Friday, January 29, 2010

community service learning - getting started

Once you have selected the Community partner to work with with, and have looked through the information about the actual projects that you will be working on, you can complete and submit your proposal.

The outline for the proposal is provided as a series of prompt questions in the Proposal section of the Community Service guidelines. Answer the questions as they apply to your community partner and the work you will be doing for your project.

The proposal is submitted as assignment - Community Service Learning project PROPOSAL.

If you select the California History Center as your Community partner, there are a couple of projects already outlined and in progress. You may decide to continue the work that has already been started. You can add to and expand the resources for any of these projects. Wiki pages already exist for each of these projects. You will be adding to what is there already.

If you have another idea that is appropriate to the California History Center, but not specifically identified as a project, please let me know. Some additional review, wiki page set up and direction from California History center staff will be needed.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

more about discussion grading

A student asked about missing some discussion points. Here is my reply. Other students missed points for the same reasons.

Discussions 2
Privacy and Personal Information
- Additional points were awarded if your initial post started a discussion. No one replied to your question, probably because it was posted so close to the deadline. [after 10pm Sunday night]

You are expected to participate in the course throughout the week. Discussions are the primary learning activity and only work if students post and reply throughout the week.

Discussion 3
Wikipedia and Trust
- Your posting was Incomplete - There is no mention of having looked at the history or the discussion associated with the Wikipedia article you posted. The activity required that you describe your further investigation of how Wikipedia articles are written so that you would understand that there is more oversight, editing and review of Wikipedia articles than many people realize.

Wikipedia and Trust

But can we trust other people? Wikipedia is an online encyclopedia with articles written and edited by site visitors. This experiment in creating an open-source reference "book" hosts millions of articles contributed by thousands of volunteers and is growing daily. Wikipedia receives 60 million visitors a day. Although Wikipedia's success has been tarnished a little by vandalism, some misinformation, and fights over certain controversial topics, the wiki concept of an open site maintained by its users, has been a hit.

Look in Wikipedia for a topic that interests you or read the daily feature on the front page. Look at the history and discussion for the topic you select. Find a contributor with a profile and read their profile. See if there is any controversy in the discussion. Some topics have caused considerable discussion as there are a broad range of views. For some topics, there is even conflicting scientific data to support opposing views. In the Wikipedia and Trust discussion provide the link to page you reviewed and a brief summary of the story behind the story.

Note: The activity requires that you describe your further investigation of how Wikipedia articles are written so that you would understand that there is more oversight, editing and review of Wikipedia articles than many people realize.

Friday, January 22, 2010

discussion grading

Discussions have morphed from a course add-on to a major component of the course communication. Some discussion topics are "assignments" posted to the discussions so there is more visibility for your work and an opportunity for class discussion about important topics that are highlighted in your research.

The ratings = grades for content and participation. The total grade for a discussion is the sum of all the "ratings". Because all the discussion topics are grouped in the Discussion forum for the week, there is one total for the discussion (usually 10) comprised of several topic/thread specific ratings (usually 1-3).

There is more information about discussion participation and grading in Welcome to CIS2 - link in the top section of the CIS2 main page. The Discussion participation information is near the bottom.

The information is also available here

This is a pretty general overview, so if you have specific questions about a discussion grade, please ask.

Monday, January 18, 2010

3. Freedom of Speech

Privacy - last week's topic is always a great learning experience! Thanks to everyone for your contributions to the discussions. It is always sad to hear about your personal experiences with privacy and identity theft, but everyone has a much better understanding of the potential problems. Sharing your experience may save others from having similar problems.

The WikiEducator assignment provides great feedback to This is a very ambitious project to make education open and free. Everyone involved is learning as they go, so suggestions and feedback are greatly appreciated. It is nice to know that you are part of the ongoing development and improvement of this wonderful resource.

Blogging is a whole new form of communication and publishing that was not possible without the web. These are greatly changing the whole news publishing business.

The topic for the coming week is 3. Freedom of Speech.

Freedom of speech takes on important new meaning in cyberspace. While it is possible for repressive regimes to control print and broadcast media, it is much more difficult to control online publication.This is especially true when the source of the information is outside the jurisdiction of those endeavoring to control speech.

This text in the notes was written before Google and the Chinese government were involved in negotiations that failed to resolve their differences. I plan to update the text but it may be weeks or months before we see where this goes. This just demonstrates how quickly the world is changing, especially where advanced innovative technologies, hackers, corporate interests and government intervention meet.

A reminder to everyone that distance learning courses require considerable personal commitment and time management to complete successfully. The assignments and due dates are intended to help you stay on top of the course work and provide flexibility. However, if you get behind, it is really difficult to catch up. So make every effort to stay current. Please let me know - in advance, if possible - that you can not complete some assignments on schedule. Otherwise points will be deduced to late submissions. Late submissions are better than no submissions - some points are better than none. However, if you are serious about your work in this course, please keep to the course schedule.

There are lots of new issues and ideas to explore this week. Freedom of Speech has never been more important, now that the internet and other communications technologies have allowed hundreds of millions of people to speak up and be heard around the world. Some of these people have never been outside their village or their country, and now they are communicating with people they could only imagine existed. It is pretty amazing when you think about it!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Quiz results

For this discussion, please take the "quizzes" for learning styles and brain color as explained in the Assignments page for Module 1. Then report your scores and your thoughts about those scores here in the discussion.

It is interesting to compare the results when everyone reports their scores on both quizzes. The way the class goes varies depending on the mix of learning styles and brain colors. It is just for fun, but it does make a difference.

Aural learners

By college, everyone has pretty good learning skills in all areas. You may have a preference and that comes out in the learning styles quiz.

Aural learners have to work a bit harder in this course because there aren't many "hearing" activities. I would really appreciate your feedback and suggestions for pre-recorded podcasts and videos for each module.

Shy people

Shy people often do really well in online classes. You can take as long as you want to reply to a discussion. You can ask questions without being concerned what other are thinking. You can even do class work in you pajamas if you wish.

I really encourage everyone, but particularly people who think of themselves as shy, to actively participate in the discussions. This is a great way to put yourself out there and challenge yourself to try something that is difficult for you in a face-to-face class.