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Thursday, December 30, 2010

Obsessing about presentation

Am obsessing about a presentation for a second interview.  It's kind of fun to be able to do that and the topic is good (Online Classroom Observation), but I think I am seeing decreasing returns to scale. At this point I probably should write it up for publication.

I prefer QA for online courses in a two part process -- first the course content (pre-release) and then facilitator evaluation.  Re-occurring evals on separate schedules.  Any disagreement?

Sunday, December 26, 2010

The Joy of Growing Old

Lead article in The Economist this week.... why life begins after 46, or anyway why we all get happier beginning around age 46.  I'm happy to report that I think I bottomed out before 46, but am definitely happier this year than last year. :^) 


New Year's Advice for Managing Discussions

Actually from Megan McArdle of the Atlantic Monthly and for Bloggers, but I though it was all relevant for classroom discussions, especially this section:

Treat stupid questions as if they were serious. Has anyone ever asked you "What are YOU looking at?" in a bar or other public place? That person was, of course, looking to do the Monkey Dance, work his way up to chest-poking or hat-knocking-off, and perhaps eventually a sucker punch. Blogging works much the same way--monkey dancing is the dominant mode of commenting. But on the other hand, if you actually try to answer that drunken idiot's question--act as though you don't detect the challenge, point at something and call the questioner's attention to it--you can get inside his OODA loop (unexplained allusion! Look it up, people!) and diffuse a bad situation. In blogging, treating a stupid question seriously can accomplish one of two goals: it can highlight the stupidity (because the answer is stupid, or obvious), or it might (and sometimes has, for me) elevate the discourse by pulling your interlocutor off of his stupid position and into a real discussion. Either way, you win, because you aren't the one being a jerk.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

I admit to spending a large part of my free time knitting and riding, but Qwiki is a cool new internet tool I hadn't seen before - possibly the future Wikipedia.  I'm not sure of the "watch the experience" tag line, since I think you are supposed to experience an experience, but that might be semantics.


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

. . .Straight on 'til morning

After 26 years with the Colorado Community College System, I find myself suddenly unemployed due to "restructuring." I have many questions, and no one who can/will answer them, about why this happened the way it did, and I imagine I will long harbor the sadness, anger, and frustration that I feel right now.

Sadness that I'm leaving a family of co-workers who are professionals down to the core.

Anger at the abrupt way we were relieved of our duties, leaving open the question of why we were let go to those who don't know us or CCCOnline.

Frustration that at a time when we were on the cusp of taking CCCOnline to the "next level," those dreams were dashed by individuals and an institution with no concept of our vision for the future of CCCOnline and apparently no desire to learn about or understand that vision and the plan that would move us forward.

However, true to the quote from Peter Pan that is engraved on the delightful stars presented to Lisa, Rhonda, and me from our friends and colleagues at CCCOnline, I choose to head "straight on 'til morning!

This blog is dedicated to that future AND to staying in touch with those who are left to carry on and continue to serve CCCOnline's students, since after all, that is the ultimate goal.

Because we will sorely miss all that "water cooler" talk about the latest cool tool or technique, news about CCCOnline projects or distance ed in general, and, of course, near and dear to our hearts right now, potential jobs, we welcome your comments and posts.