Consider the following questions as you read this case.
1. Identify the appropriate and inappropriate use of methods in the cases presented. What factors determine "appropriateness" in teaching method? How do those factors vary with technology?
2. What evidence has been presented that significant results in learning are present (or absent) for our 3 persons? How might they each define significance with regard to learning?
Charlie had been doing some reading on teaching and wandered by Lucy's office. "Lucy, what do you think of Service Learning as compared to Collaborative Learning? I'm trying to figure out how to teach my first-ever Internet course."
Lucy said with some disparagement, "I have 25 years of experience in the classroom. I still use the same techniques as when I started." (In truth, Lucy didn't know what he meant.) "Don't worry about that, I'll tell you what worked for me. When I was a graduate student I always loved to hear about the research my professors were doing." She showed Charlie the transparencies she had prepared for class. "It's easy. I've taken copies of my publications and just run them through the copier to make pdfs then display those with the projector. I think it personalizes my lectures and it brings me a few students to work on my research team. You should get your publications out there." Charlie squinted, trying to read the small print.
Charlie went away feeling a little puzzled. He had thought an overall approach to teaching might give him some guidance in where to put his time. Charlie thought of his students and compared them to Lucy. He was having trouble seeing how what worked for Lucy would work for them. But maybe he was wrong.
He went to the technology support people and said he needed a webpage with his publications linked to it. They suggested a blog discussion for his Monday night intro class. They set it up for him and tried to show him a few commands but Charlie had a committee meeting to attend. He promised himself he'd come back later. But, after seeing his webpage and the blog, Charlie felt he was ready to go and didn't give the task more thought.
Eldon believes in promoting technology use among his students. He feels it will prepare them for the future. He only gives out grades via e-mail, for example. As he says, "all of my students greatly improve their technology use by the end of the term...or else!"
Last week an electronically submitted student paper (the only type he'll accept) had some funny mistakes so Eldon forwarded it via e-mail to several colleagues attaching several humorous comments. The student found out and this week the student newspaper is lambasting him for violating privacy. His department head is making a big fuss over it, too. So Eldon copied a paragraph on academic freedom out of an on-line newspaper to which he subscribes and sent it to everyone in the university--anonymously.
How is Charlie doing? After his first week he had only one posting on his blog from a student. Charlie overheard in the coffee lounge that he needed to assign grades for postings so he changed his syllabus. Now he has a student arguing over the grade. The student has an earlier version of his web syllabus and is claiming that she should only be held accountable for that version.
On the positive side, the postings he is getting now are fascinating. He didn't know his students could be that thoughtful about the material. They've asked questions that really make him think and several of the quieter students in the face-to-face class are really speaking out. He is feeling a bit overwhelmed by student responses now. It seems to be feast or famine.
Discuss the following questions
1. Identify the appropriate and inappropriate use of methods in the cases presented. What could they do to improve the inappropriate methods and to learn more about appropriate approaches?
2. What constitutes a significant result for learning? What evidence has been presented that such results are present (or absent) for our 3 cases?
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