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Comments on: Introducing online assignments http://www.jbj.wordherders.net/2008/01/23/introducing-online-assignments/ "A man needn't go far to find a subject, if he's ready with his salt-box."--Uncle Pumblechook Wed, 14 May 2014 19:32:14 +0000 hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.1 By: Madhu http://www.jbj.wordherders.net/2008/01/23/introducing-online-assignments/comment-page-1/#comment-22729 Wed, 17 Dec 2008 18:57:35 +0000 http://www.jbj.wordherders.net/2008/01/23/introducing-online-assignments/#comment-22729 Fascinating discussion – esp. following the several other rants linked above. I share some of the same misgivings about how computer-savvy students really are! I’ve tried student blogging as a pedagogic tool, as well as shared workspaces such as Google Sites (kinda like a wiki) for collaborative learning, and might give this wiki class notes idea a try next semester. So I look forward to the post on how you did it!

It is, however, hard to assess learning through these media. I’m curious how you actually do it. One idea I’ve had is to build in some degree of peer-assessment into these sorts of collaborative tools (isn’t that how wikipedia sort of works?). Not sure how best to implement it – but maybe the software has some options for rating authors?

@Brian – Blackboard has indeed not worked for me when I’ve tried it. How would a Facebook class group work? Just as a forum / discussion space?

BTW, I teach biology classes, so my perspective is from the science side of things.

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By: jbj http://www.jbj.wordherders.net/2008/01/23/introducing-online-assignments/comment-page-1/#comment-6399 Fri, 25 Jan 2008 05:32:12 +0000 http://www.jbj.wordherders.net/2008/01/23/introducing-online-assignments/#comment-6399 @Dance–no, you’ve not missed it. I’ll write it in the morning.

@Paraphernalian–I think you’re right about nonmajors, and will say more about this soon.

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By: Brian http://www.jbj.wordherders.net/2008/01/23/introducing-online-assignments/comment-page-1/#comment-6387 Thu, 24 Jan 2008 20:44:14 +0000 http://www.jbj.wordherders.net/2008/01/23/introducing-online-assignments/#comment-6387 I too am looking forward to these reflections, and I too am skeptical about the vaunted ability of our students to navigate all things digital. As JBJ points out, the exciting thing about digital assignments is that they change the pace of a class, give students more opportunities to interact and to keep learning. The trouble is that many of them don’t want this. They don’t want to be “in school” for many more hours a day than they are required to be. This is why, in my experience, Blackboard sites never really flourish. Facebook groups for classes do better.

A rant of my own along similar lines is available here.

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By: Dance http://www.jbj.wordherders.net/2008/01/23/introducing-online-assignments/comment-page-1/#comment-6386 Thu, 24 Jan 2008 20:22:41 +0000 http://www.jbj.wordherders.net/2008/01/23/introducing-online-assignments/#comment-6386 Agreed. They are not very tech-savvy at all. Especially not with Word. Here’s my rant.

Did I miss the post about the class notes wiki? I was really hoping to borrow that idea.

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By: paraphernalian http://www.jbj.wordherders.net/2008/01/23/introducing-online-assignments/comment-page-1/#comment-6374 Thu, 24 Jan 2008 11:24:05 +0000 http://www.jbj.wordherders.net/2008/01/23/introducing-online-assignments/#comment-6374 I am looking forward to seeing how your more explicit ‘tests’ of your theories turn out this semester. I myself am using several technology-oriented assignments mixed with a handful of more traditional assignments this semester, but am already finding it difficult to assess the success of these tools. Basically: are the ‘failures’ failures of a) my teaching (still getting the hang of this stuff! I’m a grad student and this is my first upper division class!) b) my students in just not pulling it together, or c) the assignments as valid pedagogical tools? Likely, some mixture of all of these…

So far that has been a fair amount of enthusiam for all of our ‘web 2.0’ assignments, but also some anxiety about them–from students, who, probably much like myself if I were in their shoes, would rather ‘just write the paper.’ I have, like you, been surprised by their ignorance of what I consider to be pretty basic computer skills these days–yesterday I had to explain what an RSS feed was, and how they could sign up for one to monitor our class blog.

At the same time that I know these untraditional assignments have already scared off a few students from the course, I also know that they have kept a few of my students in it who would have already departed to escape an avalanche of 6-10 page paper assignments. I’ve got neuroscience, business, math, economics, and art history majors in a class where once there were none–and they’ve already brought a different energy and perspective into the room.

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