Friday, April 27, 2012

Community 2.0 Agenda: Friday, April 27 10:00 AM-1:00PM


Community 2.0 Agenda   
Friday, April 27
10:00 AM-1:00PM


10:00-10:05: Welcome Back
10:05-10:40: Discussion of Designing for Difficulty: Social Pedagogies as a Framework for Course Design in Undergraduate Education
10:40-11:00: Check-in Time Questionnaire in Google Forms 
 Responses HERE

11:00-11:40: The Nitty Gritty Activity Report
11:40-11:50: BREAK
11:50-12:50: Diigo Workshop with C2.0 group http://groups.diigo.com/group/DFL-20


Diigo refresher video HERE

28 comments:

  1. Some of the challenges that we faced connecting classes had to do with continuity, scheduling, grading and evaluating, and the types of assignments.

    For continuity, there were issues making sure that classes were learning the same material. It was important to build on what came before, but what happened for intro level classes couldn't happen in the same way for non-intro classes.

    This stems from scheduling issues. In some cases, we didn't know if our classes would even run, as is the case with clusters. There were serious issues with clusters running this semester for the first time.

    We also have to improve the assignments and figure out ways to grade and evaluate them. If the students are writing simple reviews, sometimes a student can go off track and the rest of the class follows. In future assignments, students won't be allowed to say if they like or don't like something, for example, but instead have more structured directions that give them different kinds of questions to consider. Structured directions should be specific and detailed. Checking the quality of entries is also important, and should be discussed. Are the connections low stakes or high stakes? How do they get evaluated differently?

    The types of the assignments might all require new kinds of instructions so that the students can benefit from detailed goals.

    Justin and Vera

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    1. One of the things I've done with my class is directly address the fact that the two connected classes have different content. With the Seminar in Teaching Writing, this is easy enough: the students are there to learn how to comment upon other student writing!

      With the two ENG 101s, however, the task is trickier. One of the classes is learning about African-American perspectives on the post-Civil Rights movement (Martin Luther King, Jr., and Stokely Carmichael) and the other class is learning "The Ethics of Food," in which we're reading Daniel Imhoff's 'The CAFO Reader' and Gail Eisnitz's book 'Slaughterhouse.' Since these classes are intro-level writing courses, one of the dimensions of college writing we're work-shopping is 'audience' and 'framing.' This means that all writing in our class should be legible to students from outside the class. Since this is the case, putting students together that are studying completely different content is effective. Students are able to offer comments that pertain directly to whether or not they were able to grasp course material based on the other student's ability to summarize, paraphrase, and frame the texts under discussion.

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    2. I feel your pain concerning getting an overlap of material as I originally planned to have a Medical Ethics class interact with an Environmental Ethics class.......ME was cancelled, and now I am having difficulty getting content from my intro. class to match up with EE.

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    3. So, from the instructor: better/clearer prompts.
      For group work: check that the students do not model on someone who is answering the assignment incorrectly.

      Makes sense.

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    4. Scheduling is a big issue--I forgot to mention it in our group post but I had one class cancelled 3 days before classes started and then I did not know until the day classes started if I would have a lab and on what day, so scheduling activities on my syllabus, much less scheduling connections with others, was extremely difficulty.

      Good questions also on whether connections are low stakes or high stakes. On one hand, high stakes causes more anxiety, but then I am concerned that low stakes activities translate to students as optional--which is why I tend to have them do these in class.

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    5. It sounds like you managed to make connections, which is great, but the results were not always what you wanted, which is to be expected. Sharing strong work can help model the responses you want but sharing weaker work can send students the wrong message. The challenge then is to use those responses as a learning tool, letting students revise and adapt them to meet the requirements of the assignment.

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    6. I do agree that the type of assignments or activities is so crucial to promote learning or foster engagement. Over the past weeks, I had the very same challenge. Some students were postings their solutions to mathematical problems that were irrelevant to the problem at hand. I had to revised my instructions on how to present a meaningful post that is logical and easy to read.

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    7. Scheduling and last minute changes can affect our flow, but I'm delighted to learn from you all that you all faced the music with such poise. Today's article does point out that part of our job is to jump and not really know what's going to happen, but still manage to go through the learning experience presented. If we knew every single challenge, we would probably never plan for this high risk activities. Between the technical difficulties, schedule changes and students different writing, academic and social skills, we're really either masochists or super heroes. Your choice!

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  2. David and Judith had a common challenge- we did not have a built-in audience to make connections with students or with other faculty in the same way as other participants. Breaking through to a new audience requires a different skill set that has to be developed. Michelle, David and Judith participated in this conversation.

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    1. I think one of the ways this issue can be addressed is to build in the 'difference' between subject and material into the assignment. To this end, having the students read for understanding of different material might in fact be one of the points of the assignment. Alternatively, perhaps building the connections around common skill-sets could be a productive way to address subject differences. All of the students could practice responding to a text with an explanation of direct quotation, for instance, and evaluate each other on this basis. In the process, the students might learn something new.

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    2. This is a tough one. Asking two or three faculty to provide extra credit in their courses to have their student participate in your blog could help. For the MathBlog establishing this partnership was key to nurture our participation and online interactions. The difficulties only came during the crunch times of each session (midterms, finals, etc). Perhaps you can partner with a few faculty the last weeks of Spring I 2012 and provide faculty a few minutes of an activity that doesn't require planning on their part, but rather just sharing their students with you to give you that unique audience you need.

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    3. I agree with Justin. My initial conception of community 2.0 as I read about the seminar was that students from different classes would stumble upon work of students in other disciplines the way we browse pages on the internet. Then they could simply give feedback on whether what they read was informative or engaging or what else they would like to read/what questions they have.

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    4. Ingrid- what if I posted a question on my NING site that focused on how Math contributes to success in the workplace. I'm thinking I might be able to find a really brief video or article that shed light on this topic and students can write their reactions. I'll look for something and run it by you.

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    5. To JRC:

      To be honest, most of the connecting that I have been doing is in terms of skills, since that is the one thing that all English/Urban Studies/ Lit classes have in common.

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    6. This is even more of a problem than aligning classes. Perhaps you can connect with other faculty and factor in that students take different classes without any overlap.

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  3. Connection Challenges: Group 1 (Aaron, Ingrid, Luke)

    One of the challenges mentioned is that the topics in the two classes need to align. Aaron teaches an environmental ethics class and an intro to philosophy class and only toward the end will there be common touch points for the students to be able to meaningfully comment on each others' work. He also mentioned that there is a numbers issue as one section has 27 students and the other 20.
    Ingrid had a lot of success connecting early in the semester (two connections), learning from the Fall semester the importance of planning early. But as the semester progresses, there is less time allotted from the math professors for these interactions as there are increased content demands.
    Luke has connected in the fall with others' classes (Jason's and Ximena's) and this semester with his own classes, and he connects classes as readers when the topics do not align, asking them to comment on what they read and react as if they would read anything else on the web. But he has also connected on common topics and assignments, such on Plato's allegory of the cave.
    Paragraphs now indented per Aaron's specifications but blogger denies him his wish.

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    1. One of my problems was very similar, namely that the classes have to align and that you have to be able to plan this early. My two clusters will align later in the semester,but next time I will plan better for an earlier connection.
      Vera

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    2. I appreciate Luke's suggestion very much and his tactic very much echoes my own practice (or vice versa!).

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    3. If I have a student post something provocative or interesting, I have ALL the class comment on it as a reward.

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  4. Maria, Nozomi, and Rudy:
    One of our members has conducted workshops this semester, has prepared a blog for her fall semester course, and she will conduct a promotional talk to entice students to register for this awesome class. How to build connectivity here is the challenge.
    Rudy's challenge is that (a) he's teaching math!! It's difficult/challenging to write about equations and then show the equations; but he's weathered that challenge last semester where two different level math courses connected. This semester, however, he's teaching two sections of the same level. One section is on tumblr, but the other is not. The REAL challenge is getting the second section on board at time when addressing the content for the students is challenging in and of itself. How to create connections that are pedagogically meaningful/useful is what we're brainstorming about now.

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    1. The power of extra credit comes in handy when we need to implement friendly coercion to get our students to participate. In my experience, after implement said friendly coercion, students are more welcoming to this interaction in and out of the classroom.

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    2. I can identify with Nozomi's challenge. Not having a class- a captive audience with at least some common goals- makes experimenting with web 2.0 technology more challenging.

      I use a range of technologies in my personal life but adapting for use in a class is an entirely different matter.

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    3. And my problem (This is Maria) is that I am teaching one linguistics course and a graduate course who cannot connect. Rebekah and I will connect our classes (she's teaching ESL) at the end of the semester when I'm teaching second language acquisition. Her students will be able to read about and respond to theories of second language acquisition based on their own experiences; my ELL students will reflect on ideas of grammar and "correctness." Wish us luck!

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  5. Wow. These are very interesting challenges. It is hard for me to picture online math interaction. If the students were really good at verbalizing their problem solving process I suppose they could do that.

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  6. I wonder if Rudy and Nozomi could connect their classes - visual representation could make math so much more fun.

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    1. Great idea! Why not? High risk situation but worth a try!

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  7. Wow - I can't see how to do these kinds of connections without having a class! I'm stumped!

    Math is an interesting challenge. I think there could be a tutoring session: take students excelling in a skill and have them consult with ones that are struggling. Another idea comes straight from WID and my work with Jerry Meyer: have the students turn their equations into narrative form -- have them write about the steps they took to solve the problem. Then they could read each other's narratives about how to solve equations in word-form (step by step) and together find the best possible account.

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  8. The irony of getting some reassigned time to work on C 2.0 is that I have less classes I can connect, so I depend on other people's classes for my connections, which is, well, more work than just connecting my classes.

    (I *really* don't want this to sound as a brag--I truthfully sometimes wish I had more classes so I could do more kinds of connections). Like two 102s this semester, for example.

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