
Box   16  
Membership circa 1975, undated
Box   16  
Program Exchange circa 1976
Box   17  
Project Statement 1967-1969
Box   17  
Proposals circa 1967-1975
 
Report
Box   17  
Original MICIS Report April 2, 1970
Box   17  
Task Force on Instructional Programs and Educational Technology 1975
Box   17  
Staff Organization circa 1968
Box   17  
Michigan Information System (MIS) Task Force and Advisory Committee circa 1969
Box   17  
Michigan Terminal System (MTS) Manual 1987
Box   17  
Network Examples, Concepts and Profiles circa 1972
 
Networks for Knowledge
Box   17  
1966-1968, undated
Box   17  
1970
Box   17  
Notes on Potential Users of Computer Aided Instruction (CAI) 1970
Box   17  
ON-LINE, general files 1974-1978
Box   17  
On-line Computer Conference on Conferencing May 21, 1975
Box   17  
Organizer February 1977
 
Papers
Box   17  
Brief History of Computers in Teaching and Learning Activities circa 1974
Box   17  
Instructional Uses of the Computer in Higher Education March 1971
Box   17  
Planning and Control of Computing Resources, Charles Mossmann September 1973
Box   17  
Questions and Comments About MTS: Forum, Jeff Ogden May 1979
 
Pittsburgh Interactive Language (PIL)
Box   17  
General Files 1971-1974
Box   17  
Primer 1971
Box   17  
Report, Volume 12: PIL/2 in MTS December 1974
Box   17  
PLATO computer-based education (CBE) system March 1975
Box   17  
Programming Languages and the Field of Law 1974
 
Project EXTEND (Extending University Computing Resources into College Learning Activities)
 
Advisory Committee Meeting Minutes
Box   17  
1971
Box   17  
1972
Box   17  
An Aid to Documentation 1971
Box   17  
Annotated Table of Contents for Program Documentation circa 1971
Box   17  
Correspondence, general circa 1972
Box   17  
Demonstrations of Instructional Computing in Project Extend circa 1974
Box   17  
Distribution List for Project Extend undated
Box   17  
Information Sheet 1972-1974
Box   17  
Information and Program Exchange Services 1970-1973
Box   17  
Instructions for Using the Datel or UCC Terminal undated
Box   17  
Extending University Computing Resources into College Learning Activities circa 1972-1974
Box   17  
Flyers circa 1972
Box   18  
General Files circa 1970-1975
Box   18  
Help Files undated
Box   18  
News from Project EXTEND circa 1972
Box   18  
Notes on SPAN: Programs circa 1972
Box   18  
Procedures and Guidelines for Participating Institutions circa 1972
Box   18  
Program Descriptions circa 1972
Box   18  
Programming Languages circa 1971
Box   18  
Progress Reports January and July 1972
 
Publications
Box   18  
Instructional Uses of Interactive Computer Systems, September 1968
Box   18  
Program Logic Manual for MAL (Merit Assembly Language) July 1971
Box   18  
Research News (scattered dates) 1964, 1970, 1985, 1990
Box   18  
A Short Guide to MTS and Remote Terminal Operation circa 1972
Box   18  
Referral Service April 1975
 
Reports
Box   18  
Appropriation Request for a Computer Network to Improve Learning and Teaching, a. 1967-1968
Box   18  
Building Program for the Proposed Michigan Information Center December 1965
Box   18  
Comparative Study of Languages for Programming Interactive Use of Computers in Instruction 1969
Box   18  
Tables of Languages and Support August 1971
Box   18  
Work Plan circa 1971-1973
 
Proposals
Box   18  
Concomp: Research in Conversational Use of Computers March 1965
Box   18  
Effectiveness and Efficiency of Selected Technology Assessment Methodology undated
Box   18  
Exxon proposal, background materials February 1975
Box   18  
Multi-disciplinary Faculty Workshops on Development of Computer-based Gaming and Simulation in College Teaching March 1975
Box   18  
Proposal for a New Data Concentrator December 1970
Box   18  
Telecommunications at the Second International ISTA Congress: An Experiment in Extending Technical Communications through Computer-based Conferencing in Association with Professional Meetings March 29, 1976
Box   18  
Progress Report A Computer-based System to Enhance Sharing of Technical Information in a System of Scientific Communities January 26, 1977
 
Publications
Box   18  
Computers in Teaching and Learning Activities: A Sourcebook on Resource Sharing Among Colleges and Universities 1975
Box   18  
Computing Report in Science and Engineering, November-December 1969
Box   18  
Reprints, Karl Zinn circa 1969-1976
 
Reports
Box   18  
Computer-based System to Enhance Sharing of Technical Information in a System of Scientific Communities March 17, 1968
Box   18  
An Evaluative Review of Uses of Computers in Instruction Project CLUE (Computer Learning Under Evaluation) December 1970
Box   18  
An Introduction to FOIL (File-Oriented Interpretive Language) Programming in NTS May 1971
Box   18  
Information Processing Systems as a Basis of Learning Environments December 10, 1970
Box   18  
Report on Machine Computation at the University of Michigan November 12, 1964
 
Reports (cont.)
Box   18  
Reports by Working Group for the Information Infrastructure July 1992
Box   19  
Seminar on Information Systems and Simulations in Medical Education February 1975
Box   19  
Small Grant Proposal, application background material 1969
Box   19  
State of Michigan, planning materials 1965-1966
Box   19  
State of Michigan, technical committee 1965-1966
Box   19  
Statistical Systems and Databases Working Group circa 1970
Box   19  
Survey of Instructional Computing at the University of Michigan November 1981
 
Technical Reports (Concomp)
Box   19  
PDP-8/338 Executive System June 1967
Box   19  
Engineering Assistant: Design of a Symbol Manipulation System August 1967
Box   19  
Engineering Design Report: PDP-7/Modified 338 Display Interface August 1967
Box   19  
Teleconferencing circa 1975
Box   19  
Telnet, background materials circa 1977
 
University Committee on Computer Policy and Utilization (UCCPU)
Box   19  
Ad hoc Subcommittee on Instructional Software circa 1972
Box   19  
Computer Funds, general files circa 1975
 
Instructional Uses for Computers (Subcommittee)
Box   19  
1966-1967
Box   19  
1970-1972 (2 folders)
Box   19  
Katz circa 1965
 
Meeting Agenda and Materials
Box   19  
1966
Box   19  
1970-1972
Box   19  
1975
Box   19  
Recommendations for Action and Further Study Regarding Instructional Use of Computers at the University 1970-1971
Box   19  
Requests 1972
Box   19  
Steering Committee Meeting Materials 1970
Box   19  
University Subcommittee on Academic Computing
Box   19  
1984
Box   19  
Report of the Advisory Task Force on Computing Center Access May 18, 1984
Box   19  
Strategic Directions and Initiatives 1984-1987 September 15, 1984
Box   19  
UM-Apple Contract, remarks made to the Executive Officers December 7, 1983
 
User Reference Documentation [series]

The User Reference Documentation series (1 linear foot, 1971-1988) is comprised of support documentation written for various users, administrators, faculty and students of the CONFER system. The earliest guide, "CONFER Guide, A Guide for the Computer-Conference Organizer," dates to 1975. Guides in the subseries range from small pocket-size guides to full instructional manuals.

Box   20  
Autonote User's Manual July 20, 1971
Box   20  
A Basic Software Package for the Computek Terminal on MTS August 1971
Box   20  
Computer Terminals For Education August 15, 1973
Box   20  
Educational Information Network January 14, 1968
Box   20  
Concomp, Data Concentrator User's Guide April 1970
 
CONFER
Box   20  
The Beginner's Guide to CONFER II 1986
Box   20  
Computer-based Educational Communications at the University of Michigan February 25, 1976
Box   20  
Faculty Workshop 1987
Box   20  
"Green" Guide to CONFER II circa 1979
Box   20  
A Guide for the Computer-Conference Organizer September 15, 1975
Box   20  
Instructional Documentation circa 1976
Box   20  
Instruction Guide and not dated 1987
Box   20  
Instructor Guide for Class Use of Confer February 8, 1988
Box   20  
An Introduction to Computer-based Conferencing November 22, 1976
Box   20  
Notes for Busy Users of CONFER and not dated circa 1989
Box   20  
Notes for Organizers of Class Conferences Using CONFER on MTS December 3, 1985
Box   20  
Notes from the On-line Documentation October 30, 1975
Box   20  
Organizer's Guide to CONFER II, A CRLT Workshop February 1984
Box   20  
Organizing a Computer-based Conference: A Guide for Persons Using CONFER on MTS circa 1978 (2 folders)
Box   20  
Pocket Guides to CONFER Computer-Aided Communication 1976-1977
Box   20  
Pocket Guide for the ISTA Congress October 24-28, 1976
Box   20  
Quick Start Reference Guides to Confer II circa 1986
Box   20  
Support Packet September 1988
Box   20  
Tutorial 1976
Box   20  
User's Guide to CONFER II July 1985
Box   20  
Conference on Instructional Computing March 2-3, 1973
Box   20  
HAL2 Manual July 1975
Box   20  
List of Information Technology Instruction Advisors November 1981
Box   20  
Merit Reference Shelf circa 1971
Box   20  
Microcomputers at the University of Michigan circa 1978
Box   20  
Mini and Microcomputer Interaction with MTS January 1981
Box   20  
Presentations at the CRLT Faculty Seminar circa 1979
 
Reference Guides
Box   20  
For Using Silent 700 Terminal on MTS undated
Box   20  
For Using Portacom Terminal on MTS undated
Box   20  
Progress Report, A Computer-based System to Enhance Sharing of Technical Information in a System of Scientific Communities January 26, 1977
 
Reports
Box   20  
Computer-based Educational Communications at the University of Michigan February 25, 1976
Box   20  
Group Viewing of Interactive Computer Output: A Description of Techniques and Devices August 1972
Box   20  
Means for Student Access to Computers: An Outline February 1971
Box   20  
Riding the Wave of the New Information Technologies: The Administrator's Role November 1981
Box   20  
Seminar on Personal Home Computers in Teaching and Scholarly Work Spring 1979
Box   20  
Survey of Instructional Computing at the University of Michigan November 1, 1981
Additional Descriptive Data

Summary of CONFER Session print-outs

This list was compiled using similar lists located in the manuscripts and by reading through the purpose statements for many of the CONFER sessions. Note that over time, certain conventions evolved within CONFER including a brief welcome message that included a statement on the scope of the conference.

The names given for the CONFERs were based on a scheme that aimed to start all class conferences with a sequence of numbers (e.g. 2Q1A:Argue) and that included CRLT as the pre-fix for all conferences facilitated by Center for Learning and Teaching staff. Other conventions draw on the use of acronyms (e.g. CAP for Computer Assistance Program of the Political Science Department, ISTA for International Science Technology Assessment) and other abbreviations such as TA for Technology Assessment, Word for Microsoft Word, and MICRO for Microcomputers.

[CONFER descriptions and notes drawn from CONFER U Conferences, Information Technology Digest, http://www.itd.umich.edu/ITDigest/0997/feat01side02.html; Robert Parnes dissertation, "Learning to CONFER: The Interplay of Theory and Practice in Computer Conferencing"; Anne Gilliland-Swetland, Gregory Kinney, William Wallach, Final Report to the NHPRC, December 1992; and from reading through a number of the CONFERS. }

Confer Name Description
1J3A:PEACE Conference for a class taught by Professor Dick Mann. Professor Mann states the purpose of the confer is to "Use this item to accumulate general reactions to the whole notion of PEACE itself."
2GDB181:Staff CONFER for a computer science course. Professor Aaron Finerman.
2Q1A:Argue Class conference that includes discussion not limited to classroom topics but includes current events and comments on campus situations. Professor Dick Meisler.
5BZA:N830 Nursing 830 taught by Professor Ruth Barnard.
K556:OLD MAGNA Conference for persons interested in developing games and related phenomena.
K9JK:UTEPSEM Class conference. Professor Allan Feldt.
AIGP: FORUM Discussion on uses, trends and ethical issues involving artificial intelligence.
ARCH:FORUM Discussion on architecture and use of technology.
BAD:IDEA Class project for RC 45 Linguistics and Computation. Professor John Lawler.
CABA: Micro-Ed CONFER printout in record group does not seem complete.
CAP: SHARE ICPSR (Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research) summer symposia communication conference. Led to a permanent conference for CAP (Computer Assistance Program of the Political Science Department).
CAP:SUMMER Discussion on MTS and use of CONFER.
CPS:WORD Designed to serve as an online user's group for text processing software in general.
CRLT: AUC Conference set up for the Apple University Consortium Organization (AUC).
CRLT: CBE For discussion of issues related to computer-based education.
CRLT: Con.ED To discuss the educational applications of computer conferencing at the University of Michigan.
CRLT: EdMicro Discussion on use and thoughts of how microcomputers could be used in the classroom for teaching.
CRLT: Expos Self-reflection on writing experience. Classroom experiment with technology.
CRLT:HC Conference designed only for persons involved in planning the HyperCard Workshop.
CRLT: Hypercard Designed for discussion, organization and review of information relating to Hypercard.
CRLT:MAC.NOTES Conference for the discussion of the Macintosh computer in education.
CRLT:MERRA Conference designed for the activities of the Michigan Energy Resource and Research Association.
CRLT:MICROS Discussion on all aspects of microcomputers.
CRLT:OldMicros For a statewide discussion of the role of microcomputers in education.
CRLT:Organizer Designed to share ideas about the organization of conferences and the design of CONFER.
CRLT:Planning Conference developed out of MET:CAUSE for the purpose of developing a plan for the UM MTS user's conference (USER:FORUM).
CRLT:Religion Discussion conference for a religion class.
CRLT:Use.CONFER Conference set up to help UM faculty use CONFER.
CRLT: TA CONFER to discuss technology assessment
CRLT: USE.CONFER1 Discussion of how CONFER could be used in education.
CRLT: WORDP Conference designed to provide a forum for discussion on word processing applications.
CRLT: WS351 Conference for course on Women and the Community.
IEAR: Advisors Purpose stated as "an experiment, so we can explore, suggest and critique procedures related to electronic communicating."
ISTA All CONFERS starting with ISTA are conferences designed for the International Society for Technology Assessment conference held in Ann Arbor October 1976.
GULF:Forum Developed for a symposium titled "Learning from the War in the Persian Gulf," March 12-13, 1991. The CONFER was sponsored by the Horace H. Rackham Graduate School and the Information Technology Division. Purpose was to facilitate ongoing discussion on issues related to the events in the Persian Gulf.
LAW814 Conference for "Communication Sciences and Law" taught by Professor Layman Allen.
LAWC:MUSIC Discussion of issues related to computer music. Informal group formed within the Department of Electrical Engineering.
LINK:ART Public conference sponsored by the School of Art as an informal meeting place for students, faculty, and staff to share information and ideas on art.
LISA:MAC Information exchange with Apple University. [Does not seem to be complete.]
LOGO:FORUM Network for educators interested in LOGO. Includes participants from across Michigan.
MAC.NOTES A place to discuss anything related to the Macintosh computer.
MAYA:PEACE Peace Studies Conference.
MCUL:Forum Educators from across Michigan discuss computers and education.
MCUL:SIGCC Discussion involving high school teachers, information technologists, and administrators on the topic of technology and education.
MEET OURSELVES Discussion of health and health-related issues.
MEET: PLANNERS Set up as conference to administer MEET: STUDENTS.
MEET: STUDENTS First conference started and administered by students. Covers a range of topics.
MEET: UM Public conference with purpose of informing participants about the university community.
MICROS The conference for discussion of personal computers. Provided by the Center for Research on Learning and Teaching
MNET: CAUCUS Originally started in January 1976, it is thought to be one of the first public CONFERs. Its original focus was Merit Network.
MSTA: FORUM Conference developed by the Michigan Science Teachers Association to increase communications within the Michigan science community.
NOW: CONSIDER Electronic counterpart to Consider.
PC2: !CONF Conference designated for public domain and shareware files.
RP.CONFER First conference started on the MTS system by Robert Parnes. Parnes starts the conference by asking "if anyone has any good ideas about what we might discuss using teleconference." Participants included Al Adler, Merrill Flood, Karl Zinn, Manfred Kochen and Dan Ayers.
SSHD CONFER Conference designed for School of Nursing course 630.
SPSS: TALK Conference for users of the SPSS statistical package.
STAT: CON.CENSUS Designed to provide a toll for discussion of computer programs for statistics and their uses and to invite comment on the University Census of Statistical Programs.
WING: SPAN A conference for general women's issues.
USER: Forum and USER:OldForum For users to talk about information technology at the University.
USER: PLANNING Conference set up by Robert Parnes to evaluate USER: FORUM.

Related Material

Researchers interested in the development and use of information technology at the University of Michigan may also want to consult the following record groups and collections at the Bentley Historical Library:

  1. Computing Center (University of Michigan) records
  2. Information Technology Division (University of Michigan) records
  3. University Committee on Computer Policy and Utilization (University of Michigan) records
  4. Vice-President for Research (University of Michigan) records
  5. M-Pathways Project (University of Michigan) records
  6. Bernard A. Galler papers
  7. Aaron Finerman papers