Posts

Please stop fetishizing the campus...

Image
 This grew out of a response on Facebook to an IHE column by Josh Kim recently posted, titled  10 Inconsistent Ways That I Am Thinking About the Future of Academic Work . I was content with leaving this response as a social media reaction, but I was prompted and prodded a bit to clean it up a bit and write about it. It seems like I ended up writing more than I intended. Anyway, I am not interested in submitting it to IHE as an op-ed, so I figured I'd post it on my own blog (for whatever it's worth - maybe I can get the google juice instead of IHE 🤣).  Josh posts 10 things that give him cognitive dissonance about remote work in higher education, but I find the list rather contrived. Worse, I find it to be a list that might live on someone's blog as a quick pondering rather than on something that purports to be a higher-ed news outlet. tl;dr: For what it's worth, I think the fetishization of campus culture, exhibited both in this article and elsewhere in the world of aca

Alumni Engagement at the micro-level

Image
  A while back a tweet caught my eye that really piqued my interest. I don't remember who posted it, but it was responded to by someone I follow with a confirmatory story of their own.  The tweet went something like this: I finished my [graduate] degree x-many years ago. In this time, I have not been contacted by my [alma matter] department to participate on panel discussions, webinars, submit updates on my professional activities, articles I've authored, write a guest blog- or newsletter-post, give a talk, facilitate a workshop, etc. Let me say that I can totally understand! If my experience is any indication it's probably not you but rather how the organization functions.  As most blog posts go, I have some anecdotes! These are both from my experiences as an alumnus of an organization and  as a staff member of that organization.  Student & Alumnus Perspective Let me start with my experiences as an alumnus. I graduated from my programs in 2004, 2007, 2008, and 2010 (x2

When MOOCs turn into Self-Paced eLearning...

Image
It is true that, as of this writing, there is much more serious stuff happening in the world today, both in the US and abroad, but this has been percolating in my brain for a while, so I thought I'd jot down some thoughts on one of my favorite topics: the MOOC. Now that I am done with my dissertation, and I've had a little time to rest my brain and refocus on what I want to geek out on, I've wanted to do a retrospective piece on MOOCs. I was going to call it a post-mortem  because I think that the time of the MOOC has passed. Don't get me wrong, I think there is still gas in the tank of companies like Coursera, Edx, and Futurelearn, but I wouldn't call them MOOCs. The innovative pedagogical stuff I saw early on doesn't quite seem to be there these days, with a focus going to AI, massification, and Machine Learning.   In any case, my idea for a post-mortem was particularly poignant because 2022 is the 10th anniversary of the year of the MOOC  (time flies...😮). T

Graduate Students as OSCQR reviewers

Image
In the beforetimes (summer 2019), I had access to some graduate assistant hours and I needed to find a project for them.  Since this group of graduate assistants was destined to become educators, I thought it would be an interesting idea to train them on the OSCQR rubric and have them be " reviewer 1" and "reviewer 2" on a few course reviews that I wanted to undertake. I took on the role of the instructional designer in this exercise (reviewer 3).  Now, I know that the faculty member who is teaching these courses also needs to be part of the conversation, but more on that later... My original goal for this exercise, beyond the actual review, was to conduct a collaborative autoethnography of the process of having graduate students conduct OSCQR reviews of courses that they had themselves had most likely taken as a learner. Content-wise the material should have been similar even if the instructors and modalities were potentially different.  Well, the Fall 2019 semeste

What Dual Modeing Taught me about Remote Work

Image
"I go into the office for collaboration" - the collaboration... I suppose the title should be " some of what I learned...," since I probably can't fit everything in a blog post, but let's begin and see where I end up ;-)   The TL;DR: be careful about the word "choice," while choice is good, you might get results that you didn't expect and are ill-equipped to handle. I follow a Twitter personality who evangelizes about the remote office. I admit, I am biased and lean toward positive views of the remote office and remote work in general.  This morning one of the Twitter posts went like this: ~~~~~~~ Personality: Old people: young people need the office for social contact Young people: actually we'd like to live closer to our friends and family Respondent 1 (toward personality): My 20-year old son old prefers to go into the office and doesn't enjoy working from home the one day a week. People need choice. Working from home is not for ever

Dr. Academic Generalist?

Image
Puzzle board generalist Over the past few months, this idea has been floating around in my head, but I haven't really found the words to describe my general ponderings, so here goes a freewriting activity that I hope makes sense... July will be the one-year anniversary from whence I passed my dissertation defense (yay!) and became a "doctor"👏 (not the 'damn it Jim!" kind😜).  Over the last few years, leading up to my dissertation defense, I had spent a lot of time becoming an expert in collaboration, and specifically in an open educational context. There was a little rhizomatic stuff there, but I need to go back and read more about it. I had also spent a lot of time building my expertise on the Community of Inquiry model before I abandoned that line of inquiry, as well as communities of practice, MOOCs, and other peripheral areas to collaboration and open ed.  One of my friends, who had already completed their doctoral journey a few years prior, told me to reall

Pondering the MOOC post-mortem

Image
Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash Back in December, I had an idea: 2022 is the 10 year anniversary since the "year of the MOOC," so why not write something about it? After all, open education and MOOCs are subjects that interest me a lot, still. MOOCs of course go back before 2012, and the year of the MOOC  in 2012 was really relevant in North America.  I've seen other proclamations for the year of the MOOC being 2013 or 2014, but that's in different contexts. Anyway, since it's 10 years from some  proclamation, and this year is actually one where I am free and clear from the obligations of dissertation writing, I thought it would be fun to revisit my old stomping grounds and do a 10-13 year retrospective research article (I need to get back into publishing somehow, no? 😂). I also have a title:  MOOC post-mortem: A decade(+) of MOOCs .  More on this title later. Anyway, I decided to start this project in a very predictable way.  I already had a treasure trove of re

Who moved my cheese?

Image
I was reading Twitter the other daaayyy (just picture someone from Letterkenny saying this😜) and I came upon yet another discussion that basically boiled down to online (or remote) versus face-to-face. I made the mistake of reading the replies🙄.   On the one hand, I was hoping that there would be a more nuanced discussion (and to be fair, I did get those types of replies from people I follow), but there were so many more about "online not being for everyone,"  about how people who teach face to face can "see if their points are landing and if learners are confused," or how "face to face is easier for building community" (maybe for you extroverts...🤨), or even "online works great if you love reading information off a screen and taking self-paced tests" (someone's learning like it's 1999...🤣) and other such (insert word/phrase of your choice). Obviously, the quotes are paraphrased. I became upset and irritated reading such non-sense pos