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Showing posts from April, 2009

Hybrid Hiccups vs. F2F Courses

This year has been a study in contrasts. I chose to teach a traditional technical writing course in the fall and a hybrid course during the spring semester. The differences in student projects, the quality of their analyses, and general attitudes is remarkable.

I know research found no easily quantified differences in learning outcomes. However, I think anyone could compare the group projects between these courses and see a difference in the products. While the lessons learned and the facts students retain might be similar, the results do demonstrate something.

Some elements of are "intangible" because they are social and philosophical. For example, groups struggled online, even with guidance and gentle remainders to establish schedules and routines. In the traditional course, groups developed stronger bonds and worked together frequently. It should be noted that the face-to-face (F2F) students exchanged more e-mail and chatted more often than the students on the officially …

My Online Portfolio (Job Hunt Ahead!)

I am completing an online portfolio, which is always a good process for self-evaluation as an instructor.
Because I ask my students to create online personas and to work on various digital projects, this is a good way to keep myself grounded. It reminds me that the process is never easy, no matter how experienced one might be with the genres involved.

My teaching philosophy took me two weeks to edit, and I'm still not pleased with the results. The sidebar and overall site design isn't what I had hoped to create, either. Something about it doesn't seem to convey who I am. At least I can sympathize with my students.

Some of the university job listings ask applicants to describe the classes they might want to teach. I could list two or three dozen, easily. I am a proud generalist, with too many interests and a complete inability to focus on a specialty. That's not a bad thing, since I can be a "utility player" within a de…

Virtual Romances, Real Complications

Visalia Direct: Virtual Valley
May 2009 Issue
March 30, 2009

Virtual Romances, Real Complications

“He was in my guild. Probably the best thief I’ve ever met.”

When I began approaching acquaintances for a column about finding romance online, I expected to hear stories like you see in the television commercials. You know the commercials: the matchmaking service finds the perfect match based on math and science.

“We chatted online while plotting strategies. He was clever, funny, and I just knew I had to get to know him outside the game.”

As it turns out, my friends are either skeptical of the hype or they are too cheap to pay for online matchmaking. Instead, the people I know have found online romance when they haven’t been searching for love, proving the old truism about love finding you. Apparently, love can find you between heists in virtual worlds.

Since I am not an online gamer — I play Scrabble, Word Jong, and Chessmaster on a Nintendo DS — I had no idea people were meeting and fal…