21st-Century Citizen Scholars: Testing What Is Possible and Desirable
A pilot program at Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis (IUPUI), called the Twenty-First Century Citizen Scholars, explores and evaluates the pedagogy of computer conferencing in writing-across-the-curriculum and makes sure of equal access by students. The purpose of the project is to build intellectual coherence, reduce conflict in students' roles as they balance the demands of family, work, and studies, and create a community for urban commuters by using computer telecommunications. The teacher models the etiquette of the bulletin board, establishing it as a supportive place. Conference members are classmates and teacher. The project, after 4 semesters of operation, has served 8 classes, over 80 students, ranging from introductory classes to upper-division and graduate courses. All students have the necessary equipment at home, on loan if necessary. The program's philosophy defines students as bringing assets of experience and commitment to the learning process, rather than deficits that must be compensated for. The program has achieved the following benefits: students explore new ideas and personal experience that might seem digressions in class, but which lead to broader syntheses and intellectual coherence; all students participate; students take on many insturctional functions as they become active, empowered learners; faculty experience increased involvement with students and with each other; students turn intellectual community into action; and students become familiar with advanced technology useful for their futures. (Sixteen references and an appendix containing selections from a TCCS Bulletin Board are attached.) (SR)
Schwartz, H.J. 21st-Century Citizen Scholars: Testing What Is Possible and Desirable.