Amy Potthast | Instructional Coach & Designer | Learning Design Studios

So although my instructions are to wait till my learning contract is approved before I start my research, I am putting out feelers for interviewing my contacts at the college. Part of this is, I would like to know whether the college as a whole, or just some instructors, employ learning contracts. I also would like to to know whether learning contracts are only used in constructivist ISD (question for George?). This will help me as I draft my objectives. I hope!My former student Maggie is going to be an undergrad there next fall and is in touch with a Chinese literature professor. It’s my understanding that this fall Maggie will be helping the faculty member with a poetry course. So I have drafted these questions —

1. For Maggie

  • Do you know if all coursework at the college uses learning contracts?
  • And what the learning contracts look like?

3. For the professor

  • Does all coursework at the college use learning contracts? And what do the learning contracts look like?
  • If you do not use learning contracts in your courses, will you connect me with a professor who does?
  • In your experience, are some students better at responding and succeeding in this approach than others?
  • And if so, what are their characteristics?
  • For students who struggle, what help is available to them? What kind of coaching or preparation is helpful?
  • In your experience, what learning environments and cultures are best suited for this kind of learning?

3. And a former colleague now recruits for an environmental grad program at the college.

For the admissions recruiter/program coordinator

  • Do professors in your program employ learning contracts in their courses?
  • In your experience, are some students better at responding and succeeding at Evergreen than others? And if so, what are their characteristics?
  • What does an admitted Evergreen student “look” like – versus folks who aren’t admitted?
  • In your experience, what does Evergreen do to create a learning environments and cultures well suited for this kind of learning?

4. And my husband went to grad school for teaching at Lewis and Clark with a woman who’s an alumna of a similar college. Because of her background in the field of education she may be helpful to chat with about education and her experiences at Evergreen.

For the elementary school teacher who is an alumna of Kirkland College (from the 70s)

  • Questions TBA
How I am feeling right now
I’m actually much more curious and interested in this assignment than the other objectivist assignment we’re working on  right now related to ISD. I love my other project, but this one allows me to be creative which is really important to me (according to both me and my DiSC profile!) and energizes me.

Maybe that is one clue as to who succeeds in constructivist ISD.

The only thing is the library site is down. I can understand if they have to do maintenance, Friday night seems like a great time to do it because who is doing research online on a Friday night? But I’m annoyed. I have sources to discover such as:

Dick, W. (1991). An Instructional Designer’s View of Constructivism. Educational Technology, May 1991. 31 (5) 41-44.

…referenced in another article that’s kind of a book review for a book I can’t tell what it’s about exactly. Someone named Merrill seems hot under the collar about constructivism.

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