Technology and the Politics of Instruction

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In this study of computer-mediated instruction (CMI) in a U.S. research university that is the site of nationally known innovations in this area, Jan Nespor traces the varying material and organizational entanglements of a constantly reconfiguring network of people, things, categories, and ideas that are sometimes loosely, sometimes tightly entangled in forms of CMI. He unfolds how the different forms and meanings of CMI policy and practice were constructed over time, across departments, and in relation to students academic trajectories. Tying together a range of issues usually separated in discussions of instructional technology and examining often slighted topics, such as the articulations of local and national practices, this book questions the common vocabulary for making sense of CMI and contributes to educational change theory by showing how CMI has evolved both from the top-down and the bottom-up.

Technology and the Politics of Instruction is distinctive in its multi-level approach and in the breadth of its conceptual frame. Departing from the mainstream research on instructional technology to focus on mundane and widespread forms of CMI-PowerPoint slides, CD-ROMs, self-paced labs, and the like-Nespor views these from multiple standpoints, not just what they mean for professors, but also for administrators and students. The effect is to displace the typical emphasis in CMI research from cutting-edge, high resource artifacts and systems (the importance of which is not questioned) to the politics and organizational processes that shape the uses of such things.

This book is intended primarily for scholars and students in the fields of educational and more broadlyorganizational change, the politics and sociology of education, curriculum theory, higher education, and educational administration, and will also interest instructional technologists and technology developers.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780805858174
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 6/1/2006
  • Pages: 204
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface     ix
Introduction     1
Overview of the Book     5
Part I     9
Making CMI Visible Within the University     11
Professional Migration     12
Demonstrations     15
Assembling Interested Participants     16
Crossing Scales     18
Making CMI Visible as Policy: Instructional Accounting     21
Unpacking Credit for Contact     23
Contact and Credit for What?     24
Accounting for Instruction     26
Seeing Instruction Through the Lens of Finance     33
Finance Discourse     35
Hard Times and Rescaling     38
CMI as the Capitalization of Instruction     40
Administration by Surfacing     42
Public Appearances     45
Costing     50
Big Pedagogy     51
Centralizing Transformations     54
Part II     57
Seeing Teaching as Work, With Sandi Schneider     59
Content Atomization and Disaggregations of Teaching     60
Volunteer Overtime     62
Intensification and Articulation Work     65
Making Disciplinary Objects Visible: Pathology on CD-ROM, With SandiSchneider     69
Student Roles     70
Visual Learning     72
Indexical Instruction     74
Feeling and Identification     75
Performance, Feeling, and Participation     76
Curricular Specificity of Instructional Practices     77
Making Students' Difficulties Visible: The Math Emporium, With Sandi Schneider     79
What kind of innovation is the Emporium?     84
The CIL-Funded Effort     87
Error Visibility     89
Mediation and Money     91
Disciplinarity and CMI     91
Making Lectures Visible: Redesigning in Nutrition     94
ID Defined     95
Instructional Design as a Division of Labor     96
Instructional Design as a Pedagogical Infrastructure     98
The Goals of the Course     100
Making Objectives Explicit     101
Discarding Deadwood     102
Jurisdictions     103
Mapping Instruction     105
Part III     107
Making Coursework Visible in the Frame of the Test     109
Notes and Note Taking     110
Studying     114
Tests as Destinations     117
If the Material is Already Movable, Why Go To Class?     120
Making the Course Visible in Everyday Life     122
The Flexible Student     125
Temporal Organizations of Student Activity     127
The Institutional Career     127
Semesters, Weeks, Days     130
Anywhere, Anytime?     135
CMI and Oganizational Change     141
Data Sources     147
Did She Read the Slides or Deliver a Lecture?     152
Organizational Problems of Research     157
References     163
Index     183
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