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Saturday, March 20, 2010

Midterm Reflections: Too Much Time! and I Am Lost.

I have finished reading and digesting the 107 Midterm reflections I received. There are 139 students still enrolled in EDM310, but a fairly large number are not doing their assignments as the rest of you can tell when you attempt to comment on blogs for which there are no current posts.

Class H only had 8 respondents so I am going to open the questionnaire to Class H members through next Thursday midnight (3/25). We'll see what happens.

I have written emails to many of you who raised issues that needed to be addressed. After thinking about it I have decided to post the two emails here. One contains a link to a survey that addresses the amount of time that EDM 310 requires. If you did not get this email but would like to answer the questionnaire, do so. I would value your input.
Too Much Time!
Some comments:
The workload is a bit overwhelming.
Dr. Strange please stop getting so assignment happy.
Take it easy Dr. Strange.... lay back on the amount of work your assigning.
I think it would be better if this class did not have so much work to do...
I feel like I am required to do TOO much for this class

My response:
You and 8 other students indicated that you felt the time demands of EDM310 were excessive either for you or your classmates. This is an experimental semester. I think that the assignments (including learning how to use the tools to do the assignments) can be completed by an average student in LESS than 9 hours per week. But I only THINK this. I have no evidence to support or undermine my beliefs. And I might be wrong!

You can help by answering the questionnaire I have emailed you titled Too Much Time?

Thank you very much for helping me appropriately address this issue.

And by the way, most of the questions can be answered with just a Yes or No so the questionnaire should take no more than 10 minutes or so to do. Let me know how long it actually takes.

Thanks again!

I Am Lost
I am sending this email to thirteen EDM310 students. In your midterm reflection you raised similar but not identical points so there are comments here that apply to some of you and not others. Pick and choose from the comments below as they apply to you. I would suggest you read them all.

You need more structure
Here's a start:
1. Get an organizer.
2. Mark out 9 hours a week for EDM310 (including lab time if you attend the labs)
3. Print out the projects list (or see Wrap Week 7)
4. Figure out what you need to learn how to do to complete the projects you have not done. If you have difficulty with this, ASK your instructor. The sooner the better.
5. Go to the syllabus and find the instructional material that applies to what you need to learn. If you have difficulty with this, ASK your instructor. The sooner the better.
6. At the appointed time (in your organizer), report for work.
7. Start doing your work. Start with the regular, continuing assignments:
Read the class blog (every day). Do anything that has been added or required since your last visit to the blog.
blog assignment
blog post
8. Continue with the projects you have underway (or need to get started on). Prioritize them. Move forward on them as appropriate.
9. When you have completed your 9 hours for the week, take a break (allow time for reading the class blog EVERY DAY) if you are near your 9 hour limit.

You are confused
ASK FOR HELP! Do not wait! I have said this OVER and OVER again but many students who should do not ask for help. It is free. We have promised 24 hour turn around and we are doing very well at that. We seek to respond in 6 hours or less. As far as I can tell we usually meet that goal (not a promise). ASK FOR HELP IMMEDIATELY if you need it!

You don't like blended or online courses
Why not? Be totally honest in your answer. This may give you some clues about what to do about the fact that EDM310 is, and will continue to be, a blended course. And you have to complete it successfully to gain candidacy status. In addition, more and more classes at South will become online, blended, or web enhanced in the future. If it were not for the baby sitting functions that K-12 schools provide, I would expect it to happen there as well.

The Syllabus needs improvement
I agree wholeheartedly. I am beginning to revise it. Any suggestions you have would be VERY welcome!

1 comment:

  1. I love your attitude toward the students that complain. Most teachers would tell the students to suck it up. This is a good lesson for your students as well, they need to see that they must be willing to address their students concerns and adjust their class work as well.

    On another note, I see many of your students "phoning it in". I guarantee that most have not spent anywhere near 9 hours a week doing their classwork, the proof is in what they have produced for their blogs. Obviously you are seeing from your students what we public school teachers deal with all the time. (I might be less forgiving of my students if they planned to be teachers though.) Apparently they have not all bought in to the idea that what they are learning is important. Let's just hope that they remember this when they have their own classroom and decide to punish students for not doing quality work on what they have assigned...