« Tech Comm Classroom Research | Main | A Most Readable Selection »

Hopefully coherent ramblings

Special considerations –
I think it would be extremely difficult to research in a F2F class that you currently teaching (I'm interested to hear Lee-Ann's experience with it). It would be difficult to observe if you are attempting to teach and unless you set up some sort of recording device there is no permanent record of the class. Bringing in an outside observer or even having a video camera might introduce other issues since observation can affect behavior. There are also issues of power. Asking a student to complete surveys, be interviewed or take pre or post tests can seemed linked to success in a class, even if it’s not.

I think it would be immensely difficult to successfully critique your own teaching. We all make lesson plans with certain learning outcomes in mind. However, why our lessons work might not be the reason that we might think.
I find each classroom of students has particular personality. Some classes just seem to catch on to concepts at different speeds. My current class seems to really get audience analysis, whereas one of my classes last semester just didn’t get it at all. In April I was still waiting for the proverbial light bulb to turn on. If each class is unique in some way even with the same basic preparation being able to I’m not sure it would be possible for me to articulate what I do differently between one class and the next. Or if it has less to do with my teaching and more to do with skills, knowledge, and attitudes the students have when they walk in the door.

I also wonder about true anonymity. If I were to write an article about student work, giving students pseudonyms, would it really be anonymous? With the amount of group work, peer review, and oral presentations about final projects, I think many students could guess. For example I had a student that in a final presentation titled a slide “My feasibility project – WTF? (and no he was not working with the Wellington Trade Foundation or similarly abbr. co.). Does that mean that I have to eliminate this happening from research if it was applicable?