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I didn't see your updates when I checked the Swiki a few moments ago, so unfortunately I probably won't be able to see them before we meet tomorrow.

Short term TODO items:

  • Go through the paper you read by Gerhard (courses as seeds) and identify three concrete claims made in the paper. If you can't find direct quotes, infer them. A good claim is a hypothesis that can be evaluated as true or false. "Students are more motivated if they are co-constructors rather than passive recipients" would be an example claim. There are probably more than three. Identify as many as you can, and pick the three most important.

  • For each claim, try to identify the kind of evidence that you would want to see to justify (or falsify) this claim. For the above claim, it might be something like "is there a correlation between activeness of students and their FCQ impressions of the class?" or "in the same class, do students who are more active (as measured perhaps by amount of Swiki participation) say qualitatively different things in their FCQs as non-active students"

  • Analyze the printed survey results from the DLC course and see if you can find evidence for these claims.

  • Based on the claims and the problems you encounter with the current assessment, identify the kinds of things you would want to ask in structured interviews or longitudinal assessment next semester.

Long term plans

"Long Term" in this context means next semester. My last day at CU will
be 31-Dec, so I will not be around next semester to be a mentor. Mike
and/or Hal would seem to be likely candidates. I hope that this won't be
a major problem for you, having to context switch from one project to

Even after I leave CU, I would be happy to continue to help in whatever
way I can. Always feel free to send me email. I just won't be around
face-to-face or available on a moment's notice. I fear that I've not been
very good about that this semester, though, anyway.

It is for that reason (and many others) that I think it would be valuable
to have a work plan for next semester. To me, it would make sense to
build on our initial discussions, probably coming up with an assessment
framework and tracking one of the classes being taught in the Spring
(either sociologically (through interviews) and/or technologically
(through analyses of technology use or building online questionnaires))
depending on your preference. I think this would be a great project that
Mike or Ernie (in particular) would very much value. We are very keen on
tracking courses as seeds, and this kind of analysis could very easily
lead to a publication near to or shortly after the end of the term.

In order to be able to do this, you'd need to hit the ground running when
the next semester starts. For this reason, I think it would make sense to
come up with a project proposal by the end of the calendar year that would
serve as a guideline for next term's work.

It would probably make sense to have a draft of such a report by 1-Dec.
This may seem early, but early deadlines are good. From there, we can
refine the ideas until you have a concrete list of goals for the upcoming
semester. Having something before the beginning of finals (and not after
the inter-session break) would also be helpful, because we could
collaborate on it at a distance if necessary.

Since you will probably be working alongside Mike, Ernie, or Hal, you
might want to contact them directly and see if you can arrange a meeting
with them. This would be particularly good if you can find a class that it
would be good to track for a semester.

We can and should discuss these issues more tomorrow, but I hope that is a
helpful start.