Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Back working on The Rock

If it is July it must be Corner Brook, Newfoundland. Well, the Marble Mountain ski lodge at Steady Brook. The Summer Institute for Mount St Vincent University's MEd course is back in session. This year we are working with the same group that we had last year. In 2005 we were looking at Boys and Literacy and New Literacies from the standpoint of research consumers. We all worked through the process of critiquing research, using resources from the topic areas. The pedagogy was pretty basic -- learning by doing, crossed with self-directed learning, mediated by wireless internet access. Last year there was a broadband trial going on at the Lodge. A company had coincidentally begun offering a free trial period the very day we all arrived to do the Institute. We had our wireless base stations with us and set up a wireless environment. A number of participants already had wireless capable laptops. Others bought them.

We'd run whole group sessions in the mornings each day, setting up the tasks for the day, then folk would go at them in the afternoons. The course design was simple. People put themselves into groups. They searched the internet to find a research report their group would critique. We worked through elements and diemsnions of critique in the mornings, and developed a template for writing critiques of research artifacts. In the afternoons the groups set about using internet and hard copy sources to practise aspects of critique and work toward developing the critique of the artifacts they had chosen to critique. On the last 2 days of the Institute they presented their critiques as a conference for peers.

This year we are doing the Research Producer perspective. Over the winter the groups worked with their permanent instructors and with us by email to identify research questions for small scale projects. They then collected data for their projects -- surveys, interviews, observations, etc. The current Institute involves analysing the data, and then writing up the entire project process as a report. These reports become the basis for presentations, as with last year's Institute. The last two days of the Institute will involve presenting the research in conference format.

The format works pretty well. We've established a website for the Institute and will use that as an archive of activity. Meanwhile, here is a bit of pictorial information on the event.


Post a Comment

<< Home