Posts

A more hospitable airport lounge?

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Airport Lounge (looks inviting, yet it's temporary) I'm back, baby! (just picture me as Frank Constanza from Seinfeld 😂) OK, dissertation done(ish)  [just waiting for final approvals], and oral defense passed.  So, I guess I have some more free time to blog, and MOOC [if a MOOC were to become available 😉].  It's been a rather...interesting 18 months.  I've been wanting to work fully remote for years and I got my wish.  I just wish that we didn't need to have a global pandemic as the reason for it.  This fall, we're slated to return to campus, and I am a bit apprehensive. More on that perhaps in future blog posts. For now, I wanted to write some thoughts that came by reading my friend Lance's most recent [unpublished] IHE piece.  You can read the entire piece, titled "Instructional Designers on Campuses" here . There's no doubt that we've learned a lot during this pandemic. How much learning loss  administrators and faculty experience, onc

Just about a month to go...

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It's been a while since I've blogged about...anything, really! After a lot of writing, feedback, editing, some more feedback, some more editing, my dissertation is finally ready to be defended.  Since Dissertation Defense is a "DD", it reminded me a bit of the Dunkin' Donuts logo, so here's my New England mind thought it would be fun to create a logo to riff off the Dunks logo (how locals refer to Dunkin' Donuts). The first date of available availability was July 7, and I took it.  The 07/07 was a nice reduplication.  In retrospect, I should have chosen the 14th, so I could have 07/14/21 😂. Oh well, maybe for the next doctoral degree (ROFL). At the moment I am spending time reviewing what I submitted, taking notes, making a plan for the presentation, and getting ready for the 2 hours of questions.  With five (5) people on my examination committee and 20 minutes given to each member (and another 20 for me to present), that's going to be a long one. Mor

Rhizo22: The rMOOC that might be?

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  Wonder what's in this... It's been a crazy seven days.  As part of my narrative inquiry into collaborations that occurred in rhizo14 and rhizo15 (or collaborations that sprung up from the work that started there), I am writing a fictional account of a newbie rhizo-learner (sort of how I was a newbie back in rhizo14) who gets to meet rhizo-alumni from past courses and ask them about their collaborations.  This newbie is simultaneously my avatar, but also a persona that encapsulates some common features of the people I connected with to learn more about their experiences. I find the flexibility that narrative inquiry affords a bit freeing.  I can more easily change names, places, and situations, but I still can get to the main ideas that emerged from my conversations with rhizo14 alumni and collaborators.  Anyway, my fictional rhizo course that takes place in 2022 (June 2022, to be exact). I could have made up all the weekly provocation titles, and the course tagline, but it&#

OK, where's my script writer?

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It's been a busy October thus far in dissertation research land .  How do I know?  My memo doc for October is already at 40 pages (single-spaced) in length, and it's only October 6th! The September and August memo docs are sparse by comparison! Just as a "previously on AK's Dissertation Adventure", I am examining collaboration in Rhizo14 (and to some extent Rhizo15) using Narrative Inquiry as my method. Memo documents are my interim texts, which are essentially my ongoing analysis, reflection, thoughts, and quarantining my own views as a researcher; but they sound cooler when using the Narrative Inquiry lingo of interim texts .  I like the term because I feel like it denotes something on-going, reflective, iterative, and in the midst;  whereas "data analysis" feels more sterile. Anyway, my free time is spent looking at field texts (my "data"), making notes in the margin, jotting down names of actors, actions, plots, motivations, and thoughts. 

And just like that, it's fall! (or Autumn, same deal)

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It's hard to believe, but the summer is in the rearview mirror.  Next week the fall semester begins and as I look back over the summer  I see some things I learned (or observed) in these coronatimes: The FoMo is still strong! I thought I had beaten back FoMo (fear of missing out) but I guess not :-).  This summer many conferences made the switch to online this summer due to the ongoing pandemic and their registration was free.  This made them accessible both in terms of place (online) and cost (free) for me.  So I registered.  I might have registered for far too many because there weren't enough hours to participate synchronously and attend everything I wanted to.  Luckily most sessions were recorded, so I was able to go back and review recordings of things I missed.  Between the Connected Learning Conference, IABL Conference, OLC Ideate, Bb World, HR.com's conference (and a few more that I can't remember at the moment), I got more Professional Development done this

Graduate admissions process pondering

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This post has been brewing in my head for a couple of years now. Since I am waiting for IRB clearance for my dissertation I thought it would be a good time to jot things down and see what others think.  I usually tend to have people in my network who either teach or work in some sort of instructional designer (or faculty developer) capacity.  I don't (think) I know too many people in the higher education administration aspects of my work to discuss these kinds of things with (so I may just be speaking to no one 😝). Anyway, one thing that's been gnawing at me for the past number of years is how one enters into graduate programs.  I'll focus more on the master's level for a few reasons.  I manage an MA program, I teach for an MEd program, and from observation, I've seen that masters programs probably don't have as many administrative constraints: for example, [virtual] classroom space, working with a cohort model that's more tightly integrated [as co

HyFlex is not what we need (for Fall 2020)

HyFlex (Hybrid Flexible) is a way of designing courses for (what I call) ultimate flexibility.  It takes both ends of the teaching spectrum, fully face-to-face, and fully online-asynchronous and it bridges the gap.  Back in the day, I learned about this model of course design by taking an OLC workshop with Brian himself, but you can learn more about the model in his free ebook .  I liked the model at the time (and I still do), because it gave more options to learners in the ways they wanted to participate in the course. They could come to class, they could participate online synchronously, and they could just be asynchronous, or a mix of any one of those depending on the week. Quite a few people on twitter, including @karenraycosta, were pondering whether they don't like HyFlex (in general), or the implementations of HyFlex that we are seeing. Heck, It seems like HyFlex has become the white label flex model for universities because some of them are creating their own brands o

Is "online learning" the new "community college"?

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Me, pondering OK, maybe the analogy isn't totally clear to you, so let me explain my context.  When I was in high school (mid-to-late 90s) the advertised (or expected) path after high school seemed pretty clear to me: go to college. There were really no "buts" about it, and there were no gap years considered (those were luxuries that well-off people had since they had money to burn). It was an expectation, from guidance counselors, from teachers, from parents, maybe even from society. Higher education was the path to a good middle-class life, and people were willing to take out loans to go to their dream school in order to achieve this goal. This was a pretty important goal for my parents considering that neither one of them made it to university and I'd be the first in the family (maybe even my broader family) to do this. No pressure, eh? ;-) One thing that seemed like an underlying current was how dismissive some (many?) people were about community coll

Synchronous, online learning, and "remote" learning

The question of synchronous sessions in online learning has been swirling in my head over the past few weeks.  So has the term "remote" instruction (🙄).  I usually tend to sit on the sidelines these days, maybe throwing a few potshots on twitter here and there when I have time, but this article on IHE today was one where my eyes rolled too hard, and there was an audible grunt in the room... First of all, I guess I should explain my aversion to the term "remote" instruction.  Our field, distance education, has many terms to describe learning at a distance that actually mean something, and have actually had decades of research behind them!  Because the existing terms mean something, and usually have legalistic implications, it's like administrators are using a synonym for "distance" in order to avoid any sorts of contractual agreements that they have made.  For instance, at my institution, if a faculty member develops an online course from scratc

Technology will save us all!

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...or wait... will it? It's been a while since I wrote something on here†, and in all honesty, I thought about taking a sabbatical  from blogging to focus on dissertation-related matters.  However, I really hate the current practice of threading on twitter where someone writes 10, 20, 30, or 40 tweets in a thread.  We've even invented an app to make these threads more readable .  I can't roll my eyes hard enough at this because it's a solution for a problem we shouldn't have.  We have long-form means of communicating - they are called blogs.  But anyway - I'll cease my "get off my lawn"-ness and move on to the point.  Now, where was I?  Oh yeah... I wanted to respond to something I saw on twitter, but I didn't was to just create a stupidly long thread. So, in case you have not been paying attention, there is a bit of a global health scare going on, namely COVID-19 (or Coronavirus as the media calls it). It's gotten to the point where c