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What can I say other than I am humbled, thankful, and ready to begin the next step in this journey?

Week Ten

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I don’t even know what to say…this is amazing!

Now, I have excitement jitters as I look forward to being a rookie instructional designer and adjunct faculty.  I am nervous, too, about submitting this website for my capstone….I can only hope it’s met with great reviews.  Goodness knows, I am working hard to put the finishing touches on it and realizing that I really am competent enough to teach adults and I feel confident that I will be successful.  Neither boastful nor arrogant, completing my graduate degree program and having this experience have both taught me to be more confident in myself, my talents and my personality. I have grown up, again, and even with just a couple weeks left, I anticipate learning and sharing more.

Week Nine

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Going into this week, I feel thrilled to the bone.  I HAVE LEARNED SO MUCH and I feel so accomplished because I have finally organized and synthesized it in a way that is meaningful to me as a growing teacher and in a way that I think makes reasonable sense to anyone who reads it.  Not to mention, I have accepted an offer to be a part of adjunct faculty at Granite State College in winter and spring to do instructional design for and teach Persuasive Communication!  I get to continue to teach in the discipline I love so much and within which I, apparently, have natural skills.  I am very excited and can’t wait to get started!

In the meantime, I will continue to work on this amazing website that I have built and see what the end result will be.  I am so glad it was suggested to me to do a sort of Best Practices forum…look what happened…!

Week Eight

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It was energizing and educating to revisit my Converse! page.  There is so much rich information to condense without letting the message become lost.  Speaking of lost, I am really invigorated by this work and I happy I made the choice to do try this experience.  I find myself getting lost in all of this rich information.  I only hope that I can apply it well and teach with a solid knowledge base and at least seem like I have expertise   :o)

This college teaching thing is way cool…


Week Seven

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Past the 1/2 way hurdle!  Yippie!

How amazing has this been?!  I am taking every great thing and continuing to synthesize it.  I AM CONTINUING TO LEARN!  For as much fun as learning more has been, I have really started to dig this whole website design thing.  Out of sight!

I want to look at my Converse! page.  It needs some love.  What else can I say about conversation being the essence of the online classroom (or any classroom for that matter)?  How can I show that?  We know it’s true, it’s just hard to put it into words.  How ironic can you get?

Week Six

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We are half way through the course and it seems like there is way too much great information to give a proper synopsis that does justice to this on-going learning experience.  I am plugging away at creating this website that I hope I can use 10 years from now.  Well, at least 5 years from now!  How does one say thank you for such gracious instruction, valuable thoughts, and precious time?  I learn and grow, that’s how, I think.  I hope I haven’t attempted to cash a check for which I am not worthy of receiving funds…

Although I am confident in my abilities, there is still, and always, that fear that my brain is simply going to rupture and all this information will ooze right onto the pavement leaving me with nothing left to write.  Now, we all know that that’s not going to happen.  But, I can say, that I’m grateful to have so much information and guidance than none at all.

I try.  I succeed.  I kick butt!

Week Five

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I am knee deep!  I have learned so many rich things from being a Teaching Assistant as well as throughout my entire graduate program that I almost feel like I don’t even know where to start.  Mostly, I have great thoughts and notes that need to be compiled and it’s tough to do when everything is so interconnected.  How do you separate out the elements of instructional design, adult learning theory and teaching with one’s strengths into snippets that are understandable, reliable and do justice to the whole system?  I think I am finding a way to do that but it’s actually tougher than I had anticipated.

I have seen strides in my own work and I am confident I can pull it all together.  Or, rather I should say, I can separate it.

Week Four

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I focused this week on the up front work necessary to create essential questions and determine course outcomes.  Understanding by Design, The Adult Learner, and Bloom’s Taxonomy Revised were revisited and became my new best friends.  With adult learners, being clear and concise is key.  Lengthy questions with unclear madness are not going to impress them or help them want to talk about or learn from their own experiences or the experiences of others.  Clear and concise in creation is key.

I found that revisiting UbD and Bloom’s made me relive my genuine passion for connecting with others in the form of teaching and training.  They provide easy and consistent frameworks for me to be able to “get it” and thus help others do the same.

Week Three

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As an instructor, it pays to act like a student  — do the same work they do.  If there is a complex assignment, take a stab at it.  Not for the sake of being able to say, “I’ve been there and done that,” but for the sake of realizing that there might be a new perspective or new information that can be observed and absorbed.  This, undoubtedly, will help facilitate greater learning for the students.  Use what you’ve learned as a communication tool, teaching tool, learning tool, and grounding and centering of the self tools.  Remember, there are objectives and the means by which we achieve them are not always what we thought they might be.

Week Two

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Context is everything.  The context a course comes not only from the subject matter, but from the set up established for students to follow.  The “up front” work is key to getting the contextual flow of conversation going.  When set up and instructionally designed well, the course almost dictates itself.  It flows more immediately from one perspective to important point to the next.  This saves the in progress course work to making sure the students are responsive and engaged and not trying to prompt them, as much, to be involved.

There is an art to getting a good feeling for what student posts will help further stimulate thinking and conversations.  It can be learned over time; but, in the short run, it almost always lies in the realm of students who are on the right track in terms of knowledge base of the material.  sometimes, thought, students who are off-centered can spark thoughts of interest that take the conversation back toward the intended objectives.

Up-Front work is very important in establishing learning objectives and the context of the course.  Flow, then, becomes more natural and fruitful.