Showing posts from December, 2014

Connecting the dots...thoughts about working in academia

[warning: lengthier post than usual] Before I left for December my mini vacation I had a holiday themed catch-up with a number of friends and colleagues on campus. With the semester winding down, and with the holidays as an excuse it was a good opportunity for people to get together and share some news about what had transpired over the past semester, share notes, best practices, and so on. One of my colleagues inquired how things are going in the office as far as admissions go. There seems to be some doom and gloom over falling admission on campus, but that's a topic for another day. Things are going well in my department (knock on wood), so much so that we are not able to admit all qualified applicants since we don't have enough people to teach for us. My colleague's solution (my colleague is a full time instructional designer, for what it's worth) was that we need to "change the model," instead of relying on tenure stream professors to teach our cou

MOOC thoughts closing out 2014

It's the final stretch of 2014! This makes it my fourth year in exploring MOOCs - boy does time fly!  When I started off with LAK11 I was really just looking for ways to continue learning for free.  While I do get a tuition benefit at work, this also involves standard semesters of 13 weeks, getting work-release time (since online learning isn't covered by the benefit) and retaining the motivation to keep going through a predefined course and syllabus.  Even when MobiMOOC happened and we formed the MobiMOOC research team I really didn't foresee that the, oddly named, MOOC would catch on fire the way it did.  At the time I was eager to get some initial thoughts together on how to put together a MOOC (now they are called cMOOCs) and put together a Great Big MOOC Book , with others, that was a right mix of research and practice.  Since the MOOC has really expanded a lot over the years, with many different things being called a "MOOC" the original idea might be bett

DALMOOC Episode 10: Is that binary for 2? We've reached recursion!

Hey!  We've made it! It's the final blog post about #dalmooc... well... the final blog post with regard to the paced course on Edx anyway :)  Since we're now in vacation territory, I've decided to combine Weeks 9 and 10 of DALMOOC into one week.   These last two weeks have been a little light on the DALMOOC side, at least for me.  Work, and other work-related pursuits, made my experimentation with LightSIDE a little light (no pun intended).  I did go through the videos for these two weeks and I did pick out some interesting things to keep in mind as I move through this field. First, the challenges with this sort of endeavor: First we have data preparation. This part is important since you can't just dump from a database into programs like LightSIDE. Data needs some massaging before we can do anything with it.  I think this was covered in a previous week, but I think it needs to be mentioned again since there is no magic involved, just hard work! The other chall

First semester done!

Hurray! The first semester of my doctoral studies is done!  Well, it was done last week, but as I wrote in the previous post (on #dalmooc) it's been one crazy semester.  I had hoped that I would blog once a week on the topic of EDDE 801 , getting some interesting nuggets of information each week to share , but between MOOC like #ccourses, work, and regular EDDE 801 work, no such luck.  I felt I was putting in enough time in EDDE 801 and that I gave everything into the closed system that is Moodle rather than on the blog.  So, here's one blog post to try to re-capture some thoughts I had while the semester was in progress. Early on one of the things I really dreaded were the synchronous sessions, every Tuesday at 8PM (my time).  My previous experience with synchronous sessions was not a good one, thus coloring my expectations for this course. Most of my previous experience has been one-way communication webinars (yaaaawn), or mandatory online course synchronous sessions fo

DALMOOC Episode 9: the one before 10

Hello to fellow #dalmooc participants, and those who are interested in my own explorations of #dalmooc and learning analytics in general.  It's been a crazy week at work with many things coming down all at the same time such as finishing advising, keeping an eye on student course registrations, and new student matriculations, making sure that our December graduates are ready to take the comprehensive exam...and many, many more things. This past week I really needed a clone of myself to keep up ;-)  As such, I am a week behind on dalmooc (so for those keeping score at home, these are my musings for Week 7). In week 7 we are tackling Text Mining, a combination of my two previous disciplines: computer science and linguistics (yay!). This module brought back some fond memories of corpus linguistics exploration that I had done a while while I was doing my MA in applied linguistics. This is something I want to get back to, at some point - perhaps when I am done with my doctorate and