3.532 Ph.D.s, etc., cont. (89)

Willard McCarty (MCCARTY@vm.epas.utoronto.ca)
Mon, 2 Oct 89 19:56:19 EDT

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 3, No. 532. Monday, 2 Oct 1989.

(1) Date: Mon, 2 Oct 89 00:24:00 EDT (21 lines)
Subject: PH.D.s, etc.

(2) Date: Mon, 2 Oct 89 00:40:59 EDT (47 lines)
From: unhd!psc90!jdg@uunet.UU.NET (Dr. Joel Goldfield)
Subject: "Teaching, course loads, computers, 'freshly-minted' Ph.D.'s"

(1) --------------------------------------------------------------------
Date: Mon, 2 Oct 89 00:24:00 EDT
Subject: PH.D.s, etc.

Poor Jim O'Donnell and me! Somehow I guess we haven't really learned how to
send messages on BITNET to satisfy the HUMANIST audience. We end up being
told we've said things we haven't said. But the deconstruction of messages is
the thing these days. If I gave the impression that I think all those who
like to teach are not scholar-researchers, I apologize. If I gave the
impression that I am bitching about a two-course load, I apologize for that
too. I thought I was commenting on Cheney (whose support from some of the
HUMANIST members makes me think of the old joke about various peoples: if you
have one of them for a friend, who needs enemies?). So let me leave it now by
suggesting perhaps a book, Wayne Booth's *Vocation of a Teacher* (I may, in
typical scholarly fashion, have gotten the title slightly wrong). In that book
Booth wrestles with a lot of the issues we have been discussing.
As for the techniks and non-techniks in HUMANIST, I think that both groups
can be satisfied without setting out special categories. Even technical mags
like PC Week and PC Magazine have gossip columns and commentators, and the
Newsletter of some of my scholarly societies do carry computer news.
Jim Halporn, Classics/CompLit Indiana U. (HALPORNJ@IUBACS).
(2) --------------------------------------------------------------59----
Date: Mon, 2 Oct 89 00:40:59 EDT
From: unhd!psc90!jdg@uunet.UU.NET (Dr. Joel Goldfield)
Subject: "Teaching, course loads, computers, 'freshly-minted' Ph.D.'s"

The past few messages about teaching, computers, etc., certainly inspires
me to ponder how many of us Humanists balance our teaching, including
expected concomitant activities, and our research & development work
with computers. I wonder what the rough percentage is of those with
various semester-hour loads and rough amount of work with computers for
our own research and for courseware development or evaluation.

How many colleges & universities actually have humanities departments
with full-blown computer-managed instruction (CMI) and computer-aided
testing (CAT)? From my attendance at various conferences (CALICO, ACH/ALLC,
Northeast, MLA, ACTFL) and visits to institutions progressive in CAI,
it seems to me that most have "home-grown" systems and that only a very,
very few have an arrangement where the foreign language instructors,
for example, can rely on a computer center for adminstration of tutorials
and testing outside of oral proficiency and essay evaluation.

At best, in most institutions where a creative use of CAI in the humanities
is in place, there are a few good programs for writing (complex wordprocessing
environments with various utilities, e.g., "Syst`eme-D") or specific tutorials,
relatively rarely for testing, and few faculty developing courseware
that ventures forth from experimental class applications. Some
of the military academies, the University of Delaware, Brigham Young
University and a few others are notable exceptions. One might also think
more broadly of institutions using the PLATO system and its 10's of
thousands of hours of CAI.

Yet it is precisely the individual instructor's acumen and brilliance of
pedagogy that would guide her/his individual students toward mastering
the specific course material. I won't lengthen this message with
ruminations about what types of encouragement and support
are necessary in universities to support innovative courseware development
by their most innovative faculty. I suspect that Dana Paramskas, Stephen
Clausing, David Bantz, Willard, and many others will have something to
add on this subject. Suffice it to close with the thought that
"freshly-minted" Ph.D.'s of all denominations who possess the energy,
administrative skills, creativity and daring (especially in the face of
unstable tenure requirements) to evaluate, adapt, design and
implement software that will guide students efficiently during study
time will be doing far more, practically and idealistically, then
any instructor or team trying to create an android tutor!

--Joel D. Goldfield