No Fancy Name
Wednesday, March 30, 2005
i haven't talked about my course in awhile...
...but I'm still teaching it. I went through some trials and tribulations with it last month, and basically I had a come-to-Jesus meeting with myself. I finally convinced myself that no matter how hard I tried, if people weren't going to get it, they just weren't going to get it and it's not completely my responsibility. So, I stopped taking failures personally and once I did that, I began to enjoy it again. Hey, it only took six months for me to become jaded! Is that good or bad?

Seven people have now made it through the course. Two more are working on the final lesson, and three more are in the next-to-final lesson. I've seen plenty of people register, take a look around for a few days, then withdraw. It's a pretty daunting course for a newbie, although newbies are the intended audience. I've also seen a lot of people muddle through the first lesson or two, then give up. Then there are the people who breeze through in six weeks or so, and do pretty good work...or take several months and still do pretty good work. There are many more types in between. I'm constantly re-reading my lectures and exercises, wondering if I should tweak something here or there.

I had a really good conference call awhile back with the CLO (that's "Chief Learning Officer") and another person in the Education Department and we came up with the idea to put specific checkpoints in the lecture, to force the students to stop and think about what they've learned so far. They're not summaries, they're more like things that students should absolutely have taken away from the previous section, or they'll be screwed as they move on. It's reduced the number of questions I've received from students, and that's good. A lot of the questions I had been getting resulted in answers from me like "go look at section x where I specifically described y." With these checkpoints, they seem to be paying closer attention to the text. Hooray!

I'm still supposed to teach a course that another instructor is developing, but he's been developing it for months and months and I don't know when that will start. I also just submitted an outline for a short course (3 lessons) that I felt was missing from their curriculum ("Intro to HTML Forms"—dragging a widget from a WYSIWYG editor when you don't anything about the specifics of the form control or the theory behind the use of the element, that's not good.) Hopefully I'll get to write and teach that course. You know, in all my spare time...


job / books / new blog

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