Preparation for VRoma Workshop

1. I strongly encourage everybody to read section 5 ("Evaluation") of the VRoma Project Proposal, since it encapsulates our preliminary thoughts on the importance of assessment in the project. We are very excited about VRoma's potential to test assumptions about the role of technology in teaching and learning (see Pedagogical Objectives), but accomplishing this will require both up-front planning and on-going attention to assessment activities. If we achieve this, VRoma, besides developing important resources for education in Classics, will make a significant contribution to the educational community as a whole (and in the process garner valuable publicity for Classics as well as for our project).

2. One of the xeroxed articles in the recent mailing presents an excellent overview of what outcomes assessment is and why it is so crucial: Robert B. Barr and John Tagg, "From Teaching to Learning--A New Paradigm for Undergraduate Education" (Change, November/December 1995: 13-25). The authors' emphasis on faculty as "primarily the designers of learning environments" (24) fits very well with our role in this workshop as creators of a new kind of learning environment (the MOO/Web VRoma). In my own efforts to imagine the educational possibilities of this new environment, I have found that the following on-line sources provide extremely helpful background about cyberspace worlds:

3. The key to effective outcomes assessment is setting appropriate learning goals. During the workshop, each partnership will begin planning ways to integrate VRoma into one or more courses or projects. We will work together on writing the learning goals for these and determining how best to assess them. The following xeroxed articles will get us started thinking about the process. The first two, introductions to collections of articles, are short, easy-to-skim overviews. The third is a much longer section of a closely argued book--denser, more difficult to follow, but having important implications for our work.

4. The VRoma Links for Participants page lists a number of on-line articles dealing with assessment and pedagogy, including the following:

Barbara F. McManus, VRoma Director of Assessment
VRoma Home Page