Labor Saving Techniques
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Given that a major goal of the course re-design project is to substitute technology "capital" for faculty teaching "labor," in what particular aspects of the course and its delivery are you finding that you are able to do this?
While we are achieving capital-for-labor substitution in many areas, the primary vehicle is through Mallard's ability to grade the data analysis components of the projects. This is a significant benefit. We have other (optional) quiz materials in Mallard that are also machine graded. We are posting the textbook publisher's PowerPoint slides on the Web Site and are using FirstClass to give the students quick feedback to their queries. This is labor saving in the sense that common questions are asked once and answered to the entire class rather than asked repeatedly and answered on an individual basis.
While we were intrigued about introducing undergraduate TAs into the course in the fall, and we have done that in other SCALE Efficiency projects, we will not do that yet in this course because there are still significant changes in the course content being made. When the course content stabilizes, we might very well use undergraduates.
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