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Standing Assignment

Many online classes have a mandatory comment posting requirement. This course has a mandatory question posting requirement. Just what does that mean?

Begin by reading this short selection from Gadamer's Truth and Method . You will almost definitely have to read it a few times. =)

Each week, I will post a quesiton related to the week's topic. Your task is to build on that question in order to ask another question which furthers the group's understanding of using technology to support learning.

Posts that simply answer other questions but do not pose new questions are allowed but will not receive points. Questions like "Why not?" or "Who says?" will also not be awarded points. To receive points your post should advance our understanding of the problems that face us ("us" being people who want to improve learning through the use of technologies). Try to remember:

  • Challenge your own biases at each opportunity. Try to ask the questions that common sense would normally prevent you from asking. "Common sense is that body of prejudice acquired before age 18." (Einstein)
  • Examine everything critically, especially your own thinking. If you're convinced you already understand you won't get anywhere. "I believe in fault-finding for breakfast, dinner, and supper, but only with our own dear selves." (H. J. Grant)
  • Be open and be curious.

Since worked examples are supposed to be such excellent instructional materials, here's a worked example of how such a series of questions might progress:

How Big Should a Learning Object Be?

  • What do we mean by the "size" of a learning object?
  • Is it related to the file size or the size of the content on the screen?
  • Or is it related to something more semiotic or meaningful?
  • Doesn't this question really mean "what is the 'right' size of a learning object?"
  • Why should we think that there is always a single right size?
  • If the appropriate size of an LO is context dependent, what are the critical characteristics of the context that help us determine the "right" size?
  • Are there really any benefits to using learning objects? Any documented evidence?
  • How long should we work on an innovation before requiring evidence to validate continued work on it?
  • Etc.

The idea being that during the course of the week you will contribute at least one question to the progression. As Gadamer suggests, the difficulty in finding an answer is more frequently a difficulty in finding the question. Question identification will definitely be where you spend the majority of your dissertation time. Get some practice doing it now!

The question will appear at the bottom of the Topic of the Week page. Post your message in the Threaded Discussion section at the bottom of the page.

Copyright 2008, by the Contributing Authors. Cite/attribute Resource . admin. (2008, May 20). Questions. Retrieved January 07, 2011, from Free Online Course Materials — USU OpenCourseWare Web site: http://ocw.usu.edu/instructional-technology-learning-sciences/understanding-online-interaction/Questions.html. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License Creative Commons License
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