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CompuFest '88 Wednesday, September 28, 19883
Teachsog moves'f rom the clhalkboarcl to the scireeini
By LACY CHURCHILL
Call it the computer generation.
Computerized instruction in the
classroom is becoming more and
more prevalent on campuses across
the United States, including UNC.
Norm Vogel, communications
director for the computer science
department, said that while compu
ters are being used to supplement
various classes, they are not the main
teaching instrument of the classroom.
In courses at UNC, the computer
is used more to provide information
and is helpful in self-instruction, he
"I think it's marvelous that they
(computers) can be used for word
processing in English classes, and
finance classes can use Lotus 1-2-3
to make spread sheets," he said. "The
computer is a great tool."
Vogel cited two prominent teach
ing methods that have been widely
used for more than 20 years. The
Instructional Television Fixed Ser
vice (ITFS) allows programs to be
broadcast from a radio tower over
a 15- to 20-mile radius.
Satellite Delivered Television
comes from a satellite, and monitors
all over the country can receive
Vogel added that while the com
puter curriculum is very popular in
the training area, it is not necessarily
so in University course work.
"The free-standing computer as the
sole instructor has not been making
great strides except in lower-level
courses such as typing," he said.
"Students still prefer having a teacher
in front of the class providing real
time to answer questions."
The School of Journalism was one
of the first departments to convert
from typewriters to Apple and IBM
computers about four years ago.
Bill Cloud, assistant professor of
journalism, said the school made the
switch because the media industry is
nearly 100 percent computerized. He
added that he knows of no print
medium still done on typewriters.
He said the switch to computers
has made students more willing to
revise their copy, and they dont have
to contend with cutting and editing
and pasting copy back together.
Cloud said he has seen a major
change since he first came to UNC.
"Now, students face computers in
Journalism 53 (news writing), or they
at least get some familiarity about
them in high school or other courses
such as Computer Science 4."
He added that it also gives the
professor quicker, cleaner copy to
Cloud said plans are in the works
to purchase more personal compu
ters, but he is not sure when the
journalism school will actually get
"I liked learning on the computer
much more than the typewriter," said
Beth Guill, a senior RTVMP major
who took Journalism 53 on one of
the new personal computers..-It was
easier and a more convenient way of
producing news stories quicker and
under timed deadlines."
Cloud will also be leading a
seminar on computerized instruction
at CompuFest. He will focus on how
to use the Macintosh lab to simulate
a larger scale newspaper situation.
This way, he said, many people can
work on a single story at the same
Many other departments have also
started using computers as a teaching
aide. Professor Michael Salemi
teaches his Economics 182 class by
computer in one of several rooms
with a widescreen projector.
Salemi said he has gone through
two different versions of software
during his four years of teaching the
class and is now using the Fair model,
which is named after a professor at
Salemi said he uses this method of
teaching for the hands-on, active
learning experience that it allows the
The model allows Salemi to project
a simulation of the U.S. economy and
what might happen if the stock
market were to crash again, as it did
last October, and to assist the
students, with out-of-class
"This is the best-received class IVe
ever taught at Carolina," he said.
Sam Best, a student in Salemi's
class, agreed that the computer is a
definite asset to the class. "Since the
class involves looking at the appli
cation of theories, it is helpful to see
demonstrations on the computer," he
said. "Yet at the same time, the class
is still very challenging."
John Semonche, a history profes
sor, also uses a computer in his
History 22 class. So far he has three
computer simulations dealing with a
problem or series of problems involv
ing historical events and characters.
The students have to go to the
computer lab and fulfill each of these
assignments by using the information
available at that particular time.
Semonche said some students have
never even used computers; by using
this method, he hopes to help students
overcome their fear of computers.
Computers are being used for
classes in the English department, but
funds are very scarce for the spring
III ;s .
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b . i1 Tll II" .
DTH David Minton
Professor Michael Salemi conducts class using a computer
semester, said Joseph Flora, chair
man of the department.
James Thompson, professor of
English, taught an English 23 class
this summer in which he incorporated
Thompson experimented with a
program that allowed him to insert
extensive comments about the stu
dents' work without marking up their
Students would turn their disks in
to him, and he would in turn insert
mechanical or grammatical
. Another thing the program did was
point to a problem, he said. The,
program explained the problem with
the writing instead of merely quoting
a page from a grammar book.
After focusing on this one partic
ular problem, it presented other
situations with the same problem.
The student must correct the problem
before moving on.
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