STREAM Presentations on Social Book and Smartphysics

2013-11-12

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Participants
Kris
Kris Manjapra, participant (male)
Nancy
Nancy Bauer, participant (female)
Yannis
Ioannis Evrigenis, participant (male)
David
David Hammer, participant (male)
Roger
Roger Tobin, participant (male)

Kris Manjapra, Nancy Bauer, Ioannis Evrigenis, David Hammer, Roger Tobin discuss technology solutions for teaching at the STREAM meeting.

Permanent URL
http://hdl.handle.net/10427/78496
ID: tufts:UA236.001.001.00001
To Cite: DCA Citation Guide
Usage: Detailed Rights
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Kris
The agenda for this meeting was two presentations, both of them are joint presentation, one by Nancy and Yannis, and one by roger and David, and they will take things away and introduce what they’re talking about and after each presentation make ten minutes of pointed question and answer for the presenters and then we’ll have time at the very end for a broader discussion about the presentations or other questions about vision, about teaching with technology, and maybe about what we want to do for the next few meetings.
Kris
Without any further ado, let me turn it over to Nancy and Yannis. And I should say that we are recording this so that our colleagues who could not be here will also in the future have a chance of getting into some of these discussions.
Nancy
Hi everybody. Yannis and I are going to present on a piece of software, a digital humanities tool really, called Social Book. When I found out that we were going to do this, I said to Yannis, why don’t you give me a call on Thursday and we’ll discuss this, I’m going away Thursday night and not back until Monday. So he gave me a call, and I was like, hold on, I’ll call you write back, and now here we are.
Nancy
But I wrote him an email over the subject heading ‘loser dean’, and he graciously wrote back and said we’ll figure it out. So hopefully what we have will be helpful to you. I found out about Social Book from Yannis. The very best part of the job that I have now is that kind of things can happen. And he’s used it to tremendous effect and I find it really helpful too. What social book is, is a piece of online software that allows you to post a text and then invite people to read it with you, they don’t have to read it at the same time on their own separate laptops, and everybody can annotate it together.
Nancy
And what that means is that the students can, in your class, can look at the textbook and ask a question, define a word, or say that they don’t like something, and they can do all of this outside of class. And they can read it in a book form, in a paperback, hardback form, in an online form, in a Kindle form, and then they can go with their questions to Social Book , and what it means is that they come into class much more aware of what each others are thinking about this text, and as the instructor, we come into class with a very good sense of where the confusion was, what we need to talk
Nancy
about, what we can focus on, and is often very different I have found from what I thought students would have trouble with. And even as I would test that out in my class I was surprised over and over again at how it identified these things. The place that, so why don’t you talk about how you used it.
Yannis
The way in which I discovered this is as follows. So this is what it looks like. So maybe we should a word about what’s what. We have a library up there, like my pointer, where your books are stored. You have groups.
Yannis
And these are the members of the groups that have avatars, this is what a note looks like, this is what a comment looks like, this is what a response to a comment looks like. The functionality is very basic. You select a line, in selecting a line it’s highlighted and when you click on the highlight you get a box in which you can enter a comment. Nancy: we’re actually going to go through and I’m going to show you from soup to nuts how you actually go in and set this up.
Yannis
So, Nancy credits me and I credit Nancy, because Nancy told me about this conference at the Radcliffe institute where this was presented. There were two people fighting one another because they had rival formats for doing this. And this is, in a sense interesting, because the underling interest is annotation and collaboration, and it’s less important what the specific tool is. So I want to say a quick word about the other tool as well. But this is the main one we have used. And each has something the other doesn’t and each has something better than the other, but the basic idea, I think, is a useful one.
Yannis
And what we did here was uploaded an e-book version of a text, and that’s strength and weakness number one. And for Social Book, that’s a major problem. And it’s a major problem for me, because I started using it with Plato and if you remember your Plato you remember that in the Dialogue you also have Stephanos numbers which are different from the page numbers and I wanted to preserve those, but if you scan that and do Optical Character Recognition on that page, what you get a is a jumble because it doesn’t know where the lines end ad how things relate to one another.
Yannis
So when I did that I had to do it either manually and go in at various points in the text and insert the markers, but the one challenge that you face is creating any text version of the text that you want t use, but if you use the classics then you might be able to go to Guthenberg or something else and find an e-version of that. But if you can’t, then you have to make one, and there are various ways of making one and I’ll be happy to talk about those.
Yannis
The strength of those is that the text is text, and once highlighted it is not a portion on the map of the page, but it is the actual line itself that is being recognized, and so what you highlight is exactly what you want, the person who comments on this wants to comment on exactly this line. And my options here are to either reply to this comment or to do my own and if you go to more to busier pages you will a series of comments all speaking to one another or some merely comment on the text. Let me say one more thing about this, which is that it’s great as Nancy said for showing you what kind of things people are interested in. That counts as strength and weakness. So one thing I found out in using it is that people may be reluctant
Yannis
to be the first person to commit onto the screen their reactions to the text and to set the stage for everybody else to react to that comment. That’s been a major problem. And one solution to this, which actually they said that they are in the process of implementing is to allow people to comment first in private and then to give the instructor the ability to merge all of the comment versions let’s say right before class so you can see what people are thinking. That would allow you privacy and then give you the benefit of seeing what people are focusing on. The other tool which is out of MIT has two major advantages.
Yannis
One is that it allows you to comment on PDFs. So it’s less efficient in that it doesn’t do character notation. What you do is select a block of the text and it vies you a note to that block of the text. But the other things that it does is give you a frequency map of the document. So that once the entire class has commented on, what you get is a graph that shows you where you get a lot of hits and where you get less hits. And that’s an interested thing to know, because you see that 368d of the Republic everybody freaks out, and then you go there and see why, you know, what is that, are there a lot of questions, is there something that lots of people want to comment on, but that’s a quick and dirty way of figuring out where there’s a response.
Nancy
The other things is Yannis and I both recently, just over the past few days, we were like, oh, they changed the interface. They’re constantly updating and trying to get better. This already much better when I first used it last spring. The other things I have found, Yannis had warned me about the problem of students being shy so I started by commenting that I’ve never understood this passage, it’s never made any sense to me. My seminar was on Simone de Beauvoir’s famous book, The Second Sex, about which I’ve written a book, although I’m actually going to show you for a number of reasons in a second. And so they knew that, and so they were really intimidated and thought I knew everything about the book, but I don’t so I sincerely ….
Nancy
So I went through and found passages and I’d say I think it means this, but sometimes I think it means that. And even modeling confusion and question was enough to open the course up a lot. I also had a combination of undergraduate and graduate students in the class, and the graduate students were more students more comfortable and they were incredibly comfortable to the undergraduates and I found that everybody participated. Still it’s not perfect.
Nancy
So what do you do if you want to use Social Book. And of course you don’t have to use it with a humanistic text. Last time I told people about how I did this, I think Laura Wood from the library was here. She was extremely alarmed by what I did. So to get around that, we made the students buy the Second Sex, and I made them buy the two horrible translations, and I made them buy one of them, because that translation is also on a Kindle. And then I’ll show you how I got the text off the Kindle. I figured they’re reading it, his is private book, they all busy book, I made them show me they all bought the book, and so we did that.
Nancy
And so what I’ll show you now on my kindle, this is actually a chapter of my book on Simone doe Beauvoir, and I’ll show you how I did this. This is the Kindle app for Macintosh. It’s extremely easy to rip the texts from it. You literally take the computer curser and you highlight the text and then you hit copy, you copy it in which ever way you usually do it. Save so it’s a copy. And then you have to have a way of getting it into a format called e-Pub. If you have a Macintosh this is easy. You buy the application Pages, which is the word processor which is specific to Apple, it’s on all of their devices. And you open a document in Pages, and so this is a blank document in Pages ,and then you hit paste.
Nancy
And you notice that it did not preserve the format, and so you use some of your research funds, or you ask your Academic Dean because this is such a great idea, to hire a student who will do this. And you simply just reformat it any way you want. And I found out that this looks like it will take longer than you think, but it doesn’t.
Nancy
And every time you cut and paste, see this bit at the bottom here, it tells you very smartly where you got it from. Every single time. You cut and paste one word you get that with the exactly Kindle location, and of course you just get rid of that.
Nancy
Notice too that I have here footnotes, footnote one, right here. And because in the book I have endnotes, that footnote does not automatically import. So what you do is that you go back to the text, and you find the footnote, this is really obvious, and you cut it, copy it, and you put the footnote in here using the word processor’s footnoting function, right, so you do insert footnote, and you then you just paste again. And then again because it does it every single time, you got to get rid of this. So this is a mild pain, but to actually do ten pages takes about, believe it not, about a minute a page on average, unless you are doing something that has sixty footnotes per page.
Nancy
And then when you finish your e-Pub, let’s see if I can do this, OK never mind. When you finish your e-Pub, exactly what I wanted, the whole chapter, the way I save it, the way I save it is, is that I go to… I’m sorry , because I really wanted to make you guys a handout but I didn’t. I go down to export, and you can go anything from pages in a PDS file, a Microsoft word file etc., and the last one you want is e-Pub. And you just click ePUB and I’m just going to call it sample for STREAM. And you can just do anything you want. And I don’t know what that mean. Children and teens.
Nancy
And you can use the first page, as the book cover, sometimes I’ll put a photograph of Simone de Bueavoir, I’ll get it from somewhere that’s not copyrighted, and then I just publish it, and then you hit next. And then I had already made another sample that I’m going to show you in a second, and then you’re going to a message that says everything is wrong, and you ignore it. Everything is fine. OK. Then, you go to, um, the website that’s called livemargin.com, and this is one the one that Yannis did show you. And because I’m using a different browser, I’d already signed in to it.
Nancy
You have to create, to get into livemargin you have to someone invite you. Yannis or I would be happy to invite you, and then you have a library. And what you’re looking at is my library from my class, plus a chapter, a little bit that I uploaded for you guys this morning. And all you got to do to upload it, the thing I just made, you hit upload, you browse , and there it is. And you upload it. And then you can enter a synopsis about it, you can change anything you want over here. You can take the puke colored color and make it into a different color. It turns out this is new. And when you are finished putting in the information, because this is all to gussy it up, you just hit submit and then you have to decide,
Nancy
you can hardly see this at the bottom, are you going to want this book to be public so that other people can look at it, or do you want other people to see it other than you. In order to make it public you have to invite people. Sorry that’s not true, anybody now can go look at it. I doubt anybody will. I’ll talk about that in a second. And you can just open it and read it. It’s asking me if I want to read it with a group or just me. For right now, I’ll read it with just me. And so this is the thing I just made and there it is. So it’s not that hard.
Nancy
And then if, um, want to put a comment on it, I click on anything I want, or I can submit some text like that, as Yannis said, any part you like, and just highlight it if you wish. Sometimes I tell students, that if you think something is interesting, and you for whatever reason don’t want to saying anything abut it or are freaking out, highlight out. And then other people will see that someone highlighted it and they may pay more attention. And if you see a highlighted thing, that might mean that one of your classmates might appreciate some comments. And then you just hit Add Note, and then you say something like, what, this author is a loser and didn’t even call Yannis. OK.
Nancy
And then you can post it. You can also add a hyperlink which I’m going to show you in a second. You can your word loser in italics, or in bold, Yes. And then you just post it. And as people are reading, as they come across this, they put they cursor here and it lights up. And now I’m going to show you that a little more.
Nancy
So here’s a page from may class. Um, when I put my cursor here I see that John had a question, a bunch of questions and Victoria, uh, replied. This often would happen. And a lot of time when students see, what’s great about it, is she saying that he differentiation of the sexes is neither a necessary nor contingent fact about humans.
Nancy
In fact that is what she is saying, and that sounds bizarre as if there can be something other than a necessary or contingent. And Bryn says I don’t know what this means either, but I think it might mean that the differentiation cannot be ontologically or empirically established, that’s more an educated guess and I would love to know how to defend. They’re very open. And this is stuff in which they’re really being honest about what they’re looking at. I’m looking at a specific page that we’re looking that I somehow managed to get away from.
Nancy
Those are different students. So you can actually, suppose someone takes a big chunk that they highlighted, you can actually highlight a single word in it and this will show up as a different color with a different thread. And as you can see, a lot of people ask a lot of questions regarding the translation as well. And let’s see if we can find this page, and go forward,
Nancy
Question
Nancy
I did not know about Nota Bene until 5 minutes ago. So something like, and you can see that people will talk about the translation,
Nancy
they know the translation of the book is dreadful, and then sometimes I would jump in especially at the beginning, this was relatively early, February 6, basically to set a tone of no question is stupid. And this caused people to write much, much, much more. Alison, often, would often come in and comment after I wrote. So here, is there word “woman” the right translation here. It’s kind of confusion when de Beauvoir firstly uses “woman” and then she uses “female”. And this is very very good graduate student, and knows excellent French.
Nancy
And he says in this translation, woman is always “la femme” and they use ‘female’ for “la femelle’, and I say, yup, this is one of the virtues of this translation. The translations is intensely crappy and horrible. If you just want to see this person’s comment you can do that, and find the inline comments that he did. And, so this is like an incredibly unpleasant and painful thing about Hegel and de Beauvoir so I went on at some length to try to help them, and what it did was create this really really great atmosphere. So earlier today.
Nancy
So earlier today, I this is another section of my book, that I already did in five minutes, like I did for you. Because it seemed that added a comment, and then here’s another thing I did. My students would do this all time. I just picked a word, we all kno what preponderance means, and you click on this and it takes you right to the definition and this was incredibly helpful in a philosophy text. I had to sometimes monitor. They were smart, they usually did not go Wikipedia, or Miriam Webser, but just do it that way. So that’s pretty much what Social Book does. Do you want to add, do you want to talk about Nota Bene?
Yannis
I want to add a word about the instructors comments and the dynamic. So I discovered a lot of things in the process. So, one of things that happened the first time I used Nota Bene, because I’m less approachable than Nancy, when I comment people don’t take this as an invitation to comment, but as a final word on the passage. So you need to be, you need to think about the tone you are setting when you comment on a text, and how that can bring other students in. Obviously some of this will have to do with the students themselves. So, for example, it worked well on a seminar on the Republic.
Yannis
It didn’t work well in a class on Socrates. And when I asked people in Week 4 Thumbs Up or Thumbs Down, they all circled Thumbs Down. And they said if we didn’t like books we wouldn’t’ be in this class. Greg Crane always says that Plato didn’t know about books. There’s no easy answer to this, but this is to say you can, you need to think ahead as to what sort of response you going to get and to think about the ways in which the specific material you’re working with may introduce some difficulties than the kinds of material Nancy and I are working on.
Yannis
What I want to say about Nota Bene is that there was a lot of ah, the guy who did the presentation non Nota Bena did his thing. And the guy who was sitting next to him what the guy who designed this, and he started by saying that ‘ours is much better’, and he showed a snapshot. And the reason why I started using this, is because despite those two advantages, first of all PDFs, which I think is am much easier option for all of people, so you could produce the exact text you want, and this frequency map which I like because it shows you what people are focusing in on, the template and the dialogues look archaic, look more like the internet as we knew it in the late 80s and less like this thing.
Yannis
This thing looks more like the social networking tools people are using ,and I think this is implicit yin the name and they’re trying to model Facebook and all that .So it comes with some advantages and some disadvantages. I think that what you lose in functionality you gain in user friendliness and colorfulness in this one. And I also give them the benefit of the doubt, because they’re saying that this is a work in progress and they’re taking the feedback and adjusting it. And as Nancy said, stuff is showing up, when you click on one of the books, when you see the list of. All of this stuff is new, the avatars with comments, these look much better than they did when we were using them when they were a very bare version of it.
Nancy
I want to show them really really quickly. The way we got the people in our classes, you have to invite them. So this is group I started, Tufts De Beauvoir Seminar, but you can create your own group. So STREAM, and then you just put whatever, and then you hit enter and you enter the next person, and I would actually use this space to make an announcement. Here’s this week’s reading, this part is particularly hairy, so don’t be upset, and they just get this in an email and their own library in social book.
Yannis
and so one of the issues that came with the earlier version and based on how it looks it’s still a problem, if you did this every week, you would have to enter every single email access every week. There’s a workaround, which is crude, but it woks. Which is that you email yourself an invitation and then you copy the link to that invitation and then you use your trunk site, or your iSis site and you mail the link to everybody else. When I contacted them about this, the response was that they don’t want this to substitute the LMS. So they don’t want this to become a substitute for Blackboard and Trunk with full functionality, what they want this to be is simply about the text.
Yannis
We’ve sort of joked around for this, and we’ve joked around about this, that we should design our own Tufts version and stick it into Trunk and stick it into some of things we have running.
Or may be they have APIs to integrate it. There are ways to integrate tools now, if they have that in mind we can look at that.
David
Tabulations, so it’s a little a cue to think about what’s happening in the lecture before you go on.
Roger
So the videos are sort of as you see, very high production value powerpoint, animated powerpoint. There’s no video of a person, it’s not a video of an actual class or lecture where you a professor. It’s all this kind of voiceover animated powerpoint.
Roger
So it’s more like an animated, narrated textbook.
Roger
Question
Roger
So watch it straight through, each one is about twenty minutes. They can fast forward and they can back up. Some of them will zip through in 2 minutes and go to question and answer and go on. We can actually access that information, either statistically or on a student by student basis. So, for example, statistically, we can see how much time students have sent on a lecture. The plurality have spent less than 5 minutes on a lecture.
Roger
That will change because these are all people who are ahead of the game. And then there are people who have spent significantly more than the actual duration of the lecture. And that’s because they have done some backing and filling, or because they went and got a cup of coffee. You don’t really know.
David
I made the mistake one year letting them know that I could see how much time they took, and so I couldn’t use the information that year. So, so, the checkpoint questions are conceptual questions about what students just watched. During the pre-lecture you find what are the right answer to the question because that allows you go to on to the rest of the lecture.
David
In the checkpoint you don’t find out what the right answer is until the instructor clears it to release that which happens by default after the due date. So they come into our lecture having answered these questions and we get the data of their answers to the questions.
Roger
Let me just say that this is great how many… that tells you how many people got it right, how many people got wrong answers. Getting it right doesn’t always mean that they understood the physics. There are cases in which they get the right answer but for completely erroneous reasons. They have to also explain their answer and we can go look at their explanations.
Roger
Somebody said the sin of 90 degrees is greater than the sin of 30 degrees, which is true, but not exactly the right explanation
David
this is new since I last used it, which shows the time it took to answer the question. That’s a little bit more information, that’s great. That allows you see
Roger
previously you would have to go through a lot of steps to find out an individual’s time on a lecture.
David
so if you click on one of these names you send them an email. And so when I’m using this. It's actually kind of addictive.
David
My lectures are Tuesday and Thursday mornings in the spring, because I’m not teaching this semester, and so, I have their work online to kind of disturbing how many people do the work at 1 in the morning or 2 in the morning. I, on Monday morning, or Wednesday morning, before the lecture, I start reading through their answers. And what’s addictive about it is that I keep reading another one, and I keep sending them notes, on Monday evening and then Tuesday morning before my lecture,
David
I’ll spend 2 hours of this kind of prep time, one to two hours of this kind of prep time, sometimes in the evenings I won’t be available, but always in the morning, but I’ll send a lot of notes to the people. But then I get so into it. Students come to understand that I’m reading their answers, and I would write back, if I know that individual, OK don’t do that, that’s not going help, or something, I don’t know. For this one, I might say, ‘could you say a little bit more about your reasoning is, I don’t quite follow what you’re saying’. And sometimes you get people saying, or for this one, I’ll say please tell me about your confusion,
David
can you describe your confusion a bit more. So you get to have an interaction with students in this way, and it’s a whole other channel of data coming back.
Roger
I will say that I’m not as diligent as David. I would not spend 2 hours before every class. Sundays I don’t get around to looking at before every class. But I do try to get a chance to look at them, I send a handful of emails and I track who I sent them out to, so a potion of students will get at least 1 email. I had one student who gave an answer and his answer was intuitive. And I wrote back to say, maybe it’s intuitive to you but how would you explain to someone for whom it’s not intuitive.
Roger
And he wrote back apologetically, maybe a little shocked that I actually read and responded. The other things I’ve done on occasion, there have been a couple of occasions on which a lot of people got the right answer but for the wrong reasons. I’ve made questions I ask in class, clicker question of their answers, and I’ll say these are all explanation of the same answer, and what do you think is the best explanation. And I'll actually cut and paste the answers. So it’s very helpful, but it is extra work.
the question is how do you integrate this in your classroom, do you do that in a way so that you economize you have for frontal lecture so you can devote more time to discussion. What’s your thinking about how you apply this to have the optimal strategy for in-class teaching.
David
this actually reminds me to make an announcement that Phil Gay and I have a project we’re starting to get video cases of Tufts faculty of teaching. So we’ve put together a prototype of my teaching this course because it’s about, we’re aiming about 20 minutes, TED talk kind of length.
David
The idea is to actually show it taking place in a lecture. So if somebody were to come in and sit in on a lecture what would they watch and see. So we’re looking for folks who might be interested, so Kris has told us he’s interested. And Nancy has told us she’s interested, but she’s not teaching. So if anybody who’s interested in doing this, let us know. And I’ll send you the prototype to give you as sense of what it would look like. But what makes me think of that, so during lecture, some people say this is flipped classroom and some people ask how I flip the classroom.
David
I don’t think it’s flipped in any sense other sense than it always used to be when there were textbook readings assigned and you would expect that they would do the reading before they came to class. The different is that we can look to see that they didn’t do the reading before class.
David
So during lecture, this allows a lot more give and take in discussion, because they have in principle read the material or watched the lecture of the material. This is one, I’m going to say, I was doing that kind of thing during lecture for a dozen years in Maryland before I started this.
David
I didn’t start this until I came to Tufts. And really the main difference is it adds cover. I can say, I can say there was a lecture. But it allows this interaction back and forth, students to ask questions.
Roger
I think that the extent to which we have a difference of degree. He is perhaps a little more extreme than I am. I would say perhaps 20% of my time is spent in exposition, although even then the exposition is usually in relation to a question like this.
Roger
And a majority of time is spent either discussing or elaborating on these questions. But I expect the exposition to happen this way. This is the exposition. But one of the nice things about this that’s different from the textbook is that I actually have data on what things they got and what they didn’t get of the readings. Before I had my speculation and my own experience from the past of iterations of the class, which was pretty good. But here I actually have data and I can actually say 50% of the class really didn’t know how to answer this question
Roger
and 20% who did answer it aright did not answer it right for the first question, or they did it in a way that would prefer they used a different approach. So I have more information.
David
What ‘s really nice about this, and I should say I’ve jotted down both of these websites and I could imagine something much like this. God I could imagine a regular textbook and using those sites and having the annotation data, and what does it look like for 100 and something students is a little more complex,
David
but if there’s something to have that data to see what that looks like, the frequency data, where they are snagged and you’re already in their heads before you start lecture. And then you start lecture and you open lecture by saying ‘you know, a lot of people are wrestling with this idea’ and then have the lecture be not only a response in the sense of talking about things they discussed, but they see that you are doing that. And it gets, there’s a value directly at the conceptual level, but then then there’s another value at the meta level of their sense of what the class is about.
David
They come to see that the class is about what they’re thinking. Because the things they are thinking and the things we’re talking about in lecture.
Roger
Some things worth mentioning. They pay for this. They have to buy a subscription. Students, students. Students individually. Yes, although, although most of them want some sort of textbook. I encourage them to buy a previous edition of a textbook for like 10 bucks. So I try to cut them a break them that way. I actually don’t, do you know how much they pay for this?
David
so for 40 dollars, they get access to the site access to the lecture sand s mall think physics book. So it is significantly less expensive than their buying a new edition textbook. It’s kind of renting a textbook, but you do get this small physical paper copy. But for 25 dollars.
After the course is over do they still get access to the site?
David
No, it’s renting
Roger
it’s really renting
I think you answered what I was wondering. I was going to ask did you write the lectures.
David
No, but it was produced at a group at the University of Illinois, Urbana Champagne, Gary Gladding, who is an old buddy. This is out of Physics research. They developed this, they collected data from students they provided data, they have this incredible operation there where they have multiple lecture teaching huge numbers of students at once
David
but they, they studied this and it came out of that.
So much of us could not generate our own?
David
You know Sam Thomas was generating his own version of this, using an iPad. I’m actually interested in trying something like this. This is best part of the software, it seems really silly but this page is I don’t know 75% of the reason why I use this software.
David
Look at how many students you see. And in one click. Trunk is in principle capable of doing this, but it takes so much time to refresh the screen and then you don’t look at this many at once. So that in that 2 hours, I get to look at a fifth of the students responses. So, it’s this software environment that is really wonderful about it. I have been talking about people today bout revising the interlace platform to do something like this. And then the advantage that that would bring is that we wouldn’t have to manually, both of us would copy this, we won’t do the name and we’ll copy these and we’ll say here’s an answer,
David
and here’s another answer and now give arguments which ones are more compelling. What we could do with a different environment would be to make this available to look at at home.
David
Nobody gets to see Joshua's answers except the instructor. and that’s a shame since Josh might have something really useful to say. I think there’s another, I think this kind of idea is a nice kind of idea that could be improved and implemented.
Roger
but the work what went into producing the lectures, is comparable to the work that would go in to producing a textbook.
That’s why I was wondering if you do that.
David
If we were do it, we would stand at a blackboard and talk at an iPad propped up, there would be much less production quality, and that’s the kind of thing Sam does, and that lets him pretty easily much less production quality but much more personalized.
I think there’s a lot in your rich case study. I know that physics as a discipline is distinguished itself from the educational standpoint of, you know, developing things like a concept inventory. And you guys as a group have kind of been at this educational endeavor for a couple of decades, I think, right. Maybe I’m wrong about the details. I’m curious, your colleagues in Illinois do look really impressive, and hopefully they’re studying across the entire system. Where a lot of students are getting stuck across the 10,000 or whatever users they have. It’s really great about the scale they can do, when you’re not just reinventing the wheel at every university.
David
But I’m curious, is this based on some of the work that has been done on physics education, sort of in terms of learning outcomes, is it discipline wide? The reason why I’m asking is that not everybody benefits from a discipline that is even moving in that direction.
David
So this is, its Gary Gladding and Tim Seltzer are the main drivers of this. They are in the Physics department and UIUC, and in some ways they are really a leading place.
David
They are a top 10 physics department, and they have strong physics education group within the department. These folks are education researchers housed within the discipline. And it’s part of, part of a much movement of discipline-based education research that has, there's an NRC report charred by a biologist, arguing that arguing that this kind of thing needs, discipline-based education research is pretty new. Physics-based education research is about 15 years old. When it really started getting going , when it was present in physics department, but it has just been rising a lot.
David
There are a bunch of physics departments, including course, in which people can get a doctorate physics, doing physics education research. There are maybe 50 such departments around the country. So it’s a nice thing, and part, and part of what’s nice about it, and a lot of what’s nice about it, is that a lot of matters that are in educational significance are not generic. They have a disciplinary specificity to them, that things that are good to be doing are good to be doing in physics might not be….
David
So within physics, if you disagree with an idea within physics, you need to in the end, what we’re after, is that not just that, you’ve settled, we’re going together settle on, that this is the right answer, 3 is the right answer and here is a reason for 2. And here’s a reason for 2, and here’s a reason for 1, not very articulate. There are argument on the other side. 3 is the right answer in this case, as I recall. We’re going to do is to find the flaw in all the reasons on the other side. That’s not going to happen on the other side. That’s not necessarily going to happen in a philosophy class.
David
You could end by having people arguments back and forth without deciding… this one is right. You can prove that this is right and those are wrong. And this is perhaps something that physics shared with math. So here’s a crude example of a discipline specificity to the kind of discourse that’s going to happen in class that by doing work by people who are expert in that field, they get to have traction.