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Final Note

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EDSP 287 Spring 1997
EDSP 287 Spring 1996

This course depends upon technology for its implementation. Integrating technology in instruction is the wave of the future in education; you need to have more than an intellectual understanding of its use. Moreover, such technologies as word processing, e-mail, the Web, and presentation software are valuable tools in our professional development and in our work. When you complete this course, you will be able to use these tools effectively; indeed, you will wonder how you ever got along without them.

Also note that the theory underlying the course is constructivist theory, a theory that defines knowledge as developmental, mediated by our culture, and, therefore, non-objective. Learning is a process of solving conflicts that arise through interaction and reflection. The implications of this perspective are that instructors pose relevant problems structured around key concepts, value students' viewpoints, and adapt their courses accordingly. This syllabus defines the course framework and focus. You provide the content. I serve in the role of guide and critic. Together we will learn how to be more effective in developing our thoughts and skills so that we can improve educational practice.

This objective can only be accomplished with open communication and an atmosphere where we can give and receive critique in order to improve our work. Questions, concerns, and ideas about the direction of the course and specific issues within it should be brought to my attention as soon as they arise. One student wrote on the course evaluation form, "You contradicted yourself in your critiques of the drafts of my paper." This comment came too late for us to have time to discuss what was or what might have appeared to be a contradiction. It would have been far better had the student told me of this problem as soon as he or she saw it. Indeed, a hallmark of professional behavior is to confront problems and issues when they occur.

I have written an essay about my attempts to develop the course and to use student critique as a tool to help me continually improve the course. I hope to use your critique of the course in the same way this semester.

Last updated: 12 February 1998