by Ann Abbott
I can't really answer fully if education can be improved at the same time we lower costs. I can say that I believe that the "technology-enhanced" model that Prof. Diane Musumeci built for our basic Spanish sequence is very successful in many regards.
At a Pearson/Prentice Hall symposium that I attended in Chicago this week, Lunden MacDonald from Metropolitan State College in Colorado presented with Bob Hemmer from Prentice Hall about how to use the technology of "My Language Labs" to create high-quality hybrid and totally on-line language courses. Interest in the room was very high! Everyone is facing budget crunches, changing student demographics, limited classroom space, and other challenges that we need to convert into opportunities. Click here to see an explanation of how it worked for Metropolitan State College.
Bob mentioned a resource for those who are interested in using technology in their language classes and mainting quality: The National Center for Academic Transformation. They have a page dedicated to course redesigns, and you can scroll down to see the project descriptions in ten Spanish programs.
The students in our "Spanish in the Community" course take their homework quizzes--on WebCT, based on the audio files at the Comunidades Companion Website. That allows the instructors to shift their valuable time from grading homework to reading student reflections.
Do you use technology in your community service learning (CSL) courses?