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ERIC Number: EJ852019
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 13
ISSN: ISSN-1195-4353
WebStars: Holistic, Arts-Based College Curriculum in a Computer Applications Course
Karsten, Selia
College Quarterly, v7 n1 Win 2004
The purpose of my qualitative, action study was to gain a better understanding of the effects of an experimental college course in computer applications. This inquiry was made concerning both the teacher's and learners' points of view. A holistic, arts-based approach was used by the researcher/teacher in order to design, develop and facilitate a computer applications course for international business and marketing students from 1996 through 1998. Each class met with me three hours a week for thirteen weeks in a computer lab. Additional work was expected to be done independently either at home or in the campus computer commons. Two Web sites were constructed to augment class time activities. The regular use of e-mail and the posting of messages to discussion forums were part of the communication process. Drama games, storytelling, collaboration, creative problem-solving tasks, log-keeping, team projects and individual self-directed projects were among the strategies used in a constructivist learning environment. In this course, learners were asked to reflect on themselves and their goals as they gave autobiographical and business-related computer-assisted presentations and developed personal Web page portfolios. Heuristic methodology gave a framework for conducting this study. Pre-interview surveys and interviews were conducted with a total of seventeen self-selected participants representing the five semesters in which the course was given. These exemplary students were profiled and their responses were analyzed. Additional data included in the analysis included a profile of the curriculum designer/teacher, course artifacts and reflective teaching journals. Recommendations for the integration of arts-based and holistic activities with the acquisition of skills in computer technology were positively indicated in the findings of this study. Participants who previously felt a lack of expertise with computer technology were transformed by discoveries that enhanced creativity and confidence. Many participants moved from the fear of using computers to pride in new skills, especially regarding the World Wide Web. There were also positive outcomes regarding self-image that participants credited to this course. Further research will hopefully continue to support a harmonious coming together of the possibly divergent interests and attitudes of the computer technology community and those of holistic educators. (Contains 3 figures.)
Seneca College of Applied Arts and Technology. 1750 Finch Avenue East, Toronto, Ontario M2J 2X5, Canada. Tel: 416-491-5050; Fax: 905-479-4561; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada