Linda, Graham et al.,
Among the many places to look for both "service learning" and
a new kind of re-emergence of "action research" are
Roger Graves at DePaul and Thomas Huckin at the University
of Utah. Both have been very helpful to me in framing my
own work in this area. I also profile both programs in
the last chapter of _Community Action and Organizational
Change: Image, Narrative, Identity_ (SIUP 2002) (ok,
shameless self-citation). Also, when I was at Waterloo,
Cathy Schryer was integrating field work in our senior
seminar. This was extremely successful (at least for
me...I don't know if Cathy has the same memories [grin])
We are currently working on a two-phased approach to
student field work here at Clarkson. In our third-year
"Professional Communication" course, we partner with
one non-profit, conduct a needs assessment/audit, and
then produce products/solutions for them. In this way,
the entire class is focused on one external client.
I used to have several different clients in one class
but the administration got out of hand. I also like the
focus one client gives the class.
To prepare students for the upper-year field work
experience, we have designed (and are currently
still designing) a web-based "immersion" for
2nd year students. This site is a fictitious
organization that hires the students as consultants.
Working in teams the students identify problems
from cases we've written, and then they design and
produce solutions. Unlike the way case studies are
usually done, these are not narrative but instead
present qualitative and quantitative data the students
have to make sense out of. Then, working in teams,
the students complete web-based tutorials and
assignments that help them create their projects.
We are planning to launch this site as "open source"
course ware, meaning that anyone can use it without
any fees. In return we are hoping that people will
be involved in helping us to design/redesign cases
and teaching material. The site is under construction,
but can be viewed at www.crateware.org
The goal here is to give students a "consulting"
experience to refine skills and aptitudes before
they get off campus or outside the classroom.
We have only started this 2 phased approach so I can't
say if the junior projects are any better. But I'm
looking forward to building on the base we create
in the 2nd year course. If anyone is interested in
helping out with the crateware site please let
me know. The site currently has only one
organizational context, but we are just finishing
a second. Over the summer we are hoping to get
it to the point where can legitimately "launch"
On Tue, 7 May 2002, Linda Schofield wrote:
> Thank you so much everyone for your feedback. This has been very helpful.
> Could I ask, Graham, about institutions you know of in the US where the
> field work we've been discussing takes place? I ask because university
> websites often don't provide enough detailed information for me to know
> whether or not this kind of research is being done in undergraduate courses.
> In fact, now that I think about it, though many of our instructors
> (particularly in International Business Communication) have field-work-based
> assignments, you would never know it looking at the course description
> in the calendar.
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Brenton D. Faber WTSC 91.1 Clarkson Radio
Clarkson University http://radio.clarkson.edu
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"Innovation has too many syllables"
To leave the list, send a SIGNOFF CASLL command to
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