SHS 574: Fall 1994                                     D. Mowrer

E-mail (Distance Learning)    

     Let's begin with some innovative ideas!  I have arranged for each 
of you to get an E-MAIL address so you will have computer access to 
researchers all over the world who are involved in stuttering research.  
There are three listservs that present discussions about stuttering. 
One, run by Woody Starkweather called STUTT-X is composed of a group of 
professionals who hold similar views. Another one is headed by Bob 
Quesal in MacComb IL called STUT-HLP designed so people who stutter 
have a special net to discuss their problems. The third is STUTT-X that 
I started to give researchers the chance to discuss projects, 
controversies, and ideas.  Each listserv is different yet similar in 
some ways. I  monitor X and HLP regularly  but I don't have time to 
read mail from STUTT-L. I would like you to join and participate in all 
three nets if you possibly can find the time.  Controversial issues are 
frequently discussed and you can add your opinions if you like or just 
read comments of others.  You will be reading on the "cutting edge" of 
the newest and keenest thoughts of important authorities in the field 
of stuttering.  You are welcome to use the  terminal in my office at 
any time. If the office is locked, ask Cissy for the key and help 
yourself! If you have a modem in your home computer, you can connect to 
E-mail through it. You can also write to me via  E-Mail. I will 
distribute instructions and your individual addresses in about a week. 

Cooperative Learning 

     The class is designed in a "cooperative learning" format.  this 
structure allows students  to take an active part in the learning 
process.  We will form groups of 3-4 members. The purpose of the group 
is to work together as we gather information, solve problems, work on 
group projects, interview individuals who stutter, and prepare the 
notebook.  The outcome is increased learning, more enjoyable learning, 
time saving for all students involved. 
     Typically, I will present  brief lectures (10 - 15 minutes) that 
will be followed by small group discussions, problem-solving 
assignments, or individual questioning.  We will schedule at least four 
controversy discussions where pairs of students will argue points of 
view on a topic.


     At least two tests will be administered, one near midterm and one 
near the end of the class. They will be of the open-book variety and 
students will have the opportunity to revise and resubmit answers to 
items that have been marked unsatisfactory.  A student can submit 3 
revisions in an attempt to obtain the highest score possible. 
       I would like each of you to prepare a notebook following the 
Competency Check outline in your syllabus. This section could be 
entitled Part I. Your notebook will contain important clinical 
information that you can use when you are assigned a client who 
stutters.  It also should contain copies or references to the tests you 
could give, therapy methods, and report forms. This second section 
could be labeled Part II.  When you are assigned a client, you should 
be able to begin testing and start therapy using this notebook.  Get 
tabs for specific areas like testing, motivation, parent counseling, 
etc. I will review your notebooks periodically throughout the semester.  
Your notebooks should be well organized and serviceable to you so each 
notebook may look quite different from your classmate's notebook. I 
encourage you to share information with others and use information your 
peers have found for the Part II section. The Competency Level section, 
Part I,  will be  personalized to you only. 


     Attend class regularly!  Much of our learning will occur in class. 
You can't depend upon copying another student's notes because much of 
what occurs in class results in changes in one's thinking, obtaining 
different perspectives, reorganizing your thoughts, and  contributing 
by helping other class members. Class absences can affect your grade 
and your performance.  I feel that missing more than two classes can 
significantly affect your competency level. This doesn't mean you get 
"2 free cuts." If there is a very serious reason why you should not be 
in class, please discuss it with me so I can understand your personal 
situation. There are times when you should not be in class. 
     Be attentive in class.   Follow through with the activities, be 
independent in your research efforts, be cooperative with others, and 
budget the necessary time it takes you to master the material.  Keep an 
open mind and question the findings of all the material you read.  Be 
critical of the ideas of others and be tolerant of others who are 
critical of your ideas!
Bibliographic Instruction
     A portion of the class will be devoted to library assignments 
designed to assist you in finding information about stuttering. This 
involves using our computerized catalogue system, MARS, Medlin, Psych. 
Abstracts, etc. A team-teacher from the library instructional staff 
will present a few lectures and assignments to help you with this phase 
of our study.  I will put together some survey material to test your 
understanding of the library facilities. Those of you who need this 
training will receive it. If you are already an expert in this area, 
you will be engaged in other activities. You will find this instruction 
will be of great value to you in all of your classes.
     I would like each of you to focus on one area of interest as part 
of your Bibliographic Instruction and write a 5-8 double spaced 
research review paper on the subject following APA style. Write this 
paper to help you clarify your thinking. Do not write it FOR me! Write 
it because you are enthusiastic about the subject and want to 
communicate to a colleague about it. Discuss it on E-mail as well. Talk 
about it with qualified individuals or even people who stutter. Gather 
your information from any source. This paper is not the "traditional" 
research paper you are used to writing. It should be a piece of written 
communication. It should be an enjoyable activity that you can begin at 
any time. I will furnish some thoughts I have about writing that should 
be helpful to you in completing this project as well as with other 
writing assignments you will have in graduate school.
     I ask students near the end of the semester to provide me with an 
introspective analysis of their perception of what they learned during 
the class. This includes a description of the work they did, special 
areas they investigated, and an evaluation of their attitude toward 
learning.  This self-evaluation turns out to be a very informative 
document for me because students have the opportunity to "tell their 
side of the story" that I never get to hear. I find it to be a valuable 
retrospective look at one's work during the semester as well.

Grading System

     I used to grade solely on the basis of  points earned on tests. I 
no longer do this since tests are only one small measure of what a 
student learns in class. I attempt to make an evaluation of a student's 
efforts and learning by considering several areas. I have assigned 
percentages to various areas to provide students with some idea of  
what I consider most and least important but I don't "add up points." I 
try to keep students informed as the semester progresses regarding 
their standing in each area. I use the following as a general guide:

     E-mail (Distance Learning)              15%
          You will have a log sheet on which you keep track of your
          time spent reading and writing Email plus your active 
          involvement with and your evaluation of the traffic of 
          the various listservs. Read your E-mail at least once a
          week, preferably twice or three times weekly. If you let 
          too many messages build up, your system may lock up so you
          can't access it  I will check your log sheets periodically 
          to make sure you are current. You will receive special 
          recognition for participating in the discussions.     

     Cooperative Learning                    10%
          I have also prepared a couple of evaluation sheets your peers
          will fill out regarding your participation in group 
          activities. I also will be monitoring your contributions 
          during group discussions, controversy presentation and 
          problem solving activities. I'll provide feedback to you 

     Tests                                   10%
          As I have mentioned, at least two tests will be given. They 
          will be scored and returned. You have three opportunities to
          reanswer questions that you may have missed. Thus, you have
          every opportunity to perform well on these tests. The 
          important thing is that you know the material! It seems
          unfair to me when a student receives a C on a test, then 
          learns the material but the C is not erased. 

     Notebook (Competency Check incl)        30%
          I feel this is one of the most important activities in the
          class for it verifies that you have obtained competency in
          the area of stuttering. The notebook also will be a valuable
          source of information when you begin seeing clients. When 
          you have finished a section, be sure to verify your 
          competency levels with adequate documentation. Briefly 
          describe what you did to reach competency. I will review 
          your notebook with you periodically.

     Bibliographic Instruction (Paper incl)       20%
          This area is also important because it will reveal the 
          outside reading you have done for the class. As you note,
          there is no single textbook for this class. Each author has
          his/her own views that are often biased. I want to expose 
          you a wide variety of authors so you understand many 
          viewpoints, not just mine or those of a single author. I 
          hope you will take the opportunity to skim materials and 
          read widely.  You will have a log sheet to keep track of the
          hours you put in as you read and look up information about

     Attendance                              10%
          I have already discussed my feeling about the importance of
          regular attendance. Much of the class activities depend upon
          your participation with your group. I recall one student who
          received a B in class because he missed 5 classes. Some of
          his other areas were weak as well but he could have received
          an A had he put forth more effort. The student complained
          that I was punishing him for being sick by giving him a grade
          of B.  I was sorry that he had the feeling that he was being
          punished but this student missed too much by not being in

     Self-evaluation                          5%
          This evaluation is extremely revealing and perhaps it should
          count more. Often, when a student is on the "borderline"
          between an A and a B, the self evaluation helps me to decide
          which of the two grades should be awarded. More frequently,
          it was the higher grade.

     I try to evaluate each student on their own merits. Often students 
are compared one with another in a competitive system (winners and 
losers). This system fosters uncooperative attitudes among students. In 
a competitive classroom, sharing of information is stifled and 
restricted. In a system that evaluates a student by how much learning 
has taken place, it is possible for everyone in class to get a grade of 
A. "Grading by the curve" prevents this from occurring.  First, I have 
to get to know each student, discover their needs, and coach them about 
directions they can take to help them improve their competencies. The 
needs of each student are different and their interests are different. 
I don't feel every student needs to know the same things after taking a 
class. I view a  class as a "launching pad" that shoots a student 
toward a path of a lifetime of learning. 

                          About getting started
     Lastly, let's consider the units of study I have organized for you 
in the Competency Check document.  I would like to present some basic 
"down to earth" areas of study that will be important to you and at the 
same time, maintain your interest.  Think about the following 
                                 UNIT 1
     1.  What do individuals DO that makes us classify them as
     2.  What is the HISTORY of stuttering?
     3.  What are the chances of RECOVERY from stuttering? 
     Our first unit will concentrate upon diagnosis, case history, and 
prognosis of stuttering.   You should consult texts that deal with 
diagnosis such as Meitus & Weinberg's Diagnosis in Speech-Language 
Pathology.  Also, take a look at Johnson's classic categories and 
Wingate's definition of stuttering.  But don't get caught up in WHY the 
person stutters.  That's a different issue.  It seems authors can't let   
the "casual factor" alone.  Many authors mix their opinions about the 
cause of stuttering with their description of stuttering.

     We will practice describing stuttering in class by watching video 
tapes of clients who stutter.  You will be counting, timing and scoring 
these individuals.  If we are lucky, we may even be able to attract 
some "live" subjects for you to practice with. But by the end of this 
unit, you will be able to diagnose the client's problem objectively.  
We will spend as long as needed until you feel comfortable with this 
diagnostic process.  When we finish the unit, you should have many 
materials in your notebook.  I will provide you with an opportunity to 
test your skills as we make and write a diagnosis of stuttering.  
     UNIT 2 
                  will address the following question:
     1.  What can I do to assist the client in REDUCING or ELIMINATING
         the speech problem?

     I guess you could say that answering this question involves almost 
the entire course! There are many ways to treat stuttering.  Van Riper 
referred to these many ways as "arrows in the clinical quiver".  You 
will read about many different treatment approaches.  There are many 
issues we must take into consideration when we select a treatment for a 
client.  Some important issues are age of the client, history of the 
problem and its treatment, the client's attitudes, supportive 
environment, etiology of the problem, client motivation, etc.  It 
becomes complicated when you attempt to choose a treatment procedure. 
Sometimes it is necessary to switch to an entirely different treatment 
plan in order to meet the needs of your client.  

     This class is designed to meet YOUR needs, not  mine.  I'll  give 
you an idea of when we will administer tests and what they will include 
as we move along .  I am reluctant to establish definite test dates 
until I have a better understanding of your progress with the class 
activities.  Remember, the most important part of this class is YOU.  
You'll get out of class what you put in to it.  Don't work for a grade, 
work toward understanding the material.  The grade will take care of 
itself. I feel the most important goal of the instructor is to 
structure the environment  that LEARNING HOW TO LEARN.  If a student  
concentrates simply upon learning factual data, we can expect that more 
than 80% of what the professor said in class will be forgotten before 
the year is out!  But if a students gets "turned on" to learning,  then 
learning continues for a lifetime!