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Monday, September 26, 2011

The field test from physics

Pete and I are attempting to trial our collaboration of next quarter in this quarter. The first week was rocky. This is what we learned:

  1. Prior to the quarter, we need to have students test our on-line materials to ensure that they are functioning as we had expected;
  2. We need a clear structure in place prior to the start so that students can figure out how to navigate through the material.
I have to say that it has truly been a beautiful thing to work with Pete.  About a year ago, it would have been disastrous for both of us.  But since that time, both of us have gained some facility with seeing into our own assumptions and suspeding our viewpoints.  From my assessment, Pete is far better than I at noticing his feelings and articulating them. This is an area where I really need to grow. 

We sort of tripped on the starting line by not being ready with the students and they were angry by day 4, in my view. The primary problem was that the tool to help them learn physics was not showing them the answers, so it was an exercise in pure frustration.   :O!

I am also working with three honors students on pulling together content for posting: learning objectives, video tutorials, homework problem sets for practice (not graded).  It is remarkable what letting go of control will do to open up new possibilities.  I have been thinking this was all my task and I am so amazed by how quick the students are.  They can work circles around me!

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