Sunday, November 18, 2007

Working on ARQ (Asking the Right Questions)

"Asking the Right Questions" (ARQ) is a set of brief hybrid workshop materials for faculty. The goal: figure out how to improve online discussion, or your lecture slides, or your use of clickers, or your online assignments -- some kind of teaching and learning with technology in your course -- by asking your students some pointed questions about that activity.

Each workshop module is only 5-15 minutes long, short enough to insert in a faculty meeting or brownbag lunch, or to use in a brief online workshop. The ARQ workshops can be led by faculty development or IT support staff, or by faculty who have been through the workshop previously, tried what they learned, and liked the results.

A group of us (join us!) are developing and testing these materials, and the collection grows and changes almost every week. Frank Parker tells me that ARQ materials have been tried out at Johnson C. Smith University. Meanwhile I've been tweaking the materials for improving online discussions.

I'm also using Flashlight Online 2.0 to develop new survey templates (and a new ARQ workshop) on improving the use of clickers, and another ARQ workshop (with Flashlight Online 2.0 materials) for getting more out of your use of electronic portfolios. I'm working with IUPUI on the eportfolio materials; if you like this ARQ approach and want to join in that work please let me know. I don't yet have any partners for work on the clicker workshop materials. Interested?

I'm also thinking that it's time to go after some grant money to speed up the development and testing process, and to evaluate the materials: can this approach really engage more faculty and help build a culture of evidence? Maybe an institution with an accreditation a few years off, or a consortium or association, would like to go after such a grant, and use us as a contractor to help?

Personal notes: After traveling every week since late September, I'm off the road until January. Arthroscopic surgery on my left shoulder coming up, the Tuesday after Thanksgiving. No heroic athletic injury involved: just a bone spur that's been making me increasingly sore. The surgery should clean that up.

Before that, however, Leslie and I are headed for New York City to celebrate Thanksgiving. Chris (our son) and Monique have invited us and also her parents to dinner. This is our first opportunity to meet Monique's parents. We're all pretty excited about this particular holiday.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

The New York Times > E-Mail This > EDUCATION > Articles > Thank You

The New York Times > E-Mail This > EDUCATION > Articles > Thank You

Online version seems to omit paragraph I found esp. interesting in paper version: "Mr. Klein said that the cell-phone ban would apply to the students who received the phones: They would be expected to leave them at home during the school day."