Creating the Community College > classroom committee > the e-classroom > teaching and learning >

1. Student Profile
2. Truman Experience 3. Orientation 4. Classroom
5. Lecture 6. Student Resources 7. Tutoring 8. Student Records






  the e-classroom in 2003

Student Profile    Dorothy is in her forties. She works in food service at Ravenswood hospital. It took a long time to get on the day shift, but now that she works days, she can't attend school. Dorothy is worried because the cafeteria is going to be contracted out and she will no longer be in the union. Dorothy saw an opening in billing along with other opportunities to advance. But she doesn't have any computer skills and she doesn't have her GED. She almost passed the GED test but that was more than 10 years ago. Should she take a computer class? And which one? The textbooks are so difficult. Does she need her GED? When is registration? Is it too late? She doesn't have much time and she needs to move quickly. Dorothy decides to go back to Truman and enroll in the GED program at night.
Previous Truman experience   The last time Dorothy went to Truman, there didn't seem to be a class. The teacher helped her by giving her books and writing assignments, but after the first week, the class seemed to fall apart. Students came late, new students showed up every week and the teacher had to repeat the lesson over and over. Finally the teacher gave up and just walked around checking everyone's work. The teacher seemed to be as tired as she was and he just couldn't get to everyone. Dorothy started to skip class when she was tired; it didn't seem to matter since she could read at home as well as school and save bus fare. Little by little she stopped studying. Dorothy's a little doubtful that her experience will be any better this time.
Orientation and Counseling   On the first night of class, she is a little late, but in the AE office, she is greeted by a counselor. They go to security, take her picture, get an ID and spend about a half-hour on the computers in the testing center. They review her test scores and create a customized student plan. Dorothy gets a print-out of her scores and her study plan. Dorothy and her counselor go through the online orientation program and set up her login and email account. They chat for awhile about Dorothy's goals. They set up an appointment to go through a career assessment profile on the computer. The counselor then takes her to the classroom to introduce her to the teaching staff.
Learning Environment   What a difference! The classroom is huge and full of students. There are either a lot of teachers or else the students are helping each other. She can't tell who is a student and who is a teacher. There is equipment everywhere. Some students with earphones on are working on laptops. Some are plugged into what looks like booths, watching videos. Others seem to holding a meeting. There is one huge empty white wall with nothing near it.
Lecture / Presentation   Dorothy is anxious to start on her programs because the evening is half over. However, the teacher announces a group presentation and turns off the lights. The big empty wall fills with light from floor to ceiling as an African waterfall fills the room, then a rainforest, a barrier reef and a desert. The wall disappears as the sky becomes space and the earth is seen rotating and moving around the sun. The teacher goes to the wall and draws lines on the earth (on the wall!) and explains latitude and longitude. The DVD shuts off and the teacher assigns students to watch a historical video called "Longitude". He asks them to write a paragraph about technological change.
Student Resources   The students return to their computers and begin work on their individual student plans. Dorothy looks around. The room looks like a hotel lobby during a convention--trees, sculpture, comfortable furniture, tables, booths with TV screens, bookcases, an electronic bulletin board, and even a counter for drinks. She pours a cup of coffee and examines the videos available in the bookcase. She finds "Longitude" but doesn't think there will be time to view it. She asks if she can take it home. A student aide swipes her ID, scans the video bar code, and says "bring it back in two days if you can, so someone else can see it."
Tutoring and Mentoring   The teacher introduces Dorothy to a young woman who, it turns out is doing her practice teaching at Truman. She points Dorothy to a cart and asks her to take a laptop. They sit down in an empty booth. Dorothy doesn't see any wires, but there are lots of plugs in the booth and there are earphones. The computer seems to work without being plugged in. The teacher shows her how to login and they click on an icon that says "geometry level 1". She suddenly sees a room that rotates as she pushes it around with her pencil. She puts on the earphones and a voice begins to tell her what she is doing. Then the voice asks her if she would like to measure the room for carpeting. If so, she should tap a book icon. She does that and a window opens that allows her to enter measurements. It gives her the formula and then begins to animate the formula so she can understand it.
Student Records and Communication   Before she realizes it, the evening is almost over. Before checking in her laptop, another teacher shows Dorothy her own, personal, student web page. The page has her picture on it (the one on her ID!) and links to lots of forms and pages on the web. On the assignment form, the teacher fills in the name of the book club she is assigned to and selects a writing partner for Dorothy. She also shows Dorothy how to find the class email list so she can communicate with her writing partner and the teachers. She shows her how to attach a file to an email, and how to access her page from outside the school. Dorothy returns in two days. In the meantime the teacher will send her a welcome email and a homework assignment.