User:Vtaylor/Open TSL/Encourage student-faculty contact
Encourage student-faculty contact
In 1987 Chickering & Gamson published the now famous Seven Principles for Good Practice in Undergraduate Education. These principles are based on the perspective that a proper undergraduate education should be active, cooperative, and challenging.
Each section addresses one of the seven principles and the good practices that support it. The first principle, in this section, Student-Faculty Contact is characterized by instructional tools where the instructor is in charge of the interaction with students.
Students interact directly with the instructor for questions, comments and evaluations. The instructor may interact with students as a group in a lecture hall, classroom or online lecture (one-to-many) or individually (one-to-one).
Technology functions available to support student-faculty contact include discussions, assignments, quizzes, and course resources.
- participate in several forms of technology enhanced student-faculty contact
- discuss applicability of functions to traditional expectations for student-faculty contact and identify differences
- suggest new learning activities
1. Student-Faculty Contact
In a traditional classroom, faculty are at the forefront. Students wait for the instructor to arrive before anything happens in the class. The instructor talks, students listen, take notes, and participate in question / answer sessions overseen by the instructor. Students can speak with the instructor after class or during office hours - still with the instructor controlling the time and place for the contact.
As technology is added, students have more opportunity to initiate contact - send emails, ask questions in an online forum. The instructor is still essential to the dialog, but students now play a more active role in the contact. More student interaction, greater responsibility for learning, empowering students in ways not previously available to them.
- One : Many - Communicating with students can be provided to all students at once with web-based course materials, online lectures - text, audio or video. Other technologies for one-to-many communication include email lists, and discussion forums where only instructor posts, forums that allow students to reply, or discussion forums set to allow students to initiate topics.
- One : One - Email is an alternative to in-person or phone conversations to communication with individual students. Some instructors are using instant messaging as well.
Student-Faculty Contact is easily added to any traditional course delivery. Students appreciate the flexibility and the immediacy of these enhancements.
- I can ask questions whenever I think about it, rather than having to wait for the next class. Some times that might be a whole week from when I have a question.
- I am an international student. It really helps me to have email from the instructor so I can read the answer again if I don't understand.
- I hate to have a lot of papers from all my classes. It is better to have links to web sites to find the homework assignment information.
Design with Learning in Mind
Course Development and Design The design and development of the course, rather than the facilitation and teaching of the course, is where the transfer of knowledge takes place. In a classroom course, we typically think of teaching as dispensing knowledge, but today, knowledge is readily available (for example, over the Internet), so faculty are no longer the keepers of the knowledge. Instead faculty now explain that information, explore how to make connections with it, decipher what is most important, explain how it matters to everyday life, and so forth. Dispensing knowledge is something a machine can do, and faculty are much more talented and useful than any machine. Our role now is to make sure that information is presented in a way that is relevant, understandable, memorable, and useful to the students. Tomorrow's Professor Msg.#869 Design with Learning in Mind http://cgi.stanford.edu/~dept-ctl/cgi-bin/tomprof/posting.php >>search for 869
There are many course management systems that are used in higher education. Blackboard, WebCT, Etudes, Sukai, Angel, and Moodle are some of the more popular ones. DeAnza faculty and staff recently conducted an extensive evaluation and selected Moodle to be DeAnza's course management system of choice.
It is customary to name the learning environment that includes the course management system, so DeAnza selected Catalyst. The Catalyst environment, like the chemistry component, participates in a change without being changed itself. Instructors teach, students learn and the course management system plays an important part in advancing communications, information distribution, record keeping, time management but remains unchanged.
Moodle / Catalyst / Course Management System (CMS)
This workshop is about technology. A course management system is a convenient package of technology functions. Moodle is just one example of a course management system. Moodle is free to anyone willing to install it on their server network and make it available to faculty and students. Moodle includes all the functions and technology tools normally associated with supporting learning. All the Supporting Instruction activities are completed withing this workshop - a course in the Moodle course management system installed at DeAnza and called Catalyst. The hands-on course development activities for the Teaching and Learning project can be completed in any course management system installation. For DeAnza faculty and staff, this is the Moodle installation at DeAnza called Catalyst.
If you are new to Moodle / Catalyst or course management technology, start with the Moodle basics.
About Moodle http://docs.moodle.org/en/About_Moodle
Moodle Teacher Documentation http://docs.moodle.org/en/Teacher_documentation
When we were planning this course, we wanted to emphasize the idea that introducing technology could be a progression of enhancements made over time. There are no absolutes, no "gotchas" in the process. Just as each course is different, so too is the path to technology enhanced instruction.
What is offered in this course, are opportunities to see what is possible and consider what might be applicable to your own courses now and in the future. This is a smörgåsbord approach. We have put a lot of different things on the table. We encourage you to sample everything, but it is ok if you don't want to dig in. Perhaps later, you will see a need or an opportunity to put some of these "dishes" into your practice of instruction.
If you are ready to implement the functions, guidelines are provided as well as a forum for discussing strategies, questions, problems, suggestions with peers.
Some of the advantages of using technology in student-faculty contact
- any time, anywhere communication - not limited to class time or office hours
e.g. email, online discussion forums, chat / instant messaging
- record of contact - no more "gee, I wish I could remember exactly what I told that student" as there is a copy of the conversation with its time and date.
- repeatable - once you work out great instructions for a lesson, that exact same information can be given to students in all sections this quarter and in the future. Allows for "refinement" as students identify new concerns or areas of difficulty.
- it just gets better - revising and improving material over time helps keep the course material relevant and students engaged
The primary means of presenting information to the whole class is via resources. There are a number of different types of resources - text pages, web pages, links to other web sites. Resources are the simplest form of passive, or push communication available.
It isn't fancy but it works. A course management system such as Moodle / Catalyst can be used as storage and presentation for course documents that are only available to enrolled students. Files of all types, links, course notes, lists of assignments, class schedules... can be managed and displayed within Moodle / Catalyst. Limiting access to this information may be a requirement for "publishing" copyright or proprietary information ensuring strict educational "fair use" compliance.
Have you considered blogging? Some faculty are "pushing" regular notices, comments and course updates to their students in blog (weB-LOG) format. Short postings displayed in reverse date sequence - newest at the "top" along with links to course materials, other resources and important bloggers in the topic area, along with links to "archived" copies of older posts.
Blogging: The Solution to (most) of Your Classroom Needs http://academhack.outsidethetext.com/home/?p=183
Online discussions, practice quizzes, minute essays are activities that can be used for "warm-up" to a lesson.
- Question or activity to remind you of what you already know about the topic
- List of questions to start thinking about the topic
- List of goals and objectives for the topic to help focus the learning
Top 100 Tools
There is always some new and interesting technology coming along. Finding email news, blogs or other sources of information are useful for staying current. Some examples
- Top 100 Favorite Tools http://www.c4lpt.co.uk/recommended/top100.html
25 key FREE tools
The tools presented in the 25 key FREE tools are a mix of personal productivity tools for managing your own personal learning as well as authoring tools for creating all kinds of learning and performance solutions. Many of them are Web 2.0 tools that promote a social, collaborative, sharing approach to learning. But what is more important is that all these tools are free, which makes them very suitable for those on a low (or non-existent) budget to explore the widening e-learning space.
These were selected from the Top 100 Tools for Learning Spring 2008 http://www.c4lpt.co.uk/recommended/top100.html
The tools are grouped by category and presented in each TSLR module. Even if you are not going to use a course management system such as Moodle / Catalyst, there are plenty of free tools available for you and your students to use. Compare notes with other participants.
The bare essentials. These are the basic tools you need to have
- FIREFOX - More than just a browser with 100s of extensions available to provide an enormous range of extra functionality not found with other browsers. ** Recommended for accessing Catalyst / Moodle at DeAnza
- GMAIL/GOOGLE MAIL - No more worrying about an email client on your desktop and dealing with spam and viruses - and tons of free storage space.
- SKYPE - An easy way of not only text messaging your contacts but also free voice calls - with low charges out to landlines.
Bloom's Taxonomy that categorizes and orders thinking skills and objectives, is a handy guide for developing instructional materials. The categories from lowest to highest are: Remembering, Understanding , Applying , Analyzing , Evaluating and Creating. New technologies provide opportunities to enhance the application of Bloom's ideas.
Each week, starting here with the lowest, we will review a category, moving up the sequence.
Remembering: Recognizing, listing, describing, identifying, retrieving, naming, locating, finding, Bullet pointing, highlighting, bookmarking, social networking, Social bookmarking, favorite-ing/local bookmarking, Searching, Googling. Bloom's Taxonomy Blooms Digitally http://www.techlearning.com/story/showArticle.php?articleID=196605124
Teaching and learning
A recent EDUCAUSE article, Top-Ten Teaching and Learning Issues, 2007 identifies a number of issues applicable to this course - assessment and best instructional practices, changes in student, faculty, and institutional expectations, collaboration, work together, ethics, privacy, and data stewardship. http://www.educause.edu/apps/eq/eqm07/eqm0732.asp?bhcp=1
This big-picture overview of teaching and learning is helpful, and demonstrates the need for all instructors, particularly those in higher education, to acquire instructional technology literacy.
As the focus of technology enhancement shifts from instructor-led teaching to student-directly learning, Student-Faculty Contact takes on a new role - that of managing the course resources and ensuring that students are able to take advantage of this new way of interacting with the instructor and the course content material.
Understanding and using the student-faculty contact tools - either stand alone or within the course management system, is important.
- encourage students to communicate with you early and often
- model desired contacts using the available communication tools
- make it easy for students to select from several forms of contact - email, messaging, discussion forum
- establish limits and expectations for your availability and speed of response
The NEWS forum is special forum for sending information and updates to students. Only the instructor can post to this forum. There is an option to have summaries from the News forum appear on the main course page.
Catalyst / Moodle has an internal e-mail system and several options to keep student-faculty communication within Catalyst, that can be used for clarification on the forums and discussions and the communication tools.
Check your profile and the messages you are getting - it may be set up so your get email when a student sends a message from inside Moodle, but there should be information in the email so you know where it originated.
Do you have a Questions? forum where students can add discussions and post? I encourage students to ask their questions there. Unless it is personal, I often just copy the student's email into the question forum and answer it there for all to see.
Introducing new technologies
You may be surprised to find that your tech-savvy students need some time to come up to speed using technology for formal learning. Students instant message with their friends whenever, but using the same technology to work with four complete strangers (class mates) on a group project is a completely new experience.
Consider introducing the technology in several low-risk activities - introductions in a discussion forum. As students become more comfortable with the educational use of the technology, add the critical thinking, graded analysis component that the technology supports.
- Seven Principles for Good Practice in Undergraduate Education
- "Development and Adaptation of the Seven Principles of Good Practice in Undergraduate Education," Arthur Chickering and Zelda Gamson. How the seven principles were developed and uses made of them in the late 1980s and early 1990s.
- Implementing the Seven Principles: Technology as Lever
- Blogging: The Solution to (most) of Your Classroom Needs
- Top 100 Favorite Tools
- What Makes a Successful Online Student?
- Bloom's Taxonomy Blooms Digitally