Seminar in Social Inequalities Fall 2015 – 1

This course is designed to meet the needs of students who are completing an MS in Sociology through the Online Applied Option (OAO). Students from other programs are invited, indeed encouraged, to take part. However, it is essential that everyone who is considering this course read the description of the OAO. http://sociology.vcu.edu/graduate/online-applied-option

 

The study of social stratification and inequality are at the core of sociological thinking. However, many of the students who participate in this seminar experienced undergraduate classes that focused on content, which they quickly forgot. Therefore, I have designed a course to meet the needs of those who have forgotten the content of their undergraduate sociology course in social inequality, as well as those who have never taken an undergraduate course in this area. This design element is partially met through the first book that I have chosen for us to read. Sernau’s (2014) Social Inequality in a Global Age. This is the same book that I would select if this were a an undergraduate course. Sernau offers a great explanation for why this book appeals to me, He says,

 

 “…although instructors are often passionate about the topic, they have their own angst in teaching it. They want students to understand the foundations of classical theory in a way that actually illuminates their current studies; they don’t want students to see those foundations as just the work of “ old, dead Germans.” Instructors want to incorporate exciting new material on race, class, and gender while still giving students a solid grounding in the core concepts. They are often eager to include material on the globalized economy while still helping students understand changes in their own communities. And above all, they are struggling to find ways to help students see the relevance— even the urgency— of this material to the society we are currently making and remaking. Their plea has been for materials that are organized but not pat, hard-hitting but not preachy; they are looking for ways to help students both care deeply and think deeply about the topic. This book is an effort to answer that plea.”

 

The Sage Publications website offers you an opportunity to learn more about this title. I will offer additional information about rental and purchase in a later post.

http://www.sagepub.com/books/Book237177?siteId=sage-us&prodTypes=any&q=sernau&fs=1#tabview=title

 

The Sernau text alone, however, does not provide what is needed to stimulate the higher order thinking skills this graduate level seminar requires. While it places social stratification and social inequality in a global setting, the focus is still on the United States. VCU has both a student body and a focus that is international. This seminar also needs a set of readings that approach inequality from an international perspective,  For that purpose, I selected, Pascale’s (2013) Social Inequality and the Politics of Representation: A Global Landscape which “.. takes a fresh look at inequalities in 20 countries on five continents.”

The Sage Publication’s website also provides an interesting preview of this unique collection.

http://www.sagepub.com/books/Book235572

 

Participants in the seminar will engage in discussions of the readings, write blogs, and create an online audiovisual presentation. Until the website for the course is complete, I will offer updates about the course through this blog. Follow this blog to receive new updates by mail.

 

 

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Rethinking the SOCY of Nutrition – Lesson 1 – Part 1

I am passionate about facilitating seminars in the sociology of nutrition. I have already written several blogs about what I would like students to learn and to be able to do when the semester ends. Now I have to be realistic.

 

Nutrition is a “hot” topic. Last year a number of students were attracted to the course because they thought they would learn how to make healthier food choices for themselves and their families. They skipped over the “Sociology” in the title and a few weeks into the semester, they were lost. I would love to teach the course they were seeking. But this is not that course. This course is designed to meet the needs of graduate students in sociology especially those who have chosen the online applied option in the MS program. In order to avoid a repetition of this experience the academic goals of this course must be front and center from the very first lesson.

 

The overarching goals for the seminar are drawn from the stated goals of the applied option in the MS in Sociology. The goals of both the on-campus and online Applied Sociology options are to provide students with a sophisticated understanding of sociological concepts and theories, facility in the use of sociological research methods, and the ability to apply sociological methods and theory to their professional interest (http://sociology.vcu.edu/graduate/online-applied-option/). In order to be a participant in this seminar, in order to have a “social presence,” students must identify with this course of study.

 

I decided to establish my teaching presence by designing an introductory module during which students could read a journal article, view two short videos, then write an initial post and engage in a discussion to state and defend their current position on “structure and agency.” The students who do not identify with sociology as a course of study often have no understanding of the “social structure” concept. They can argue, right up until the last day to withdraw with a grade of “W”, that individuals are totally responsible for their food choices. But they cannot offer a theoretical or empirical defense for their position. It is rather a part of their belief system, their ideological stance, and they will not be moved by logic to consider an alternative viewpoint (I don’t think that professors in the life and physical sciences have this experience as often as those in the social sciences do. The best analogy that I can come up with is trying to teach a graduate seminar in biology with students who spend the entire semester angrily disavowing evolution because it is not congruent with their religious beliefs).

 

Graduate students in sociology and related disciplines (in this seminar that tends to be public health, public administration, and health policy) have some understanding of the concepts but it is possible for that understanding to become more “sophisticated.” For the purpose of these seminars I am defining more “sophisticated” in terms of higher order thinking skills (HOTS). They must move beyond remembering and understanding definitions to analyzing, evaluating, and creating.

 

I am piloting this module in the seminar in social inequalities. The first posts (Tell us where you stand on structure and agency) were due on 09-04-14 and half of the participants had already posted on 03-09. I am doing my “victory dance” (think NFL touchdown celebration that brings what mere mortals think of as an exorbitant fine). So far, most of the writers has discussed the relationship between structure and agency in a way that demonstrates recognition of and identification with sociology as a course of study. One of them is quoting Bourdieu and introducing the concept of habitus. Others cannot yet distinguish between a concept and a theory, providing a “teachable moment.” Only one is claiming that all social phenomena can be explained by individual agency.

 

For the moment, my teaching presence function is to make sure that this online classroom provides an environment in which they feel safe as they discuss the initial posts with each other and start to build a group identity through that process.

 

In this regard, we offer a revised definition of social presence as the ability of participants to identify with the group or course of study, communicate purposefully in a trusting environment, and develop personal and affective relationships progressively by way of projecting their individual personalities (Garrison, 2011, p.34 ).

Garrison, D. R. (2011). E-learning in the 21st century: A framework for research and practice (2nd ed.). New York: Routledge.

 

Social Presence Continued: Rethinking Skills for Graduate Students

Introduction

social presence

In the last blog that I wrote for OCDI, I discussed activities designed to encourage the specific type of interpersonal communication required early in the process of turning an online graduate sociology seminar into a community of inquiry. The activities described foster a sense of group identity among sociology graduate students. The first activity allows them to examine the extent to which they possess a view of social phenomena that is distinctively sociological. The second set of activities allow them to reflect on and discus sociological concepts and theoretical perspectives with which they are familiar because they were first encountered in their undergraduate introduction to sociology course and discussed with some regularity in many of the courses required for the major.

Before I can focus on a checklist for creating cognitive or teaching presence, I must focus on one additional activity required to create a climate that will foster the required social presence. The next climate setting activity early in the process of turning this online classroom into a community of inquiry turns the attention of participants to skills.

Broadly Transferable Skills

The first part of the skills activity relates to the OCDI concern with transferable learning. The assignment is preemptive. I require that participants demonstrate the ability to think logically about how the skills they acquire or hone in this seminar (and the other courses required for an MS in sociology) will contribute to the list of transferrable skills that are applicable to their future professional endeavors. I provide examples. But they must answer the question of how they will apply the skill for themselves.

An Incomplete List of Graduate Student Skills – Graduate College University of Illinois –

http://www.grad.illinois.edu/sites/default/files/pdfs/gradstudentskills.pdf

Graduate Students Transferrable Skills Northwestern University Career Services
http://www.northwestern.edu/careers/media/pdfs/Graduate%20Student%20Transferable%20Skills%20Handout.pdf

A Focus on Group Projects

image

I then ask them to review the requirements for the group projects in the course and to identify the skills and tools that they will need to have in the group to achieve success as a group.  Recently I have been experiencing “cognitive dissonance” about how the project must change if the seminar participants must use only open web resources. The dissonance was resolved as I worked on writing this blog and thinking about how to create an open web class project.

The Traditional Literature Review Relies on Subscriptions

For several decades, the project in the seminars I facilitate has been a traditional review of the literature (or at least a good start on a literature review). The process of conducting a literature review provides students with the opportunity to enhance a number of transferrable skills. For those in the thesis track and for those who plan doctoral studies the transfer is visible and direct. The literature review is more than an assignment. It is a “rite of passage” connected with the writing of theses and dissertations as part of “severe” initiations into academia. Those who were planning applied work often went through the same process even though they were not pledging academia.

In the 21st century, VCU Libraries is more than a partner in this process. The library offers instruction on writing literature reviews in sociology. The library offers tools including databases, bibliographic database managers, access to journals through subscription, and interlibrary loan. The librarians will teach people to use these resources in classes and workshops and even in one on one consultations. Without use of the journals and tools that are available by subscription through the library, this traditional project becomes undoable.

Access to Research Libraries is Limited

There are few open access journals in sociology. Open sociology journals are not the only limits that students in the online-applied sociology program face. It is very important to remember that when people leave the university they lose access to the many research library services that advanced graduate students and faculty members take for granted. Therefore, it is important that students in the applied online option learn to use resources to which they will not lose access when they graduate.

I am working on designing a new class project that relies on open web resources and free web 2.0 tools. I can use these resources to create class projects that impart needed skills without worrying about loss of access after graduation. The applied online students also need class projects that help with the “professional paper” that they must write at the end of their internship experience rather than help with the literature review that informs thesis writing. I can do that!

 

image

 

 

Designed Just for the Online Applied Option

I propose to guide the online applied students through activities that focus on the “gray” literature open to the public.  I propose to introduce them to bibliographic database managers that are free of charge and that allow collaboration with work colleagues not connected to the University.  I propose to require them to present their findings professionally rather than academically.

Effective: Fall 2014 SOCY 693 Internship Semester course; 150 contact hours. 3 credits. May be repeated for a maximum total of 6 credits. Permission of the internship coordinator and graduate director required for enrollment. A graduate-level internship that allows students to explore professional opportunities as related to the discipline of sociology. Students will be required to write a professional paper applying sociological concepts and methodologies to their experiences in the setting, as appropriate.

I believe that taking the time to walk the students who have chosen the online applied option through assignments that have clearly been designed with their needs in mind provides additional impetus for students to identify with each other and with the goals of the course. I do not think that I can over emphasize the importance of this when students may never meet each other outside of the virtual world.

I think this approach also conveys the first message that I want them to receive about my presence as a teacher.

Hi, my name is Ann Creighton-Zollar. I made this just for you.

 

With these plans in writing, I can turn to a checklist for creating cognitive presence.

Learner Centered Environments and Social Presence

Introduction

 

One way in which the framework presented in “How People Learn” (HPL) and the Community of Inquiry (CoI) model overlap to help me create an effective course is at the intersection of “learner centered” and “social presence.”  According to the HPL framework, in order to create an effective course I must design a seminar that centers on the participants by paying attention to their initial knowledge, skills, attitudes, and beliefs. Social presence is one of the three presences in the CoI model. It is a complex concept associated with both social and academic factors.

 

In the HPL framework, the word community refers to an environmental context in which participants share norms. In this approach, learning occurs best when the norms “encourage academic risk-taking and opportunities to make mistakes, obtain feedback, and revise.” According to this framework, it is only in a context of intellectual camaraderie that we can expect students to reveal their preconceptions about a subject matter, their questions, and their progress toward understanding.

Defining Social Presence

There are important differences between earlier and more recent definitions of social presence and I think that an understanding of community in the CoI model becomes clearer when these changes are considered

 SOCIAL PRESENCE3

According to Garrison, the later definition does a better job of conveying “…the dynamic nature of the social presence construct in a progressively developing community of inquiry.”

Social presence in an academic context means creating a climate that supports and encourages probing questions, skepticism and the contribution of explanatory ideas. Sustaining critical thinking and discourse requires a sense of belonging that must develop over time.

Garrison, D. Randy (2011-05-20). E-Learning in the 21st Century: A Framework for Research and Practice (Kindle Locations 817-819). Taylor and Francis. Kindle Edition.

The Categories of Social Presence

CATEGORIES OF SOCIAL PRESENCE

The original classification scheme for social presence included three broad categories: affective communication, open communication, and cohesive communicative responses. After the first decade of research, it appeared that affective responses might not be the defining characteristic of social presence in a community of inquiry and that is why in the newer definition group identity is seen as taking precedence over personal identity.

 

The research suggested that a classroom focus on affective ties between individuals diminishes academic functioning by undermining the aspects of cognitive presence that rely on the willingness of participants to be critical of each other. At a practical level, Garrison says that while individuals should be encouraged to provide autobiographies, this must not be done in ways that distract from the academic purpose.

 

Rather than trying to force close relationships between individuals as a CoI is forming, the classroom environment should allow these relationships to develop naturally and progressively through the processes of purposeful and collaborative inquiry.

INTERPERSONAL COMMUNICATION

Early on in the process of turning an online classroom into a community of inquiry, a specific type of interpersonal communication is required. This form of interpersonal communication must create a climate that emphasizes a sense of belonging to the group and to its educational goals. The interpersonal communication must create an “academic” environment, an environment that is respectful and supportive enough to allow both critical reflection and discourse.

 

My Interest in the Concepts

 

This is not the first time that I have written about these concepts in the past few months, so a few words about my continuing interest in them appears suitable.  I am charged with designing two graduate level seminars for first and second year graduate students in sociology who have chosen the online-applied option. I also expect students who have chosen the thesis option and some students from related disciplines who have a serious interest in how sociologists approach the subject matter. However, based on recent experience, I also expect students to register for the fall semester who lack the ability to identify with a group composed of sociology graduate students or with sociology as the course of study.

One of the most common misconceptions that students, even at the graduate level, have about sociology is that it is “just common sense.” They think of sociology courses as fun and easy but not academically rigorous. These students sometimes register for graduate level seminars with no sociological background, no sociological goals, and no sense that this is problematic. If the semester starts with too much emphasis on affect or too much time on the autobiographical, they become entrenched before they realize that there is a group with a shared agenda. They do not belong and do not wish to belong to this group.

Therefore, I have been spending a great deal of time trying to come up with new writing exercises for the start of the semester, exercises that set the appropriately academic tone. I want students to be able to start the semester writing about themselves so that I can learn something about the knowledge, attitudes, beliefs, and skills that they bring with them.  I hope that the new approaches to creating social presence demonstrate the existence of a core group with shared sociological learning goals while simultaneously allowing them to express their conceptual diversity.

In the spring semester, I asked students to complete the VARK questionnaire and to write an essay about their learning preferences. By graduate school, they all tend to have multimodal preferences and the essay is simply a chance to start with metacognition. However, it was also a chance to become too autobiographical and too affective.  In the fall, I am starting out both metacognitive and sociological. And I must thank Susan Bodnar-Deen for reminding me how sociologists prefer to introduce themselves.

One goal of the program in sociology is for all of its graduate students to develop a “sophisticated” understanding of sociological concepts and theories. In the fall, the first thing that I want to know about the seminar participants is where they stand in the social structure – agency debate. I have a one-page hand out and two short videos on the topic. After they have read the hand out and watched the video, I expect graduate students in sociology to be able to tell me where they stand and why. In addition, I expect the brief response to “why” to be slightly more persuasive than “It’s just my opinion.”

One of the triggers that I will use for the discussion of structure-agency is this 14:00 minute TEDx lecture by Sam Richards.

In the second exercise of the semester, I will provide them with triggers and ask them to tell me where they stand on micro-macro (and is that congruent with their structure-agency position) and where they stand on order-conflict. I want to know if they most closely identify with conflict theory, structural functionalism, symbolic interactionism, or exchange theory.

The next exercise deals with what  skills (sociological, technological, and transferable) each student brings to the table. In this exercise, I ask the students to consider the requirements of “group projects” and to consider what skills a team would need to have in order to successfully complete them.  I ask them to assess the extent to which they possess these skills and what skills they would need other members of their team to possess.  Then we talk about collaboration. Given the chance, I create self-directed work teams composed of people with complementary skill sets.  I expect the  sociology graduate students will find these activities in which they identify their philosophical and theoretical standpoints as well as their skills to promote identification with the other sociology students and with the discipline.  These introductory activities require the type of interpersonal communication that leads to the next steps in creating social presence: open communication and cohesive responses.

Hopefully, the  students who joined the seminar with the perception of a graduate level seminar in sociology as a course that requires nothing more than “commonsense”  will notice sooner, rather than later, that the sociology graduate students are not actually speaking standard English and have a different understanding of course goals and learning objectives. Creating social presence in this way will contribute to the creation of cognitive presence and the achievement of the academic goals that have been set for graduate students in sociology.

And Then I Blew Up the Kitchen

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The Two Year Old

Where I come from they say that bad things come in threes. I did not have that saying in mind as my recovery from eye surgery progressed much more slowly than the surgeon predicted. I have learned to anticipate surgical optimism. Even when an epidural steroid injection knocked me out for a day I was still hopeful about my potential for meaningful group collaboration.  Then I blew up the kitchen.

The smoke alarm provided by ADT is very loud and disorienting. I managed to change the setting on the whole house fan and to open the front and back doors but I could not find the house phone. I heard the wail of the approaching fire engine and my next door neighbor calling out “Miss Ann, Miss Ann” at the same time. I wanted to run through the house and gather precious stuff but good sense prevailed and I simply picked up my purse and stepped out onto the porch. Note to Self -Keeping purse by door – GREAT JOB.

It was hours before I thought about my homework and my group again and when I did I felt pretty hopeless. Then I opened the purse and spotted the “Smartphone.”

It is only a few weeks old. The purchase was not motivated by a desire to be a better student or teacher. It was a capitulation to the communication styles of my children and grandchildren.  A grandmother who does not text is out of the loop. I pulled out the phone and emailed my group.

Once the device was in my hands I decided to try Google docs. Life will never be the same again. I need a new prescription for corrective lenses. I need better control over this one finger (I will never be a thumb typist). But even with one eye, and it in need of correction, I can see the potential.  It will be a few days before my house is habitable again. That gives me some time to see how smart this phone really is.

The WordPress app is next. If I can post my reflection using only this device then this week will have been characterized by a huge learning arc.

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And it will be even more important with the next batch of grandchildren.  As the 18 year old gave the Farewell Address for the class of 2014, her two year old cousin demanded the iPhone to play a game and her eight year old brother worked on his selfie skills.

Reflections – OCDI Online 1

 

woman with birds flying from its hair

 

Reflections on Unasked Questions

This week I spent much time in reflection. I reflected on how good practices in graduate education might be similar to and different from those for undergraduates. I reflected on how facilitating graduate seminars in sociology for students who selected the applied online option might differ from those designed for students in the thesis track. For example, when I reminded myself that I am designing classes for the applied online option, I stopped obsessing about “the literature review” and the idea of giving up the sociology journals that are only available to those with subscriptions became somewhat easier. Going through the VCU Libraries website, searching the databases, and then clicking on that bright yellow button are deeply ingrained behavior patterns, as is clicking on the Inter-Library Loan button when VCU does not have a subscription.

 

vcu_getit

The students in the applied online program will still need ways to answer questions about “what is known or not known” about an issue or topic. There are few open online journals in sociology. Therefore, I will need to identify or create a way of approaching the known about a topic that does not require the traditional literature review.

Open Online Sociology Journals

 

Contribution of Selected Tools to Good Practice

While reflecting on these issues, I identified several tools that I use or plan to use in the seminars that I facilitate. I believe that having our entire program on the open web communicates high expectations for the instructors and the students. The contributions of all participants will be available for anyone who cares to look to see and to critique. The students will know that this is their “permanent record.”The variety of tools that I have identified demonstrate respect for diverse ways of knowing. Screencasting combined with WordPress meets visual and aural needs along with those for reading and writing. Each of the tools that I selected encourages active learning and student engagement. WordPress, Jing, and Camtasia can also work to increase contact and as ways of providing feedback.

 

Cognitive Domain Category

Key Word

Tool

Remembering
Bookmarking

 

Diigo
Understanding
Categorizing, Tagging, commenting & annotating
Diigo
Subscribing
WordPress RSS Aggregator
Applying
Editing
Camtasia, SnagIt
Analyzing
Surveying
Survey Money
Evaluating
Critical Commenting
Word Press
Creating
Blogging
WordPress
Screencasting
Jing, Camtasia

 

I name a category on the cognitive domain of Bloom’s Digital Taxonomy, a keyword, and a tool because in addition to understanding the contribution that various tools make to good practice , I am also interested in how they relate to specifying learning objectives.

 

A Tool Report – Camtasia

Camtasia

Screen Recording and Screencasting Tool

Who Makes It?

TechSmith – http://www.techsmith.com/camtasia.htm

What Is It?

Camtasia is screen-recording software that allows the recording of the actions that are taking place on a computer screen.

Camtasia also allows you to add video, images, and even sound from other sources to the recording.

The recording can then be “produced” as a video that will play in any browser.

Short topical screen recordings are “screencasts.”

How Much Does it Cost?

Camtasia can be downloaded for $299. Adding a boxed copy only increases the price by shipping and handling. Educational pricing is available and so are packages that bundle Camtasia with other TechSmith products.

Who’s doing it?

“Screencasts have become a regular fixture in distance education programs because they provide a sense of engagement between faculty and students without compromising the ability to access learning materials online whenever and wherever it is convenient.”
[http://www.educause.edu/library/resources/7-things-you-should-know-about-screencasting]

Why is it significant?

Screencasts provide students with lessons they can watch at their convenience and as often as they want.

What are the downsides?

A general criticism of screencasting is that it is not interactive.

Camtasia does have the ability to create mini flash quizzes that provide feedback to students.

Where is it going?

In the past, e-learning environments have been text-based, favoring those with preferences or needs for learning through reading and writing.

Screencasting provides the means for communicating with those who need and/or prefer to learn visually and aurally.

What are the implications for higher education?

Screencasts provide a simple means to extend rich course content to distance students, students with disabilities (who might have restricted access to certain class sessions or presentations), and anyone else who might benefit from the material but cannot attend a presentation. The technology also offers a simple means of providing a fixed presentation, one that shows the same material in a consistent, repeatable form.

Reference – 7 Things You Should Know About Screen Casting – From Educase

Tutorials and Guides

From TechSmith

Text Based Guides

http://www.techsmith.com/tutorial-cs8-user-guides.html

Video Tutorials

http://www.techsmith.com/tutorial-camtasia-8.html

Resources to assist with incorporating Camtasia and their other products into online course.

http://www.techsmith.com/education-online-course-design.html

Open Web

 

Sociology of Nutrition: A Course for the M.S/ in Sociology Applied Option

Participants in this seminar will become a community of learners engaged in a process of critical inquiry into the sociological issues related to nutrition in the US. Participants in this online community of inquiry will construct meaning largely through reflection on course content and confirm meaning largely through discourse. Operationalized through the iterative phases of the Practical Inquiry (PI) model this process will include a focus on both the metacognition and the metacommunication that are essential for deeper learning.

 

Participants in this seminar will engage the multimodal learning content on nutrition available through the open World Wide Web (web). They will also share their reflections on the content through the open web using blogs. They will engage in discourse with classmates, and potentially the world, using the open website required for each course in the online program for the M.S. in Sociology Applied option (OAP). Participants will also collaborate in self-directed work teams to produce a high quality multi-modal presentation for the open web that they will be proud to have in their developing online professional portfolios.

 

Earlier, I discussed my attempt to assimilate the Practical Inquiry (PI) model by associating its vertical dimension with the logic of science and its horizontal dimension with the sociological imagination. Each course that I design for this program will pay explicit attention to how the rich content available through the open web can help to move an aware community of learners through the phases of the PI in a highly engaging manner.

 

Seminar participants live what we study. This learning must transfer. The participants in this seminar are students in a program directed toward the application of sociological concepts and theories as well as the application of sociological methods.  This course will help them to approach important issues related to nutrition from a sociological perspective.

 

My vision is a diverse community of learners approaching the nutritional issues facing our society using both metacognition and metacommunication to engage with and to produce multimodal learning content combining the logic of science with the sociological imagination on the open web while highly engaged in moving with purpose through the phases of PI in order to achieve deeper learning.

 

Seminar in Social Inequalities: A Course for the M.S/ in Sociology Applied Option

Participants in this seminar will become a community of learners engaged in a process of critical inquiry into the social inequalities deeply embedded into the structure of society. Participants in this online community of inquiry will construct meaning largely through reflection on course content and confirm meaning largely through discourse. Operationalized through the iterative phases of the Practical Inquiry (PI) model this process will include a focus on both the metacognition and the metacommunication that are essential for deeper learning.

 

Participants in this seminar will engage the multimodal learning content on social inequality available through the open World Wide Web (web). They will also share their reflections on the content through the open web using blogs. They will engage in discourse with classmates, and potentially the world, using the open website required for each course in the online program for the M.S. in Sociology Applied option (OAP). Participants will also collaborate in self-directed work teams to produce a high quality multi-modal presentation for the open web that they will be proud to have in their developing online professional portfolios.

 

Earlier, I discussed my attempt to assimilate the Practical Inquiry (PI) model by associating its vertical dimension with the logic of science and its horizontal dimension with the sociological imagination. I also mentioned that I would design this course paying explicit attention to how the rich content available through the open web could help to move an aware community of learners through the phases of the PI in a highly engaging manner.

 

Seminar participants live what we study. This learning must transfer. The participants in this seminar are students in a discipline that has an emphasis on the study of inequality. This course must help them to achieve two important program goals: a sophisticated understanding of sociological concepts and theories and the ability to apply sociological methods and theory to their current or desired areas of professional interest.

 

My vision is a diverse community of learners approaching the structural inequalities embedded in society using both metacognition and metacommunication to engage with and to produce multimodal learning content combining the logic of science with the sociological imagination on the open web while highly engaged in moving with purpose through the phases of PI in order to achieve deeper learning.