About Me

Education, the knowledge society, the global market all connected through technology and cross-cultural communication skills are I am all about. I hope through this blog to both guide others and travel myself across disciplines, borders, theories, languages, and cultures in order to create connections to knowledge around the world. I teach at the University level in the areas of Business, Language, Communication, and Technology.

Friday, April 11, 2008

What I would like to learn professionally

Answer to the Big Question in the Learning Circuit Blog
Well, I'm not sure how I inspired this question. However, I will try to narrow down all things I am interested in doing better (it helps that I am writing my dissertation, so I have been doing a lot of reading, thinking, and discussing in many contexts).

First: As I commented on Kristy Tucker's Blog,

I would like to learn more of how to design to get learners to focus on the areas they need for learning. In other words, when they come to a home page, giving them enough options for them to get started, yet not so many options they are overwhelmed nor so few that they loose interest. I find this balance very difficult.
To do this, I need to learn more about "design" principles (not instructional design but visual rhetoric, some additional programming principles--especially mash-ups and placement of embedded objects, and html in order to modify some of the "programs" I have to work with).

Second: I have been using a wiki in my class for a year now, and I find that there is more than meets the eye going on in the use of the wiki. I want to try to figure out the best way to use the wiki (see my post on this blog), how to develop it as part of an instructional design (my students have told me the one we are currently using is just too bland to hold their interest), and how to capture the learning that is taking place beyond the finished product.

Third: I would like to have a better understanding of what my students (both undergrads and graduates) will be experiencing in the workforce when they leave my classroom. Most importantly, what are businesses expectations for the new generation of workers? Related to this is how to bridge the gap between school and business, to better inform businesses of the potential goldmine they have in new employees (many underestimate new graduates skills because they are still evaluating them based on old standards--for example, the ability to communicate and work polychronically, the ability to adapt technologies for their own needs--not necessarily using the technology the way it was designed to work, but the way it is most useful for an individual, the ability to network and find information within a network, the ability to think spatially). At the same time, many of the new "best" students have achieved academic success by being good at test taking, only doing what they are told to do based on a definitive time frame, and following processes without deviation having been educated under the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) philosophy of education (at least in the US). Those students that were more creative or "outside of the box" were less successful in the test based system of NCLB.


Tony Karrer said...

You inspired it through the question you asked people at the start of your course.

V Yonkers said...

Ah, that's right. What I do at the beginning of the courses I teach for the Education Department is to ask my students to identify what they would like to do better in professionally, either in their class, instructional design, program (I have had students in every level of education from Pre-K to Adult and professional education, and every subject area imaginable including physical education, guidance counseling, Japanese, and culinary arts). This is the starting point for their class projects. I find it is very effective in getting them to look at distance learning and technology as an aid to what they would like to do better rather than just one more thing that they must do for class.