Thursday, February 26, 2015

Class Clowns

I have never encountered several class clowns in one class, or let alone anyone that consistently interrupts the class with their antics.  I guess I travel in some pretty serious circles.

I was delightfully surprised and somewhat flustered when I arrived to teach a class and discovered that the entire front three rows was made up of groups of students who were quick witted and very willing to share their anecdotes with us (sometimes on topic, sometimes not). 

I love that kind of stuff, but really had to put my classroom management skills to work to ensure that the overall class discussion was not derailed.  At one point, I was even avoiding eye contact in order to encourage silence.  Usually it is the other way around and students avoid eye contact with me.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Big Wheels Keep on Turnin'

Quick update here as the wheels are starting to turn very quickly...
  • Financial approval was received on February 2, 2015
  • Ethics Application for a chapter that will be written by M. Kumaran, S. Lucky, C. Doi and I was submitted to the Dean's Office, U of S Library, then submitted to the Ethics Office and received on February 11, 2015 (has not been officially accepted as of today's date)
  • Completed contract signed on February 16, 2015
  • Invitations to submit a chapter were sent out starting on February 18, 2015
  • Today, we have 12 potential contributors and there is still 13 days to respond to our initial request
  • Today, I have read 26 articles on distributed learning of 43 found items that I am working on!

Monday, February 2, 2015

Cherry Stoner, Part 2

Back in September I posted about the benefits of using a highly specialized database to look up terms that would definitely retrieve questionable results with a broader search on Google.

I almost fell into the same trap on Friday with a search for airstrips.  I had asked the students to come up with synonyms for this term, which in turn we would use for a grey literature search in the advanced search on Google.  Now wasn't I lucky that no questionable results were found in class. 

#flustertheinstructor, #didntseethatcoming

Proposal Accepted

I received the first email asking me if I would be interested in publishing a book on September 9, 2014.  Last week on January 28, 2015, we received an email stating that our book proposal had been accepted.  Now we just are waiting on financial approval and then I assume after that a contract.

We are tentatively putting out some feelers to see if certain individuals are interested in writing with us.  So far, I have agreed to write two chapters, both with co-authors as well as the introduction and conclusion with my main writing partner. 

We have started a literature review and the application for ethics approval. 

The wheels are slowly moving.  I have a feeling that I am on the edge of the pool, about to jump in to deep water.

Know Thyself

I taught four sections of the same class spread out over 2 weeks.  When I have the opportunity to teach the same class more than once, I often notice a pattern of my energy levels and also the speed of the session.  The first session goes extremely well.  I am excited and interested in sharing the materials that I have prepared, although, I tend to be the most nervous with this first class.  The second and third class I work out the kinks and each session tends to be better than the one before it.  The last one is okay, usually I have good energy, but I usually end up finishing sooner than any of the other sessions. 

Note to self: When scheduling a peer evaluation, schedule it for one of the middle sessions and preferably not on a Friday when that class is the last class that students have that day!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Reviewers, Part III

After weeks of searching for academic librarians across the globe who might happen to also be interested in online teaching, we received our first three reviews from the publisher.  I neglected to respond to the reviews as I believed we would need to wait until more reviews came in.  Not so, we are to comment on the initial three reviews which will then be taken to the editorial board for review along with our case file.

Next step, meet with my co-author to discuss the reviews and our response.

Honestly, this initial stage is taking a lot longer than I had anticipated.  Not that I mind, I don't think I have my mind wrapped around the idea of writing a book to begin with.  The longer it takes, the more time I will have to relax into the idea.

Review - the flip side

As a direct result of searching for reviewers, I was asked to review a book proposal.  It was so interesting to be on the flip side of the process and critique content for a book that is not yet written.  Will it be successful, is there a need for this material in the marketplace, will it be relevant to users and practitioners???  All such powerful questions that require thoughtful consideration.

My favourite question queried my expertise in the area, in other words, did I have the right to judge?  Honestly, no I don't think I do, but I did my best to complete the review and hopefully provide a few helpful suggestions along the way.