Wanna Be PhD

PhD 2006. Now fully blown by the Postdoc Experience.

Location: My Appartment, Academic Nowhereland

Email: wannabephd@gmail.com

Friday, September 08, 2006

Blogging for teaching?

I am very dissatisfied with the eLearning facility that my university provides. It is not easy to use. There is no trial mode.

I thought of, why don't I use blogging for my teaching? I will give some reading assignments, but I wanted to pose some crucial questions while they are reading. And I wanted to have the students discuss their questions, ideas and suggestions electronically.

I could set up a blog for my course where I will post questions, assignments, hints and links at various points. The students should then participate by commenting or by writing blog entries themselves.

This idea could be extended, as the students will have to write a lab diary for another course. So, they could all have their own blogs for their diaries, so all people in the program can see what is going on. As this is an interdisciplinary program and the faculty do not really know each other, this would be a good way to learn each other's research goals.

But of course, the big thing is illusionary. But as a start, I could do my own lecture blog. However, I guess I want to have it password protected, so that only the students (and maybe my colleagues) can read it, but not the whole world.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

News from match.com

I am currently chatting via email with four nice guys from my local match.com. I am somehow a lazy replier sending no more than 2 or 3 messages per week, but it keeps going. Most important: I am trying to see the good parts of the guys.

My First Class!

This fall, I will teach my first class entirely on my own. (Some great possibility appeared - a lecturer was missing, so I got the chance; this is how my Head of Department reacted that I quit being his T.A. - he suggested that I should give this course; so it was good that I stood up!). Right now I am in the process of preparing the plan for the term. I will have five sessions, two full hour each. Up to now, I have decided to have a main topic for each session. Then, I split up every meeting into four units of 30 mins each. I thought of spending 30 mins discussing a reading assignment with given questions, 2x 30 mins of traditional lecturing, and maybe another 30 mins of doing some exercises with the class. Thus, there will be no more as 30 mins of nonstop talking.

I am thinking of how to use the elearning facility. I thought of giving bonus points to those participating in the online discussion: students should add links (with comments) to class related topics [I think of information collecting as one of the most important skill that an ongoing researcher should learn] and should discuss theoretical matters from their specific background.