Thursday, December 6, 2007

Finally summing it up: TLC Comparison

So there you have it. 9 Schools: Duke, Washington University, Harvard, Princeton, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Vanderbilt, Columbia, Brown, and the University of Pennsylvania. While you can safely say that each school offers workshops on different technologies, there are in many cases programs that go above and beyond these one-hour trainings on a particular piece of software to provide opportunities for graduate students to become more familiar with specific instructional technologies. Harvard and Princeton have, respectively, PITFs and GAITs that get in-depth instruction in one or more technologies and then get the added experience of working closely with one or more faculty members to create new tools for instruction.

The model of TLC/TPC that we are building on here, however, is most closely mirrored at Duke and Washington University. Here's what I wrote in my summary for the "Comparable Efforts at Peer Institutions" section of our proposal to the Graduate School:

As can be seen, several of our peer institutions have programs in place to train graduate students on technologies that can be used in the classroom. The programs at Duke and Washington University are closest to our proposal: they are specifically designed for graduate students; they teach the basics of many of the technologies we propose teaching; they emphasize the pedagogical uses of these technologies; and they result in a significant number of contact hours.

While the similarities of our proposal to programs at Duke and Washington Universities may recommend our program, we believe two differences in format make it most valuable to Emory’s graduate students and for the instruction in Emory College. First, instead of enrolling students from every discipline in the Graduate School, our program groups students into departmental clusters. This restriction fosters focused discussions about how technologies may be used in classrooms with similar and specific pedagogical aims. Second, while Duke’s course is taught by a faculty member who specializes in instructional technology and Washington University’s workshop is conducted by peers, our proposal employs three complementary layers of instruction: an instructional technology specialist (ECIT staff), a peer (graduate student fellow), and a faculty mentor. In our pilot program, the faculty mentor has led discussions on adapting different technologies to meet the particular goals of the graduate students’ disciplines. A faculty mentor provides the perspective on the classroom that neither a technology specialist nor a peer can provide and ensures that the workshop emphasizes that technology is not the end but rather a means to improving both one’s teaching and the learning of one’s students.

So, if any of you dear readers remain after this trip through the fabulous world of applied instructional technologies, what do you think?

1 comment:

Wayne said...

A great comparison Brian. I realize that much of the information you gathered was not easily accessible. In many cases you had to really dig (and even exchange some emails) in order to find out what and who was involved in these programs. Because instructional technology and pedagogy remains a warm (if not hot at times) topic in higher-ed, I would expect our peers to address it in some way. Among the most interesting things you uncovered are the multiple ways in which these institutions "package" or put together the different elements that comprise the pedagogical use of instructional technology.