Technology-based, Activity-driven, Question-based Education
Prelude: Bases on
Laboratories of democracy suggested by Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis.
this rudimentary first proposal could be completed the HS graduating class of 2035


I. Computers, student activities, and student determined questions would be central to
the students learning experience.

You can't go from books to problems but you can go from problems to books from The Black Swan 12/26/16
B. See Geekability
II. A year-round two session school calendar consisting of four twelve-week terms.
1. Morning and afternoon structured sessions consisting of four consecutive one-hour traditional classes.
2. Structured unstructured activities would be based upon each student's
Individualize Curriculum.
3. Days per week would be flexible.
III. Teaching loads would consist of four structured traditional classes during one session
1. Unstructured activities could substitute for structured traditional classes.
   2. .Paid or for comp time overloads would be based on seniority,
IV. Gains from this more efficient system would be shared by students, faculty, and community.
  Pedagogical requirements of four courses per year for many HS and undergraduate college students would be limited to those useful to someone with just HS or college degree respectively.
  1. Academically oriented students could take extra academic courses
  2.Usefulness data of pedagogical material would be collected from alumni, business, and community.
  3. Activities now considered extracurricular might become more structured and done for credit, especially
    for students not academically oriented.

Free Internet materials would replace textbooks and lectures.
1. Faculty could put their own notes on the Internet or choose from many Internet course materials.
2. Reading assignments and lectures would be taken from the Internet or teacher provided materials.
  Economic facilities use would solve housing problems, especially for larger school districts..
  Community benefits from Structured Unstructured Time as students fulfill community needs while fulfilling their  Individualize Curriculum. Example: Early childhood education students could volunteer at nursery schools.
V. Grades would be activity centered.
  1.Multiple choice tests would come to an end. This could take a while.
  2. Grades would be based on student determined research papers, individual projects,
    group projects, case analysis, essay questions, math problems, oral presentations...
  3. Students would be encouraged to make up their own test questions and projects.
  4. Working with others would be encouraged.
  5.  Amount of work required, a completion time, and expected grade would be negotiated.
     A student want a C would be expected to do less than those wanting a higher grade.
  6.Faculty would review student created material as needed and if appropriate, meet with student a  group.
VI. Teachers, as managing consultants, would have varied responsibilities to satisfy their four course requirement.
  1. Keep Internet pedagogical materials relevant, especially as it pertains to individual student needs.
  2. Management student group activities: senior class play, student work experiences, group projects, coaching,
     managing student teaching assistants
  3. Explaining difficult concepts to students and teaching assistants
  4. Grading which would be a continuing often subjective process.
Appendix 1 Some perceived problems.
A. Some faculty would object.
1. Fine, choose all traditional classroom experiences.
    2. Faculty member could use earned sabbatical based on unpaid overloads to develop materials....
Paid overloads would not count toward sabbaticals.
    3  Implementation should be slow with the goal centered on Educating the Class of 2035.
4. Eventually most would agree that students learn much more in this relaxed, dynamic community.
B. Students would have too much free time.
1. Both Individual and group projects would be required as much time as students desire to expend.
3. Ambitious students would not have too much free time. 
      a, Some would complete in less time.
b. Some would work.
c. Some would specialize in for credit for school activities.
d. Some would do what they do now.
  C. Some students would be unhappy
    1. Students successful with the current system of memorization and working alone would not be happy.
2. Choosing academically oriented courses would solve much of their problems and learning that being 100% traditional and not developing teamwork ability for many is an economically poor choice.
Appendex 2 Example 1
  A. I used the system was used to some extent for five years around the turn of the decade.
    1. Subjects taught were Accounting I and II, Economics I and II, and Statistics
    2. Students were supplied all class notes
    3. Better students came to class less than 1/3 of the time.
    4. See Flipping a Statistics Class Worked Well  
  B. Results
    1. Better students in Accounting and Statistics learned more in less time with much less work, mainly because I didn't have the stamina to keep up with my notes.
    2. Average students learned about an amount equal to what they usually learn.
    3. Economics was the most difficult, parley because the my notes and Internet materials were not that sophisticated. I have spent the last 5 years making them better.
    4. Quick Notes Course Outlines were developed over twelve years and were used in this project.
Example 2  Sample of a teacher unknowingly using the system
e-mail Walter with examples or suggestions



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Flipping a Statistics Class Worked Well 
Teaching Statistics to Open Evening College Students 

Introduction: After years of traditional teaching to open enrollment college and junior college students I switched to my now free then inexpensive programmed textbooks  Quick Notes Statistics and Excel Statistics Lab Manual. With all the problems and their data sets written in Excel, many of the calculation learning obstacle was removed. Many students were familiar with the text as they had used the free Quick Notes Financial Accounting and/or the free Economics Interactive Class Notes with Links when teaching my other courses. These books were also concise two-page outlines per chapter followed by practice problems and complete solutions.

Methodology: Class one began with a 30 minute overview of material covered on the first on a disk take-home or in-the-lab computer exam. We then adjourned to the lab with some of the better students leaving to study the lectures on their own and do required work at their leisure while the  others joined me in the lab learn to use Excel to calculate measures of central tendency. Lectures for a few nights were short previews as labs sessions with me and a few students helping with procedures. The class before thecomputerized test using Excel was a comprehensive 30 minute or so review where I again saw the better students and after the review a few students were off to the lab to finish their computerized  lab set due before the test. The test was on a disk and also on the lab server. This procedure was followed for tests on probability, on hypothesis testing and on correlation plus regression.

Result: 1) Being an honor system take-home or in lab computer exam resulted in the same grade distribution as for a traditional in class test where students did calculations. A large note card/cheat sheet was allowed.

2) Using computers, more material was easily covered with less work and anxiety. 

3) Only the better students learned more, much more. Students for open enrollment college classes had for 35 years divided into four groups.

Group one learned central tendency but got lost on probability. They completed the course requirements but never really learned much. They  passed with low grades because of my easy grading procedures.

Group two calculated some probability functions. Hypothesis testing was poor as they ran into trouble deciding which Excel menu procedure to use for each of the eight different problems on the take home/lab exam. I had warned them that over 35 years grades always went down with each tests and but many were still disappointed. Some of these adults worked really hard but having to choose between finite and normal distributions, large and small samples and then between one sample and two samples eventually led to mistakes.

Group three often got the statistic correct but then had difficulty determining to accept or reject the no change null hypothesis. All the studying in the world doesn't help because they had never really understood what hypothesis testing was all about.

Group four had one final hurdle to explain what the answer meant. They had correctly accepted or rejected the null hypothesis but what did it mean? They needed to write in the analysis section that the new procedure was faster or had less defects or the new diet was better/worse or else it was back to group three and a B grade. Less than six from a class of twenty-five got almost everything correct and got a 4 points on almost every problem. A very few indeed got everything correct. I used his system for about six classes before retiring in 2002.


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