Earl Crabb (esoft) Thu 30 Mar 00 13:46
Do you have any students that take a second course from you, also online? If so, do they move from one group to another when they move to the second class, or do they tend to stay in the same group? I'm wondering primarily about the lower two thirds, I'd presume the top third stays there.
carol adair (rubicon) Thu 30 Mar 00 15:29
That's an interesting question. I use the on-line course with my highest class. (I am a bottom fish, you know.) I notice that many of the students go on to take other such courses ,and they come back and tell me that they like researching on-line. I hear from the teachers that my students seem more confident and more able to work in groups than other first year students, so I know some things are changing. and that the skills transfer. My favorite, favorite anecdote is of a student, a young Mexican-American woman with a young child who was working as a housekeeper. She was absolutely part of the third group at first. She "hated" computers. She "didn't know how to type". She didn't have time. She didn't like the library. On and on. But little by little, things changed. She started dropping off at a Cyber Cafe for coffee after her job. She would log on and tentatively join a conversation, or add to a group project, or do a little research for her essay. By the end of the class, she was a major player and .... this is the good part. She took the money she was saving for a new vacuum cleaner and, instead, bought a computer. "I don't want my daughter to be a maid." She told me. She's about ready to graduate now.
Linda Castellani (castle) Thu 30 Mar 00 17:37
I love that story!
among fiends (frako) Fri 31 Mar 00 09:22
Carol! I'm just out the door for the weekend, but I'll return here on Monday and post about my ESL chat room job. In the meantime, you're welcome to visit the larger site: www.globalenglish.com or the direct link to the chat room (I believe you do have to register in the larger site beforehand) www.globalenglish.com/chat/chat.htm
Phantom Engineer (jera) Fri 31 Mar 00 11:56
Carol asked about the Masters degree program I mentioned. It's "Information Studies" rather than "Information Science." We have a fair number of students who are interested in the "Science" end of things, but our primary order of business is still, as it has been historically, training Librarians (we used to be the School of Library and Information Studies). Because of the demographics of Florida, a large number of our students come from the area around Miami, where they have held paraprofessional jobs for a number of years. We have something between 20 & 30 Masters courses online, some of which are offered every semester, & some of which rotate. They range from fairly traditional Library-oriented courses (reference work, school-media-center training, cataloguing, etc.) to courses on multimedia and web production, to information science, to international information services. We also hire graduates of the program to act as regional "facilitators," to help acclimate & socialize new students as they come into the program. The only time students have to come to Tallahassee is for a required 3-day orientation just before the beginning of their first semester.
carol adair (rubicon) Fri 31 Mar 00 12:15
How interesting Gary. Can you give a URL on that so we could peek through the windows at you?
Cynthia Dyer-Bennet (cdb) Fri 31 Mar 00 12:22
This is so exciting to hear of these online courses from the people who are leading them! Thanks for sharing this with us, rubicon and jera. I look forward to seeing what frako has to say about her ESL chat room, too. I'm also eager to see what feedback Valorie will have to offer on all this, and tell us how it relates to her Web Learning Fieldbook.
Phantom Engineer (jera) Fri 31 Mar 00 12:33
Most of the important portions of courses are behind password protection (to provide some level of privacy for discussion, etc), but we do have a "sample" course available, which shows some of what we do: http://slis-one.lis.fsu.edu/courses/fall1999/1234/ Some of this is also accessible only with a password, but you can request one if you wish from: email@example.com Let him know that it's for the sample site, and if you don't hear from him quickly enough, let me know, & I'll go lean on him!
carol adair (rubicon) Fri 31 Mar 00 19:33
Thanks. I will do so on Monday. I am sometimes so isolated. I'd love to see what others are doing.
Libbi Lepow (paris) Sat 1 Apr 00 07:53
An update. I spoke with Valorie briefly yesterday. She's back from the east coast, jet lagged, and having problems with her ISP. With luck, she'll be able to log in today, catch up with all the discussion that's happened since Wednesday, and contribute her thoughts. I'd like to thank her for joining us and sharing some of her thinking about what is likely to be a widely used resource for teaching and learning.
Linda Castellani (castle) Sat 1 Apr 00 09:39
Yes, indeed! Thank you, Valorie. It looks like her book has already been put to good use by <rubicon>, our very own Carol Adair! Thanks to you, too, Carol, for contributing your wealth of experience to the discussion.
Valorie Beer (valoriebeer) Sat 1 Apr 00 10:41
Hi all! Sorry for the delay in getting back. I just got off the phone with pacbell, and their servers have been overloaded to the point of not working for the past couple of days. This is the first time I've been able to log in since I got off the plane yesterday. I love the way the discussion has developed -- and many thanks to Carol Adair for her obviously careful reading of the book. THANK YOU! To Libbi's question about different learning styles, no educational "thing" is going to be able to adequately address all styles. It would be just too expensive and time-consuming to reproduce everything in visual and auditory formats, just to name two. The web won't really help here. Lots of web users don't have sound cards, or browse with graphics off, etc. This is another argument for not solely depending on one medium (even the web) to get your message across. To Carol's question about whether the web has a better chance of being a true "educational technology" than, say TV or CD-ROM. I think the answer is a qualified Yes, mostly because revisions can happen so quickly with the web, and users can re-make web items to suit their own styles and purposes (the obvious example is bookmarks). With other media, the stuff has to be "frozen" and published in final form at some point. However, the web is both participative and malleable, and therefore may have a better chance as a true teaching/learning tool.
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