Aracelie_Reflection_16 Feb Class

Posted by on February 27, 2010 
Filed under Reflections

In our first class back after the snowstorm of 2010, we took some time to regroup and discuss where we were with respect to assignments and that day’s class.  We talked about our presentations for the following week on our assigned books.  As of classtime, I had not gotten my book, but from the way Ted and Carrie Ann were describing theirs and from the enthusiasm in their voices, I began looking forward to starting mine.

After talking about pending and upcoming assignments, we began looking through two websites that house course portfolios – the Gallery of Teaching and Learning and the Virtual Knowledge Project. I was excited to see what the famous course portfolio looked like.  I must say, I was not at all surprised to find out that they differ from one another.   I was a little surprised to see the degree of variation.  Just in the few we viewed, two had lots of colors, section headers, and links.  And while the other portfolio had the same qualities, it did not use them as effectively.  The latter portfolio (Calculus Conversations) reminded me of a Power Point presentation gone bad.  It had all the elements present.  Unfortunately, they still did not capture the audience’s attention, and the content fell to the wayside.

Following our look at the websites, we moved on to our research proposal questions.  Believer or Doubter” – that is the name of the game.  I was the lucky volunteer whose question was addressed.  First, I read the question.  Next, while I was listening and taking notes, the others commented on the more positive aspects of my question and its implications.  After the positives were finished, they commented on the more negative aspects.  Finally, I was given a chance to respond to all the comments.  In doing this exercise, I heard a few of my own thoughts echoed.  For instance, focusing on a particular branch rather than all military services was something I went back and forth on when writing the question, but I had no idea whether “more specific” or “broader” was the answer.  Hearing some of the reasoning behind why I might not want to be so broad (i.e., different cultures, processes, and vocabulary among the services) will help me to make the decision and decide what I am truly interested in finding out.  Additionally, the concepts of “processes” and “protocol” came up.  Taking another look at the two from various perspectives on a university – those of the veteran, the student, the faculty, the teacher, etc. – gives me another place to begin my research and refine my question.

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