Work today

Sep. 15th, 2011 09:01 pm
oxymoron67: (Default)
I'll write about tonight's class later... maybe even tomorrow.

Today, I had a meeting for the Online Teaching Seminar.

It was held in a building three blocks from my office. When I went to the meeting, it was 60ish degrees and humid.

The seminar started off with a discussion of an article that I absolutely LOATHED. It was all about how teachers aren't really teachers, they're co-learners and should act accordingly. Oh... and technology.

Many of my fellow seminar attendess loved this thing and thought it was oh, so informative.

When I was asked for my opnion, I said that I didn't agree with the basic premise of the article, and therefore, I found its argument invalid. I was not asked to contribute again,.

At least in that section.

From there, one of the seminar leaders gave us a tutorial on some advanced functions on Blackboard. I'd already done this stuff before, but most of the room hadn't. It was good.

Next, we split into groups to discuss meeting plans. My group is three professors from our Business and Technology Department, one from the Math Department (in fact, the one who I would have failed if she were in my Speech Class) and me.

So, it was me and a group of sassy women. It was sort of like The View, if that show was staffed by intelligent, interesting people with manners.

Finally, we had to spend fifteen minutes updating our e-portfolios, reflecting on what we learned.

One of the reflection questions was "What are your highest expectations for your mentor/mentee relationship?"

This is how I answered:

I expect to be able to cook like a classically trained French chef. I expect to become fluent in Greenlandic Eskimo. I expect to learn the location of Amelia Earhart.


Ok, actually, I expect to have an exchange of ideas (blahblahblah boring)

Then there was this exchange:

Math prof: what did you write about the article.
Me: Nothing. I hated that thing.
MP: Me too. I thought it didn't say anything.
Me: And there's no polite way to say that.
MP: I know.
Me: So... nothing.
MP: Yup.

Then I left (around 5:30). In the two and a half hours that I was in this seminar, a cold front passed through, causing storms and dropping the temperature by about twenty degrees.

So running back to my office and classroom in the rain was fun.

Tonmorrow, some folks from a sister college are coming to visit us and discuss their online classes. Should be interesting.


Sep. 24th, 2010 10:00 am
oxymoron67: (Default)
As part of the college's commitment to improving our students' oral communication skills, I went to an engineering lab to listen to the class give presentations.

The assignment? The student is a chief engineer working on one of two projects: construction of an amusement park or construction of an off-shore oil rig.

That's it.

There is a germ of a really good assignment here. I like the idea. But the professor didn't give ANY other guidelines. These students have never given presentations on this topic, and many may not have ever spoken in front of an audience before, period.

The students needed to have things like time limits and hints on organization, you know, firmer guidelines.

But this is only the second or third time the engineering program is doing this, so it is developing.

Several of the students did decent jobs. A few were disaster areas.

My favorite part of the whole thing? Several students asked for extensions. Their professor went off on them, letting them know that, in the real world, deadlines are hard and fast and need to be met, so they (the students) need to get used to it, so, no, no extensions.

Normally when I do this in other people's classes, I have to be the bad guy and say this. We normally videotape these speeches, and the professors ask if students can;t just come to the lab and do it opn their own.

Which they can't. I (and my colleagues and students tutors) do this sort of thing for dozens of classes. We simply can't be expected to deal with walk-ins for video and figure out which student goes with which class.

Deadlines are deadlines and our students need to learn that.
oxymoron67: (Default)
One of our adjuncts who teaches Voice and Diction spend the first half of the term concentrating ont he sounds of English and the second half on increasingly difficult readings for his students.

He starts with radio ads and works his way to Gilbert and Sullivan patter songs.

While that mean part of me enjoyed the patter song assignment -- you don't really appreciate Modern Major General until you hear it in an Eastern European accent-- i didn't think these readings reached his students. Frankly, I thought the students were turned off by them. They didn't understand the context, so they had a hard time getting a feel for the songs or the rhythm, which for patter songs, is an absolute necessity.

(They're not singing the songs, just reciting them. The students don't have to do them at the speed the songs are normally performed at. either.)

So, when he told me he was planning on doing patter songs this term, I asked for a list. I looked them all up on Youtube, and we played them all for his class.

They really got into some of them.

I don't know if this worked, if it'll help the students, but they seem more enthusiastic, and that's half the fight.


oxymoron67: (Default)

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