about teaching, students, and cultural awareness.
Batz had always been a creative educator in both his classroom methods
and assignments. However, computer technology baffled him. What sparked
his to interest in exploring technology was his waste of paper in
copying resource materials for his students.
was one of five applicants for this position. She never saw herself
as a "tech person," but had a strong desire to learn the
technology and to help Dr. Batz grow. She was also interested in a
gaining more experience in the field.
objective is to move Batz to independence in managing and utilizing
technology for his courses and thereby changing his teaching through
goal is for Batz to be comfortable using online materials as resources
for his courses, be capable in using the classroom technology,
and to be fluent in Blackboard components. These include posting
his course documents and resource links, as well as using the
Discussion Board and Chat features.
& Specific Problems
Dated and Limited: For Batz, Sociology courses are better
served through current materials than through text books. Batz belongs
to 12+ environmental and cultural organizations and used their publications
as resources in his courses. Back issues and copies of articles
were key components of his teaching. Thus, many of his sources were
dated. This instructionist approach meant that students did little
daily research on their own. Batz was unfamiliar with the online
resources, including the college online card catalogue. Thus
he could not verify his students' sources nor was he aware of the
deth of their research. He was unaware of the richness and relevance
of online sources and thought the internet was just a conglomeration
of superficial materials.
Incongruent: This did not match his classroom style. Batz
effectively combines small group analysis, larger discussion groups,
student presentations, and authentic audio and video materials,
frequently using several of these in one class period. Original
sources are brought in with a speakerphone, allowing students to
interact with an authority in the field of study. The classroom
he uses most frequently was recently remodelled with a ceiling-mounted
projector and a multimedia podium, including a wireless remote.
Nevertheless, he continued to bring in a TV/VCR on a cart from down
Skills Limited: Batz knew the basics of email, but had
no knowledge of mailboxes, address books, or attachments. Though
he used Word, he used the spacebar to align text and had no knowledge
of how to set margins and tabs. His file management skills were
Fall, 2002 ~ When Batz opted to switch
from making paper copies of articles for his students to web-based
resources, his teaching methods began to shift as well.The
unit secretary joined me in developing his first site. We began
with a FrontPage site that collected the resources in a way that
dovetailed with his course, Environmental
and Social Change. We also put his syllabus and other course
related materials on the site. The success encouraged us all to
continue and the roots of P4L were established. A student did all
of the in-class manipulation of that first site for him. This is
documented, including audio clips and artifacts, in a web report
~ Batz was now convinced of the value of the web for serious data
mining. His respect for the depth and breadth of the content increased
significantly. His second site, for Native
American Cultures, increased his effectiveness and he began
to do a little of the 'driving' during class. Batz agreed eagerly
to pilot the Partnership for Learning (P4L) for Spring, 2003. We
sent applications out to all Sociology majors that were sophomores
or juniors - about 25 in all. After reviewing together the applications
for demonstrated technical skills and training experience, we also
looked at the students'performance in the field. We agreed his comfort
with the student was also a critical factor. Not only had she been
an excellent student, but she also had helped set up the network
for her family's home office. She learned by exploring and then
taught others. Batz opted for Ella.
Spring, 2003 ~ For the first three weeks
Ella and I met for an hour a week and to get her started in FrontPage.
While I did the initial layout, mimicking his previous courses,
she added the design, inserted documents from Dr. Batz, and began
gathering web sites. After three weeks, she was ready to publish
and manage the web site on her own. The site for his current course,
Cultures, is more extensive than the previous sites. His improved
understanding of how to incorporate these resources in his teaching
came through Ella's mentoring and her vision of what to include.
[Note: Ella had this course last year.]
of the Partnership:
In order to keep in mind the goals for the year-long partnership,
Br. Batz and Ella worked together on the criteria below. By adding
structure, I hoped to maintain the vision that the project was
a vehicle (the spark) to get to the goal and not the goal itself.
Dr. Batz and Ella worked together on planning their first ten
weeks together. They agreed to meet together two hours each week.
As the quarter progressed, Ella found one short meeting and one
longer meeting were more productive.
Goal: Their scope document notes their
desire to 'enable [Dr. Batz] to use the tech as a teacher, in
the classroom, and for the course; enable hime to probllem solve
technology with independence and initiative." They did not
note a goal for Ella.
Project: They agreed that Ella was to
design and maintain the web page for the course Indigenous Cultures.
They also planned to have Dr. Batz become comfortable with both
Blackboard and PowerPoint. They also wanted to work on his ability
to deal with the mechanics of the equipment in the classroom.
Dr. Batz listed these skills:
--------* log on to any computer
on campus successfully
--------* conduct searches on the
--------* use academic databases
on Principia's library web site successfully
--------* use and understand technological
listed the following:
--------* creating and updating course
--------* teaching Blackboard andPowerPoint
--------* helping with mechanics
Fall, 2002 and Winter, 2003 ~ The trainer
met with Dr. Batz for half an hour a week. He began learning about
the web with his eyes closed. He found the browser screen too confusing
to look at. The trainer was patient and he persisted in his desire
to learn. Though the trainer went prepared with an agreed-on agenda,
she frequently dropped that to resolve more immediate issues. This
individualized just-in-time-tech-training (JIT3) met with some success.
However, this once-a-week training resulted in slow progress. This
procedure continued both Fall and Winter Quarters.
~ With the launching of P4L, Ella began working with Dr. Batz. Ella
met with Dr. Batz twice a week as a tech coach. Once a week they
worked with the classroom technology - logging on, managing the
projector, VCR, and DVD. They practice navigating the web and how
to use it in class. She took him to different classrooms so that
he is not dependent on the technology in one room.
Limitations, & Next Steps
receive excited voicemail messages from him weekly about little
triumphs and big successes. The empowerment
Ella has given him has ignited an excitement in his course materials
and his teaching methods. The day we searched the Boston Globe web
site and found a favorite review of the book Batz used as a text
for the last third of the course, he began to open his eyes to the
potential of the web for his courses. He was hooked!
- I evidenced increased confidence in her technology skills and
in her patience. Her initiative and creative approach to the web
site, to teaching Batz, and in assessing progress were significant.
Ella began with some technology skills as noted above, FrontPage
was completely new to her. Her change in her self-perception came
about six weeks into the program. I received this voicemail message
from her with notable excitement in her voice: "I never saw
myself as a tech person and here I am designing web pages!"
Our weekly tech training sessions have broadened and deepened
her skills and confidence.
a faculty member was also a new experience. Ella needed to stretch
her patience. She learned to work for small victories.
She became inventive in helping Dr. Batz toward independence.
Learning to manage the technology in any
classroom was her way to help him gain confidence. Her initial
disillusionment about his ignorance of the College Library resources
led her to renewed determination and she took this on as an additional
took the initiative to survey
the class for an evaluation of her web site ~ both its design
and content. The survey was pointed out some areas for improvement
next quarter - notably in how Batz uses the web pages. In general,
the students found the design and navigation good, but did not
use them as extensively as we had hoped. The Cycle
Two Data section covers this in greater depth.
Fall, 2003 Batz will be on sabbatical. He plans to come in once
a week to meet with Ella. His immediate goal will be PowerPoint
for a two-week adult class he is teaching. It is unlikely that we
will be able to accomplish much with Blackboard.
Steps: Batz increasingly assigns PowerPoint for
his students as final projects. He sees the value of using these
for the students as effective teaching tools for their class presentations.
He is eager to learn this application and utilize himself.