Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Last night, my hybrid class met and did I get an earful! This is what I took away from their comments:

• Can’t open long PDF files
• Can’t always log into chatrooms
• Shorten discussion titles
• Move most current Learning Module up on homepage
• Send email reminder to regular accounts of discussion deadlines during online weeks (3 days before deadline)
• Continue to post checklist of what’s expected during blackboard classes
• Uneasy feeling that not enough is being done during online weeks
• Uncertainty about whether expectations are being met during online weeks
• Confusion about deadlines and reasons for them
• Concern about missing assignments
• Skepticism about effectiveness of hybrid model

I told them that we will give it a go for another week - and at the next face-to-face session (3/11), we'll talk about whether they want to "bail" and go back to a traditional format.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

A marathon weekend spent painting the livingroom. The bottom half will be dark green, the top half will be tan, and as a chair rail we have ordered a wide border that should be in next week. The trim (there's a lot, five windows and two doors, as well as a wide baseboard and ceiling molding) and ceiling will be bright white. It hasn't been done in about 15 years so it was way past due. It is a big job, since the house is small and as a result furniture has to be shifted here and there within the room. The disruption is hard on the animals. Only Edna stays away. The "boys" are a handful at all times, and with open paint cans everywhere there are moments when I am sure we will have a river of dark green all over the floor. One chair or the couch has to be kept accessible for Sophie or she gets restless. I think we will finish with a couple more nights of work.

Friday, February 15, 2008

I'm freaked out by the shootings at NIU. I was in my class last evening (which happens to be in a lecture center this semester). As the students were having group discussions, I turned off the projector and went on the internet to check my email. That's when I saw the headline, about two hours after the event happened. It was creepy.

On a completely different note, we watched Daughter from Danang a couple of days ago. I got the DVD a couple of years ago. PBS sent it to me for free when I bought a bunch of others I was reviewing to see whether they would be appropriate for one of my classes. It was very interesting and thought-provoking, definitely worth seeing.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Now here's an election that really matters. I am not all that interested in dog shows, being the type of person who prefers shelter pets. But since I love hounds, I did get a charge out of this. I love that he howls. Go Uno!!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Friday, February 08, 2008

I am concerned that this semester, technology is going to get in the way, and not be just a handy tool. I think next semester, once I am in the groove, it may be a different story. But I am not sure that me learning the coursewere while the students learn it is a great idea. I certainly wouldn't have planned it that way if I had any role in the decision.

Anyway, next week will be the first online week in the blended class. I am curious to see how that will work.

This must be the week for outraged students or something. I received two emails, one from a student who was in last semester's class, and one from a student in the current semester. The one from last semester is asking for yet another explanation for her "unfair" grade. I have explained twice already, what more is there to say? The guy from this semester hates the reading and I suspect he thinks I am a moron.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, I continue to have so much work to do that I have no opportunity to return voice mail messages. Call me at your own peril!