Being “voted off the island” is a cultural phenomenon that has sprung up in the last decade, especially in television shows like The Apprentice, Survivor, and American Idol (I don’t watch any of these shows, by the way, I just here that contestants are voted off!). TV shows that demonstrate collaborative group process? Non-existent. They would not make for good television, or so the ad-men tell us! So when it comes to teaching group process, we don’t have many cultural examples to relate to, and we might be dealing with students who possess a distorted view of “real world” workplaces, where employees who don’t contribute their fair share are simply “voted off the island.”
I want to share my most recent experience with group process as an instructor in a motor development course. Ultimately, my faith in group process has not been shaken, but through reflection and discussion, I have devised a few best practices that I will be employing in future group assignments. What follows is an account of student successes and some areas where students struggled.
Continue reading “Group process in the classroom: True collaboration, or Survivor?”
This morning, I woke up around 6:15am, and came across this article of a Day of Higher Ed on my LinkedIn reading list, suggesting that academics respond to a recent critique in a Washington Post editorial that academics are “underworked.” It resonated, given my recent frustrations with managing my workload, and my feelings that my “work” as a research assistant and teaching assistant has compromised my experience as a doctoral student. I think it’s always important to really document the “problem” so I figured I would track my day and add it to the conversation on Twitter with the #dayofhighered hash-tag.
So here goes… Continue reading “Day in the Life – #dayofhighered”
I conducted a mid-semester evaluation in my Physical Growth and Motor Behavior section over Spring Break, to assess my performance and to identify areas that I can improve in the remaining seven weeks of the course. I used a two question open-ended response on SurveyMonkey, and followed it up with an analysis of the 50 most common words using a word-diagram (wordle.net). This word diagram helped to frame my reading of 36 individual responses. For a complete description, including the word diagrams, see Mid-Semester Evaluation – Spring 2012. via KIN 360 Course Hub. Continue reading Mid-Semester Evaluation – KIN 360 – Spring 2012
As an instructor, how can I make the most out of limited contact hours with students? A semester seems like a long time… between 28 and 30 hour-and-twenty-minute meetings. But in reality, that time goes quickly, and when the end of the semester rolls around, I often ask myself, “did my students actually learn anything meaningful?”
To make learning experiences meaningful, I struggle with a basic question that most collegiate educators struggle with daily. Do I go broad, and attempt to “cover” lots of material? Or do I choose core concepts, and go into depth, giving students the time and scaffolding to ask deeper questions about the knowledge itself. This deep thinking is the gold-mine that all instructors are trying to find, but sometimes students need some “surface knowledge” before they can start digging deeper.
Continue reading “Book Review: Blended Learning in Higher Education”