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Howard Rosenbaum <hrosenba@indiana> 10.10.01

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  1. Information technology, pedagogy, and the education of information professionals Howard Rosenbaum <hrosenba@indiana.edu> 10.10.01 http://www.slis.indiana.edu/hrosenba/www/Pres/webdevshare_01/

  2. I. Introduction • A challenge II. Teaching, information problems, and the “real” world” • Collaborative technology and pedagogy • Simulations and learning III. Teaching ecommerce with a virtual economy • Using PBL in the VE IV. PBL, information technology and the education of information professionals

  3. I. Introduction • A challenge We spend many hours at work immersed in digital environments using information and communication technologies (ICTs) This is extending into our social and private lives as well We expect that our students are going to spend many years working in networked organizations What are the most effective ways to prepare our graduates for work in these environments?

  4. In the discourse on socio-technical trends in higher education, we find that Schools are increasing their investments in ICTs and are integrating them into their curricula They are offering instruction in different formats to provide students with more flexibility More curricula are beginning to focus on a range of information environments and information problems What do these trends mean for the ways in which we educate our students?

  5. One implication We are finding ourselves in a situation where we are rethinking the ways in which we combine ICTs and pedagogy One suggestion An important focus should be on the investigation of information problems in organizational environments Pedagogical strategy and the socio-technical infrastructure that supports it should immerse students in these problems

  6. I. Introduction • A challenge II. Teaching, information problems, and the “real world” • Collaborative technology and pedagogy • Simulations and learning III. Teaching ecommerce with a virtual economy • Using PBL in the VE IV. PBL, information technology and the education of information professionals

  7. II. Teaching, information problems, and the “real world” • Collaborative technology and pedagogy Our Masters of Information Science program emphasizes teamwork Teamwork is grounded in situated learning Situated learning assumes that learning and cognition require social interaction and physical activity “Communities of practice” form where learning is constituted through the sharing of purposeful and patterned activities Roschelle, J. (1995)

  8. “The activity in which knowledge is developed and deployed … is not separable from or ancillary to learning and cognition. Nor is it neutral. Rather, it is an integral part of what is learned. Situations might be said to co-produce knowledge through activity. Learning and cognition, it is now possible to argue, are fundamentally situated.” Brown, J.S., Collins, A., and Duguid, P. (1989)

  9. Assume that learning takes place during mutually constructed experiences How technology can support these experiences? Collaborative technology enables people to engage jointly in producing shared knowledge It helps generate communities of practice It is a tool for the mutual production of new practice It allows groups to transform problematic situations into experiences that they can handle routinely

  10. faces a which faces a and uses leading to a reinforcing the Situated learning and collaborative technology A group Problematic situation Community of practice Collaboration technology Successful resolution

  11. A good collaborative technology is a highly visible part of the shared experience Group members use it to interact, communicate, and work It supports Communication Interpersonal interaction Distributed systems Distance education Cooperative work Telecommuting

  12. • Simulations and problem based learning Can a complex simulation provide students with a real world experience? Can collaborative technology be used as the basis for such a simulation? What has to change in the pedagogy of a course built around a semester-long simulation? How will this affect teaching? How will this affect learning? Technology and pedagogy can be used to bridge the gap between “knowing what” and “knowing how”

  13. The importance of problems We routinely deal with problematic situations Information problems arise because we perceive that the elements of our environment connect in an unsatisfactory ways This situation is also is a setting within which we seek resolutions We do this by drawing upon the salient features of our organizational and social context This includes rules, resources, and social networks

  14. Problematic situation Communities of practice Problems Information needs Information behaviors Collaboration technologies Problem resolutions

  15. Information professionals learn how to recognize the typical problems that arise in their workplaces They develop a repertoire of information behaviors that allows them to efficiently resolve these problems In many organizations, information technologies are important resources in this work How can we provide students with learning experiences that will prepare them to enter this world? How can we help them develop a deep understanding of the connections among people, ICTs, and organizations?

  16. How can we create a class that will require students to spend an extended period of time grappling with a difficult problem? Are there pedagogical approaches that focus on problems ? Is there a reasonable way to simulate the complex organizational information environments that they will face upon graduation? Can we create a situation that requires them to take greater responsibility for their own education?

  17. One useful approach is problem based learning (PBL) It assumes that learning is situated What we know and understand is a product of the learning situation and the nature of the learning activity Learning takes place in the context of social interaction and not simply in the learner's head Learning tasks should be embedded in the target context and require the kind of thinking that would be done in real life (Abdullah, 1998; 1)

  18. PBL is a learner-centered approach that foregrounds “the problem” Learning is motivated by a problem that should resemble one students might face in the workplace It is important that the problem is complex and ill structured There should be no clear-cut and easy answers There should be nuances and subtleties not apparent upon first analysis It should have relevance to students who can analyze it using prior knowledge and experience

  19. PBL reverses the traditional approach to teaching and learning As they work on the problem, students propose plausible explanations or hypotheses They develop plans and strategies to resolve the problem They gather data that to test their hypotheses or critically evaluate their explanations and plans The role of the instructor is important because he/she provides relevant information, but only if students can give a good reason for wanting it (Margetson, 1998; 194)

  20. Using PBL, students Take responsibility for their education Learn about problem solving in situations that resemble those they will face in their professional careers Learn to recognize and analyze problems, taking into account their contextual and dynamic natures Develop, evaluate, and select among alternative resolutions Engage in self-directed study resulting in knowledge that can be used in problem analysis Present and defend their ideas in front of their peers

  21. I. Introduction • A challenge II. Teaching, information problems, and the “real” world” • Collaborative technology and pedagogy • Simulations and learning III. Teaching ecommerce with a virtual economy • Using PBL in the VE IV. PBL, information technology and the education of information professionals

  22. III. Teaching ecommerce with a virtual economy Challenge: to design and develop an inquiry-based learningenvironment for teaching ecommerce Objective: providestudents with a challenging, novel, technology-focused, and learner-centered educational experience They learn by “doing” ecommerce instead of listening to someone talk about “doing” ecommerce Technology: a working, robust, and web-based virtual economy (VE: Web, Cold Fusion, and Oracle) Syllabus: http://www.slis.indiana.edu/hrosenba/www/L561/syll/syll6.html

  23. • Using PBL in the VE The problem is how to starting up, designing, and managing a web-based ebusiness This is complex, messy, and ill-structured Working in small, self-directed teams, students investigate issues involved in creating web-based ebusinesses They determine what they need to learn to develop and manage their stores They draw upon a range of disciplines to resolve the problems they face

  24. Student work is evaluated against real-world benchmarks Sales, repeat customers, traffic analysis, and customer feedback Students apply what they learn to the basic problem as it evolves over time This is “authentic learning” because “students publicly exhibit their learning, and there are often real life standards of quality”(Gordon 1998: 391) Outcome: “higher levels of comprehension, more learning and knowledge-forming skills, more social skills”(Rheem, 1999)

  25. Structure of the course and timeline for the VE Week 1: Introduction: Developing a start-up company Week 2-7: Design, build, and test the site 2: Present business plan, begin content development 3: Database population, evaluation of sites and development of initial prototype 4: Development of advertising and marketing plan 5: Final design; online ad auction 6,7: Presentation of customer service and support strategies, testing and redesign Week 8-15: Operate the storefronts

  26. There are several ways that the simulation becomes more real to the students There is competition: bonuses added to the final grade for the most profit and the most traffic They never meet the shoppers face to face Real digital products are being sold for real purposes There is initial investment, but there are costs that have to be managed The banner auction Web hosting Consulting ($125/hr) Market research (~$400 for a report)

  27. The virtual economy is a distributed digital marketplace It is a simulation of a competitive environment for buying and selling digital products Activities Students confront and resolve a series of problems related to the larger problem of managing an ebusiness They start up, design, and operate e-businesses which compete in the VE Shoppers use digital money to purchase information products and services

  28. Structure of the virtual economy Store 1 Store 1 Store 2 Store 2 Bank Portal page Store3 Store 4 Store 3 Store 4 Flow of digital money Traversal to store To portal Shoppers

  29. The VE is based on HTML, Cold Fusion, and Oracle It uses no pre-existing code and is a proprietary design that has been written to be transparent to the participants No programming knowledge is required for students to set up storefronts or to shop in the VE The programming is modular, portable and currently runs on a Solaris platform on a Sun Enterprise 250 server Cold Fusion has the ability to encrypt the code for the primary functions (product catalogs, shopping cart, and digital bank), so the VE is relatively secure

  30. The VE is a collaboration technology It provides a shared work space for store teams to develop their businesses Each team works out its own norms of interaction and rules for working together It also provides a means for store teams to engage in customer relationship management as they attempt to initiate and build relationships with the shoppers In past iterations of the VE, this has involved the use of email newsletters and chat rooms

  31. http://ebiz.slis.indiana.edu/g/ve/login.cfm

  32. Synergia: information services Vegas Casino: entertainment GetBusy: information, services DigiTeam: collaboration services SWOT.com: information GetBusy Business Bistro: bundled information Succinct: subscription

  33. I would like to thank my faculty colleagues and collaborators: Australia: University of Canberra: Ric Jentzsch University of Queensland: Sophie Cockcroft UK University of Bath: Richard Vigden, Joe Nandhakumar University of Greenwich: Margaret Lennox US The Citadel: Janette Moody Duquesne University: A. Graham Peace, William Spangler Kennesaw State University: Martha Meyers Lehigh University: Catherine Ridings Georgia College and State University: Ric Bialac I also received assistance from talented SLIS students, some on the payroll and some with independent studies

  34. I. Introduction • A challenge II. Teaching, information problems, and the “real world” • Collaborative technology and pedagogy • Simulations and learning III. Teaching ecommerce with a virtual economy • Using PBL in the VE IV. PBL, information technology and the education of information professionals

  35. PBL, information technology and the education of information professionals • This combination of pedagogy and technology is a useful way to prepare students for their careers in IT • They learn that their implicit knowledge is legitimate and useful when facing apparently unfamiliar tasks • Because of the range of problem resolutions, they learn that heuristics are not absolute • Students generate their own solutions, which makes them creative members of a culture of problem- solving and community of practice

  36. They acquire new cultural tools A shared vocabulary Workable methods of problem analysis Collective problem solving The means to discuss, reflect upon, evaluate, and validate community procedures in a collaborative process Groups give rise to insights and solutions that would not come about without them

  37. Displaying multiple roles Successful problem resolution helps them learn about the many different roles needed for most cognitive tasks in the workplace They can confront and discard ineffective strategies and misconceptions They refine their collaborative work skills They learn about project management They learn that ecommerce is hard work!

  38. Abdullah, M.H. (1998). Problem-Based Learning in Language Instruction: A Constructivist Model. Eric Digest. ERIC Clearinghouse on Reading, English, and Communication, Bloomington, IN. Brown, J.S., Collins, A., and Duguid, P. (1989) Situated Cognition and the Culture of Learning, Educational Researcher, 18, pp. 32-42. http://www.ilt.columbia.edu/ilt/papers/JohnBrown.html Gordon, R. (1998). Balancing real-world problems with real-world results. Phi Delta Kappan, 390-394. Margetson, D. (1998). What Counts as Problem-Based Learning? Education for Health: Change in Training and Practice, 11(2): 193-202. Rheem, J. (1998). Problem-Based Learning: An Introduction. The National Teaching and Learning Forum. 8(1). http://www.ntlf.com/html/pi/9812/pbl_1.htm Roschelle, J. (1995). What Should Collaborative Technology Be? A Perspective From Dewey and Situated Learning. http://cica.cica.indiana.edu/cscl95/outlook/39_roschelle.html

  39. Information technology, pedagogy, and the education of information professionals Howard Rosenbaum <hrosenba@indiana.edu> 10.10.01 http://www.slis.indiana.edu/hrosenba/www/Pres/webdevshare_01/