Re: web teaching?

Subject: Re: web teaching?
From: Steven Naylor (
Date: Tue Aug 03 1999 - 17:08:02 EDT

Since I started this thread, maybe I should offer some comment to try to
keep it going......!

Kevin writes:
>..........A 'dictation'
>course is (IMV) in most cases a waste of 'person' time, if the class has
>more than 4 or 5 students. It is better for the instructor to deal with
>problems of individual students than to take 'class' time with one or two
>students having a great deal of difficulty.

This parallels what I am seeing, e.g. instructors using self-evaluating
software (like MacGamut) to do more and more of the 'teaching,' and
individual sessions for helping those with difficulties.

There is feedback, albeit automated rather than instructor generated, and
there is also time and space liberation in that students can take their
disk anywhere they have access to a computer but student-teacher
interaction is still mostly face to face.

>In ea, what skills need human interaction, and what knowledge can be
>acquired in a time-independent fashion? Once the student has done the
>required readings and research, and listened to the assigned pieces, then
>a meeting of people can work on problems of understanding and comprehension.

This seems like a practical division of labour, though I don't see that
posting assignments on the web is functionally much different than giving
paper handouts, except perhaps that the students can actually import the
text of your notes/requirements instead of retyping it (should they need to
incorporate it somewhere).

>Web-based education can provide a classroom without walls, and a
>distributed learning environment. It can also be free of the temporal
>limitation of 'semesters'. If it's possible to 'time-delay' (sic) tv
>shows, why not have 'time-delayed' educational opportunities.

Buzzwords aside, how does freeing the learning environment from time
constraints allow for physical get-togethers to "work on problems of
understanding and comprehension"?

>Also (part of) web-based courses can allow for multiple sources of
>information (and entertaining conflicting views or approaches), while
>allowing for on-going discussions. IMV, all positive developments.

Sending students out to explore a list of sites, with specific objectives,
is certainly a great way of generating exposure to a multiplicity of ideas
(all properly documented - "off the internet"- of course.....sigh). And
agreed that lists (like this) can be good for ongoing discussions.

So far we seem to have a few specifics (web-posted assignments, internet
research/cultural exposure, discussion groups), but nothing too adventurous.

Anyone dealing with sonic examples (and related copyright issues) on a
class site?

Anyone use a class-specific discussion group in lieu of meetings
(scary.......)? I've reached the 'required supplement' stage, but anything
further seems quite impractical).

Anyone doing formal one-on-one teaching via the internet, private www sites?


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