The emergence of network-enhanced classroom teaching
Vale, Kate Livingston
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This study is an historical analysis of Brown University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology faculty engagement with network-based courseware development between 1983 and 2003. Specifically, the research focused on how and why faculty engaging in work with Intermedia and Project Athena undertook their projects, what pedagogical models they employed, and what factors contributed to the success and longevity of their courseware. Data collection models included interviews with faculty, project coordinators and technical staff, review of the courseware applications, and examination of internal and external documentation about each project. The findings indicated that faculty tended to utilize the same pedagogical methods in software as they already did in regular teaching, turning to the computer primarily for areas that were difficult to teach or learn; that continued faculty commitment to expanding and updating the software was necessary for sustainability; that faculty perceived their projects as having been successful in increasing student learning and communication despite the fact that formal evaluation was rarely undertaken; and that faculty in the Humanities were more likely to use the network to foster communication and collaboration, while Science and Engineering faculty used the network as a means of disseminating modelling and simulation applications.
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