Shared Network Directories
|Page 4 of Technology Integration: Hitting a Moving Target, Sandra K. Webster in the Symposium: Toward a Well-Integrated Research-Rich Undergraduate Psychology Curriculum- One Department's Journey, at the Annual Meeting of the American Psychological Association, Boston, Massachusetts, August 20, 1999.|
Class Notes. The course web-site allows me to cover more information during class time because students interact with the course material in a different manner. The daily class notes are usually PowerPoint A-V materials that support my lecture. Students preview these notes before class as they read the on-line (or paper) text. The majority of students take their own notes during the lecture by annotating the class notes provided on the web-site. Since the students are more prepared we can cover more ground. Since they have my class notes available before, during and after class (for the entire semester) I never have to slow down for transcribing issues (How do you spell that? Can you repeat what you just said? …). Attendance is not affected by student access to the class notes. Students are able to see before the lecture that the material to be covered is collateral but not identical to that covered in the text. If anything, they are more motivated to learn from lecture and class discussion.
Bulletin Board. The use of the course bulletin board has
also changed the way that I teach. All students enrolled in a course
have access to the course electronic bulletin board. The purpose
of the bulletin board is for them to post questions and answers about the
course content and process. Students receive extra credit for posting questions
and answers regarding the text assignments before they are covered in lecture.
(A student who correctly answers another student's question receives double
credit.) By reading the bulletin board before class I know what aspects
have been confusing to this particular group of students. Students
are more active learners as they search for answers to the questions before
class. They continue to use the bulletin board as a study tool even
when extra credit is not awarded. Each class has shown a high correlation
between use of the bulletin board and course performance as measured on
the final exam. (So far sample size has made statistically controlling
for the students' aptitude impractical.)
Another change is more involvement with students between face-to-face meetings. I set the precedent for the use of electronic communication by e-mailing the first assignment to each student before the first class meeting. Students who must miss class have access to assignments because they are posted on the course web-site and/or transmitted via e-mail. When students have questions they can e-mail a classmate or me, post the question to the class bulletin board or search the course web-site. Electronic communication has been especially useful in collaborative research. As students pursue related topics, electronic communication allows them to share the information as soon as they have it rather than to wait for our weekly group meetings.
Each course has a shared network directory with space for student work, assignments and "hand outs." Peer review and collaboration are greatly facilitated by shared network directories. Students' research proposals and manuscripts are saved to the shared network directory. Teams of peers evaluate the proposals and must make their comments within the document itself. No paper is used, but many ideas are considered, evaluated and revised. The more students help each other the more they learn. Peer review also takes the onus off of the instructor as the sole evaluator. When students receive similar feedback from their professor and peers the feedback is more acceptable. I think my students write more, revise more and produce a better research paper from the combination of electronic peer review and the iterative evaluation process.
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