California State University, Dominguez Hills
University of Wisconsin, Parkside
Latest update: December 18, 1999
Faculty on the Site.
These short statements of my perception of your learning are what grew from my review of all the records and our experiences in class. In a cooperative learning world, in which our objective is to help each other gain critical insights, what should matter, instead of "grades" is such a report. Learning that I can tell you I have seen, either directly or through some of your work, and that you can confirm. That is learning accountability.
As we gain skill at this, a paragraph of recommendation should be your goal for the end of each course, each semester. If you were to realize that this is how I will end the course, and you were to want the best possible recommendation of your learning, we could interactively check our respective records all semester, and the recommendations could be detailed and helpful to all who want to know about your learning.
Visit Letters of Recommendation for clues on how to do this.
I think it helped to have the cafeteria there for us to grab a table and something to drink. Few of you were genuinely shy. I don't have a solution worked out yet for shyness, but in the case of your group, that was not a problem. Lisa Gray-Shellburg recommended to us years ago, when she was the Director of Faculty Development, that one of the best things we could do for student retention was to take our students for a coke. I rather resented it then. I thought I had so much more to offer. But maybe she was right, after all. We coalesced around "our table," whose occupants varied from minute to minute, from day to day. But it felt like ours, and I think that might have mattered. At the end of the semester we found the same phenomenon when we all piled into my truck for lunch at the local Chinese restaurant. Maybe this is a way to recapture some of what we lose through our "commuter" context.
Obviously, we have just begun to analyze the policy and praxis effects of the virtual community we are creating. I look forward to working with all of you to create an academic climate that will take the liberal arts into the next millennium.