GNA writes online course manual

Marcus Speh (
Tue, 9 Aug 1994 06:07:25 GMT

In the GNA, we're starting to get somewhere this fall attempting
to write an online course material covering various topics
relevant to our teaching model(s).

Everyone interested please feel invited to join our efforts
in this direction. The manual will (of course) be copylefted
and freely available in order to proliferate online teaching
on the internet.


------- Start of forwarded message -------
From: Joseph Wang <joe@MIT.EDU>
Subject: Re: Help Wanted: Course Manual Editor
Date: Mon, 08 Aug 94 22:31:35 EDT

We should should probably consolidate discussion of the course manual
on the . Subscribe to it by sending
email with the word "help" to . This list has
been rather dead over the past few weeks, and using it as the
coordination list for a course manual would give it some purpose.

What I'd like to see is a manual that you could give to someone
interested in teaching a course that would tell them step-by-step
exactly what to do (i.e. send e-mail to this address, talk to this
person, do this, don't to this etc. etc.). The manual should be
short, and shouldn't give too much of the theory of the thing.

Here's one possible draft of the outline:

I. Tools
A. Mailing lists
C. World Wide Web
D. Sources of funding
II. Types of courses
A. E-mail only courses
1. Basic description
2. Advantages and disadvantages
3. How to conduct one
4. How to handle problems that come up
B. MOO Lecture courses
C. "Community of learning" courses
III. Administrivia
A. Contacting the course routing group
B. Getting the course listed in the catalog
C. Financial resources

One characteristic of the manual is that a large part of it will
probably be specific to schools of the GNA consortium, and also the
manual as I envison it will be "practical" rather than "theoretical."

Also some general management things (there should also be a manual on that
:-) )

The first thing that we need to do is to get a schedule with deadlines
and decide on specific jobs. Deadlines are needed because without
deadlines, people put things low on their priority lists and things
never get done. With a deadline, a person can choose to either put
the item high on their priority list, or realize that they don't have
the time to conclude project X by date X, and someone else who has
less to do can be found to do that project.

The jobs that are needed are those of administrator who is in charge
calling meetings, finding personnel and an editor who takes
submissions and incorporates them into the manual.

Here's a draft schedule. Like the outline, this is something that
came off the top of my head, but it will give us something to talk

1994/8/15 - Agree on schedule with deadlines
Appoint editor and administrator
1994/9/01 - Finalize outline
1994/9/15 - Get writers for all the items in the outline
1994/10/15 - Get rough drafts for all sections
1994/11/01 - Release manual

long term - At the end of this endeavor, we will have a course manual
written and an organization devoted to editing and updating the
manual. We can then start holding classes and seminars with the
manual as the basic text. This can serve as the core for a Virtual
School of Education.

Also, once we have a manual on how to hold a course, we can then use
the lessons learned on writing this manual to write a manual of
financial administration, a manual on running an organization, and a
manual on writing manuals (recursive !!!!!). These other manuals can
serve as the core for a Virtual Schools of Business, Management, and
Journalism respectively. (In fact, if someone out there wants to work
as editor of a management handbook and/or journalism handbook let me

I've gotten replies from three people (,, The three of us (and anyone else
who is interested) need to get together to divide up the jobs. My
office hours are 1800-1900 GMT in room #2896 at DiversityU.

telnet 8888
connect guest
@go #2896

We can meet then or choose some other time.

(followups to

------- End of forwarded message -------

Marcus Speh, DESY Group -R-, Notkestr. 85, D-22603 Hamburg, Germany FRG
Phone: +49-40 8998 3753, Fax: +49-40 8998 2777, Private: +49-40 4203206
Email:, World-Wide Web