Guided Tour: College Professors

Intro   ·   Overview   ·   in-service leaders' tour   ·   college prof's tour

College courses that focus on using technology to support student learning bear the responsibility to model promising practices for technology integration. As such, technology should empower learners, not learners cower before the code. The point here is to keep the focus on goal-based curriculum design, not getting caught up thinking it's a big deal to build a spreadsheet using some huge company's poorly designed software (forgive us for we have committed this sin...).

Web-and-Flow employs scaffolding and automation to focus users on critical design issues, freeing up the cognitive capital that's too often spent on some technology's learning curve, not the learning task.

The main way college professors and instructors can make the most of Web-and-Flow (in our humble opinions...) is to make the cognitive and affective strategies embedded in Web-and-Flow overt to their students. The Expert System that guides activity creation in Web-and-Flow should not be a "black box" that is too complex for student teachers to master. Heck no. The strategies were simply embedded to speed the process, but since understanding and operationalizing learning theories rests at the core of college of Ed classes, extra time should be spent understanding the activity formats and why they're set up as they are. Time spent reading and critiquing Working the Web for Education might be helpful. The learning strategies come from the fields of cognitive psychology (procedural facilitation, schema theory concept development, etc.), constructivism (learning in ill-structured domains), and motivation theory (Keller's ARCS model). Particularly helpful has been Robert Marzano's A Different Kind of Classroom and the Dimensions of Learning model.

Beyond using the "Surf, Stumble, Search and Lurch" introductory process as an icebreaker at the beginning of the course, you may want to use an instructional design process to guide how you have students time their use of Web-and-Flow. We've used a Front End Design, Development, and Evaluation process, leaving implementation and revision for post course adjustments. Feel free to refer to the Guided Tour for In-Service Leaders as it breaks down the process into identifiable chunks.


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© 1999 tom march
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