Roman computing Classics in Cyberspace:
How Can We Assess the Impact of Technology?
Barbara F. McManus
College of New Rochelle
State of the Arts Conference: 10 October 1998, University of Maryland

THE VROMA PROJECT

1. VRoma is first and foremost a community of teachers and learners; the project includes teacher training (through summer workshops) and community building (through follow-up mentoring and ongoing reflective conversation).

2. As an on-line virtual environment, VRoma contextualizes and situates linguistic and cultural information within a simulated space, a virtual "city" containing historical places (a simulation of the city of Rome circa 150 CE) and non-historical places (simulations of various types of spaces that imaginatively evoke ancient life).

3. The project brings together pre-college and college Classics faculty and students.

4. The project emphasizes pedagogy and assessment, encouraging not only the development of teaching resources, but also the testing of their effectiveness and the publication of assessment results and models for classroom use.

PRELIMINARY CONCLUSIONS

1. Tremendous potential of computers, particularly internet technology, to improve educational practice in the direction of more project-based, student-centered learning.

2. Crucial role of community in this process, including hands-on, discipline-specific teacher training and long-term mentoring and support.

3. Importance of incorporating goal-driven assessment into every step of the process.

Barbara F. McManus
October, 1998