Friday, January 22, 2010

Learning curve

At the end of the second week of classes, I am starting to feel more confident about the changes I have made in one course. I moved a lot of the lecture content out of the class time, and have given the students two options for preparing for class. The first option is to read the assigned reading in the text and I do think it is a good text. The second option is to watch a video "learning module" that features slides along with an audio presentation that I have recorded in Camtasia. There has been a bit of a learning curve. I apparently saved the file 3 times in creating the wmv so when students opened it, it looked like the module was 1 hour!

My rationale for making this change was that it would enable to spend our class time practicing the concepts we have discussed and applying the information. How has it gone? Seemingly quite well. The majority of the students seem prepared for class and are definitely asking thoughtful questions. I am definitely coming away from class with the feeling that we have spent our class time making meaning of the concepts rather than me just delivering the information to the students.

Other things that have happened this week:
1. I have continued to explore the journal that will be the best fit for the first article I want to submit and I have narrowed it down to two journals.
2. I have watched several of the archived presentations from ELI 2010. These have really continued to make me think about how I structure my courses and the use of new technologies in my courses. I really would like to contemplate if Blackboard will continue to be the best system for OT process. But I am not sure what the next step could be yet.
3. I attended the BMPR tweetup. The focus was on social media and higher ed. It was well attended and may have helped Luke Rosenberg identify additional participants for an ongoing education-focused tweetup.
4. Applicant interviews started today. It is always so great to see the potential students for next year!
5. I have committed to participate in a learning group focused on research in education. It will be challenge to take on another time commitment, but the topic was too hard to pass up?

Things I need to work on next week:
1. TSAHP board meeting all day on Monday
2. Find a way to increase the rate of data entry for ABCAS (WFOT is in May - yikes!!!)
3. Finalize decision regarding journal for submission
4. Review article for OT in healthcare
5. Identify articles to use for literature synthesis papers
6. Update FLC blog site
7. Find resources to learn about Sakai (sensing another learning curve!)

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

First of my classes for Spring 2010

Although the semester actually started yesterday, my first class is today. This is my first class with our first year students, so it is always exciting to get to know them really for the first time.

I have made some pretty substantial changes in the course, which I vacillate between being very excited about and somewhat nervous about. I have moved much of the lecture content out of the course by developing (or I am in the process of developing) audio modules that correspond to slides most topics. This will give the students the choice to either complete the readings or complete the audio learning modules PRIOR to class. We will spend the first part of class clarifying concepts as needed, then spend the class time in various application activities.

I am excited about it because it will give the students choices in how they cover the foundational material in preparation for class. Most importantly, it will allow us to spend our class time in various learning activities to solidify the material for the students. Doing this also enabled me to give them several open class periods where I will be available for consultation on their projects, but will provide some additional work time for them.

So the Spring 2010 is off to hopeful start!!!

Monday, January 4, 2010

2010 is off and running!

Well, today is the first day back from break. The students start back next week, so this week is guaranteed to be filled with course schedules, meetings, and assorted activities in preparation for the start of the semester. Spring 2008 was my first teaching semester so it is a little funny to me how in two relatively short years my level of nervousness prior to the start of the semester has diminished considerably. Experience is a wonderful teacher and not having to start from scratch makes such a difference in preparations!

In looking back at 2009, I feel that it was a a busy and productive year filled with many great experiences. A brief recap reveals that is consisted of:
  • Teaching two new courses, which I have moved largely online based on student input
  • Reviewed several articles for two professional journals
  • Joined a steering committee for an NIH-project
  • Was elected to the board of a state organization
  • Continued board member position of another state organization
  • Received a small internal research grant for one project that is well underway
  • Presented at three conferences (one state, one national, and one international) and one national seminar
  • Continued work on my portfolio project
  • Worked on data entry with my colleague for our collaborative study
  • Had two presentations accepted to an international conference in May 2010
  • Applied for a career development grant (fingers are crossed!!!!) was a busy year. Please note that the one thing entirely absent from this list is any publications. So guess what heads the list of goals for 2010?

Goals for 2010:

  • Submit several publications (although this is stated quite vaguely, I am formulating a plan of action with specific goals and measurable outcomes)
  • Finish study with colleague
  • Present at international conference
  • Work on incorporating various technologies in my courses to allow for more applied learning activities as part of class time

Here's hoping that 2010 will be filled with great learning experiences, completed projects, and new opportunities!