Progress Report

I am not enjoying this class. At all. The course is absolutely overwhelming. I don’t understand why BlackBoard isn’t being used. It’s a portal we all understand and have learned to maneuver around. I don’t see why we need to be a part of so much social media, when honestly one, or even just BB would have been perfectly fine. I very much dislike being a part of so much random social media for one class, which technically feels like seven due to so many of us being in different sections, yet mushed together on the same site.
We know the internet! We are that generation! More social media is probably NOT the best idea for us! Not to mention most of us work and have families and maybe, possibly, a couple other classes as well. The twenty different websites I have to get around to just to see my work for the day is not going over well with me. I like clear cut concise right there in your face information, which is usually how BB works. I do not like to turn in so much work late. I feel as if this course in itself is the distraction and it’s absolutely frustrating. Being the guinea pigs is always the worst.
Although I am whining, I do want to give a shout out to the professors for trying. It was a nice try. Didn’t hit a great mark with the public though. I think it’s brave that you all put together this intense nonsense to get us into the swing of research writing. I still think you all should go traditional with this type of class.
Well, I believe there’s always a silver lining (maybe it’ll be that we’re all transferred back to BB hint hint). So I guess I can suck it up for a couple weeks.

One thought on “Progress Report”

  1. I’m sad to hear you are so discomforted by this class. When I lived in Japan a few years ago, I tried teaching a Computer Literacy class under a similar open framework as UNIV200.

    My class was not nearly as well prepared or supported as this one is. Many of the students were up in arms from week one with similar issues as the ones you raise in your frank and well written post. As a part-time adjunct instructor with zero job security, I was frightened that the unhappy mutterings of so many students would lead to me losing the job and the ability to support my family.

    And then a serendiptious thing occured while I was in the basement computer lab reading and trying to comment on student blog posts. I heard Dr. C and Alan (@cogdog) live on the ds106radio. They were spinning vintage vinyl (Kansas and Electric Light Orchestra if memory serves) and talking about all sorts of matters related to open online education.

    Dr. C said that these new learning enviroments and experience that many of us are trying to implement have a tendency to be confusing to students who are accustomed to having things more clearly spelled out for them in a class in terms of assingments and grading assignments. He continued by saying that meaningful learning often does take place when we as learners are most confused. I think this might be because the confusion and uncertainty then become problems that the learner must solve on her own.

    I’m certain I’m doing a poor job of paraphrasing Dr. C. In fact, I’ve seen him bring this very topic up in comments on another blog post somewhere.

    The takeaway for me from hearing Alan’s and Dr. C’s discussion was that it gave me a small shot of confidence to not give in to the students’ demands to teach the course in a more traditional way.

    Ultimately, the course seemed to turn in to a meaningful experience for many of those who’d been most vocal in expressing their early misgivings. It wound up being one of the more enjoyable classes I’ve ever taught.

    I still wound up losing the job but that’s another story for another day.

    Bottom line, I’m fairly confident this thing isn’t going on to BlackBoard. So you’re just going to have to tough it out for the next seven weeks. And wouldn’t it be an awesome surprise if this turned out to one of classes that you wind up remembering most when your school days are but a distant memory?

    Stanger things have happened. Hang in there.

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