You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘Pedagogy’ category.
The Economist (Economist.Com) is sponsoring a series of debates on the future of education. Each debate topic considers the educational impacts of technology, globalization, and changing nature of social relationships. The third (and final) debate, which runs from from January 15th through January 25th, focuses on “social networking,” specifically on the proposition :
The debate is based on an online variant of the Oxford Debate rules – each speaker has three chances to advance his view – an opening statement, a rebuttal, and a final summary. Observers (who must register) may participate, mainly though a discussion with the moderator who will raise relevant points to the debaters. In addition, Observers may also vote for the side of the proposition they most agree with.
The University of Vermont is now a member of Educause’s Learning Initiative (ElI).
ELI explores the interaction among learners, learning principles and practices, and learning technologies. Membership benefits include reduced rates on ELI events and access to all resources on their web site, including archived web seminars and podcasts.
There are three upcoming events that may interest you:
January 14: Teaching and Learning with Web 2.0 (online event)
January 28 – 30: ELI 2008 Annual Meeting – Connecting and Reflecting: Preparing Learners for Life 2.0 (San Antonio, TX)
March 18 – 19: Real World and Technology-Rich: Learning by Doing, Learning in Context (Raleigh, NC)
To access ELI resources and register for events, you will need to set up a member profile that connects you as an UVM affiliate. Go to the the Educause home page and follow the directions in the “Manage your personal profile” (under the “What would you like to do?” section).
We hope that you will explore the resources on the ELI site. If you find these resources valuable and/or are interested in attending an event, please let us know.
The Faculty Fellows for Service-Learning Program recruits faculty members from across UVM to participate in a seminar each Spring on how to build service-learning pedagogy into courses. Faculty members must apply and be accepted into the Program, are given a small professional development fund ($750), and are expected to inject service-learning into at least one of their courses after finishing the program. Faculty participants cite the opportunity to interact with colleagues with similar interests as a highlight of this program.
For more information, and an application form, visit:
Application Deadline: November 9, 2007
Seminar Dates: January 8-10, 2008
The Center for Cultural Pluralism is sponsoring an even that promises to be interesting and important:
“Moving Beyond the Basics: Shifts of Consciousness and Practice for Transformative Multicultural Teaching and Learning”
(snippet of the description on the CCP website)
September 28, 2007.8:30-4:00p.m. Location TBD
To register, call 656-9511 (CCP)
For more info., visit the CCP website.
In a new case study, “Hybrid Learning: Maximizing Student Engagement,” Ruth Reynard explores hybrid or “blended” courses (a face-to-face course that contains online elements). She concludes that these courses “provide more flexibility for on ground students and increase the overall marketability of programs of study to potential students.”
She also provides a thoughtful analysis of how such courses can be structured to maximise “opportunities for the learning process to become much more engaging for students and for students to drive the learning process more directly. It is also an effective way to increase students’ learning autonomy.”
Full article at:
Connectivism Online Conference is an open online forum exploring how learning has been impacted by ongoing changes. The conference, hosted online by the University of Manitoba, runs from February 2 – 9, 2006. The daily conference schedule is.
Friday, Feb 2: George Siemens, Connectivism: Learning Conceptualized Through the Lens of Today’s World
Monday, Feb 5: Will Richardson, Connective Teaching: How the Read/Write Web Challenges Traditional Practice
Tuesday, Feb 6: Diana Oblinger, Balancing Agility and Stability in Higher Education
Wednesday, Feb 7: Bill Kerr, A Challenge To Connectivism
Thursday, Feb 8: Stephen Downes,The Recognition Factor
Friday, Feb 9: Terry Anderson, Research and Net Pedagogies
All sessions begin at Noon, EST or 11 AM CST.
If you blog or use social bookmarking sites, please use the conference tag: OCC2007.
Margaret Price, Director of Spelman’s newly-instituted Electronic Portfolio Project (SpEl.Folio) discusses the questions, challenges and goals of the successful implementation of e-portfolios.
“…I’ve come to realize that a central question of our project is, “What is an electronic portfolio?” Is it a medium? Is it a genre, or a set of genres? Is it a delivery system? Is it an assessment tool? Is it a means to reflection and learning? Is it a savvy career move? Is it a flashy new container for the work students already are doing? Is it a pain in the butt?
Readers of SmartClassroom have thought about these questions, and probably have well-developed responses to them. But the audience that concerns me most is the students and teachers at Spelman, a historically black liberal-arts college for women. They sometimes seem to view the electronic portfolio as a flashy container and/or pain in the butt. It’s this audience, and the perceptions they ultimately form, on which the success of Spelman’s project relies. And, as frustrated as I might get when explaining for the hundredth time that an eFolio is not simply in Kathleen Yancey’s memorable phrase “print uploaded,” I must pay attention to these responses. For, if the users and authors of SpEl.Folio view it merely as a flashy container or pain in the butt (or both), that’s exactly what it will be.
We were talking today, again, about that recurrent concern over the reliance on PowerPoint for presenting complex concepts or sharing knowledge. I recently read Edward Tufte’s Beautiful Evidence and the second edition of his powerful PowerPoint essay is quoted in the title of this post.
It’s a perpetual teaching/learning issue. Not only is PP increasingly relied upon to support lecture, but more students are required to submit their course work in this format.
Some questions that I feel are worth asking are, Do bullet points and pictures inspire or require smart and rigorous thinking? How much of the blame for bad (i.e., diminishing, boring, soporific, flattening…) PowerPoint presentations lies with the user and how much with the tool?
Read more on Edward Tufte’s blog.
Robert L. Schrag, a professor of communication at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, had been offering his students an MP3 copy of his lectures; the lectures were sold via an online company, Independent Music Online, for $2.50, with the professor receiving $1 per sale.
A student in his class reacted favorably to his project. “It’s a pretty neat idea, but he also told us in class that you’re going to get the most if you come to class and hear the lecture firsthand, so it’s really a matter of choice,” NCSU student Audrey Wilson said . The student newspaper, the Technician, ran an article  also giving a favorable impression, but the editors of the paper disagreed  – wondering if this was a ripoff [should missing class be so expensive ?].
The Dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences was bothered by the practice and wanted time to think about it, and communicated this to Prof. Schrag who has, for the time being, removed the lectures from the site. UNC policy, however, allows professors to retain sole ownership of materials that they produce in their classrooms. 
Yesterday’s New York Times contains an article  by Charles McGrath investigating the custom essay and term paper marketplace. Using his real name and real credit card, he purchased 3 essays from commercial firms specializing in custom wiring. He then send the writing samples to several college professors asking them to evaluate the submissions and assign them a grade.
The good news about the papers was that they were badly enough written to not seem like commercial products. The bad news was that they were so badly written that the student would be lucky to receive a “D.” Most of the professors seemed to sense something wrong, and said that they would want to meet and talk to the student.
The article has a couple of nice bonus items … a description of the assignment as well as links to the actual papers purhcased. It would have been interesting to run these by, for example, graduate teaching assistants typical of those at many larger universities who are normally assigned to first year courses – and may not have much experience with papers, with grading, and with cultivating undergraduate writing skills.