A new semester is upon me. I feel the anticipation in the air. This morning, I awoke at 4AM Meditation from an awesome artist on if I can get it all done.

I cleaned the kitchen, put out the recycling and thought about the articles that have not been submitted to publishers.

I washed the dishes and made my tea, and thought the of the syllabi that need to be on D2L.

I found that we were low on the breakfast protein drink and thought about what the students really need to be successful in their careers.

I went to Amazon to check on our subscription order and then thought of the skills and really learning that I want to take place.

I made my green tea and cleaned the tea pot, and thought of the organization that needs to be done to make finding things easier.

I put together my lunch and Jaz’s lunch and thought of other professors’ questions and wondered if I answered them.

I gathered the recycling and think about how long it has been since I wrote in my blog.

Then, I loathe myself for thinking so much.

I breathe. I pray. I meditate. I think.

I am thankful for the the students that are coming.

I am grateful that the universe has trusted me to be their teacher.

I feel the expanse of our technology growing in so many ways to reach all learners.

I know that we are all fortunate to have an education.

I want to reach the hearts and minds of myself and my students.

I seek clarity and wisdom to make choices with my time without resentment, but instead with gratefulness.

I am thankful for the awesome privilege to think about such things.

Good morning it is now 6AM.

Brilliant Students with Adoption of Innovation Story!

This past Thursday’s class, I was feeling so very sick (Today, I am definitely getting better but home, irrigating my nose ever few hours, in hopes of continuing the upward trend.). So, Thursday’s class – Instructional Technology students needed to complete work with very little verbal instruction. I was worried about this since I had asked the students to take  the S curve – Adoption Decision Theory (Rogers, 1995) and Gleicher’s Formula to create a story! To my surprise the students were brilliant! Below are three groups of students who completed their stories.

I was impressed by more than students completing their task with little verbal instruction. The graduate students quickly took the theory and applied it into a story, without seeing lots of examples or parsing the theories/ideas into a concrete questions about each.

I wonder if the structure helped the students do that? Here is part of the structure used:

  • On each Google Presentation side, I wrote a prompt for that slide.
  • Then, in the notes, there was a “step” or concept to address in that slide.
  • Students were pre-assigned groups – on the first page of the presentations.
  • We has an 1 hour synchronous time when we reviewed the assignment (but 2 groups had it completed before the review!)

The class is multi-delivery so that the students are used to figuring out some directions on their own. It will be interesting to hear from students their perception of what helped them to complete the task.  Regardless: AWESOME class! And, I hope that students got some ideas of how they could use group story telling with on-line tools!


Multi-delivery Method – Still Confusion with Open-ended assignments

So yesterday I gave the LMS/CMS assignment. Though the rubric and directions specified each step and how it would be assessed, there was lots of confusion and student anxiety was running high. Luckily the students told me it was high! So, we had decided to have a good draft of the assignment due next Thursday, and the final draft will be due days after that. This way they can get feedback from each other.

It seems, this is a strong advantage for the professor – the onground and online. I was able to probe the onground students who really helped me to think about the students needs, which are very hard to interpret when the students are at a distance.

On both classes (with the multi-delivery system) the students onground were able to give advice to me about about ways that would make easier for them. The one class gave me inputs to the hyperlinks that would help them to complete the assignment. The other class reinforced the needs of the community. It seems that the onground groups is tending to the be “voice” for the other.

Multi-delivery Method – Still Confusion

Ok, maybe it is the snow or maybe it just having so many things online and people get sick of reading. But there are two very bright women who were unable to complete assignments because they did not upload the work into a dropbox, but did the difficult part of the assignment. What was interesting – it was two students who had had me before. It seems like no matter what you do – have checklists, learning paths, list of directions, submits on pages, links to the submission, someone will loose for forget something. It is very interesting!

Multi-delivery Method – Synchronous Time Worksheets & Jobs

It was the second week, and I am finding that it takes 8-10 hours to prepare thoughtfully for each class. This preparation includes a thoughtful worksheet that the students complete, choosing the tools, and making the work visually appealing as I create the web pages.  During our synchronous time, I need to have planned activities that engage the students in a meaningful question or problem. This past week, I put the questions on the worksheet.

It is odd that I use a worksheet, since I was never found of them. However, the questions that are on the worksheet lead to discussion questions, posts on discussion forums, and answers on quizzes. I think that students use sheet to organize their thoughts so that when it comes time to write in a public forum, they were ready. In the one class, the students submitted their worksheet, and it was valuable to “read” their process rather then merely the end product.

Jobs, in the one class graduate class and both face-to-face classes, 4 students have jobs each week. Here are what the instructions read:

Each week different students will be chosen to perform weekly jobs. The weekly jobs include: Attendance Taker, Reporter, Reviewer and Culminator. If you have the job please complete it well as others will be depending on you.  Please see your score in attendance as it relates to your jobs.

    • Attendance taker (Beginning of Class): Take the attendance in D2L.

    • Reporter (Beginning of Class): Tell the class about some news, job or activity that may be interesting to the group based on the group’s professional development.

    • Reviewer (Beginning of Class): Reviews what was done last week in class. Bring up any questions about the independent work or solicit the class for concerns that was done the week before.

    • Culminator: Summarizes what was completed in class, raises any questions or issue, reviews the independent work for the week.

It will be interesting to get feedback from the students, but I think the jobs leads to the “teachable” moments. This week, I will pay attention to jobs, and take note of the possible effect.


SPRING 2014 – Starting multi-delivery teaching methods

For many years we have been teaching distance education classes, hybrid classes, and face-to-face classes. Now we are expanding into multi-delivery at the same time. Students can take the course at a distance or face-to-face, at the same time and and they are enrolled in the same course. I suspect that this is easier for some instructors more than others.  For me, it is a challenge! Why – my personal working style or my personal workflow makes it a challenge.

My challenge lies within conflicting learning and working styles. I am not linear nor sequential in my thinking. My brain is global when thinking and I see multiple interactions simultaneously. This style lends itself well to face-to-face. The class can engage in deep conversations, jumping into instant spontaneity. I LOVE intellectual spontaneity, though it drives some students crazy, others love it! Intellectual spontaneity gives me the professors high! When teaching at “distance,” I have resigned to linear thinking and expect well produced artifacts with less student interaction and intellectual spontaneity. Now, with that said, when teaching multi-delivery (face-to-face and distance) at the same time, I need both for the students and myself. The learning path needs to be linear but the encourage the intellectual spontaneity that motivates many. Though the student learning-plan is challenging, in the end, I predict that this teaching method will allow for student learning flexibility so that the students’ needs can be met in an every increasing time starved world!

So, here are the structures that I have started with for designing:

  • 1 hour synchronous every week: During that time we will have group discussions.
  • Lectures: Most lectures are flipped. Lectures are done on-line through screencasts and Youtube (of myself or others)
  • Technology learning: For the people that come to class, they will have time to learn the technology with me there.
  • Worksheets coinciding with modules: With every learning module, there will be a guiding worksheet (in word) that the student can download. This will allow the student to take notes along the learning path, have the notes saved in one place, and focus their notes on issues that significant to learning.
  • Week Overview and Checklists: The week overview gives students the big picture by identifying the learning path and self-check checklist to ensure that all was completed.

It take 8-10 hours to create each class, which does not account for grading assignments. We’ll see how it goes!

Honoring David Jonassen

This session highlighted the concepts that David Jonassen had on the field on instructional design and instructional technology. Rose Marra, wife, spoke to the values David Jonassen’s embodied through writing and living. Rose pointed out some of the key premises of his view…

  • Where is the learning? - This is the key question about technology and any learning experience. Does it have an impact on learning or real learning?
  • Design it! – When you design something, you base it on a learning theory, but it is not actualized until you design which will either prove or disprove the theory.
  • Any questions? – Learning is not a spectator sport! Instructors should question and learners should question so much that each is thinking extends far beyond the classroom!
  • All life is problem solving? – In the real world, people do not get paid to write examples; we need to engage in problem solving. Students need to engage in real problems.
  • Be Smart… But be kind. – We all have so much to learn from each other each other, and none of us have all the solutions.

I don’t think that I had taken into consideration, the influence that he had on my theoretical development – giving more words to many beliefs. Thank you Dave.

The Other Wes Moore: One name-two fates

I’m almost finished reading the book, Chapter 8 with a heavy heart… The Wes Moore that is now in prison had potential – was intelligent, went to job training, got a GED, built a house for his daughter and money got him down – back on the street. What could we have done as a society to help? How could we have supported his mother to make wise decisions? I wonder and wish we could make a difference.

The philosophy, “Early losses condition you to believe that short-term plans are always smarter,” proved to be a mistake for Wes, yet it is the natural way to think unless a person, preferably a parent, is guiding you. God, I pray that somehow, some days, and some ways, myself and others can help break the cycle of poverty that entraps so many so that they do not live full and joyful lives.

October 2013

Humbling Learning – Amazing Students
Giving my best – and hope that it is enough to stimulate beautiful learning in my students.

Too many typos
Too little time
Trying to write so that everything is available on-demand with everyone’s schedule.

Dreams – of deeper lessons
Hopes that some day I’ll have time
Creating a tapestry of hopes and dreams, that slowly turn into action.