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Supersizing the Classroom: 3000 Students & Beyond

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Talk that John Boyer and Katie Pritchard gave at SXSW on March 10, 2012.

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Supersizing the Classroom: 3000 Students & Beyond

  1. 1. Expanding Engagement to Thousands:Super-sizing the Classroom to 3000, and Beyond John Boyer (joboyer@vt.edu) @plaidavenger Geography,Virginia Tech #the3000 Katie Pritchard (kpritcha@vt.edu) @katiepritchard Geography,Virginia Tech
  2. 2. Expanding Engagement to Thousands:Super-sizing the Classroom to 3000, and BeyondBringing the World Into World Regions John Boyer (joboyer@vt.edu) @plaidavenger Geography,Virginia Tech #the3000 Katie Pritchard (kpritcha@vt.edu) @katiepritchard Geography,Virginia Tech
  3. 3. Expanding Engagement to Thousands:Super-sizing the Classroom to 3000, and BeyondBringing the World Into World Regions ...and World Regions to the world John Boyer (joboyer@vt.edu) @plaidavenger Geography,Virginia Tech #the3000 Katie Pritchard (kpritcha@vt.edu) @katiepritchard Geography,Virginia Tech
  4. 4. Our Ultra-Large Class Basic Philosophy
  5. 5. Our Ultra-Large Class Basic Philosophy-The instinct is to over-structure, have well-defined guidelines, and rigid due dates
  6. 6. Our Ultra-Large Class Basic Philosophy-The instinct is to over-structure, have well-defined guidelines, and rigid due dates -We have adopted the opposite approach:
  7. 7. Our Ultra-Large Class Basic Philosophy-The instinct is to over-structure, have well-defined guidelines, and rigid due dates -We have adopted the opposite approach: -Maximum flexibility in assignments
  8. 8. Our Ultra-Large Class Basic Philosophy-The instinct is to over-structure, have well-defined guidelines, and rigid due dates -We have adopted the opposite approach: -Maximum flexibility in assignments -Maximum flexibility in communications
  9. 9. Our Ultra-Large Class Basic Philosophy-The instinct is to over-structure, have well-defined guidelines, and rigid due dates -We have adopted the opposite approach: -Maximum flexibility in assignments -Maximum flexibility in communications -Increased interactions among all players
  10. 10. Our Ultra-Large Class Basic Philosophy-The instinct is to over-structure, have well-defined guidelines, and rigid due dates -We have adopted the opposite approach: -Maximum flexibility in assignments -Maximum flexibility in communications -Increased interactions among all playersThus...
  11. 11. Our Ultra-Large Class Basic Philosophy-The instinct is to over-structure, have well-defined guidelines, and rigid due dates -We have adopted the opposite approach: -Maximum flexibility in assignments -Maximum flexibility in communications -Increased interactions among all playersThus... -Is learner-centered to allow students to engage and learn in ways best suited for them
  12. 12. Our Ultra-Large Class Basic Philosophy-The instinct is to over-structure, have well-defined guidelines, and rigid due dates -We have adopted the opposite approach: -Maximum flexibility in assignments -Maximum flexibility in communications -Increased interactions among all playersThus... -Is learner-centered to allow students to engage and learn in ways best suited for them -Students are treated as individuals, take “ownership”
  13. 13. Our Ultra-Large Class Basic Philosophy-The instinct is to over-structure, have well-defined guidelines, and rigid due dates -We have adopted the opposite approach: -Maximum flexibility in assignments -Maximum flexibility in communications -Increased interactions among all playersThus... -Is learner-centered to allow students to engage and learn in ways best suited for them -Students are treated as individuals, take “ownership”....and in doing these things, we have found thata GROUP SYNERGY evolves organically
  14. 14. About our courseTitle: World Regions (Geography 1014)Students: 2750Live Lecture: Monday 7pm-9:45pmOptional films shown Tuesday or Wednesday at 7pm
  15. 15. About our courseTitle: World Regions (Geography 1014)Students: 2750Live Lecture: Monday 7pm-9:45pmOptional films shown Tuesday or Wednesday at 7pmThe content: what every student oughtto know about the rest of theworld....but doesn’t.
  16. 16. In the classroom: 2 large screens set up - one withlecture and other with rotating regional slides
  17. 17. A classroom of thousands is kind of weird....
  18. 18. A classroom of thousands is kind of weird....
  19. 19. Weird approaches....different language, different formats, different mediums, different assessment options....
  20. 20. Weird approaches....different language, different formats, different mediums, different assessment options....
  21. 21. Weird approaches....different language, different formats, different mediums, different assessment options.... A weird textbook
  22. 22. Weird approaches....different language, different formats, different mediums, different assessment options.... A weird Weird textbook graphic approach
  23. 23. Weird approaches....different language, different formats, different mediums, different assessment options.... A weird Weird textbook A weird dude graphic approach
  24. 24. Aweird site
  25. 25. A weird grading system... Diversity of student assessment options1)13 weekly quizzes x 30pts=400 (+10 for doing all 13)2)Midterm Exam=1253)Final Exam=1254)World Leaders Exam 50x2 =100 (+10 for dressing up)5)Films 10x15pts=150 (15pts each up to 150)6)Non-class events paper=25/each7)Atlas quizzes (11)=110 1050 points = A8)Twitter Assignment=2009)Forum Commenting (14wks) =210 950 points = B10)Geographic Film Review=25/each etc.11)Flash Quizzes=???12)Random Attendance=???13)Plaid Correspondents/Artists=???Total! 1500+ ???
  26. 26. A weird grading system... Diversity of student assessment options1)13 weekly quizzes x 30pts=400 (+10 for doing all 13)2)Midterm Exam=1253)Final Exam=1254)World Leaders Exam 50x2 =100 (+10 for dressing up)5)Films 10x15pts=150 (15pts each up to 150)6)Non-class events paper=25/each7)Atlas quizzes (11)=110 1050 points = A8)Twitter Assignment=2009)Forum Commenting (14wks) =210 950 points = B10)Geographic Film Review=25/each etc.11)Flash Quizzes=???12)Random Attendance=???13)Plaid Correspondents/Artists=???Total! 1500+ ???...but let’ get back to how we use all this crazycrap and new technologies to teach thousands
  27. 27. How we do it(and the technologies that help)
  28. 28. How we do it (and the technologies that help)Communications
  29. 29. How we do it (and the technologies that help)CommunicationsCommunity building and social networking
  30. 30. How we do it (and the technologies that help)CommunicationsCommunity building and social networkingFuture endeavors
  31. 31. How we do it (and the technologies that help)Communications
  32. 32. How we do it (and the technologies that help)Communications -Overcoming distance between instructor-to-students, and student-to-student
  33. 33. Ways to stay connected... -New: Subscribe to Professor Boyer on Facebook - facebook.com/joboyer -Like the Plaid Avenger onFacebook - facebook.com/plaidavenger -Follow the Plaid Avenger on Twitter - twitter.com/plaidavenger -Join Turntable.fm and play tunes in The International Spin room - turntable.fm/the_international_spin-Use the class Twitter hashtag #wrvt to interactwith fellow students, ask questions, and get info
  34. 34. Increased interactionsProfessor Facebook/Twitter - class notices, quickpolling
  35. 35. https://www.facebook.com/joboyer/posts/10100476933837623
  36. 36. Increased interactionsProfessor Facebook/Twitter - class notices, quickpollingTwitter - Class hashtag
  37. 37. http://tweetchat.com/ room/wrvt
  38. 38. http://tweetchat.com/ room/wrvt
  39. 39. Increased interactionsProfessor Facebook/Twitter - class notices, quickpollingTwitter - Class hashtag Poll Everywhere - In class on the spot polling
  40. 40. Increased interactionsProfessor Facebook/Twitter - class notices, quickpollingTwitter - Class hashtag Poll Everywhere - In class on the spot pollingUstream - Online office hours
  41. 41. Ustream http://www.ustream.tv/channel/prof.-boyers-office-hours
  42. 42. spreecast
  43. 43. Increased interactionsProfessor Facebook/Twitter - class notices, quickpollingTwitter - Class hashtag Poll Everywhere - In class on the spot pollingUstream - Online office hours Video podcasts - current events, other topics
  44. 44. Blogs/Podcasts -continued dialogue -expanded, tag- able, content http://www.plaidavenger.com/plaidcasts/all/
  45. 45. How we do it (and the technologies that help)Communications -Overcoming distance between instructor-to-students, and student-to-studentCommunity building and social networking
  46. 46. How we do it (and the technologies that help)Communications -Overcoming distance between instructor-to-students, and student-to-studentCommunity building and social networking -Content driven exercises that create interaction
  47. 47. Plaid forums = students posting and discussingcurrent event news stories w/regional themes
  48. 48. A word on our Forums assignment.....
  49. 49. A word on our Forums assignment.....
  50. 50. A word on our Twitter assignment.....http://twitter.com/#!/list/plaidavenger/ world-leaders
  51. 51. A word on our newest assignment: Delicious
  52. 52. How we do it (and the technologies that help)Communications -Overcoming distance between instructor-to-students, and student-to-studentCommunity building and social networking -Content driven exercises that create interaction
  53. 53. How we do it (and the technologies that help)Communications -Overcoming distance between instructor-to-students, and student-to-studentCommunity building and social networking -Content driven exercises that create interaction -Student input creating shared knowledge
  54. 54. International interview = students inputingknowledge into the system http://www.plaidavenger.com/international- interviews/all/
  55. 55. Turntable.fm = Playing international music
  56. 56. How we do it (and the technologies that help)Communications -Overcoming distance between instructor-to-students, and student-to-studentCommunity building and social networking -Content driven exercises that create interaction -Student input creating shared knowledge
  57. 57. How we do it (and the technologies that help)Communications -Overcoming distance between instructor-to-students, and student-to-studentCommunity building and social networking -Content driven exercises that create interaction -Student input creating shared knowledge -Networking to ‘experts’ outside the classroom
  58. 58. The Way - Shout Out
  59. 59. The Way - Shout Out
  60. 60. The Way - Shout Out
  61. 61. The Way - Shout Out
  62. 62. The Way - Shout Out
  63. 63. Skype: bringing the world into the classroom
  64. 64. How we do it (and the technologies that help)Communications -Overcoming distance between instructor-to-students, and student-to-studentCommunity building and social networking -Content driven exercises that create interaction -Student input creating shared knowledge -Networking to ‘experts’ outside the classroom
  65. 65. How we do it (and the technologies that help)Communications -Overcoming distance between instructor-to-students, and student-to-studentCommunity building and social networking -Content driven exercises that create interaction -Student input creating shared knowledge -Networking to ‘experts’ outside the classroom....and in doing these things, we have found that aGROUP SYNERGY evolves organically
  66. 66. Bouncing Cats Invisible Children
  67. 67. “Open invitation” from Aung San Suu Kyi
  68. 68. Group Synergy...creating community
  69. 69. Group Synergy...creating communityShadow Cabinet taking on life of its own
  70. 70. Group Synergy...creating communityShadow Cabinet taking on life of its own Hashtag has become valuable communications tool, beyond our uses...
  71. 71. Group Synergy...creating communityShadow Cabinet taking on life of its own Hashtag has become valuable communications tool, beyond our uses...Turntable.fm interaction has become much morethan music...
  72. 72. Group Synergy...creating communityShadow Cabinet taking on life of its own Hashtag has become valuable communications tool, beyond our uses...Turntable.fm interaction has become much morethan music... Students “owning” their class
  73. 73. Group Synergy...creating communityShadow Cabinet taking on life of its own Hashtag has become valuable communications tool, beyond our uses...Turntable.fm interaction has become much morethan music... Students “owning” their class ex. FB cheaters
  74. 74. Group Synergy...creating communityShadow Cabinet taking on life of its own Hashtag has become valuable communications tool, beyond our uses...Turntable.fm interaction has become much morethan music... Students “owning” their class ex. FB cheaters ex. ‘The Way’, Aung San Suu Kyi, Invisible Children
  75. 75. Group Synergy...creating communityShadow Cabinet taking on life of its own Hashtag has become valuable communications tool, beyond our uses...Turntable.fm interaction has become much morethan music... Students “owning” their class ex. FB cheaters ex. ‘The Way’, Aung San Suu Kyi, Invisible Children Students stay connected long after class ends through Facebook and Twitter = life long learners
  76. 76. Group Synergy...creating communityShadow Cabinet taking on life of its own Hashtag has become valuable communications tool, beyond our uses...Turntable.fm interaction has become much morethan music... Students “owning” their class ex. FB cheaters ex. ‘The Way’, Aung San Suu Kyi, Invisible Children Students stay connected long after class ends through Facebook and Twitter = life long learners Students get INSPIRED
  77. 77. How we do it (and the technologies that help)Communications -Overcoming distance between instructor-to-students, and student-to-studentCommunity building and social networking -Geo-content driven exercises that create interaction -Student input creating geo-knowledge -Networking to ‘experts’ outside the classroom....and in doing these things, we have found that aGROUP SYNERGY evolves organically
  78. 78. How we do it (and the technologies that help)Communications -Overcoming distance between instructor-to-students, and student-to-studentCommunity building and social networking -Geo-content driven exercises that create interaction -Student input creating geo-knowledge -Networking to ‘experts’ outside the classroom....and in doing these things, we have found that aGROUP SYNERGY evolves organicallyFuture endeavors
  79. 79. Future endeavors....
  80. 80. Future endeavors....-Creating more student-derived content exercisespushing them out into the real world to bring backknowledge...
  81. 81. Future endeavors....-Creating more student-derived content exercisespushing them out into the real world to bring backknowledge... Isn’t everyone in the world an ‘expert’ in something?
  82. 82. Future endeavors....-Creating more student-derived content exercisespushing them out into the real world to bring backknowledge...
  83. 83. Future endeavors....-Creating more student-derived content exercisespushing them out into the real world to bring backknowledge... -Creating more social networks of “specialists” (in our case, ‘regional’ and local experts) at the global scale to visit each other’s classrooms...
  84. 84. Future endeavors....-Creating more student-derived content exercisespushing them out into the real world to bring backknowledge... -Creating more social networks of “specialists” (in our case, ‘regional’ and local experts) at the global scale to visit each other’s classrooms...
  85. 85. Future endeavors....-Creating more student-derived content exercisespushing them out into the real world to bring backknowledge... -Creating more social networks of “specialists” (in our case, ‘regional’ and local experts) at the global scale to visit each other’s classrooms... -Building an on-line community classrooms to share common-time real events like guest speakers and international films....
  86. 86. FIlm is a powerful community-building tool....
  87. 87. FIlm is a powerful community-building tool....
  88. 88. Technologies in the classroom are not just gimmicks:HARNESS THE TOOLS!
  89. 89. Technologies in the classroom are not just gimmicks:HARNESS THE TOOLS! Students don’t have to be passive: HARNESS THEIR KNOWLEDGE!
  90. 90. Technologies in the classroom are not just gimmicks:HARNESS THE TOOLS! Students don’t have to be passive: HARNESS THEIR KNOWLEDGE!You don’t have to do it alone:HARNESSCOMMUNITY-BUILDING EFFORTS!
  91. 91. Technologies in the classroom are not just gimmicks:HARNESS THE TOOLS! Students don’t have to be passive: HARNESS THEIR KNOWLEDGE!You don’t have to do it alone:HARNESSCOMMUNITY-BUILDING EFFORTS! Large classes can make large demands: HARNESS THE POTENTIAL!
  92. 92. Closing thoughts...
  93. 93. Closing thoughts...Why wouldn’t we EXPECT that “stars” would want to sharetheir knowledge with a motivated focused group of folks?
  94. 94. Closing thoughts...Why wouldn’t we EXPECT that “stars” would want to sharetheir knowledge with a motivated focused group of folks? Classrooms of the future (esp. college) are going to HAVE to provide meaningful and special experiences...otherwise, what’s the point?
  95. 95. Closing thoughts...Why wouldn’t we EXPECT that “stars” would want to sharetheir knowledge with a motivated focused group of folks? Classrooms of the future (esp. college) are going to HAVE to provide meaningful and special experiences...otherwise, what’s the point? Anyone or any system can produce content consumable by millions... ....but that is not teaching, that is TV.
  96. 96. Closing thoughts...Why wouldn’t we EXPECT that “stars” would want to sharetheir knowledge with a motivated focused group of folks? Classrooms of the future (esp. college) are going to HAVE to provide meaningful and special experiences...otherwise, what’s the point? Anyone or any system can produce content consumable by millions... ....but that is not teaching, that is TV.Teaching is the art of the educational conversation...which is a 2-way street, or perhaps in our age, a multi-lane superhighway
  97. 97. Don’t forget to rate our talk on the SXSW mobile app! Thanks!

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