This last topic 12. Expectations and Feedback summary is one of the most interesting parts of the course, I think. You look at where you started and see how much everyone has accomplished in such a short time. This is especially true in Summer. If you aren’t pleasantly surprised, you should be!
Great quotes from the summaries and feedback…
“I really enjoyed the other students opinions and some of them made me laugh. How is it possible to feel like I know these other students so well without ever have met them. This is quite an eye opener.”
“Next time I have dinner with someone, I will try to refrain myself from using my smartphone over dinner (unless we are searching for a place for dessert).”
I really appreciate your thoughts and suggestions.
The Final Project wasn’t the end of the course, with all the reviews and evaluations that followed it. How about I change the name of the project? The reviews that come after the project are really as important as completing the projects, so they are here to stay.
In general, the group project was too rushed. All the groups managed, but several of you thought it wasn’t your best work because of the time crunch. Sounds like even one more day to complete it would have been better. That should be possible in the future.
I usually send out more warnings about up-coming due dates, especially those that are “non-standard” – looks like that makes a difference, even though the information is published in the Syllabus and everyone is sharing information and project schedules in the groups.
Forming groups. Most people will pick the left-most group with open spots, so all the proactive students end up together in the same groups, while the last-minute folks are all in the other groups toward the right. This usually works pretty well. There doesn’t seem to be any better way to assign groups, but this is a concern for many.
Communicate, communicate, communicate. But how? Using the Catalyst discussion, it is all there and linked. It can be displayed “newest first” or nested – I use both views and change between them frequently. If there are more than 2 people in the group, it is rarely possible to have them all together, so this ensures that all conversations, decisions are available to everyone anytime (an objective of distance learning). On the other hand, messaging, chat, Skype, phone calls are quick and easy.
Several of you struggled with managing discussion participation. If you take another class that uses Catalyst, there are many built in discussion management and display tools that might have helped with organization such as discussion view options, email notifications. Spend some time experimenting to find what works for you. The course is about using technology for learning, too.
This project was actually easier with fewer people in the group. There wasn’t much opportunity to divide up the work so everyone had lots to do. Communication and organization is usually more time-consuming with a larger group.
WikiEducator isn’t very exciting in appearance, but pictures and formatting can make a difference. Everybody can use it to produce a professional looking resource that is automatically shared with everyone in the world.
“The Final project couldn’t have gone any better in my opinion, and the only negative thing I have to say about it is I wasn’t able to congratulate my partner on a job well done in person.”