Showing posts from May, 2012

Recent Post on LETS Blog: eContent: What’s All That About?

Last week, as part of the Center for Teaching and Learning Assessment’s annual “Teaching and Learning Conference,” Academic Technology hosted an eContent Fair for faculty to meet with different publishers to discuss and discover what kinds of resources were available to them.  Over the two days, we had four different publishers talking about what they have available for a wide range of disciplines.  Cengage, Macmillan, McGraw-Hill, and Pearson had representatives to talk with faculty about what more these is to offer besides the traditional textbook.

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Tales from 9 Runs: Run 3

The third run which coincides with the 1/3 mark of this journey was a 10K Gold Star Run for Honor-CPL Scott Procopio.  It was a little discouraging, but that will hopefully be fuel to push me further and harder.  My tweeted reaction was: "#running went well...1 hour exactly for 10K...1 year ago I would've said I couldn't do, all can think is: #ICanDoBetter"  My time was 1 hour and 3 seconds, which averaged about 9 minutes, 40 seconds per mile.   Ok, slightly better than 10 minute miles which I couldn't have done last year, but still want to do more this year.  However, less impressive than the HAWC Run which I did 9 minute miles for (and was only about 1 mile shorter).   I hit two slumps where I needed to walk for about 50-100 yards and that certainly injured my time.

I found it hard to strike a good rhythm and maybe that was because it just wasn’t a familiar place.  Thus far, the first two races were in places I’ve either run before (in the case of the H…

Recent Post on LETS Blog: Books We’re Talking About: The Graphic Syllabus and the Outcomes Map

So during winter break, I caught wind of an interesting idea with regards to syllabus.  What if you made a more visually-oriented syllabus to emphasize information and step away from the text-overload that syllabi (particularly mine) tend to be.  Having finished my syllabus with hours to spare, I decided to spend those hours visually re-creating the syllabus. I liked the finished product, but it wasn’t much more than just adding glitter and flare, but not necessarily doing much with how I used the visual dynamic to enhance learning and the student’s experience.  I planned on still using it, but wasn’t feeling the full potential of the visual syllabus.  But then I read The Graphic Syllabus and the Outcomes Map:  Communicating Your Course by Linda B. Nilson (Jossey-Bass, 2007).  

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Tales from 9 Runs: Run 2

Since I started running, I've been contemplating a memoir on health and fitness.  I've half a dozen chapters composed.  I start each chapter with one of the many failures I've had in my own personal health-war and move through the ways I improved and eventually, to some degree, overcame it.  I've tried a lot of different things over the years:  diet pills, bulemia, ove-exercising, under-eating (not quite to the point of anorexia), exercise equipment, strange diets, and others.  In hindsight, I've come to understand why I did each one and where I was faulty in my approach to health.  So the chapters would move from mistake to understanding the shortcomes of such decisions and how I've moved past (or at least reasonably ahead) of such things.  The title of this forthcoming book (should it ever be published) is:  Fatboy Shuffle.

Why start off my second post in this series about it?  Largely, because as I run and work my body to succeed in race after race, this one …

Tales of 9 Runs: Run 1

Many of my friends are aware that I have found myself with a new-found passion for running.  This flies in the face of all logic and to have known me at this time last year, they (and myself) would have found laughable—downright crazy.  But sometime last July, I found myself enjoying running; after a 31 years, 10 months HATE-HATE relationship with it.  I’ll post more about why and how those changes occurred when I get closer to the 1 year anniversary, but for now, it’s enough to know that this was a major paradigm shift.  It’s not just enjoying running that’s significant here, but the degree to which I have taken to it (as this series will reveal).

And like so many things I become passionate about, I’m compelled to write, to share, and to dialogue with others about the experiences and rewards.  Therefore, this starts the first in a series of blog posts around running.  This particular series will focus on the 9 runs that I have signed up for this year, between this past Sunday (May 6) …

Recent Post on LETS Blog: Freeing The Course Part 4: Assignments

In this final entry on freeing the course (check out Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3), we are looking at free tools and resources relating to assignments.  These might be ways of changing up assignments, making them more interactive, or even in some cases, easier to evaluate and access.  Many of these resources we’ve mentioned before in different capacities, but they are definitely great for thinking about assignments as well.
GoogleDocsYes, GoogleDocs, again.  Whether you want them to develop a document, spreadsheet, or presentation, you can use GoogleDocs for the space to be used.  You can also create surveys and possibly quizzes if you want to engage your students further.  What’s great about GoogleDocs is its collaborative nature and the ways you (or your students) can share files coupled with the document history where you can directly compare differences between older and newer versions.

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On Becoming a Reader – Part 2

The last post in this series focused on places that infused me to read.  Here, I venture into books that hit me.  Some of them can be considered important and culturally prominent books, but most of them aren’t.  And I think that’s an important piece of this.  This is in part why I can’t hate the Twilight effect.  There are gimmicky elements that got me to read and for that I am forever grateful.  They are not privileged texts but popular and sometimes, rather lacking in substance by any literary standards.  But they opened the gate and led me to reading.  So while I can loathe the larger messages about Twilight, I can appreciate that Meyer has turned kids into readers they might not have been otherwise.

My friend recently asked me about my decision to keep books.  As mentioned, I read a lot, and wouldn’t have room to keep all the books that I’ve read.  My decisions for which ones I keep are based on how much I enjoyed the book and how relevant I think the book might be to work, resear…

On Becoming a Reader – Part 1

I’m feeling nostalgic today and am in a peak reading mode.  Does that happen to you?  You may be a regular reader but then all of a sudden you get the surge to do more reading than usual—scheduling extra time to devour more books.  I guess I’m in that spot.  Maybe it’s also because I’m trying to make sure I stay on track for about 200 books this year.  I blame  You make it a game or give me quantative feedback and I’m a sucker.

Maybe it’s because I’m surrounded by bibliophiles whether it’s my academic friends and colleagues, my librarian friends, or just avid readers who I find solace with.  Books are just a central part of my life and I think back to why and how I got here.  After all, I grew up in the age of cable television and video games—both of which I indulged tremendously.  When people get dismayed with people that don’t read, I get it, but I also get why people don’t read, especially in this age.

However, books have been a major part of my life since a very young…