Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Bottlenecked - Reflection on Bass and Elmendorf

My activity is an example of the model in practice, particularly in the design layer where constructing and communicating understanding to an authentic audience interplays.  Students construct their speech materials (constructing) and then communicate with other students and interact (communicating their knowledge in applied practice) and are thinking not only of the professor, but of the intended audience for our purposes, the students.

My only criticism of the design layer is that visually it doesn't create much of a sense of the interplay that exists between all three phases, most notably the construction and communication aspects.  Knowledge deepens and is altered when we leave the comfort and rigidity of the construction and apply it in different ways, receive feedback, etc.

One additional criticism of the white paper, it discusses how social pedagogies help to cure bottlenecks and the issues they present.  It states this in a very generic way, with no direct evidence as to how.  It's not that I can't believe that this occurs, but this section feels more prescriptive than descriptive of actual student progression.  Instead of believing what someone says 'something' can do, I'd prefer to hear how it has succeeded in helping move students through bottlenecks, whether qualitatively or quantitatively, I mean... something...?

But the paper is a good one, in premise, and helps to contextualize our efforts to use technology to assist our students to achieve.


  1. Mark, I caught that too. "Prescriptive" is the perfect word for it. Not my favorite thing to find in articles and book chapters.

  2. We had the same problem with the white paper: Where's the evidence? I saw it less prescriptive, as "wishful thinking" on their part.
    Both Priscilla and I figured the paper was not quite finished... ;) (Hence our assignment for "enhancement." Glad you thought so too.

  3. Thanks both for your comments.

  4. In that case, Maria, it was an excellent assignment and good use of social learning! Maybe this portends a new trend in publishing. We all know that evidence is necessary, yet academics so much love to hear themselves talk and prescribe value-laden paths. That said, agree it is generally a good piece.