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Thursday, March 22, 2012

Dance Your Ph.D.

I'm not what you would call a scientific person. And I'm certainly not a great dancer, though a good two-step tune gets me moving. It certainly would never have occurred to me to combine the two--dancing and science. I now have an entirely different perspective on that combo, though. Search for "Dance Your Ph.D" or or visit this link for a TED talk from John Bohannon.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Assessing the Online Learner, Rena Palloff and Keith Pratt

Reading Assessing the Online Learner by Rena Palloff and Keith Pratt while continuing to think about my micro class.  I'm still obsessing about how to help students read the textbook carefully and retain something of what they read.  The textbook is nearly at the top of the learning pyramid presented in the book (page 19), with a mere 10% retention rate.  Tonight's thought is that I will assign a reflection exercise at the end of each chapter:  Most of us have thought about the economy and how it functions in the past.  What in this chapter made you think about an economic concept differently than your previous beliefs?  What new questions about the US economy arose from this chapter?

This would essentially be a journalling exercise for the first unit.  For unit 2 I think I could expand it and ask each student to write a test question based on the most interesting or important concept from the chapter.  I could then ask students to respond to one test question, then the original writer would need to respond to that post.  I'd need to post Bloom's taxonomy and require that questions be written to elicit a certain level of response, probably at least analysis.

Sort of on this same note, in my developmental math courses I am trying to write discussion questions that ask students to set up real life questions.  Right now we are working on area, so I asked how they would find the square feet of flooring needed for a kitchen with an island.  I'm trying not to give them the information, but have them think about what information they would need.


Friday, March 9, 2012

More continuing ed

Went to a webinar this morning sponsored by Instructure "5 Smart Things to Do in Online Course Design".  The presenter was from Utah State University and did a great job!  I think the presentation will be archived on the Instructure website -

I took away a couple of thoughts for the transition to Canvas - 
  • Our idea to put a module on how to use Canvas into every course (for students) this first fall is a good one.
  • A demonstration course with different ways to present content and examples of interesting assessments/learning activities would be a nice thing for faculty.