AcAdv, Career, UGST1000

Open Options: Choosing a Major With Road Trip Nation

With first year students, there are many new, exciting and scary things about starting college or university. Higher education offers a place to be intellectually challenged, develop socially, discover your interests, and engage with a variety of opportunities on campus and beyond. The road and journey are both wide open. The open road and the growing number of academic/career possibilities seems to be a bigger challenge to our student population. Besides the confusion of campus jargon and the navigation of a larger than high school institution, there seems to be more students and family members at orientation who are anxious about making the “right decisions now” for later. Many higher ed students have an idea or inkling of what they want to do, but most are not sure about their academic options, career path planning, and helpful resources to support their decision-making process.

For UNT students who enter into the undecided/undeclared program at UNT, the Office for Exploring Majors [where I work] utilizes the Roadtrip Nation (RTN) resources and has a  RTN project as part of the UGST 1000 – First Year Seminar class.

The Open Road for #UGST1000 Course Design The RTN project helps students explore their personal, academic, and career path. More importantly, it allows them to learn that there is more than one path to obtain their goals and dreams. In picking up  Roadtrip Nation: A Guide to Discovering Your Path in Life and Finding the Open Road: A Guide to Self-Construction Rather Than Mass Production – I was reminded about my own academic/career journey and questions I had in undergrad and after. There are a number of different professional journeys and narratives that provide readers a “path” of how to get to where you want to go.

Overall, I will be using Finding the Open Road stories and interviews (posted online) to help expose the pre-Journalism (News, Advertising, Strategic Communication & PR) and pre-Business (Entrepreneurship, Marketing, Management) students in UGST 1000 figure out how to navigate their own experience. I do like the strategies and ideas in the “Do It Yourself” section of the Roadtrip Nation book to help guide our students learning. The plan is to take the follow chapters and make them into easy-to-use guides for both the UGST 1000 instructors and students that follows the Roadtrip Nation Manifesto:

  1. First, Find Your Red Rubber Ball – What inspires you? What is your passion? Identifying interests, values, and likes.
  2. Whom Should You Meet? – tips on how to find people, being resourceful, using your personal network, how to reach out to new people
  3. Getting the Meeting – cold calls, the pitch, being persistent, communication strategies
  4. Preparing for the Interview – researching the person, their company, their work experience
  5. In the Meeting – what to talk about, suggested questions, informational interview samples, interview/meeting etiquette
  6. Closing – ending a meeting, sending thanks, developing a mentoring relationship

RTN asks....

References:

Marriner, M. & Gebhard, N. (2006). Roadtrip Nation: A guide to discovering your path in life. New York: Ballentine Books.

Marriner, M., McAllister, B. & Gebhard, N. (2005). Finding the open road: A guide to self-construction rather than mass production. Berkeley, CA: Ten Speed Press.

Higher Education, Learning Technologies, Web Design

Backward Design with TED-Ed

Beginning with the end in mind. This is the philosophy of instructional design method backward(s) design.  A few weeks back Kevin Guidry shared his thoughts on backward design, and it got me thinking about how I approach my curriculum and lesson plans.

Image c/o <http://www.recordholders.org/images/backwards-cycling1.jpg>

For the Office for Exploring Majors, I am currently reviewing/updating modules for our first-year seminar class – UGST 1000. The goal is to offer an “engaged” format (we cannot use the term blended or hybrid, but there will be mixed components of online, in-class and active requirements) for Fall 2012.  Last semester our department offered a couple of sections of the NextGen course; however, the class focus was on “well-being.” Since our office t works with undecided students, the engaged sections for Fall 2012 will need to be directed towards major/career exploration and academic success.

Image c/o <http://kids.esc13.net/curriculum/3stages.gif>

In reviewing the current curriculum, it was apparent that a backward design approach would be the most effective method for this instructional design project. In Understanding by Design, Wiggins and McTighe (2005) identify three key stages for  backward design:

  1. Identify desired results (learning outcomes) – What should your learners know, understand, and be able to do?
  2. Determine Acceptable Evidence (means to assess if learners have learned) – How will you know if learners have achieved the desired results, achieved those learning outcomes, or met the standards? What is the evidence of learner understanding and proficiency?
  3. Plan learning experiences and instruction – What will be the procedures or methods to reach these outcomes? This includes a definition of knowledge; definition of skills and procedures learners need to master; definition of materials; and definition of learning or instructional activities.

Here is an example of an engaged learning module that I will include for the Time Management unit. This session will have the backward design steps and one of three classes that students will be required to complete outside of the in-class meeting time.

1. Learning Outcome(s)

Learners will be able to:

(a) identify the differences between tasks, objectives, and goals.

(b) create a smart and effective to-do list of tasks.

(b) assess their weekly schedule to identify how time is being utilized.

(c) select priorities, understand where time is lost, and accurately adjust for effective time management.

2. Evidence of Learning

Learners will demonstrate their understanding of learning by:

(a) drafting a to-do list of tasks for the day/week and identify 5 top priorities.

(b) mapping out a one week schedule of their activities to identify where their 168 hours are allocated.

(c) creating a visual representation of how the 1 week period time is accounted for in terms of activities and responsibilities.

 (d) writing a 250 word minimum blog post/online journal about their 168 hours and weekly schedule. This reflection will include the visual representation of 168 hours, account for time wasted, and offer ideas how to effectively manage time to balance their schedule.

3. Learning Experiences & Instruction

This section of the time management unit will be housed online. We have some modules created on Blackboard Learn; however, I thought I would also create a mock up on the new TED-Ed website. This is a rough draft of a module (to be edited) I designed by “flipping the video” from YouTube into a lesson. [Side note: there are already a number of lessons available for educators to use for the experience section of lessons. Instructors can use the same module or “flip” it.]

TED-Ed | Time Management: How to Write a To-Do List & Know Where Your Time Goes

College Success – Chapter 2: 2.3 Organizing Your Time

References:

Beiderwell, B., Tse, L., Lochhaas, T.J., & deKanter, N.B. (2010, August). College success. Flatworld Knowledge. Retrieved from http://catalog.flatworldknowledge.com/catalog/editions/54

Wiggins, G. & McTighe, J. (2005). Understanding by design (2nd ed). NJ: Prentice Hall.