Jason’s Reading Log for April 20th

This week’s reading about e-portfolios was very interesting.  I plan on designing an e-portfolio for one of my courses this fall, so this week’s class should help me with that.  I had never really taken the time to situate the development of portfolios within historical context.   When this is laid out, as it was in the readings, you begin to notice that this is not a new idea just a new way of using an older idea.  I have constructed a paper teaching portfolio in the past (which I don’t update nearly enough) however, it would make sense to move it online at this point.  Beyond the paper/electronic difference,  e-portfolios have a course focus instead of a teacher focus.

By constructing these course portfolios we can attempt to monitor HOW and IF students are really learning.  Exactly where did they or did they not “get it”.  This design also allows us to step back and view our courses as a whole.  Instead of thinking in terms of specific classes, activities, or exams, we can take a more holistic approach to see if our course “fits” together to meet the most important learning objectives.

The portfolio allows us to asses not just rather or not students are meeting predetermined desired outcomes, but how and why they are meeting them, within the context of our own classroom.  This allows us to measure the more “messy” process of learning which applies to our specific classroom (and may or may not generalize to others).  Portfolios also allow professor to reflect on there course designs weaknesses and strengths, beyond more traditional student outcome assessment techniques.  In other words, course portfolios allow us to move beyond a simple “snapshot” at the end of the semester.

Aracelie_Reading Log_13 Apr

Carrie Ann and Ted will be leading discussions on the music-related articles they have chosen for this week.  Although I do not see it specified who chose which article, I will work under the assumption that Ted selected “Delivering student feedback in higher education:  the role of podcasting” for his focus, and Carrie Ann will lead her discussion on “Research in Music Education:  Personal and Professional Reflections in a Time of Perplexity”.

I am admittedly not the most technologically savvy individual.  When I was younger, I was fascinated by computers and all that they could help us do.  Wordperfect was the best back then; I knew all the function keys by heart.  Then I entered the workforce, and it seemed like I was spending all my waking moments on computers.  As a result, I feel that I am aware of new technological developments, but I do not embrace them.  Reading about the method of using podcasts for feedback encouraged me.  My own minimal exposure to podcasting makes me feel as though it would be an option I could easily incorporate into a course I was teaching or project I was managing.

Granted, as the article stated toward the end, podcasting might work better with individuals who are familiar with the format, but even with a little bit of initial training on how to use podcasting, it seems to offer so much.  The ability to hear comments with their intonations, rather than to simply see them on paper seems a little richer.  Students can also refer back to the mp3s at a later time or in pieces.  It may not suit everyone, but at least it gives students additional options and allows them to discover what methods of feedback (and learning) suit them best.  I think that process of discovery will serve them more in their future courses and  once they eventually enter the workforce.

Teddy’s CTCH604 Reading Log 04.11.2010

Teddy’s Reading Log 04.11.2010

 For class session 04.13.2010

 As someone once said to me, there’s more than one way to do anything. I found this easily applicable to our selected methodologies used to complete music research. Reimer’s research award speech is to say the least an eye-opener. As stated by Bennett Reimer (2008), no matter the similarities and differences in how we do our work, we all share a bit of an outsider status among those devoted to the actual teachings and learnings in the domain of music that constitutes our profession’s fundamental reason for being. Our research across disciplines must must the current and fture standards or criteria n order for it’s validity to take hold as we reshape our thinking as to what is good research. From what other perspectives can we derive our best conclusions from current data and build upon that data to enhance our work as both researchers and teachers.

 What methods are we mostly likely to choose? Some prefer the use of qualitative data and others quantitative data. Reimer goes on to suggest a third one, an arts-based approach that builds on the aesthetic nature of the arts. Like Reimer, I too believe this to be self-evidence enriched form of the research inquiry. The experiences of musical performances, art shows, sculpture and dance require an immediate response from participants. It is as natural as breathing air! Music education is food for our creative and critical thinking. Through experience it changes the nature of man’s spirit and muse.

 Talent is too often portrayed as the main source of preparation to our profession. Similar to the clarinet/oboe student in this article, there are many varying goals and perspectives that are influenced from our earliest experienes as music participants. The clutching to one’s philosophy may somewhat mislead us as researchers/teachers about the career choices of young scholars. It is important that we apply theory to practice and not assume that our expectations will match those of our students. According to Heller, philosophy is a time honored scholarly activity upon which all research depends for its theoetical models that can then be tested by research. The role of all research is to minimize error. Regardless of our approach, we must keep in mind the human element as a major factor or deterninant. Whether artistic or scientific in nature, art is indeed a cognitive domain with its own ways to think, do and understand, quite different from science or philosophy or either quanitative or qualitative research.

Carrie Ann’s April 12th Reading Log

Since I will present on my article on Tuesday, I am going to take this opportunity to comment on the article that Ted has chosen for us to read to prepare for his part of the presentation. The idea of podcasting and the uses thereof for higher education is a fairly new idea.  Only in the past two semesters have I seen professors using this medium in addition to traditional methods of material presentation.  This semester has been the first in my academic career that I have needed to access this medium for another doctoral seminar that I am currently taking.  This class is having us use the podcasting purely in a “listen to these pieces” fashion, but as this article presents the use of podcasting for assessment purposes is extremely viable.

As an assessment tool, podcasting can be the technological way that we can reach our students on a more meaningful level.  I agree with this article in that our students can easily misunderstand written assessment that we give our students.  Meaning can be lost in the written word and through verbal communication (complete with inflections) you can regain some of that meaning back.  Our students are technology advanced and to use a medium that they are all well versed in to provide feedback is the next logical step in higher education.  This could be especially effective in large classes like the ones that I am currently teaching.  Written comments take a long time to complete, through podcasting/verbal comments I could record comments in real time as I am reading their papers and my students could receive their comments/grades in a quicker fashion.

I am looking forward to discussing this article in class and hearing my colleagues’ viewpoints on this subject.  We as educators need to move forward technologically along with our students, Podcasting assessments is one such way to do so.

Jason’s Reading Log for 4/6/10

This weeks chapter in the cross reading was very interesting to me.  Besides the fact that I just really enjoy this book (especially when compared to some of the stuff I have to read for my Soc classes!), this chapter’s case study followed by literature review format was great!

We are supposed to be teaching ideas and ways of thinking (for numerous reasons) but have we taken the time to considered student stages of development in our planning?  A course structured to teach skills will inevitably lead to student’s asking “is this on the quiz” and attempting to memorize the examples.  I (and every other teacher that I have ever spoken too) have had this issue emerge in the classroom.  But it never dawned on any of us that we should be actively trying to understand why?

When the student in the first case study said “I thought this class was going to be BOOK history not Analysis of historical methods”  it sums up this issue.  We are in the classroom to facilitate student development and many students are accustomed to looking to authority figures to “give” them the answers or truth so that they can memorize it.  Many teacher’s (partially I belief due to elitism and arrogance) have been all to willing to give out the truth to students.  However in doing this we are robbing them of the abilities that we hold up as so valuable.  Humans do not naturally develop to their preset intellectual capability, we know that intellectual development is a process, or as cross states it “learning is a process not a product”.

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