ED526b is Way Cool & Way Too Much!

Now this is what I consider a real blog entry.  Unadulterated New York City obnoxious complaining!

I am loving what I am learning in this course (both content and technology) but I am starting to drown.

Is it me or does any one else feel like this course is consuming too much time?  Especially when compared to other online courses I’ve taken at Arcadia.  I’m just happy I’m not teaching!!  Teaching: 50 hours a week.  Two online courses @ 15 hours per week:  30 hours per week.  Add them up and I am a (1) smart teacher  (2) lousy husband {might be this anyway} (3) lousy father {ditto} (4) sleep deprived and grouchy.

I’ve taken about 6 online courses, and this is the only one where I have to stick to a schedule of at least 4 meetings a week.  Kind of defeats the purpose of an online course and the flexibility that technology should bring me.

I know … time for me to buck up and get on with things.  But complaining can be so much fun 🙂

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9 Responses to ED526b is Way Cool & Way Too Much!

  1. How many hours does it take you, Al? I was told to design for 10-15 hours a week. There are two required live meetings, one on Wednesday and one at your choice, and two other are office hours.

    It is not too late to re-design this, though!

    • ajw0812 says:

      At least 15 hours last week and trending towards 20 this week. I agree that some of this time can be self-inflicted if you want to “personalize” some web pages, but outside of the picture above I have not done much of this.
      Again, this is all good stuff, I just feel I’m giving it all a very “glancery” view. And I do agree that it should get a bit more manageable as time progresses. We’ll see!

    • ajw0812 says:

      I appreciate your attention to this concern. I just want to followup with one thing – I realize the technical component can consume time and you have designed this course so that it will get more manageable going forward. However, that should not minimize that there was a LOT of content this week. Editing wiki’s with new content, additive blogs, and work on problem posing. I don’t want you to think all my complaints were to not getting Jing working. In fact, I will spend about 15 hours this week on content alone. Then add a few more hours for the technical stuff.

      On another note, my complaint blog entry supports one of my “concerns” with blogs. That is, the only way to truly generate views is to be controversial. The only blog entry that has many views was this one!

    • Sam Morrison says:

      I am drowning too. I’m teaching summer school after being out of the classrom for more than ten years and taking another class at Arcadia that requires a fair amount of time. This is also the first time I’ve done many of these things on the internet–blogging, screenshots, etc.–it’s just not that intuitive for me. I had a counselor, though, in middle school that came to our class on day and made our class chant, in unison, “I am a winner, I can do anything, I am a winner, I can do anything.” I thought she was nuts! Now though, I’m repeating that to myself many times daily. Giddyup!

  2. esivel says:

    My own thoughts —
    A. This is more work than the other Arcadia courses I’ve taken – I think its at least 15 hours a week if you really want to do the assignments well. The other’s were notionally 10-15 hour (but that claim is often hot air).
    B. My impression is there is one scheduled meeting per week – Wed. at 8. I’m glad for this. This is something that was missing in my other courses.
    I feel the other 2 class meetings are only optional, and are intended to benefit class members who choose to participate.
    The fourth meeting, taking part in a forum, has a good deal of flexibility schedule-wise.
    C. I’m learning useful things that are relevant to my needs, and I feel stimulated. This was not a characteristic of many of the other courses I have taken.

  3. teachy79 says:

    Al, just before reading your email I was looking at all we have to do for this week and seriously wondering how in the world I am going to get this all done! I am teaching summer school and don’t get home till after 4 each day, eat, try to get a workout in, and sit down to do this work and all I can think about is how tired I am and want to go to bed…but I can’t! and the cycle starts all over again at 6am. I too feel like I am drowning. I think this is way more work than any other online class I have taken thus far. I am really enjoying the topics and discussions we are having but there is too much reading, blogging, online meetings, discussions, replies, webinars etc. to keep up with in my opinion. I hate to sound like a complainer, but you are not alone. Thanks for starting this conversation =)

  4. R. Stock says:

    The CIMS program is indeed intensive. This summer I am taking 6 classes which is crazy but if I survive I will be almost done with the program . This course, ED526B, has been interesting in it’s use of technology. I am not sure just how much of this I will get to put into practice but it is fun to play around with all this stuff. The down side to this is it takes lots of time to figure out the computer part before you can even get to the content. Hang in there Al, we only have a few more weeks!

  5. Thank you for the discussion. As a newbie at this, I find it useful.

    This first week was probably most demanding of our energy resources in the whole course – and I am darn proud of everybody for the quality of math ed content we are producing together while learning all the tech! The challenge runs much deeper than the number of hours. A one-hour task involving an unfamiliar software in a new social media environment can take as much energy and brain power as five hours at a more familiar task, such as reading a chapter from a book, even if the content level is comparable. I want to acknowledge this energy demand. Pace yourselves, take vitamins, get help from others in class: we got to keep the standards high. Everything will be easier when you do similar tasks a few times.

    There is a strong purpose to all of this. When you communicate with educator communities online, use their help and resources, and contribute as a member, your own voice is amplified – within your classroom, so your messages to students are stronger, clearer and deeper, of course. But also you are sustained walking your own path in the world, and even changing the world. The question, “You and what army?” is powerfully answered as you become a stronger node in multiple learning networks.

    Here are a few practicalities that can make life better:

    Blogging (writing posts and making comments) is easier if you have a short conversation about the topic with someone, anyone; another class member, a family member, a friend. Once your blog is established and is generating some comments, it serves this purpose in itself. It usually takes from several weeks to several months for this to happen. My hope is to jump-start class member blogs through us commenting to one another.

    If you should miss the Wednesday meeting because of travel, listen to the recording and contribute to the topic of discussion on our email list, asking people questions or making comments about what they said. It counts.

    Most tasks in this course are open-ended. Theoretically, they can take infinite time. I won’t be the one to tell you not to spend three hours writing an excellent comment or ten hours programming a beautiful GeoGebra applet. We all get drawn into loving math long time! I strongly wish everybody stays hale through it, though! Let us pace ourselves while maintaining the quality.

  6. Doug S. says:

    I have not measured my hours in this course but I would say that it has been fairly time consuming in comparison with other courses I have taken. I understand that there is some “ramp up” time involved with the technology in this course. And certainly, some of the technology we are using will prove to be useful going forward. However, there are certainly times when there is a fair bit of effort spent with little / no return in value. This week, there have been more than one classmate who unsuccessfully attempted to connect to some of the online meetings. I spoke with another classmate on the phone and we attempted to work through it together, without success. Our “Plan B” option was to comment on another classmate’s comments on the meeting, all in an attempt to check this task off our list.

    While I am not sure the best way to find the appropriate balance, I will chime in to say that the course load for this work is more than average based on the seven grad courses which I have taken.

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