Tuesday, December 4, 2007

How does TLC compare? Penn

All right, I finished all of my research about the various peer institutions I investigated while writing our proposal to the Grad School about TLC, which is now being rebranded as "Technology, Pedagogy, Curriculum" (TPC) as we roll out to organizations beyond the English Department.

I'm still negotiating for the rights to post the entire proposal here on the blog, but until I've secured those I'm going to continue posting what I've learned about the different schools' programs.

So University of Pennsylvania. I'm a little worried that I might have missed something glaring here because there was actually very little that I could find on the subject of teaching/helping grad students with technology. There are, of course, the requisite lunchtime, hour-long courses that people can take to become more familiar with technology. Some workshops are geared specifically for School of Arts and Sciences instructors (read, faculty and grad students). Others are more for the student body (read, undergrads and grad). These are obviously good resources to have, but I continue to believe that there is value for educating grad students separately from undergrads and faculty (as well as together, at times0 on the uses of instructional technology.

Penn also has technology grants available to help with the design of technology components for courses or departments. But so far as I can tell much of the work on the grants is performed by computing services (read, faculty and students don't necessarily learn from the experience). And although I can't find a stipulation that only faculty may apply for these grants, inevitably things of this nature end up going to faculty (and rightly, I think).

Penn uses many of the same technologies as us. And they even have a page devoted to discussing technology with teaching, but it is basically a list of resources rather than a consideration of best practices.

My favorite thing that I have found at Penn thus far is that they provide an online tool for instructors to design and collect midterm evaluations for their courses. Of course we could do this SurveyMonkey...but it's great to see this in place.

My verdict? I would have to talk with some people at Penn to be sure, but it appears that there is little or no instruction aimed directly at graduate students on blending technology with their teaching.

No comments: