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Karen Swenson TWSIA Honorable Mention

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This is for Dr. Karen Swenson's presentation for the TWSIA Honorable Mention Presentation (held on Wednesday, June 16 @ 10:00-11:15am). If there are any problems with the presentation, please contact me (Amber D. Evans, adevans@vt.edu). If there are any questions about the presentation content, please contact Karen Swenson (karens@vt.edu). Enjoy the show!

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Karen Swenson TWSIA Honorable Mention

  1. 1. Science Fiction and Fantasy: Interaction and Collaboration Karen Swenson Associate Professor of English Virginia Tech June 2010
  2. 2. English 1654: Introduction to Science Fiction and Fantasy Online 80 Students 15 Weeks
  3. 3. English 1654: Introduction to Science Fiction and Fantasy In this reading-intensive, online course, students will: • think about important issues presented to us through works of speculative fiction - • definitions of good and evil, • self and alien, • science and nature, • human and machine, • human and monster, • exploitation and collaboration - • consider definitions of human experience and potential, • demonstrate knowledge through weekly quizzes. • share ideas in a discussion forum & a speculative fiction wiki. 11th Sakai Conference - June 15-17, 2010 3
  4. 4. Collaborative Development • Summer 2009 • Karen Swenson takes Faculty Development workshop on Sakai tools • Fall 2009 • Swenson uses wiki and other Sakai tools in her courses • Susan Hagedorn and Cheryl Ruggiero collaboratively teach an online speculative fiction course • November 2009 • Hagedorn, Ruggiero, and Swenson form collaboration to share skills and resources in order to develop this course • Spring 2010 • This course is offered through Scholar, enhanced by the wiki and other Sakai tools • Continuing • This work continues as educators and students work together, collaborating with IDDL (Institute of Distance and Distributed Learning) and OCS (Online Course Systems) and others from different parts of campus. Interest grows. Randy Patton is adapting this for a six-week summer session. Aaron Bond, Amber D. Evans, and Marc Zaldivar are exploring possibilities. 11th Sakai Conference - June 15-17, 2010 4
  5. 5. Learning Objectives and Course Goals • Aristotelian (Specific): Students will • learn to identify major periods in the history of speculative fiction • read significant authors from a variety of types of speculative fiction • learn to define significant sub-genres of speculative fiction • become familiar with a wide range of texts and movies defining this genre • develop their critical reading skills • become more adept at critical thinking • become more experienced at collaborative writing. • become more accustomed to considering a text within a cultural context • Platonic (General): Through collaborative work, we will • reconsider traditional concepts of "author" and of "self" • suggest collaborative means of living with others • learn to work together to create a better world • encourage a sense of community • encourage an awareness of the contributions of others • become more accustomed to considering ourselves within a context 11th Sakai Conference - June 15-17, 2010 5
  6. 6. Multiple Tools • I use multiple tools for interaction and collaboration. Different tools support different course goals. Tools allow specific types of thinking and interacting. • At the heart of this course is the writing of students in the forums, chat room, and wiki. They interact with one another, with me, and with the tools that shape their online environment. • Student writing has meaning, power, and significance in this course. Students are shaping both their own words and the words of others in order to create a web of interconnected writings.
  7. 7. Home Page as Interaction: Changing Central Panel & Regular Announcements Maintain Focus on Time and Topic
  8. 8. Syllabus & Calendar • Readily available in menu • Attached to first announcement • Organized in two-week units • Explained & located in welcome video • Includes reading list, assignments, contact information, and other essential elements
  9. 9. Introductions - Welcome Video - Principles of Community - Meet-the-Class Forum - Polls - Wiki Writers
  10. 10. Quizzes • Open-book Some pools: • Timed – 50 minutes • 25 questions • Quizzes encourage students to do the assigned reading and directly address the more Aristotelian goals. • Randomly drawing questions from multiple pools to create each quiz decreases the chances that any two students will get the same set of questions.
  11. 11. Weekly Lectures Available through main menu Use both images and words to present key concepts
  12. 12. • Meet-the-Class Forum Forums • • Unit Discussion Forums Poster Forum
  13. 13. Invitation to Wiki: Excerpts We are doing this because a Wiki will allow us to • interact with each other in a useful and interesting way, • share our knowledge and expertise with others, • experience a new form of writing and a new definition of “authorship” made possible by technology, • participate in a collaborative enterprise. • learn from each other, and • have fun together!
  14. 14. Wiki – The Beginning
  15. 15. Wiki – 3 Months Later • New list items • Index • Wiki Writers • Rich Content
  16. 16. Chat Room - Students Share Summaries of their Wiki Work with Everyone
  17. 17. Wiki Pages – Creating Infrastructure
  18. 18. Wiki Pages – Hypertext Essays
  19. 19. Wiki Pages – Image and Words
  20. 20. Wiki Pages – Web Resources & Bibliography
  21. 21. Wiki Pages – History of Collaboration
  22. 22. “Wiki Aliveness” 7 Principles for Cultivating Communities of Practice 1. Design for evolution. 2. Open a dialogue between inside and outside perspectives. 3. Invite different levels of participation. 4. Develop both public and private community spaces. 5. Focus on value. 6. Combine familiarity and excitement. 7. Create a rhythm for the community. Etienne Wenger, Richard McDermott, and William M. Snyder http://hbswk.hbs.edu/archive/2855.html
  23. 23. Wiki Development The success of this course wiki led to the creation of a community wiki – the Virginia Tech Speculative Fiction wiki, around which is growing a community of practice. The community wiki allows student work and its value to continue beyond the boundaries of the semester or the course. “Play Well and Prosper”
  24. 24. Teaching this Class while Applying for the Sakai Award • An immersion that leads me to define my research as online community, • Developing a network of partners and associates with overlapping interests • Exploring outreach to both on-campus and off-campus groups, the larger community, including students from K-12 • Development and growth of our fledgling community site • Development and growth of our individual course sites • Development and growth of our instructors’ shared resources • Beginning the grant-writing process • Ask questions about structuring online collaborative teaching, • Consider how software options influence not only how but also what we learn, and • Practice as a community member. • The focus of my academic work has changed. 11th Sakai Conference - June 15-17, 2010 24
  25. 25. Thank You Collaborative work allows us to: • reconsider traditional concepts of "author" and of "self” • suggest collaborative means of living with others • learn to work together to create a better world • encourage a sense of community • encourage an awareness of the contributions of others • become more accustomed to considering ourselves within a context Karen Swenson <karens@vt.edu> Associate Professor of English Virginia Tech Blacksburg, VA 24060

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