Spring 2013 GRAD-602 Underway

Again this spring, Jeff Nugent, David McLeod and I will be co-teaching GRAD-602 – Teaching, Learning and Technology.  For the first time, we have chosen to run the course in the open rather than using the traditional Blackboard LMS.  Our course website is here.  We have 26 graduate students with us for this learning journey, as well as a former student who wishes to remain engaged, and all will be blogging throughout the course.  You can engage their commentary here (and are invited to do so!).

NOTE: If any of your teaching graduates would be interested in weekly blogging along side our students, let me know so that I can add their blog to our Netvibes portal.

To gage perceptions about educational technology at the start of class, we conducted a pre-course survey.  The responses from 92% that responded were as follows:

Note that challenging students to reconsider their values had mixed results.

Like the values question above, mixed reviews on teaching about higher ideals or issues.

A quarter of the class thought using digital technology in meaningful ways to support learning was “less important”.

A mix of agreement and disagreement over the extent to which there is a crisis of relevance in higher education.

Asked about other roles not mentioned, comments included creating lifelong learners, instilling love of knowledge, and developing critical thinkers.  One metaphor that was interesting was that teaching was similar to an underground newspaper.

The responses were for the most part pretty predictable for a class of masters and doctorate students.  The two items that students found least important were in thinking about their role as teacher, the degree to which they should challenge students to reconsider their values or teach about higher ideals.  “Values” is a value laden word…so it would be interesting to dig deeper and see what some meant by this.  Are disciplines so fact-based that there is little room for interpretation?  Do questions about values and ideals fit with questions of relevance?

I hope some of our students feel free to comment on this blog…and as the semester unfolds, I suspect questions similar to these will surface again.  The first class was a delight – with excellent discussion around the room.  I look forward to the semester unfolding!

{Survey co-developed with Jeff Nugent and David McLeod}




One thought on “Spring 2013 GRAD-602 Underway

  1. Aargh…I wish that I was better able to read the statements and interpret the data. Even with my glasses I found it to be a little bit of a struggle.

    It is interesting to not the reaction to the importance of using digital technology for classroom instruction. (I hope that I read this correctly.) Have you shown this data to the students or was this just collected? Ooh…did you use the clickers? If so, very cool!

    It will be interesting to lurk in your class, to see what occurs and to discover how opinions may change.

    Ideas regarding the importance of content sounds like one of those “form” over “function” types of questions that one asks about the design and function of a space.


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