Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Purpose of this blog?

I'm wondering if this blog is a place to share our thoughts? It seems like a great resource tool, but I'm wondering where is the discussion?

Jan: Originally, this blog was just for the new blended committee for 2008-2009. We also have a working wiki for the committee. See the history for last year's blog/wiki. The intent of this blog was to explore research on blended learning. We expanded the conversation to include accelerated learning models from other universities - particularly those with 8-week terms. We were encouraged to open up the forum to all faculty so that we could invite comments from everyone. It's not an ideal discussion forum as is - but we can discuss opening up typical threaded discussion in Blackboard if that's a request. I'll bring it up at our meeting today.

Most people are just using the add comments option. But - you managed to add a section. Can you explain how you did that? Is that because you used a gmail name/password? Everyone is supposed to have "author" access. I think if you sign in you can add comments and post new blog entries. I did create a wiki and another blog that allows for "equal authoring" with one common username/password for all cucfaculty. I didn't add all the resources on that blog - but if people want to talk more privately - I could open that up to whoever wants a more private faculty conversation.
Carla Piper

Coming Soon! - We will be posting a discussion in Blackboard as well. More info to come. cp


Joe Walsh said...

I would really like to discuss this issue since so many things come into play. Eight week terms are not conducive for student teaching, and there are other concerns as well.

Nedra said...

I prefer Marnie Elam's proposed 9 week term configuration that allows the Fall Session II term to end prior to the holidays. I think that would address the issue that was raised by Charles related to the term being split due to the winter break. I don't think that 8 week terms would be warranted if the winter break is the main issue.

jim spence said...

yes and yes

Jan said...

To respond to how I gained author status, I signed in with my google account and this blog was added to my other blogs. I only wanted to use the "leave a comment" option ... but now that I've posted this, I'll post my thoughts.

My thoughts on blended

1. I love the blended class idea. Students glaze over at 8:30 and learning stops by 9:00. Much better to have them continue the discussion and learning online than forcing them to stay and fight their exhaustion. I see blended as a better alternative to the 5-hour class.

2. My students do not all want this. Of 4 advising appointments over the past 2 days, two stated they don’t want online. One dropped out of core course (and opportunity to learn from the best!) because it was hybrid – 5 weeks in class and 4 weeks online. Another said she is not connecting with the complex concepts as well in the online portion. Many students tell me they want to come to class and arrange their schedule for one night/week. They do not want to have to post during the week, nor are their schedules conducive to this. For this reason, I hope we survey our students, and I hope we listen to them. However, as an Organization Development and Change consultant, I suggest we only ask them their opinion if the decision is still under discussion. I do not suggest we survey them if the decision is made.

3. This statement holds especially true for the 8-week term. I hope will listen to our students AND faculty. However, if the decision is made, do not ask for opinion.

4. In the spirit that the decision is still under advisement, I will state my opinion. I have strong sentiments against any term length that precludes a week between. I only teach graduate level courses and my final papers are hefty (capstone papers are 50 pages with as many as 10-12 students!) I need the week to read them, really read them (students hate it when they get a “good job!” comment.) Additionally, I am one who updates my syllabi regularly. The week between allows me do put some final touches on the syllabus. The week between is also a heavy advising week. Our students love to register at the last minute. And finally, that week is a breather. I try and finish by Thursday and take the weekend to catch my breath and refresh and prepare for a new batch of students. I am against any format that takes that week away.

So, I’ve made the assumption that administration is listening and interested in hearing what faculty have to say. Thanks for the opportunity to voice my opinion.

Jan Jackson

Test Account said...
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mehunt said...

I am also wrestling with the idea of shortening the terms. I have taught hybrid (or blended courses, if you will) versions of all classes but one since I started teaching at Chapman. Here is one concern about shortening terms: each week the students are assigned an on-line assignment. The following week, we discuss and integrate their on-line work with the currrent weeks reading assignment, lecture and discussion. From this exercise comes the precise on-line assignment due the next week. Integration of on-line and on ground material takes time, not only to do but to assimilate. Again, this is but one of my concerns concerning the topic of change of term lengths

Thanks for the opportunity to add to the discussion