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A Non-Profit Organization

FridayLive! Feb 10 Ender's Test for Artificial Instruction

  • 10 Feb 2012
  • 3:15 PM - 4:00 PM
  • Online meeting info in Registration Confirmation Email [also check your Junk folder] and via email 24 hours prior to event start


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Ender's Test for Artificial Instruction
Live at Lilly Greensboro and online on FridayLive!

Feb. 10, 2011 at 3:15 pm ET - free to all.  

Leader: Steve Gilbert, TLT Group

What activities or features would convince a student who is taking a course that there is a human teacher in a meaningful role, even though the student cannot see/touch/smell the teacher?  I.e., what are the characteristics of a “teacherless” course essential to convince the students who take it that they have a teacher?  Who cares?  Why does/doesn’t this matter?  For whom?


Challenge:  Develop a new test, which I'm tentatively calling "Ender's Test" - a bit of a spoof/allusion to both Ender's Game and Turing Test.

The idea is to develop a test for determining whether an undergraduate course is being "taught" by a human or not.... Like the Turing Test for determining whether a device that is communicating with someone is a human or is an "artificial intelligence."  The context is the growing pressure on faculty and other academic professionals to adapt, recreate, etc. courses that have been entirely or mostly based on face-to-face interaction and "traditional" teaching/learning resources into "courses" that include more online activities or elements or resources.


TASK:  Describe activities/features/patterns/capabilities that would convince a student who is taking a course that there is a human teacher in a meaningful role, even though the students cannot see/touch/smell the teacher.

NOTE:  Happily, developing a list that accomplishes goal #1 seems unavoidably to accomplish goal #2 at the same time:  

1.  Identify features/patterns/capabilities of an “artificial” course that would enable it to avoid detection as such... enable it to convince students that they were taking a course with a human being in a significant role.

2.  Identify  activities/features/patterns/capabilities of a human teacher that are likely to engage students more actively and effectively in a course, that are likely to be perceived as demonstrating why it is important for a human teacher to have a significant role in the course.

NOTE:  Login instructions for the session will be sent in the Registration Confirmation Email. Please check your Junk folder as sometimes these emails get trapped there. We will also send an additional login reminder 24 hours prior to the start of the event.

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