Cyberlearning at Community Colleges (C3): Faculty Scholarship, E-science, and Open Curriculum
The Cyberlearning at Community Colleges (C3) Project is designed to engage biology faculty in forming communities to leverage digital library resources and social networking technologies toward enhanced biology instruction. Through professional development and social networking supports, it seeks to help faculty implement and model “cyberlearning” behaviors, including collaborating and sharing teaching practices, knowledge and digital science resources with colleagues (using emerging technology); remixing, adapting, and creating resources; and engaging students as self-directed cyberlearners.
As the evaluation partner for C3, ISKME examined potential changes in faculty perceptions and practices as a result of participation in the project, as well as the perceived successes and challenges of the role of cyberlearner. The research sought to shed light on how the cyberlearning model emerges, in terms of what forms it takes and how and whether it is aligned to new teaching and learning practices for participating biology faculty. The research also sought to inform the relationship between the emergent cyberlearning model and science —namely, how the cyberlearning model adds to science as a discipline, and conversely what science as a discipline contributes to the cyberlearning model. Finally, because cyberlearning as conceptualized within the C3 project encompasses knowledge sharing about resource use, teaching practices and technology, the research attempted to provide insights into the ways in which knowledge sharing occurs the types of knowledge shared, and the role of knowledge sharing in potentially enhanced teaching and learning practices.
Data collection included interviews with project leaders and C3 faculty participants, C3 workshop observations, and a series of surveys to track the impact of C3 involvement on faculty participants' teaching behaviors and practices. Data collection also focused on an analysis of participant activities on C3-related project sites (to assess the amount and type of C3 content created, modified, used and reused by individuals and groups of users), and the activities of teachers online, including types of knowledge shared and forms of interactions.
How and to what extent are teachers practicing new pedagogical practices and knowledge sharing behaviors as a result of their participation in the C3 Project?
What do teachers perceive as the successes and challenges of implementing the cyberlearning model, and what supports best facilitate the implementation of the model?
What do teachers perceive as the impact of ‘cyberlearning’ on teaching and learning, and on the role of teachers and learners?