Blog for the course offered at Teachers College, Columbia University during Fall 2005

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Feedback about the course (so far)

This is a quick reality check. How are you feeling about the course so far? Are you having any problems? Are there things you like or don't like about how the course is unfolding? Is the workload too heavy, too light, or just right? Do you feel you are learning something? Is there anything I could be doing to make this a better course?

Please leave your comments below (feel free to do so anonymously, if you prefer).

10 Comments:

Blogger Heidi Trotta said...

Thanks for asking ... I really enjoy using all the different technology tools and have been able to share them with everyone at work. Until you actually use them yourself, you don't see the pros and cons. The experience using and responding to blogs is quite different than a discussion board ... I have mixed feelings about it. I read everyone's blog but since we are all blogging on something slightly different, I find myself responding to only a couple of classmates just because of time. I do enjoy choosing my own articles and the books are good choices, "Linked" being my favorite. This week I am finding it a challenge to find connections between the books and my article but I think it will work out.

Thanks for the articles on how to write a good blog entry, etc. The information is very useful.

Hope this helps ...

heidi

11:13 PM

 
Blogger Ulises said...

Thanks for the feedback, Heidi.

Well, that's one of the issues to consider when using social software. We could say that it allows you to be more discriminating when choosing who to interact with, but like you ask: is this always a good thing?

Personally, I think it's OK to collaborate more closely with colleagues who share your interests, but I would encourage all of us to also engage colleagues with very different interests. One learns a lot that way, too!

2:08 PM

 
Blogger Steve said...

I find the course and readings very interesting. I am now very confortable with blogs, rss feeds, delicious accounts etc., but I must admit that I am slightly "lost" with regard to the Issue Entrepreneurship project. However, I'm sure that if I read a few postings and the books I will be in a better position to contribute. Maybe people should just float ideas about. I am still thinking of what to come up with

Steve

4:29 PM

 
Blogger Ulises said...

Thanks for the feedback, Steve. Some of your colleagues are starting to post ideas about their projects, and I think you will find that useful. I expect that your proposal will evolve, so it's OK to just float ideas at this point. If you are still having trouble conceptualizing the assignment, feel free to request an appointment to meet with me during office hours (Tuesdays).

4:55 PM

 
Blogger Anthony Cocciolo said...

I am liking the class. The readings are quite compelling and I like the open nature of the Individual Entrepreneurship assignment (it is going to force me to actually do something about an issue rather than simply complain about it).

Cheers,
Anthony

10:49 PM

 
Blogger michael slaven said...

Overall I feel the class is going well. As with all online classes I take, I'm realizing I need to be more conscious with how I divvy my time. When reading peoples' blogs I follow links, and then links from links, and I sometimes find myself way off on a totally unrelated topic. In other words, I probably spend too much time clicking and reading and not enough time thinking about what I just read in terms of social software affordances.

I'm not one to usually say this, but guess I crave more structure.

However, I feel that structure is emerging. I am starting to see conceptual "links" arise between the readings and the assignment and people's blog entries, as well as links with the research of the larger community as seen in delicious/popular.

Like Steve, I was having a hard time with the issue entrepreneurship project. I found a Yahoo Groups posting by Phil Agre himself that helped me a little. Maybe it can help others? I still need to figure out what issue I feel passionate about.

1:13 AM

 
Blogger Ulises said...

Thanks for the feedback, Anthony.


Thanks, Michael.

The post by Agre was useful, and I ended up blogging about it. Feel free to do the same when you find stuff that you think might help the class!

As far as managing your time, that is something we all must struggle with. How do we become more than processors of information? How do we turn information into action? These are some of the questions we must consider in class...

To be honest, I too sometimes fear that I am not providing enough structure. Perhaps in reaction to other classes where I have felt there is not enough freedom to explore ideas, I have gone to the other extreme. However, I am hopeful that, like you say, some structure is starting to emerge.

Having said that, if you have any ideas for how to provide more structure while retaining some of the flexibility, I would really like to hear them!

Keep up the good work.

7:58 AM

 
Blogger HoffaH said...

Overall, I’m enjoying the course. It’s exciting to think about something as new as social software. The opportunity to think critically about what is happening now (as opposed to the past) is engaging. The emerging theories are fascinating and have me thinking quite differently about some of my day-to-day activities.

Some of my favorite moments have come out of the assigned reading and the class’s Individual Analyses. The connections and questions I’m finding are rich and endless.

I am, however, struggling in a few minor areas:

One area is quality vs. quantity in terms of responding to posts. I recognize this is a community effort, and no one wants to be the “weak link.” At the same time it seems easy to slip into an endless post-and-reply cycle. How much is enough? Is every one looking to each other to set the pace? There’s probably no answer to this in a strict sense, but I wish we had a gauge of sorts.

Also, because I’m new to blogging, I’m struggling to write the “perfect post.” The challenge of writing informally, yet thoughtfully, is proving more difficult than I anticipated. I want to be stimulating for the class, but I don’t think a blog post should take all day to compose. Finding the perfect blend of substance and style (and keeping it brief) is a worthy cause that will take some time to master.

Finally, I appreciate the openness of the Issue Entrepreneurship assignment. The aspect that I have questions about is “organizing activities” among the solicited parties. I’m assuming the activity can be done online. Can you give us an example of what these activities might look like?

I hope these comments are helpful.

Thanks,
Dan

7:33 PM

 
Blogger akhi003 said...

I think the course so far is working, although a lot of the posts from others come late or not at all (I, too, have fallen victim to this sometimes). I feel that it is key to know how to "sort through" all of the different items that people post. I don't know about everyone else, but I do not read every single bookmark submitted to CCTE because I would spend all day doing so and would thus become unproductive. I think that this may be a challenge for some to overcome.

Another thing I have noticed is the pattern of posts by any given individual happening within a certain time period. For instance, I don't have my RSS reader open all the time, even though I am tech savvy person and am on my computer a lot. Rather, I open it up only once or twice a week and then filter through everything and post and respond. This is the same approach that others take in classes. Honestly, would you do homework for a class for 20 minutes every day or spend 2 hours on it for one day? The latter is the reality of the vast majority of us.

So, my point is that posting bookmarks or contributing feedback on a daily basis just doesn't happen with most of us (including myself) and maybe a topic of discussion (or an issue entrepreneurship project) could be how to change this effect among individuals, if it can even be done.

I just wanted to throw that out and see what people think, because it looks like a lot are in the same boat as me.

Thanks.

Nabeel

7:37 PM

 
Blogger Ulises said...

Dan,

Thanks for the feedback.

Actually what I had in mind was social software's power to organize action offline. Think MeetUp.com, which is used to organize online meetings that happen offline where isolated individuals interested in something come together. What I am trying to get you to explore is the power of social software to get things done offline, not just online.

As an example, think of the recent anti-war protests, and the role that technology has played in organizing these movements (I think Michael and Jonah made some points about that over in Matt's blog). Of course, we don't have to think at that scale. Social software can also help smaller groups.

Let me know if this is still not clear.

-Ulises

3:00 PM

 

Post a Comment

<< Home