PLN, Reflections

Semester Reflections & What I’ve Learned [Fall 2014]

Wow. My first semester as a Lecturer and teaching ALL online classes is DONE! First and foremost – I am glad to have all my grades posted. {For real! After 2,400 hours of video watching, I can say I learned a lot from my #LTEC4121 class – and I had a talented group of students this term.}

FinishedGrading

Along with other projects (e.g. research, writing, editing, OLC Certificate, presenting, conference, and consulting), I am glad to see the semester and 2014 come to an end – or at least a pause over the holiday break. This academic term has been fun and challenging for me as I move all my instructional experiences to the online environment. My own teaching philosophy centers on technology-enhanced pedagogies that foster student–centered learning environments. Over this semester, I put a great deal of thought to how I design learning experiences and support my students online in a more meaningful and authentic manner. This term, I constantly made edits and improvements to the online courses I was teaching to help foster real-world experiences and provide opportunities for engagement. I really wanted my students to take what they are learning in the online classroom and apply these concepts to their own workforce learning and performance. With whatever technological platform and, more importantly the planned pedagogy, my primary role in these classes were to facilitate learning by motivating, instigating and supporting my students as they work through their modules and projects.

From this semester, I shared some of my personal reflections for lecturing with the GSTEP program last month:

To be honest – there are more than just 10 lessons I’ve learned. Not everything has been great this semester. There has been a great deal of stress and frustration in lecturing with someone else’s course materials, and considering how to best support the learners’ needs. I have been constantly improving functions of not only the course delivery, but also the content in the modules to consider how to get students to reach the course learning outcomes. Although it has been a busy semester, I have appreciated the hands-on lessons I have learned and applied to my online instruction and support for my students. Learning about learning, and evaluation of the curriculum supports our students. Stay tuned for deeper reflections in an upcoming blog post after I go through my course evaluations, LTEC feedback forms, and review of my course design from Fall 2014 for the next semester.

For time management and scheduling,  I learned a great deal about the need to develop my own personal workflow. Although I have been “working remotely” and I have a great deal of online work experience, my new role has got me thinking about what it means to be productive when working from home. Work-life balance is key. With a number of involvement and projects, I have had to think about how these are managed and prioritized. I believe my scheduling and task-management has improved over the term (when I am not traveling for business/personal obligations #LessonLearned), and I feel as though I have mastered my grading and instructional flow with online teaching. Thanks to some additional motivational tools for time and fitness, I have improved my time-on-task ability for work projects and increased my running/walking mileage (thanks Todoist.com, Asana, #FitBit & RunKeeper).

Most importantly,  I have learned the value of being an active participant in my networks. My mom was concerned about my social contact with others now that I teach online. I laughed – and told her that I still have just as much (or maybe more) contact with others. Although I am not an 8-5 worker on campus, I have made a point to stay connected to UNT and get involved in various things (e.g. UNT Faculty Writing group, GSTEP support,  Alternative Service Break advisor, and LT department meetings/projects). In my online work, there are a number of virtual teaming projects and collaborations that keep me quite engaged and social (e.g. #ACPAdigital task force, NACADA meetings, OLC conference planning, and other community interactions). Finally, I have sought out new opportunities to grow and learn professionally to focus on research scholarship, instructional design, and strategic organizational planning (e.g. RA position with @veletsianos, CLEAR instructional course design work, and external consulting/training initiatives).

Thanks to a number of you who have been there for me this academic term. Your ear, your advice, and your support have been greatly appreciated during my transition period. Thank you!

LPQ, LPQuarterly

Hot Off the Digital Press: @LPQuarterly 2(3)

With the start of the new academic year, we are pleased to be distributing the new issue of the Learning and Performance Quarterly (LPQ) journal – Volume 2, Issue 3. On behalf of the editorial team, I hope this edition will inform scholars, practitioners and leaders in the learning and performance field.

LPQ_Facebook_Banner

The Learning and Performance Quarterly (ISSN 2166-3564) is a peer-reviewed, open access journal from the Center for Knowledge Solutions at the University of North Texas. The journal takes a broad look at current developments and research that involves innovative learning, training, human resource development, and performance management across academic and professional disciplines.

Learning and Performance Quarterly
Vol 2, No 3 (2014), Table of Contents

Editorial
——–
A New Academic Year, New Learning and Performance Understandings (1)
Laura A. Pasquini,      Tekeshia Zimmerman,     Jeff M. Allen

Invited Articles
——–
Integrated Approach To Building Intercultural Competence (2-15)
Katherine H. Rosenbusch

Research Articles
——–
The Influence of Wiki on Team Effectiveness in a Graduate Research Class (16-34)
Lin Xu, Jessie Cutler,  Jie Xiao,       Holly M. Hutchins

Erikson’s Development Crises: Applying Developmental Theory to Adult Learning (35-48)
Jose Victor Lineros,    Mark E. Fincher

Book Review
——–
Book Review: The Innovator’s DNA (49-50)
Robin James Mayes
______________________________________________
Do you have an article you want to submit?  Our call for proposals is OPEN! Submit your manuscripts to the journal TODAY!

You can review the previous article submissions in the LPQ Archives. We are seeking manuscript submissions for the following categories:

  • Research Articles – Qualitative/Quantitative
  • Concept/Theory Papers
  • Literature Reviews
  • Case Studies
  • Book or Media Reviews
  • Invited Articles
  • Editorials

If you have any questions about potential article submissions, or you are interested in contributing to the Learning and Performance Quarterly editorial team (peer-reviewing, copy editing, layout, etc.) please reach out to myself or the other LPQ Editors.

Thanks for reading,

Dr. Laura A. Pasquini, Editor (@laurapasquini)
Tekeisha D. Zimmerman, Assistant Editor (@TekeishaZ)
Dr. Jeff M. Allen, Managing Editor (@drjeffallen)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Academia, Reflections

Top Ten List for Being a Better Faculty Member

Just when I thought I was done with orientation sessions at UNT… I attended my OWN “new faculty” orientation.

welcome new faculty

{UPDATE: For those who are not aware, I finished my PhD this summer, graduated, and accepted a 9-month faculty appointment with the UNT College of Information as a Lecturer for the Department of Learning Technologies. Yay!}

During the day, information about the campus, expectations and advice was shared by a number of administrative leaders from the campus.

ten

One talk, from Dr. Warren Burggren, the Top 10 List for Being a Better Faculty Member, provided some sound advice, so I thought I would share this with you. I think it applies to new faculty, returning faculty, and others starting a new job in higher education.

10. Get to know the lay of the land. Beyond your office or workspace, get to know other locations on campus. Walk around and explore your college/university. Find out where buildings and resources are located.

9. Meet and greet in your department. Get to know fellow faculty members. Introduce yourself. Starting a new position is a great time to network and meet others in your department, on your campus, and in your discipline.

8. Know the rules… or ask about them. There are a lot of rules at every institution. Be sure to be informed, or know where to go for help or who to ask questions. Don’t be overwhelmed – just be smart.

7. Talk frequently to your chair. They are an ally and confident. Your chair will be there to support and guide your development within the department and your discipline. Set regular meetings/check-ins with your chair as their schedule allows.

6. Most of your frame of reference is still as a graduate student. Make the full transition to full time faculty. Please don’t feel like you need to socialize with your students – rather get social with your peer group. Get involved in faculty networking and social groups. Inappropriate interactions with students is something administration has to deal with, and they would prefer not to manage this.

5. Get a life. Even though you are working hard during your first faculty appointment, don’t forget to play hard as well. Take care of yourself. Find time to do things for you. #TreatYoSelf

4. Stay OR get organized. Don’t over commit. Manage your time effectively. Learn the ability to say no, and feel free to borrow the following phrase when asked to do something: “I would love to do ____ however; I don’t think I am being the best faculty member I can be.”

3. Teach and teach well. Focus on excellence in the classroom. Include solid bookends in your semester, i.e. the first and last lecture. Find something to talk to your students about during both classes. Make it experiential. Engage the students in the first lecture and final lecture. Be dynamic and encourage learners to want more.

2. Take pride in your university and community. Be part of the activities around the campus and city. There are a number of ways to be involved in the community and engage in school spirit. #GoMeanGreen.

1. Keep a sense of humor. The university is a complex hierarchical organization. You will want to take all things in stride. Be sure to laugh, and let things role off you.

Others offer advice for entering into academia here, herehere, here, and HERE. What advice would you give a to a new faculty member? Please share.

#phdchat, Dissertation

Dissertation Boot Camp, Part II

Last week I attended my second Eagle Dissertation Boot Camp. This was a three-day #ShutUpAndWrite session created for UNT graduate students to help us focus our time on our thesis/dissertation projects. My first Eagle Boot Camp was successful as I crafted a great chunk of my dissertation proposal and successfully defended said document in February.

#UNT Dissertation Boot Camp

My data analysis is complete, so my primary objective for this boot camp was to write up and explain the findings (Chapter 4). So, I am happy to report this chapter is almost complete with 28 new pages (which includes some large data graphs). I also spent the time reviewing edits and updates made to Chapter 1, 2 & 3 (my proposal). As many of my doctoral researching friends know — it’s not the page number — you write until you’re finished explaining your research.

I signed up for another boot camp because I enjoy the dedicated space, time, and peer support of these writing groups. Although my morning writing in solitary has been going well, I did appreciate a solid three days of concentration on my dissertation without disruption (texts, emails, etc). During the boot camp I also scheduled a few meetings with my major professor (Dr. Allen) and had a productive meeting with my new my co-chair (Dr. Evangelopoulos) and Dr. A. to review the scope of what I am reporting on for my dissertation. We had a great talk day #1 to review my data analysis, timeline for writing, and inclusions for my dissertation. I am thankful for the time and feedback each advisor has given me over the past few months.

Just like training for a marathon, it is critical to map out a realistic and effective training schedule. In this case, my training  = writing, reviewing, and editing. In planning for August graduation, I have to hit a few upcoming dates set by our graduate school, so my final dissertation defense date is on the near horizon.

DEFENSEphd040914s

Photo c/o @PhDComics “Defending My Thesis

Dissertation Timeline

Date Task
Toulouse Graduate School Dissertation Boot camp:

Chapter 4: Data analysis review; Drafting updated analysis and findings from data productions

4/20/14-4/28/14 Chapter 5: Drafting concluding chapter discussions, social media guidelines & policy development, further research, etc.
4/28/14-5/5/14 Consult with Faculty advisors and dissertation committee to get feedback on first draft (as needed)

 

5/6/14 Final dissertation paper and PowerPoint ready – Mock defense with Dr. A & Dr. E
5/6/14-5/12/14 Review comments & feedback from Co-Major Professors; make edits or additions based on feedback

Consult with dissertation committee members as needed

5/12/14-5/20/14 Send to external editor: final edit and polish
5/20/14-5/27/14 Review edits and comments from editor on dissertation paper; adjust as needed
Clean up and prep final defense PPT
5/28/14 Send FINAL DISSERTATION to committee; officially schedule defense date for June 12, 2014
5/28/14-6/11/14 Edit presentation slide deck, meet with faculty advisors; meet with committee members to review/allow for questions
6/12/14 Dissertation Defense
6/27/14 All paperwork due to Toulouse Graduate School & FINAL COPY of dissertation sent to the Grad School Reader

It’s go time. Back to my “training” — write on, my PhD friends. Write on!

#AcWri, #AcWriMo, Dissertation

#AcWriMo Discipline: Dissertation Boot Camp Here I Come!

In honour of my #AcWriMo November Goal #1, I decided to apply to the UNT Eagle Dissertation Boot Camp that is happening this week (November 21-23). To date, my word count for the month is 19, 344; however I need to dedicate more of these words to my dissertation drafting.

BootCampGraphic

Image from UDaily post from University of Delaware.

After approval from my faculty advisor and support from my supervisor, I applied to this 3-day boot camp to SHUT UP AND WRITE.  I just received my official acceptance to the program from Dr. Joseph Oppong, the Associate Dean for Research and Professional Development in the Toulouse Graduate School:

 Dear Student,

Congratulations, you have been accepted to attend the Eagle Dissertation Boot Camp! It will be held in the Willis Library Forum (first floor area). The boot camp is designed to provide you 3 days of interruption-free, stress-free, no-excuses-just-do-it writing time for your dissertation. To help you prepare so that you optimize your output here are some packing tips.

Be sure to clear your calendar for the whole of the boot camp. You need to commit to attend the entire workshop. You will not be excused to teach or attend class. Arrange transportation and childcare so that you are free to attend each day.

This is your notice that you are enrolled in Boot Camp. If you cannot attend this session let me know immediately. If you cancel within 3 days of the event you will be considered a “no show” unless you situation truly is serious. If you “no show” you will not be allowed to participate in the next session and your advisor will be notified. We have limited funds, space, and resources and you must commit to coming or give your seat to someone else.

Please bring a laptop, a mug (coffee/tea available) and/or water bottle. If you don’t have a laptop, you can check one out from the Library, but, bring a flash drive to save your work. MP3 players and headphones are recommended if they help you concentrate, or if you find nearby conversations distracting. Work tables, lunch, and snacks are provided.

No lateness, please. It’s distracting for the other campers…

Here is the line up this week’s dissertation boot camp – so don’t expect a whole lot of tweets, email responses, social network posts,  or interaction from me as my Interwebs use will be limited from Thursday (11/21) morning onward:

Boot Camp Schedule

Day 1 Day 2 Day 3
8:00-9:30 a.m. Formatting Workshop
9:30-10:00 a.m. Roll Call, Welcome, Introductions, Breakfast
10:00-11:30 a.m. Writing
11:30-12:00 p.m. Wellness Activity
12:00-1:30 p.m. Writing
1:30-2:00 p.m. Lunch
2:00-3:30 p.m. Writing
3:30-6:00 p.m. Optional Writing Time or Optional Individual Consulting
9:00-10:30 a.m. Writing
10:30-11:00 p.m. Wellness Activity
11:00-12:30 p.m. Writing
12:30-1:00 p.m. Lunch with Advisors
1:00-2:30 p.m. Writing
2:30-3:00 p.m. Self-Assessment and Discussion
3:00-6:00 p.m. Optional Writing Time or Optional Individual Consulting
9:00-10:30 a.m. Writing
10:30-11:00 a.m. Wellness Activity
11:00-12:30 p.m. Writing
12:30-1:30 p.m. Lunch
1:30-3:00 p.m. Writing
3:00-6:00 p.m. Optional Writing Time or Optional Individual Consulting

Each day includes:

  • several blocks of writing time
  • scheduled, limited time for web-browsing
  • tip sheets
  • wellness breaks
  • a lunch conversation with fellow campers (box lunches provided)
  • space to continue writing in the afternoon (if interested)

The reason I applied, is to have specific time carved out and a dedicated space to move forward on my #AcWriMo goal #1. A number of things get in the way of my dissertation writing, including other writing projects, presentations, work items, and life. Also, as a student who wears “many hats” on campus and outside my job, I can sometimes find it challenging to pick up where I have left off, and my motivation to just write is fragmented with other responsibilities. I think this dedicated writing schedule will push me further along with my dissertation goals.

I will report back in after “camp” is over. Write on, my friends. Write on.