Tuesday, December 7, 2010


Original Post:  Sunday, November 22, 2009
How well this cartoon describes these past few months. It has been quite the challenge for me to learn all this computer information, but I have learned so much it's amazing what is available out there in the web world.
We began this course with just learning the very basics of an online course and how it works. I remember as I read the syllabus and we were told to post our picture and a brief information piece on us I thought "oh my I'll never be able to do this." With much frustration and many tries and a loving and patience husband I was able to do it. Then, we did our first blog and I thought I'd never get it done or figure out how to just get to the blogger site, again success!

Then there was much learning about online learning and class development. Teaching styles and learning styles were very interesting. I had an idea of what kind of learner I was but, the teacher really surprised me. I still have trouble realizing that formal authority and personal model are my highest rankings. Learning the learning styles has really helped me improve my face to face teaching and hopefully enhance student learning.
We also had a synchronous session with a guest lecturer. This was the pivotal point in my online learning career. After the frustration I was either going to quit or keep on living in frustration and finish the course? To help you understand this experience let me just tell you I tried for the entire week to get the program to work, emailed Jan and anyone else who would listen, talked to the computer people at work and lastly called the Wimba help line and had a 2 hour chat to be told they would get back to me in 24-72 hours with someone else to see if they could help me I learned the new term "BUFFERING" and found it mean in simple terms system overload. I felt like I had systems overload. But, I knew it just had to better so on I went to the next unit.

I really like the 7 Principles for Good Practice in Undergraduate Education by Chickering and Gamson. I found that they are used in my teaching and didn't know they had a name. I don't feel like I might be able to use them, but must use them in developing any course online or face to face. In setting up the shell for your class, syllabi, calendar, general information, and communication section you need to utilize the 7 principles in order for the course to run smooth and the students to be active participants in the course. Graham, Cagiltay, et al really spelled it out nicely in the article how to utilize this list of lessons learned for faculty to use. I know I will be taking and sharing this information with new faculty just learning to set up their course and teach it for the first time and other faculty too. This lesson as a whole was really great. This information on learning theories and models of instruction were very interesting. As curriculum chair for the nursing program I copies some of these URLs and set them to the committee to read as we begin looking at the syllabi of various courses.
Then there was the topics of student centered instruction. I really struggled with this area especially being a nursing faculty. I am sure my teaching styles had something to do with this hold. I agree there are the leadership courses that could and probably should be student-centered and would really have the student performing that active learning, but there is the hard core courses that you really have to guide the student and I think student -centered would be hard for some content. I am trying to use mot open-ended interactions between the students and myself and encourage the use of student groups for learning. I will be teaching a hybrid course this summer and am anxious to see how it flows and develops.

availability of technology is amazing and the site available to enhance my teaching is really overwhelming. I really had to remind myself that I can't have students looking at all the sites it will overwhelm them as it did me. I know the enhancements really help the students in their learning especially the multimedia sites with audio and animation of the various concepts in nursing. But, I really must sift through the sites and pick the exemplary ones for use and just file the rest for my FYI file.
My last big hurdle for this class was with WIKI, the site that really challenged my frustration level. We used this site in our group project and electronic portfolio. It allowed all of us to compose information and then cut it together in one finished product within sections. At first I thought Wiki would be more computer friendly but, I quickly learned that was to be a fallacy. I watched the video, I read the information, I read the information again and still it continued to have the upper hand on me. But, I was determined to learn to use this wonderful :) piece of technology. In the end our project was completed and looked really great. All the pieced came together and we were proud of our project. It was truly a learning experience.
This whole experience was really a learning curve for me. I had very little computer knowledge and know I have learned some of the lingo and even was able to show my college student my blog and WIKI project. He didn't even know what a WIKI was! Yes! Mom finally knew something on the computer that the techno-generational didn't. It has been quite a trip has taken me to some new placed in the internet world, I can only imagine where the next course will take me.

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