Week 2 Post-Class Notes

First, thanks for the feedback! Second, notes on commenting on your peer group member proposal ideas (there’s a YouTube tutorial!). PPT linked to the original class post.

Feedback followup:

  • “Assignment Calendar.”
    A few people asked about website organization and requested “one page” with all assignment due dates. That page already exists: it’s called “assignments.” However, the page is organized by deliverable type; it is not in chronological order. For a chronological view of deliverables, see the (revised) schedule. Or, print the syllabus PDF (recognizing it will not reflect any mid-course changes).
  • “Amount of required readings/work.”
    This is a five-credit class that meets for four hours each week. Thus, one additional hour of reading (or some other assignment) is needed to make up for our only meeting four hours. In addition, the rule of thumb for one credit hour on the quarter system is one hour in class and three hours (average – some will do more, some less) outside of class. So, a five credit hour course should be five hours in class and 15 hours out of class each week. That’s why two classes are considered full-time. Hope this puts the reading/work load into perspective.
  • “Peer discussions could have gone longer; lecture could have gone longer; too much time on tasks.”
    Of course the discussions could have gone longer! But our time together is not infinite. My job is to try to balance your peer learning with “me to you” learning (lecture).Your time together to brainstorm is no different from a business meeting with a set schedule; through practice together, we learn how to be more concise in our written and oral communication.Regarding “tasks” – I’m not sure what the commenter meant: my experience is that it is not possible to get all “tasks” associated with the blog, for example, accomplished in week 1. I wish it were, but it’s not.

    I did not consider the last exercise a task but a learning experience. It is the first time that I have asked students to begin research on their project while in class. I’m quite open to your feedback on whether or not that “worked” for you — please tell me “why” or “why not.”

  • “Readings”
    Yes, some readings are “dated” — ie, they provide a snapshot at one point in time (The Economist article, for example). These readings are included for context. Yes, the four optional books are also “dated” — again, on purpose, to help you visualize the speed (fast or slow) of technological change.
  • “Communication Theory”
    Our class is focusing on more than “what happened” (a straight historical review). Instead, we are examining “why” things happen. That’s where theories come in – a way to explain observed phenomena.I thought I had explained that you will express your opinion in your papers as to why things happened like they did in the past/present and why you think they might happen in a certain manner in the future. To do that, you use theory.This week’s lecture was part one in a series of discussions about theories: you’ve already encountered Winston’s theory of supervening social necessity. You have an assigned reading on uses and gratifications theory for next week; this week’s lecture was a form of “warm up” for that reading.

Peer Group Proposal Feedback
After you upload your draft idea for your proposal, your only working option will be to read and comment on proposals — all other functions are disabled. Proposals are set to be read initially without showing other people’s comments. Watch this clip to see how to comment on an existing proposal idea – it’s a quick-and-dirty piece — the audio illustrates that I have a noisy office!

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  • gjchatalas  On 11 October 2007 at 8:51 pm

    Learning APA style, considering it’s a large part of our project, is well worthwhile; getting it down now will save us time later. Similarly, our practice finding relevant resources on the library database is going to be beneficial, and hopefully save us time over the long-run. Thus, I’m a big fan of the lab time… interaction and feedback during that period is good for all.

    Great comment about the difference between “what happened” and “why it happened”. I, for one, am so accustomed to remembering (and reciting) the existing state of affairs that I overlook the causation. By getting a theoretical background I’m going to improve my ability to assess how a circumstance has come about, and how it may proceed.

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