Thursday, January 24, 2008

Interview with Dr. Randy Jones of MCTC

I was sent this conversation with Dr. Jones of Marshall Community and Technical College via email and he agreed to extend it a little with me and allow me to share it on this blog. The conversation is about his impressions of the first semester with the Globaloria game development curriculum. Dr. Jones team-taught the course this past semester, here is the wiki.

What do you feel you've learned about 21st Century teaching?

o Faculty role is more of facilitator verses disseminator of information.

o Much of the learning takes place on-line through an interactive process.

What benefits are you seeing in your students?

o Students are more interested in learning if they have more control over the learning process.

o Student interaction among their peers also allows for more learning to take place.

o Students within broad boundaries are able to move at their own pace. The final learning objective bar is a minimum. The maximums are limited only by the student.

What is fun?

o From a personal perspective, I get a great deal of satisfaction from learning new things, developing new programs, and pushing the envelope on technology.

What is challenging?

o Note above: learning new things, developing new programs, and pushing the envelope on technology.

What more do you need, by way of support from Globaloria, to help you do your best work?

o A complement, everyone has been quick to respond to any issues related to the program.

o A complement, everyone has been focused on the student's future marketability. I appreciate a willingness to support our Internship requirement for our students.

o A comment, at some point a PR campaign that would highlight the program and our college which is somewhat hidden in the shadows of the University.

o A comment, our college has been very supportive of the partnership we are establishing. All basic adobe software has been made available through MCTC. Additional tutorial software has been purchased to support this program. Additional screen-capture and presentation software is also being purchased to support remote training. If we needed additional resources that could not be supplied by existing means, it would be nice to know we could apply to an alternate source for consideration.

How might you plan to approach anything differently in the New Year?

o Each cycle of courses to be taught in the future will be over a full semester (15 weeks).

o Dual-credit remote link to a high school program.

o Implementation of pre-requisite courses in future cycles might be suggested. A key component in the initial courses is a basic knowledge of the flash interface. Programming concepts would also be beneficial.

Additional Comments: We are planning on offering the cycle of classes in the Summer of 08. It would be a good thing if we could work with the University, offer graduate credit for the courses, and encourage future teachers to sign up for the classes. This would give them the background they need to teach the courses and would also meet their continuing education requirements.

You can check out more from Dr. Jones and his co-teacher Patrick Smith on YouTube.

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