Canceling the experiment

Yes, only one day later, following the completion of the zillions of questions I wrote for the activities, I am canceling the experiment (see previous posts on the experiment and its challenges).

I think the last straws were:
1. The photo of a Gay Rights poster that said, “Gay is NOT a choice” with a caption that talked about being gay as a “sexual preference”,
2. The lack of text transcript for any of the songs or speeches, including Woman by Nikki Giovanni and Angela Davis’ audio from prison,
3. Trying to overlook spelling and grammar errors that I’d mark if they were on a student’s paper,
4. Pearson throwing all the assignments (over 1,000) into the Blackboard grade book, instead of the ones I’ve assigned, with no option to just use those (the two options were “all” or “select”, meaning one at a time),
5. Discovering that Mac OS (10.6 or 10.9) running Chrome won’t work with Blackboard because of Java issues, so I have to use Firefox, and
6. Realizing I have just lost over a week to this that I could have spent improving my own materials.

So, alas, no cool article comparing artisan courses to canned courses. At least until we’ve got better canned courses.

6 thoughts on “Canceling the experiment

  1. At least your “experiment” was informative for the rest of us…though no real surprise. We spent years trying to get publishers to put materials on the web…and now we need to get them to put “quality” material on the web. One publisher argued with me that it was not their fault…it was the fault of the textbook author – they were just the publisher!


    1. That’s the thing – this isn’t even putting materials on the web. They are charging students huge sums to access this stuff, when better work is available out there (where my students currently find it themselves in my artisan classes). The textbook author comment is hysterical – I was approached by several publishers when they were putting these things together. The person who does it is rarely the author. Grrrr. 🙂


  2. You are the craziest braviest teacher out there, just the effort had me saying “woah”

    The scary thing is speculating how many other teachers just pop open the can and dole out the stuff.


  3. Just echoing what Alan and Britt said: VERY SCARY to think that we are “supposed” to be just using the canned stuff like this. I’ve shifted the emphasis from course content (chosen by me) to student-created content… but insofar as I do need content resources for my students, I wouldn’t expect any publisher to have much of a clue as to what I am looking for… not to mention what my students can afford. THANK YOU for this information about how the experiment went, or, rather, how it DID NOT GO. I hope lots of higher ed admins will read this and start thinking about how important it is to support those of us developing CC- and other openly licensed / public domain materials so that we can effectively connect and share, as opposed to using publishers’ expensive canned slops in our LMS silos… eeeeeek!!!


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