our clients The Wired Professor - Featuring Scripts by eXtropia In early 1998, Anne Keating, PhD contacted us to let us know that she would be using our applications in her book about the Wired Professor. Here is an excerpt of that extremely interesting book...
Teaching with the Web as one of my tools has altered and enriched my teaching. I was young enough to have been exposed to ideas about collaborative learning when I was a graduate teaching assistant. However, I was generally unsatisfied by the artificiality of group projects and group work. Often there were problems and students voiced their concerns about how they would be graded if the people in the group were working at different levels of commitment to the project. Something of value about the quality of an individual effort and engagement with the material seemed lost in the process. On the Internet, I had observed the culture of information sharing that evolved from the ARPANET Request for Comments(RFC). I was intrigued by the dynamically authored and constantly updated documents on the Internet embodied in Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) and newsgroups, where many people came together on a regular basis to contribute valuable information to a communal store of information on a given subject. This was a critical resource on the Internet and a valuable teaching tool if the zest to share information could be reproduced in the classroom. In the last two years, the Web has provided this platform. Since the Web is a public space, it is a very real stage for the public performance of group projects. However, perhaps more importantly, the Web and the project that are initiated there naturally bring the students in my classes together in groups, while at the same time preserving the individual inquiry I have come to value as a teacher....
Guest books and modified guest books have found a niche "market" between Usenet newsgroups and today's threaded CGI-based bulletin boards. Easy to setup and maintain, these make-shift "discussion boards" have generated many memorable topical discussions.
Selena Sol uses a special "setup" file to allow for easy configuration and modification of the script."
Once you have mastered the process of installing your first script, you can move on and download more scripts to experiment with. Our first recommendation would be to set up Selena Sol's Bulletin Board Script. Like a Usenet newsgroup, this CGI-based bulletin board Perl script allows for threaded discussions that will permit your students to move easily between topics and also between postings and replies.... The bulletin board script is more complex than the guest book (and) will also require more maintenance. However, once set up, you will find this script to be a powerful addition to your course Web site and an invaluable communication tool for your students."
About the book
Anne B. Keating with Joseph Hargitai. The Wired Professor: A Guide to Incorporating the World Wide Web in College Instruction. New York: New York University Press, 1999. (pub date: 1/31/99; avail through amazon.com; NYU Press ISBN: 1814747248 / $50.00 cloth; ISBN: 1814747256 / $19.50 paper
Anne B. Keating, Ph.D.
Curriculum Coordinator for Instructional Technology
The Paul McGhee Division
School of Continuing and Professional Studies
New York University