Introduction | My Synopsis | Issues in Using the Internet in Instruction
Consider the following questions as you read this case.
1. What problems with and effective practices for presenting information can you identify in this case? How is presentation with technology different from/similar to more customary forms of presentation?
2. List examples or counter examples of critical reflection. What affects the capacity of the three to be critically reflective? How could the three use technology to enhance critical reflection?
About 3/4s of his first term at on-line teaching had passed and Charlie felt tired, but pleased at what he had learned. His students told him he had a good sense of humor on-line and always answered their questions promptly. (Although there was that one painful incident when he replied with irony and the person took him seriously). He had a great idea for a class project from his discipline's teaching journal.
Charlie had attended a presentation about on-line teaching at a national conference and the speaker mentioned this journal. He had found the journal to be very helpful, even with his regular classes. The speaker also told him about a listserv of college teachers. Last week Charlie made his first public posting to the listserv. Someone had asked for first time teachers' comments on technology and Charlie found that the words poured out. He was surprised how much he had learned-- putting his experiences into words helped him to recognize his accomplishments and set goals. He was thinking of turning it into a paper for the teaching journal. He had even been asked by a publisher of an on-line peer-reviewed journal to re-write it for them.
Lucy just had a student turn in a paper based entirely on website sources. She sent an E-mail to Charlie "These students don't know how to think!" She proclaimed. "Why are they using such poor quality sources?"
Charlie mailed back, "Here's a list from my Teaching On-line listserv. It has ideas about how to teach students to critically evaluate and cite websites. I've also pasted in a website devoted to the topic." Lucy was amazed at the materials. She had never seen anything like them. She immediately E-mailed it to several colleagues.
But first Lucy snipped off all that garbage at the top of the forward and corrected some spelling errors in the piece. She did leave the original author's name on it, though. Lucy has always been sensitive to authorship issues. She didn't pay much attention to the copyright notice at the bottom of the webpage, however. "Copyright doesn't apply to educational uses," she thought to herself. Lucy returned to working on a review of a paper for her professional journal. Her note to the editor read: "Don't see permission to reprint table. The citations failed to follow proper style for maintaining a record of work and they display no sensitivity to intellectual property. That type of carelessness reflects on the paper's overall quality. Reject." Lucy felt satisfied with her work that day.
Eldon, meanwhile, is working on improving his teaching evaluations. His students always complain about how dry his lectures are. He is pleased with his plan to provide live on-line video of his classes so his students can view them from home. He was at Charlie's office showing Charlie his website the other day.
"Okay, just click here..."The machine beeped and declared that it needed a plug-in to view the video. Eldon was amazed, "You don't have the latest plug-in? Get with it Charlie." Charlie frowned. "Here, let me get it for you." A half hour later Eldon was finally able to show Charlie a live shot of his empty classroom using his video setup...but they had to go to Eldon's computer to see it as Charlie's was a year old and lacked some vital piece.
Charlie frowned, "Well, that's neat to see your classroom, but my students do their on-line activities at all hours of the day and night. Don't you have problems getting them to be on-line at a particular time, especially with such a complicated setup?" Eldon shrugged his shoulders, "Hey, if you aren't up to speed, don't take the class."
Charlie's eyes strayed to the bottom of the page, "My on-line teaching group was talking about the challenges of citing websites the other day. They complained about pages that didn't have dates or authors so a person would know whom to contact."
Eldon replied "It's linked off my main page where I keep that information."
Charlie thought, "Yeh, but what about printouts and where is your link back to your main page?"
Eldon stood up to leave, "I have to run now, I'm going to Comdex tonight to see the latest gadgets. I love it, no pressure to perform, no papers to prepare, just sit back and stay on top of it all."
Discuss the following questions
1. What are the most effective teaching techniques presented in this case and what are the least effective? How do you judge effectiveness?
2. What examples do you see in the above material of critical reflection? (And where do you see a lack of critical reflection?)
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Website created: June 1996. Page Created: March 16, 2000. Last Modified: March 4, 2013.