This week we were supposed to have our group on task and I felt very overwhelmed by the lack of discussion my group members and I had been having, especially since the final project is due very soon. We are just all so very busy and have limited time in our schedules. I expressed my concerns to my group members because I felt like we were falling quickly behind. Given my limited time, I didn’t feel that the weight of the project could fall on my shoulders. Thankfully my group stepped up toward the middle of the week and we started pulling things together. I would have liked us to have been a bit more organized and have had a good history of communicating/working together by this point.
Wish us luck!
Thank you for the midterm feedback. I enjoyed writing my midterm but yes, I would have loved a bit more time to complete it. This semester has been challenging for me, juggling my time, and I am so passionate about my midterm topic but could not put into it what I really wanted and expected myself too. I am trying to do the best I can.
I enjoyed reading and learning about everyone’s institutions. I am very fortunate to be at an institution where the resources are provided for developing and utilizing our learning management system for online education. I have the opportunity to work very closely with our director of learning education.
I am looking forward to beginning our final group project. The direction of our project is in the planning stages, however it will be a learning experience. Like Dena, I have had some difficulty finding all the pieces to the group project assignment, since there are parts under different headings.
Week six was a nice break from last week (having to write two papers). We now have a group project to get finished. We started brainstorming and we are making progress.
This week was nice to re-look at my institution. I found it nice to refocus on my target audience from my course that I am going to create. It was also nice to see what everyone else is working with and how they deal with it.
For some reason, I do not have much to say this week.
Let me say that I really appreciate the Stay on Task checklist. It is great to look at one area and make sure I’ve gotten everything done. However, I’m a bit confused when some of the items don’t seem to match what we have in our weekly materials links or the grades area. I think this is the downfall of Blackboard, because it can be so confusing at times. I don’t think I’m alone in this because my group members seem to have a hard time locating things too. I think the hard part of it is that there seems to be assignments and guidance within areas that are not meant to contain assignments so the information gets lost when I try to log in and see what I need to accomplish. I might not have remembered that there was something written in the lecture that gave me instruction or clarification on a weekly task.
It is interesting that we are focused on creating community and online communication in this course, and I seem to be having a hard time communicating or understanding. Maybe it’s just me.
Perhaps I’m just reacting poorly to the topic this week, where we focus on and examine our institution. I have written of my struggles with my institution in many prior classes, and I feel like a broken record. I just received tenure at my institution last Spring. When I was hired I had an impression that my college greatly supported distance learning and I was excited to be a part of that. The first year of my job was like a dream to me because our whole program was online – we ONLY taught online classes, and most of the faculty in my department had a negative attitude about it (students don’t complete the course, if they do, it is only like 5 of 25 registered, etc.). They GLADLY threw their courses at me to teach… and teach I did. I redesigned everything, put into practice what I liked as a prior online student and began to teach. Wow! Amazing! I didn’t have the negative experiences that they did. In face, I greatly enjoyed it! Sadly, within two years, everyone wanted to teach their courses again, which left me (the new guy) with little opportunity to teach. On top of this I realized that the real truth is that our college’s distance learning initiative is not supported by the majority of our full time faculty and although our administration supports it, they are not willing to prioritize it financially. I developed a close working relationship with our DL director and got to see the daily struggle he has in trying to advance our DL program at our college.
When I read of other classmates’ positive experiences I get envious that I am not working in that type of institution because I am extremely passionate about the online learning experience from the student perspective. I would love to work in an environment that fully supports online learning and wants to move their institution into the future.
Using this blog has taught me that I could not be a blogger. I do not feel a need to blog. Maybe it is because I do not find value to others in what I write in a blog. It is nice for myself to re-read what I am writing.
Week five went better than I thought. My midterm is done and I think that I did a good job. I am a little nervous about the group project. I am not so sure about what we are supposed to do. I will be heading to the group discussion board to find out how my group interprets the group project. I also want to get an early head start on this project so that we are not rushing at the end.
My WikiBook textbook class project is progressing but not completed until the end of the quarter. Trying to incorporate this on-going project into my midterm paper while incorporating important points I have learned about social community was challenging.
I am looking forward to working on our next group project. The exposure to using a blog has not made me a fan, but at least the idea is worth considering.
Midway point! Wow, this is really flying by.
I am really looking forward to week six and the remainder of this course. We have a four day weekend coming up and I will be using it to really truly catch up to the course and communicate with my group on our final project.
This week I spent a lot of time refining my midterm topic, which ultimately ended up how to use Facebook as an online learning community.
I have to say the first time I saw one of the instructors at my community college use Facebook as their course management system I was appalled! How ridiculous was that! I thought they were just being lazy or something. Then I saw that a mentor of mine who teaches design classes was using it too and he had his groups open/public for anyone to view. I greatly appreciated that he left them open so I could witness the communication, the community building that was going on in his courses and became envious because I did not have that same level within my own online courses.
The past two weeks have allowed me to explore the rationale behind utilizing Facebook and while I’m not sure if I am completely a believer, I was, and continue to be, a major supporter of social learning and truly believe that the features of social networking sites like Facebook need to be incorporated into all learning management systems.