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Andy Knight
Bruce Stovel
David Kahane
Connie Varhangen
Janice Williamson
Open stage is a place for Arts instructors to share ideas and showcase their efforts in using technology in their teaching. Interviews were conducted with each instructor. They talked about the innovative ways technology is incorporated into their courses, and their perspectives and experiences as teachers and researchers. These stories are full of insights and inspiration.

Designed and maintained by Arts Technologies for Learning Centre, University of Alberta.

For question or comment, please contact Tracy Chao


Marisa's responses:

What are your instructional goals for using technology in your course?
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What are the advantages you think technology can offer in higher education?
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How does computer conferencing help you accomplish these instructional goals?
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How do your students benefit from the conferencing activities?
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Can you describe some of the positive learning outcomes?
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What are the challenges when you introduce technology into your course?
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How do you foresee the future of instructional technology in teaching literature?
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Web-Based Conferencing for Student Research Projects
Interview with Marisa Bortolussi

Marisa Bortolussi, professor from the Comparative Literature at University of Alberta, spoke of her experience with learning technology.

"It is indeed very rewarding to see students benefited from the technology I use in the course" said Marisa.

She used computer conferencing for the peer evaluation exercise in a graduate seminar course. She sets high expectations and sees herself as a guide and a facilitator for her students. Six students in this course were engaged in a research project and they all worked together to accomplish a goal - advance the theories on Magical Realism and produce publishable papers. Online conferencing supported communication among the students, and therefore, fostered a positive team spirit.

The overall research process was broken down into some discrete tasks. First, each students must propose a topic, write a research proposal and post it in the online conference. Each proposal was reviewed by two students, who provided constructive criticism and feedback. The student reviewers and authors used the conferencing features to discuss their ideas and exchange documents. Marisa guided her students throughout the course, stressing not only the product - the final research report, but also the process - how to collaborate on a project. The role-play element of this exercises prepared students for the real-life research and publication tasks.

It was certainly a very different learning experience for the students. Some were not comfortable giving and receiving criticism; some were not used to teamwork. However, they did see the benefits of this peer review exercise and appreciated the convenience and empowerment a conferencing tool has to offer. Students all thought that the conferencing facilitated their communication and helped build a positive research community in this course.

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