We help college professors and instructors create and distribute unique courseware rooted in the classics of the Western intellectual tradition that emphasizes a conversational pedagogy.
We live in a hyper-connected age; ours is a technology saturated society of instantaneous messaging, vast networks of streaming information and a deluge of images that give a vertiginous tinge to life and leave an overwhelming sense of relentless acceleration. Yet, for all of the allure of our digital devices and the promise of continual connectivity and efficiency, I have discovered that in my classroom something is missing. Over the last several years I have come to understand that while the benefits of our digital age are widespread and undeniable, it does seem we have forgotten something fundamentally important—we no longer know how to speak with one another. Somehow we must find the way to transform the classroom with technology without losing the practice of engaging in meaningful conversation.
This is why, for the last two years I have worked with Confluence Courseware to create Open Education Resource (OER) based Course Guides for my classes, in an effort to not only reduce the cost of classroom materials (the required textbook costs to students have been cut in half), and thus boost learning, but also to reverse current social trends by using digital technology not as an ends but a means—as a tool to promote genuine and significant human conversation. Using open access great works—including influential and important texts from all of human history in the creative arts and literature, religion, philosophy, the natural, applied and social sciences—these Course Guides utilize the more beneficial aspects of our technological society, while mitigating the more deleterious cultural consequences by requiring more classroom conversations (and out-of-class preparation for engagement). In other words, Course Guides:
- reduce cost to students
- dramatically increase use of learning materials, and
- find the center between technological advance and sincere dialogue.
After having nearly 1,000 students use these Course Guides and watching students become more engaged in discussion while preparing for class by using OER, I hope you too might consider working with Confluence Courseware to find similar solutions to your classroom challenges with the use of technology and the need for genuine conversation. As a share-resource group, I continue to be involved in Confluence Courseware and I would be happy to share with you what I have done and invite you to also become a creator of Course Guides for your own classes in order to reduce the cost of education for your students and increase participation in meaningful learning and student academic success.
Part Socrates and part Thomas Edison, Bill Gates and Steve Jobs, the credo of Confluence Courseware is the timely use of contemporary technologies to facilitate explorations of timeless great works in conversation that span thousands of years. Please feel free to contact me at your convenience if you have any questions or would like more information about how you too can become a creator of Course Guides for your students and be part of a movement to humanize the digital revolution.
Sample Course Preview
Western Civilization II: Exploring the Great Ideas in History from 1450 to Date
Course Description: This course is a survey of Western human history and explores simultaneously relevant Great Ideas in each chapter. It explores the social, political, religious, intellectual and artistic achievements from the age of exploration to the present day. Beginning with the European discovery of the new world, this course proceeds through the rise of European Monarchy and a form of globalization, the scientific revolution, the enlightenment, political revolution and Napoleon, to the industrial revolution, romanticism, realism and through the world wars and on into the twenty first century. The syntopical or synthesis based exploration of the Great Ideas makes this course much more than a study of the facts of thousands of years of history. Rather by tracing Great Ideas throughout it becomes a means to discover and revive intellectual traditions.
Meet Our Creative Team
Rodney J. Marshall, Ed.D.
CEO & Editor-in-Chief
Scott Baker, MA, Ph.D. (c)
Chad Redwing, Ph.D.
Atilla Vekony, M.A.
Edward Chandler, Ph.D.
Jotham Michalski, M.A.
Thomas Askew, Ed.D.
Robi A. Marshall
About Confluence Courseware
Confluence Courseware, LLC, an innovative digital curriculum business, creates and distributes unique K-16 courseware rooted in the classics of the Western intellectual tradition that emphasizes a conversational pedagogy. We partner with pioneering educators who aspire to deliver the best of a traditional liberal arts curriculum using a conversational pedagogy to anyone, anywhere, anytime. The concept includes aggregating content at a lower than industry cost by using course creators’ original works of authorship, works in the public domain, and freely licensed Open Educational Resources (OER) available for commercial use. The intention is to provide great books curriculum through advanced technological means to any school or student that desires it. While we wish for every American student to receive this best education, we anticipate primarily high-performing high-school students identified as gifted and talented, and in honors and Advanced Placement (AP) programs, selective schools, and post-secondary students to be those with the highest interest.
Confluence Courseware provides concierge publishing services to teachers and professors who would like a custom courseware solution for classes they teach, and to administrators who seek digital solutions for their curricular innovation projects. We merge great conversations about great works with digital delivery.
As an educator, you can:
- submit your manuscript and CC will deliver a beautiful courseware solution in return
- build on our courseware to jump start a custom solution to meet specific classroom needs
- have your class or school purchase access to courseware already developed for classroom use
- load courseware into your own LMS, the CC Repository, or CC can host individual courses for you that include student tracking tools
We aim to become the nationally recognized provider of digital great books courseware at the confluence of the Western intellectual tradition and the digital age.
Visit Confluence Courseware to read more.