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April 13, 2007

Asynchronous discussions in 5323

Asynchronous week - 5323

I believe the asynchronous week discussions in 5323 went well...but even though I feel really connected to my classmates for this course, the time spent away from them as a group makes me feel very disconnected. I almost feel like I am not taking the class anymore. It's a strange feeling - I think the explanation for this is that we have met face-to-face so much - so not meeting face-to-face makes it feel like we are done. This is a very bad attitude - since I have much more to complete (article presentation, quick start draft, etc). I better snap out of this....

In contrast, 5101 is entirely online and has been online. I don't have the same sort of connection with my classmates in this class, but I also don't feel as though I'm done (or that I am not taking a class) just because we are not meeting f2f...I think it's the change from meeting f2f primarily to now not that has caused my perception change for 5323.

Since I teach so many online courses, this experience has really made me evaluate the role of community for this educational format...

5323 - Exemplar community presentation

Online PE

I was so lucky to have a great group with which to create the exemplar community presentation. Bonnie and Cheryl both are such creative and intelligent people - I was luck to have them for partners! Bonnie had already done some work with the online PE concept. Since all three of us are yoga practitioners...we decided to investigate online yoga communities.

Interesting, during our planning stages, we ended up using Breeze meeting. It worked so well! I had used Breeze meeting before this for office hours, but never as a meeting place to plan and discuss. I found that it facilitated our planning discussions very well. In our debate over synchronous versus asynchronous discussions, I'm still of the opinion that asynchronous is better for indepth, theoretical/philosophical discussions - while synchronous is better for specific planning/task oriented discussions.

What happened in March part II

Third Group Discussion assignment - 5101

We are currently in our third group assignment. As I mentioned, my group has been very gracious and I feel as though my grade explanation and apology have brought us together as a group in a new way. I have started to feel a part of a group with them - but it has taken some time. I can say I'm sort of relieved not to be moderator this time...I'm happy to not have the responsibility!

I do continue to believe that asynchronous discussions are helpful ways to work out complex issues. I have learned a lot from my group community experience and I know the experience has enriched my learning and understanding.

What happened in March?

5101 and March
Well...where do I begin. This is what happens if you neglect your duties...

Second Group Discussion assignment - 5101
For our second assignment group discussion for 5101 I was the moderator - and I really liked that role. We had a lively discussion and I tried to use the facilitator roles I had learned about in 5323. I was very pleased with myself and was confident we as a group had arrived at insightful conclusions. Well, one can imagine my surprise when we were docked points! Because I am constantly contacted by students bargaining for 0.5 point here, etc. it took me a lot of thinking before I contacted MY TA...I think the fact that we were docked points was concerning to me mostly because I was the person to summarize our discussion and submit it. I couldn't help but feel somewhat responsible for the less than perfect grade and I really thought we had an excellent discussion. Well, the TA emailed me back right away and provided me with her grading rubric. There was something specific we had not included.

I posted an explanation for my group and also apologized. I had this image of them all sitting at their computer, waving their fists in the air as they checked their grades...but, they have all been very gracious. We have just started our third group discussion assignment.

April 12, 2007

is anybody out there?

Thanks to Kim for reading my blog! This is my first entry for a while....I'm not sure what I think about blogs. Even when everyone I knew seemed to be starting their own blogs, not only did I not start my own, but I didn't even read theirs. There is something too personal about blogs - like reading someone's diary that seems inappropriate - even if they allow it.

So, I will try to catch up for the sake of my class assignment...