GUIDED LEARNING AND THE WEB: KEEPING IT SIMPLE
Guided learning resources for students can be as simple as a short list of links to web sites on a particular topic for preparation before class, or reading, reinforcement and revision afterwards. Suggested guidelines include:
- Keep it short
- Review the resources yourself before recommending them
- Differentiate essential from supplementary reading
- Be a good gardener: as your web pages grow, keep them well pruned!
For our sometimes reluctant colleagues, issues include time and quality. How can we involve them with minimal time and effort?
- Help them to produce simple links pages as described above
- Provide templates, short training workshops, and written or electronic guides
- Show them how to turn lecture notes (often of limited use on the web in their raw state) into an illustrated online lecture
- Suggest their students research and write web pages for them: a valuable learning experience as well as a source of reusable resources
Quality: is information from the Web necessarily less reliable or respectable than that which appears in print? Ask colleagues to consider these points:
- When did you last look in detail at the textbook you recommend for your intro course?
- Students need to develop critical faculties whatever the medium used to convey the information
- How much convergence has there been between the printed word and electronic delivery? How much more will there be?
We may contribute more to geoscience learning by acting as guides to good existing Web resources than by creating new ones.