Wednesday, March 02, 2005

A quickie

Today is the first time that writing for this blog seems like drudgery. I'm at a conference in DC and now the dinner is over. It is better for me to do this writing in the morning before going to work. I shouldn't leave this till the end of the day, but today I had to make my flight.

So here is some bs on what campuses need to do to reform themselves to become effective institutions for today - at least R1 campuses like Illinois. Let me give a disclaimer first. The devil is in the details. That is the heart of the matter. Here, I'm only going to give broad strokes. I'll try to get more detailed in the next few posts.

The key is to give students significant and formal responsibility for the learning of other students. While some of these might happen contemporaneously with a class the student is taking, more of what I in mind is that the students become apprentices in the art of teaching and fostering good learning. They do this irrespective of what their area of study is and they do this for some combination of financial reward and credit toward graduation. In other words every student carries a minor in teaching and learning and this is a minor with little emphasis on theory and a major emphasis on practical delivery. They teach others and thereby become metacognative of their own learning. And they teach others and thereby become aware of being socially responsible and engaged human beings. Information technology is a key catalyst for this, because the studnets use it as theire means of communciation and because to the extent that course materials matter, those will be online. Somebody has to make those --- it will be the students who do that.

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