ELI: Teaching Learners to Take Charge of Their Education: Small Pieces, Loosely Joined

  • Martha Burtis, Acting Director, Division of T & L Technologies, University of Mary Washington
  • Steven A. Greenlaw, Professor of Economics, University of Mary Washington
  • Gerald Slezak, Instructional Technology Specialist, University of Mary Washington
  • Session convener: W. Gardner Campbell, Professor of English, University of Mary Washington
  • Abstract
    This presentation explores the design of a first-year seminar that used Web 2.0 tools to create a learning culture where students are self-motivated and engaged. Blogs, wikis, RSS aggregators, and photo and bookmark sharing applications were joined to create a toolkit

    (Coming in a little late…)
    Ownership – by using tools like WordPress (served on WP servers), Delicious, Wiki, etc. that are not specific to the University they sought to have the students “own” the tools and the content as something that belongs to them and not just part of the single class.

    Tagging – Helps them to think about how their various courses are connected (or can be).

    Webbased – they can access it anywhere. I have found this with BlackBoard and Angel offers the same flexibility and draws some students into greater participation.

    Free – “We’re cheap. And poor.” So what can we do for free. A lot it terms out.

    Dr. Greenlaw is now talking about how he used a blog in his course. Without (I hope) sounding too self-important, I am a little surprised at some of these “innovations” since I have been using them for quite a while. We started using Blackboard at Tulane 5 years ago (or so) and I started using a blog for my courses over 2 years ago. What is great is to see so much support for it developing and PSU is clearly strong on this and getting stronger every day. They are really headed in the right direction, especially in terms of being willing to try things that may not always work out. [Several people in the discussion time pointed out that they had been using these technologies for a while as well.]

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