TechKNOW Tools Blog Year in Review – Top Posts for 2012

Although I am off the grid for the holidays, I thought I would thank those of you who share, read, RT, and comment on my TechKNOW Tools blog. I started this particular blog for a learning workshop and seminar back in 2009, but then switched to blog about what I am learning, reading, presenting, and more. I try to share ideas for educators, trainers, and others around the topics of learning, technology, and design. I rarely post a “top viewed” blog post, but I thought I might as well share the favored posts from 2012 as I ponder about blog topics for 2013.

Title Views
I Tumblr For You… To Reflect. 4,184
The Productive & Disruptive Innovation of EDU 1,236
Organizational Learning Constructs 1,219
A @PhD2Published Post: A Book Review is #AcWri Too 962
Online Learning: More Than Just a MOOC 829
LMS/LCMS Review 822
My Prolegomenon to Technology 775
Facebook for Learning Communities: Groups vs. Pages 750
Going Mobile for Academic Advising: Tablets, iPads & Protocols on Campus 550
What’s Your Research Methods Worldview? 527
Social Media Strategies in Student Affairs 527
Backwards Design with TED-Ed 436

I appreciate the community of bloggers who I read and learn from – you inspire and challenge me to think and consider how and when I share. Thanks for reading and engaging with me. All the best in 2013!


AcAdv, nacada

#UNT InHouse: Portrait Gallery

A couple weeks ago I was featured in the UNT InHouse Portrait gallery for my one of many hats I wear on campus. Here’s a bit more about the Portrait Gallery and my interview for the online publication:

It’s not possible to know everyone on a big, busy campus. So InHouse periodically publishes Portrait Gallery features to help us learn about our colleagues and their contributions to the university’s success. Send suggestions for Portrait Gallery subjects by email to InHouse with “Portrait Gallery” in the subject line.

Portrait Gallery: Laura Pasquini, Academic Counselor
Laura Pasquini helps students find an academic home as a mentor for undeclared majors. She’s also the first UNT representative to be chosen for the Emerging Leader Program with The Global Community for Academic Advising.  

What is your official title, and how long have you been at UNT?

I am an academic counselor and instructor for the Office for Exploring Majors in Undergraduate Studies and I have been working at the University of North Texas since June 2009.

What is your background?

I have been supporting students as an academic advisor/counselor with major or career decision-making since fall 2003. I have been fortunate to support a variety of student populations at Niagara University, Miami University, University of Toronto Scarborough, University of Texas Arlington and UNT. Before joining the new office for exploring majors team, I was an academic advisor with the College of Business Advising Office.

What will you do as a mentor?

I was selected as a mentor for the Emerging Leader Program with The Global Community for Academic Advising for the 2012-2014 class. As a mentor, I will collaborate with other advising professionals and faculty within the association from other institutions. I will help emerging leaders develop their connections to the advising profession, encourage leadership opportunities, assist colleagues in working toward their professional goals and give back to the professional association that has helped me thrive personally and professionally.

Has any of your experience at UNT helped you prepare for this position?

Both as an academic advisor in the College of Business and in my current role, I have been fortunate to connect with students, staff and faculty to support my own personal and professional development. As a former executive officer and member of the University Counselors Advisors Network, I was able to collaborate, learn, and connect to a wide variety of ideas that will enhance my mentoring. Most recently, I had the opportunity help coordinate the Spring 2011 Advising Retreat, the UNT Advising Conference and the Advisor Spring 2012 training day. I appreciate interacting with and learning from a variety of staff and faculty who love working with students on a daily basis.

Are you the first UNT representative to be a mentor for the Emerging Leader Program?

I am the first person at UNT to be an ELP Mentor; however Carol Pollard, senior counselor in the College of Music, was part of the inaugural ELP cohort in 2007-2009 as an Emerging Leader.

What do you do as an academic counselor for undecided majors?

The Office for Exploring Majors supports students in their journey to learn more about their major/career options. As a counselor, I help support students who are undecided, undeclared and uncertain about their degree options. We often work with new students who want to learn more about their academic choices; however we frequently work with students who want to change their major or transition to another path. I enjoy providing academic/occupational resources and information to empower our students to make choices, and support them in their exploration.

What commonalities/differences do undeclared majors share?

Our undeclared/undecided students are very intelligent, bright and interested in a number of options. These students often have too many choices and are undecided to allow some time to explore majors, meet faculty, understand degree requirements and discover more about their own interests. Over the last year, I have come to really appreciate the interest and enthusiasm that our students bring to the First Year Seminar, during workshops, or  counseling.

Do you have success stories?

A recent one would be with Lisandry Ortiz, who was in my First Year Seminar class Fall 2011.

Lisandry came into the class with different ideas about her major/career from her family, friends and others. During the course of the semester and in her first year, Lisandry went out to interview professionals, research occupational trends, and tried out a few classes to help her find her direction that would be best for her. She was interested in Biology, English, Creative Writing, Journalism, Kinesiology and Rehabilitation Studies with a double minor in Kinesiology and Addictions.

Although she had a challenging second semester at UNT, Lisandry managed to stay on top of her studies and credits the connections to friends and resources from the first year seminar class.

I am happy to say that Lisandry has earned junior class standing and has officially declared Rehabilitation Studies as her major with the College of Public Affairs & Community Service.

Along with her academic progress, Lisandry is working on campus as a housing ambassador in Maple Hall and she is now an Office for Exploring Majors Student Ambassador who will support undecided students with their major/career journey.

Higher Education, Social Media, StudentAffairs

How Social Is YOUR Student Handbook, Higher Ed?

Today I contributed to a webinar about student handbooks in higher education for Paperclip Communications. In thinking about my own student experience and searching for other suggested practices, the key question I asked was…Where can I find YOUR student handbook?” Can you answer that question?

Often times college and university policies, procedures, responsibilities, and codes of conduct are buried on the institutional website, masked in “legalize,” and typically struggle to be shared with the target population – the students. I shared a few suggested practices for usability, access, web design, and using social (media) sharing for student codes of conduct. If you missed out, don’t worry – there’s an open & shared Google Doc for that:

I think our institutions need to consider compliance, codes of conduct, and informed legal practices – but more importantly, they need to put these student rights and responsibilities into action. Making our student handbooks social and engaging helps to educate our students, communicate to others at our institution (faculty, staff, etc), and it sets the tone for developing community standards on campus. I recommended involving students in the process of the student handbook development and getting their insight into sharing this information to understand what their needs are, where thy find information, and questions/challenges they have about your student handbook.

Here’s just one example of how UNT Housing & 720 is being proactive with the UNT student handbook information:

How do YOU share information, policy, and guidelines at your institution? Do you have a Facebook Page? Blog? Twitter Account? Please share HOW you share about student rights & responsibilities.


My ATPI Portfolio & Presentation: Look Ma’, Now I’m A PhD Candidate!

After an early morning presentation and Q & A about my ATPI Doctoral Portfolio – I am now a doctoral candidate in the ATPI Program (here’s the NEW PhD Portfolio Requirements). I am now able to start my dissertation hours in the Spring 2013 semester. Yay!

Vizify S

Professional Overview

The Applied Technology and Performance Improvement (ATPI) doctoral program has supported my growth as a scholar, professional, and consultant. Throughout my interdisciplinary course work in Applied Training and Development, Management, and Educational Psychology and Research, I have been able to develop and enhance my critical thinking, improve upon my research analysis and research perspective over the last three years of my doctoral program. Beyond the degree course work, the ATPI faculty and the Department of Learning Technologies has supported my efforts towards presenting, publishing scholarly works, improving my instructional skills, and augmenting my service scholarship. My ATPI doctoral portfolio will demonstrate my scholarly development and illustrate my contributions to the learning, computing, and performance field.

During my last three years as a doctoral student, I have sought and participated in a number of research opportunities and academic experiences to support my development as a scholar. Through my involvement in collaborative graduate writing groups, professional associations, and academic partnerships with faculty, I have improved upon my scholarly research, honed my writing craft, and advanced my editorial skills. My publications include the topics of formal and informal learning, personal learning networks, learning and performance innovation, and technology needs assessment and implementation to be utilized for education. Beyond research and publications, I have been invited to consult, train, and speak to a number of public and private learning organizations nationally and internationally about my research interests, learning pedagogy, and instructional design.

As the founding student editor for the Learning and Performance Quarterly (LPQ), an open access, peer-reviewed journal within the Department of Learning Technologies, I have gained a vast amount of insight in reviewing manuscripts, working with a diverse editorial board, supporting online distribution, and partnering with a number of contributing authors and academics. Both reviewing and editing for the LPQ and other academic journals, has improved my research and how I critically analyze academic publications. Being the editor has also not only challenged me to consider style and format, but has compelled me to assess other research methodologies.

As a connected and open learner, I have attempted to apply knowledge from the classroom and knowledge from scholars in the field of learning and performance. My ten years’ of experience in the field of Student and Academic Affairs in education has come from employment in the United Kingdom, France, Canada, and the United States. My professional experiences in education include teaching (higher education and K-12) , academic advising, tutoring services, supplemental instruction, career advising, campus activities, first year experience curriculum, orientation programs and housing and residence life. With my education, I haveattempted to integrate my student and academic affairs experiences with my scholarly objectives. In doing so, I have shared my eclectic learning and PhD journey via a variety of social spaces. You can often find me blogging, tweeting, taking photos, or sharing my research developments and professional experiences online. Being an open and digital scholar has presented me with a number of opportunities you will see presented in my ATPI portfolio.

Currently, I am an academic counselor and instructor with the Office for Exploring Majors where I help undergraduate students explore their major and career goals. In this position, I have had the opportunity to work collaboratively with various departments on the UNT campus to integrate assessment with program design, create innovative learning initiatives, and provide training and development for our staff and faculty. As a member of the Global Community for Higher Education (NACADA) and connecting with learning technology associations, such as EDUCAUSE and the Sloan Consortium, I have had the opportunity to enhance my mix my service scholarship disciplines to consider new models for learning and performance. As an active member and leader within my professional affiliations, my service has valuable developmental experiences, including mentoring relationships, planning conferences, consulting contracts, and supporting research for the organizations.

My professional goal is to secure a tenure-track faculty position at a research university while consulting for training and development on the side. I have had a number of excellent experiences in higher education in the area of advising, teaching, and service and I believe that I will be a talented candidate for any institution seeking a dedicated research scholar. There are a number of complimentary research opportunities in the field of learning technology, and I would expect to remain involved in research, consulting, and learning in higher education as it evolves in the future.

My research interests lies in the understanding of informal, online learning networks for professional developments and how these digital communities of practice influence and impact professional and trade associations, such as American Society for Training & Development (ASTD) and the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE). I am interested specifically in analyzing how social media and online applications affect the formal processes and the structure of training and development.