Reflection after Incubation…

Part 4 – Back to work and reflection

Idea Notes Addendum (new thoughts are shown in green)

Videos:

  • Go through each chapter in the textbook and pick out 1-2 “sticky” areas and create short videos where I walk through a process or technique to help students better understand a particular technique – include actual coding.
    • Review the help discussion forum in each class to identify the “sticky” areas that students are asking the most questions about and use those discussions as video topics. I can keep a video library and provide links to the videos as needed from semester to semester.
  • Ask students to provide 1-2 areas in the chapter reading that they would like more clarification on. I will choose the 1-2 most popular areas based on student input and create a short video.
    • This requires input from the students, they may not have time in their schedule, and I may receive limited responses. I don’t plan on doing this.
  • Create generic videos that I can use throughout all of my online courses demonstrating how to submit completed work, accessing the web server, and interacting with the web server, which are common practices and requirements across all the courses in the program.
    • This is very doable, will benefit the students, and can be used for all courses not only a single course.

Student Support:

  • Assemble a document that contains all the support services offered at the college that can be distributed the students: (learning centers, career services, counseling & academic advising, disability/special services, Financial Aid, Reading & Writing Studios, Veteran and military services, health and benefits assistance, child care resources, and food assistance through the food pantry).
    • The document will include the name of the service, location (if applicable), and a contact name, phone number, and email.
    • The document will be emailed out to the entire class as well posted within the online classroom.
      • The college may already have a document like this so I can check there first before creating my own.
      • There is a tutor for my courses so I can include the tutor’s schedule at the start of each semester and post that in my online classroom as well as send it out via email.
  • Offer online office hours for students who cannot make it to on campus office hours.
    • This will be offered during a set time each week – all students welcome from multiple sections.
      • In order to do this, I first have to decide on which conferencing software to use (considering Zoom), type up instructions for the students, and then test it out.
    • Offer Individual online assistance (by appointment) for any personal issues and/or program advising.
      • See note above.
  • Advertise workshops at campus that promote student success.
    • Post announcements in the online classroom and send the information out to the class via email.
      • This information is already available at the college so I can simply link to it from within my online classrooms.
  • Share job/internship information within the virtual classroom and via email.
      • This is something that would be made available to students whenever I am given the information; it’s not something that may occur every week. It’s very easy to do with an email or link to an external website.
  • Encourage on/off campus study groups.
    • These are set up and managed entirely by students.
      • I won’t be involved in setting up the study groups; this will be the student’s responsibility. However, I can offer suggestions and sent out an email to the class with recommendations.
    • Offer meeting suggestions such as the campus Learning Centers or the Student Centers (at both campuses).
      • For meeting online, I can enable the chat feature in the online classroom so students can interact synchronously.
        • This is simply a setting in the college’s LMS.

Making a Personal Connection:

  • Conducting “optional” online meeting sessions during the first week of class and half way through the course to connect with students.
    • In order to do this, I first have to decide on which conferencing software to use (considering Zoom), type up instructions for the students, and then test it out.
  • Invite students to follow and connect with me on Twitter and LinkedIn.
    • This information is present in my contact information but sending out an email to the class inviting the students to connect with me may be effective and also serve as a reminder.
  • Holding an online meet and greet – get to know the students and they can get to know me.
    • In order to do this, I first have to decide on which conferencing software to use (considering Zoom), type up instructions for the students, and then test it out.

Summary

Connect by Senjin PojskićWhen I started the process, I found it very easy to start jotting down questions, thoughts, and ideas based on my problem of practice. As I got to the idea notes section and as I was writing, I kept thinking to myself, “I need to narrow my focus, I can’t possibly do all of this at one time.” Reflecting on the information that I wrote down, I realized there are so many variables in this problem that I don’t have any control over and those variables are a big component of the problem. In order to wrap my head around this problem, I decided to break down the ideas into three main categories: videos, student support, and making a personal connection. From the main categories, I then tried to create subcategories – I was really trying to make sense of it all (actually, I was trying to determine a pattern – cue our previous week’s readings). As I’m writing at this very moment (after my “mind break”), there may only be a single category, student support, and everything else could easily fit into that single category. Yes! Did I just have a “profound insight”?

I’m a big fan of taking mental breaks and do it often. It’s usually in the form of exercising. I will be jogging outside or walking on the treadmill and an idea will hit me! I have learned to try to have paper and a pencil handy, or I add voice memos on my phone so I can record the ideas. Before reading the article from Psychology Today, I thought it was odd that this kept happening to me – 95% of my ideas/solutions come to me when exercising. Whew! I feel better now knowing that it’s just my mind getting “unstuck”.

References

Pojskić, Senjin. (2011, June). [Connect, Jigsaw, Strategy] [Image]. Retrieved from https://pixabay.com/en/connect-jigsaw-strategy-1586220/