Lately I have been doing a lot of walking and have used that time to catch up on a number of podcasts, including a recent episode of the TED Radio Hour titled Rethinking School. A couple of things in this episode really caught my attention and made me think about what we are doing here at DePaul—and how perhaps we can rethink our own practices.
“What if they find out who I really am?”
Every quarter, I meet a new group of (mostly) freshmen students in my First Year Writing courses, and every quarter, there’s one conversation I can’t wait to have. I always make sure that we have a discussion of “Discourse Communities” and what it means to become a “professional” within any of the fields the students might be studying.
As educators, we should always be looking to meet the needs of accommodating various learning styles. Often times, as instructors we tend to be creatures of habit, using the same content over and over again. Instructors should be open to using and selecting the appropriate tool that will help students achieve the learning objective. I recently had an instructor that wanted more information or training about how to select the best tool for a particular learning style. I imagine other instructors would have this same question. So here goes. Continue reading
Three months ago, I published a blog entry called “Summer Math Class with Khan Academy: A Case of ‘Manipulated’ Learning”. Ever since then, I have tried a few more rounds of manipulation on my IRB-free research objects—my two kids. As a proud mother of manipulation, I’d like to report on a couple of cases of manipulating learning—and behavior—with tools and rules.
A few weeks back I attended the Fall Forum on Teaching and Learning. This year the theme was Race & Social Identity. This is obviously a very important topic—especially given the polarizing climate that we currently find ourselves in. The Keynote speaker, Terrell Strayhorn, spent a fair amount of time talking about how to create environments in our classrooms that are safe and welcoming for students who come from diverse backgrounds of experiences.
The first episode of Wisdom of the Crowd premiered on October 1st and I had to check it out. Being a lover of crime procedurals and someone who works to bring content to the masses through the use of online platforms, I thought this show would be right up my alley.
The main concept of the show is that a Steve Jobs-like character (Jeffrey Tanner played by Jeremy Piven) has decided to take crowdsourcing to the next level by creating an app, called SOPHIE, where people around the world can share and evaluate evidence to help solve crimes—more specifically to help solve his own daughter Mia’s murder. Everyone has a phone these days, and everyone wants to be a part of something bigger than themselves, so why not create a platform where people can connect with each other and help solve murders without leaving the comfort of their homes?
I recently stumbled across a blog post about the 7 habits of highly ineffective developers and couldn’t help but see direct connections to the challenges people encounter when thinking about using educational technology. Like developers, instructors (and instructional designers) face all types of challenges. Understating yourself and being aware of these challenges can help make the most of your time, energy, and resources—as well as lead to better results.
In fall 2017, DePaul upgraded our installation of our learning management system, D2L, to the “Daylight” interface. One of the primary reasons D2L underwent this design overhaul of the entire system was to implement a principal called “Responsive Design.”
Responsive Design is a method of web design whereby developers build one version of a website that is designed to adapt and scale to whatever device it is accessed from. This is in contrast to the early days of smartphones, when developers would create a separate “mobile” site, which you would be redirected to if you were accessing it from a smartphone or tablet. Instead, there is only one version of the site, but the elements move, resize, and adapt depending on the size of the screen the site is viewed from.
I dropped my oldest son off at college in August. Man, that was a tough goodbye. So many unknowns and questions, like, will he survive? Of course he will. However, one area that I probably overcompensated for in high school was reminding him (fairly often) to talk to his teachers, go to the writing and math centers—basically utilize all the academic resources possible. Did he? Not really, unless he was desperately trying to climb out of a hole.
So, would this continue in college? It couldn’t. If it did—well, he might end up back at home.
Recently I had the opportunity to network with a lot of online faculty and instructional designers at the Distance Teaching & Learning Conference in Madison, Wisconsin. When I informed many of them that I was a certified QM reviewer, they instantly became intrigued. A couple of instructors even asked if I thought the program was beneficial and worth investing the time and money into.
Whenever I develop a course or complete a major revision for a course at DePaul, I use the Quality Matters rubric to evaluate the work I have done. As a result, some of those subject matter experts have become intrigued about Quality Matters as well. By the end of this blog, you will be able to determine if Quality Matters is a program that best suits the needs of the people in your workplace.