Summer 2009 faculty fellows begin investigations into teaching tools

Four Penn State faculty members have been named 2009 Faculty Fellows by Teaching and Learning with Technology (TLT), a unit of Information Technology Services. The recipients were Carla Zembal-Saul, Christopher Long, Ellysa Cahoy and Stuart Selber. The Fellows have begun collaborating with TLT staff to investigate the potential of particular technologies to enhance student learning. The Penn State community can follow their progress and reflections throughout the summer by visiting http://blogs.tlt.psu.edu/fellows/ online. Below is a brief summary of their upcoming projects:

Blogs as Portfolio: Carla Zembal-Saul, associate professor of education, will build on research she has conducted previously regarding the use of blogs for student e-portfolios. Particular points of interest include the utilization of the social aspect of blogging to encourage students to participate in professional discourse communities and devising a way to capture periodic “snapshots” from students’ e-portfolios to demonstrate learning for assessment purposes. TLT staff collaborating with Zembal-Saul on the project are Cole Camplese, Brad Kozlek, Chris Stubbs and Jeff Swain.

Digital Dialogue: Christopher Long, associate professor of philosophy, will explore the way digital expression and Web 2.0 technologies such as blogs can enhance philosophical scholarship. Long plans to focus on the Socratic practice of politics, in which Socrates would frequent the public marketplace (or agora) to foster dialogue with young people on the question of the good and the just. His project will involve development of a digital agora, where dialogue around his philosophical research can be fostered. TLT staff collaborating with Long are Allan Gyorke, Matt Meyer, and Ryan Wetzel.

Digital Literacy Acquisition: Ellysa Cahoy, assistant head of Library Learning Services, will investigate student digital literacy acquisition as part of her ongoing research. Cahoy plans to develop workshops, instructional materials, and curriculum support materials to assist the Digital Commons, the University Libraries, instructors, and others in helping students to develop digital literacy competencies. Her project goals include outlining recommended instructional practices for the appropriate use of multimedia. TLT staff collaborating with Cahoy are Chris Millet, Hannah Inzko and Kim Winck.

Changing Nature in Online Instruction Sets: Stuart Selber, associate professor of English and science, technology, and society, will examine the changing nature of instruction sets in online environments, including Web 2.0 environments such as wikis, online user forums, and other technologies. He will research and develop a rhetoric for online/electronic instruction sets, which can be applied by teachers of technical writing and by instructional designers responsible for documentation, a framework largely lacking in many current technical writing textbooks. TLT staff collaborating with Selber are Elizabeth Pyatt, Erin Long and Mary Janzen.

For more information on the TLT Faculty Fellows program, visit http://ets.tlt.psu.edu/category/faculty-fellow/ online.

Last Updated July 08, 2009