Sunday, 04 February 2018 11:32

832 - Case Studies Assignment

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Hello – in response to some questions about the case study assignment, and to let you know what I am looking for, here are some comments I have given to your classmates.

First, try to get your discussion board post out as early as possible. This will allow your classmates time to respond to you before you write your assignment.

I have also revised the feedback I gave to students from the last semester (see full feedback here: http://www.paulleslie.net/index.php/courses/pme-832/item/745-832-f2017-case-feedback ) on this assignment. By reviewing some of the principle comments, you might be better guided in your work on this assignment.

Specific feedback to students:

Response 1: In the article, there seems to be only a passing reference to anything from our list of connected learning methodologies. There is some attempt at networked learning and social interaction. If you would like to investigate this article as a case study, you would want to highlight how some activities could be introduced at an MBA level that would support connected learning. It would be interesting to contrast MBA level work with K-12 work. I have found that strategies often promoted for early childhood classes work also perfectly well in a university setting.

Note that the article discusses social issues at Harvard, not academic or pedagogic issues. So, you might need to look at Appreciative Inquiry as a means of improving the pedagogy which in turns pushes out the social issues through sound pedagogic practice.

Also, be aware that the list of connected learning styles is not complete and they are describing an approach to teaching. They do not necessarily offer a reason for or outcome of their learning. In all cases, the outcomes are around trying to help students connect their own learning to the wider world to give it context and purpose.

 Response 2: So, I would suggest that you examine your own work, reflect on your teaching methodologies and then find two readings on pedagogic issues within your particular field. These can be anything that highlight a teaching practice or teaching and learning issue within your field. Please send them to me as well and I will review them. Then, together we can craft a more detailed assignment outline for you that meets the criteria for the course, but yet responds to your specific needs. The more you can relate these studies to your own context, the more rewarding the course will be.

For example, you might examine how these cases might apply to your context, discuss barriers that you think impede your ability to improve your own practice and then as a conclusion make suggestions for yourself that you can pursue to improve your efforts.

So, please feel free to pursue this article and approach, especially if it speaks to your own interests and strengths. Just, keep a focus on the pedagogy of connectedness and the purpose of being connected. Connectedness is not an end or outcome in itself.

In-text Comments

These comments are organized into three sections. The first are in-text comments that relate to specific instances in the assignments. I selected some that I thought were revealing to the writing itself. The next two sections are from my general comments. I organized them by Positive feedback and constructive feedback. Some are based on the content of the assignment, and some are based on the technical aspects - the writing style and citations.


Great start – could you add just one sentence showing some connection between the two, or why you chose them?

It might be good to just introduce both schools here in one short sentence. You have both in your title, but you need to mention here just what you are doing.

Careful with value-laden adjectives. This may be unfortunate, but I can make that determination from the facts and organization of your sentence. This sounds like being flexible is a bad thing.

Can you provide a conclusion that ties the two studies together or highlights some general improvements that both styles would benefit from – reflection seems to be a common theme.

Interesting conclusion. I would like to see a strong discussion about the comparisons between the two.

To be concise, just leave out colloquialisms. This is a different form of writing than a discussion board

Only use tables for numerical data or very short text-based data. This all should be in paragraph form. It is harder to write perhaps, but easier to read.

You have already talked about this topic a few times. Can you reorganize your paragraphs to bring a more coherent argument?


Positive feedback

It might be useful for you to go through and see where you can cut down on your word count without losing any ideas.

You have given me a great piece of writing. You stepped out of the assignment box and discussed these two case studies in tandem, which really gave your writing a great focus and a means for you to put your comments into a wider context between the two studies.


Constructive feedback

You have given an interesting discussion of two solid case studies. However, I would like to see you really dig into the actual content of the courses. If you look at my comments above, you will see that you bring up important elements of the case studies but do not fully explore them.

You also have a tendency to use very colloquial language. Students who use this style often get a bit lost in the discussion and do not get to the point.

By using tables as you did, I think you have confused the logic of your discussion for yourself and hence, as you will note in my comments, the flow of your discussion is compromised. This format places the onus on the reader to make sense of your ideas. That is actually your job as the writer.

It is quite late, but I am generally very flexible with dates as I understand the pressures of being a teacher. I do not usually penalize anyone for lateness.

For the challenges and suggestions, while I truly appreciated your effort to combine the two cases and comment on both at once, you perhaps were a bit general. Try to really think of the context of the two case studies and offer some suggestions that could really work in their particular setting.

I would like to suggest that you write in shorter paragraphs and then try to manipulate those paragraphs as discrete objects and move them around. You might find that you have reiterated and repeated yourself a few times, and that you have left an idea only to return to it a paragraph or two later. This makes your paper much longer than it should be.

I would like to suggest that you try to write in a formal essay style so that your ideas are logical and clearly linked – so that you can better show for example, cause and effect, sequence and relative importance of your ideas. Your somewhat bullet pointed style (without the bullet points) makes reading your work a bit more difficult and quite disjointed. There is no flow and so I found myself jumping back and forth to put your ideas together. You are supposed to put them together for your audience.

Although writing produces a linear text, you should not approach it that way. Start with smaller paragraphs and then see how you can manipulate and combine ideas to really be concise. That will really bring out your ideas and leave you more words at the end for the conclusion.

If you have clear distinct paragraphs, you can move them around like objects and see the overall coherence of your argument.

As for your arguments, you are putting conclusions up front and then discussing them afterwards. This makes your writing much longer as well. It also confuses the reader because you end up repeating yourself.

Read 67 times Last modified on Sunday, 04 February 2018 12:26
Dr. Paul Leslie

Associate of Taos Institute: http://www.taosinstitute.net/

Education is a Community Affair. 

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