Monday, September 27, 2010

Living in the sticks……

While I really appreciate living north of the city in a town with no sidewalks or streetlights, it becomes a problem when power and/or cable goes out. I am one of those “triple” Optimum users so was without internet/phone/cable for about 5 hours yesterday. Very difficult when you are teaching two online and two hybrid classes! In additon, my home is in a cell phone pit so I needed to go outside to even call the cable company to see what was going us. Very frustrating so I was forced to clean out part of my attic :-)

About last week – I posted the survey as an assignment in Blackboard and asked students to complete it. Many have indicated that they have done so. I plan a reminder this week when I post new assignments.

Avatars - Students have been creating their avatar introductions and are experiencing difficulty posting in Bb8 even with my step-by-step instructions. I cannot understand why it is so difficult as I have been using this activitiy for two years and this is the first time it has created such a probem in three of my classes. Could it be that these students are less technologically literate? One student posted in my “virtual office hours” asking for step-by-step instructions. These are posted and I have referenced the help sheet with a link within Bb8 more than once. Frustrating for all but a good activity when it works so we will continue since there is another similar assignment in a few weeks. I have asked those who continue to have problems to come to my office during office hours since I have the instructions posted, demonstrated in my f2f classes, so I don’t know what else I can do. Suggestions?

Last week, students completed free inventories on learning styles, emotional intelligence and personality type (MBTI). This is the beginning work for their career research. In addition, students have virtual retirement accounts so that we can track their $10,000 virtual investment over the semester. This is the beginning activity to address workplace changes and employee benefits. This week student accounts will be created in Focus Career where they will complete an additional inventory based on Holland and access to multiple activities regarding careers. So much of this beginning work frames the semester and prepares them for upcoming assignments. We will also be establishing groups this week based on personality type. Groups in one of my hybrid classes will then work on a virtual enterprise project and make group presentations in mid-November asking “local investors” for a million dollars to expand their business. More about this activity in the next few weeks.


  1. I've had off semesters like that. I think confusion can sometimes be contagious. One student sees others having problems and just gives up trying. If you have already written detailed instructions the only next step that I can think of, other than one-on-one F2F meetings is to take screen shots and assemble a Ppt as visual directions or use the software that records the computer screen (I think LAGCC has a licence for this, though I cannot remember the name).

    It seems quite a few of us are doing personality inventories! I am doing Pearson's Heroic Myth Index for my lit. classes.

  2. My instructions do have screen shots and red arrows pointing where to click, etc. I have a mixed group based on majors and credits so I'll just have to plod along.

    It would be interesting to collect all the inventory links we use this semester.