Published by the CFCC Teaching/Learning Institute.
Contact Person: Joe Zimmerman, Building 1,Room 103A
Ocala Campus, Extension 1782 or 1708
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First Year Experiences at CFCC
by Jean Scheppers, Communications
Y esterday, while lazily making my way to the New Faculty Training Workshop, and I say lazily because unlike the truly new faculty I wasn’t required to be there until 11:00 o’clock, I let my mind wander back a year to those first few weeks when I was just a newbie at CFCC. You remember those days, when you couldn’t figure out why the building between 5 and 7 is J, and building 6 is next to 9 and 10. (Actually, I still can’t figure that one out.)
Every morning that first week I got up and proudly placed my magnetic name tag on the front of my jacket just below my left shoulder and headed over to New Faculty Training. The first day it popped off onto the muffin tray (I think I shouldn’t have worn a jacket), the second day I lost it on Dr. Cooper’s wild golf cart tour (I probably shouldn’t have worn a sweater), and the third day I was absolutely tickled that I hadn’t lost it by noon, that is until I discovered that it had drifted and was now an indecent beacon advertising my femininity. How many of you will join me in saying that you now carefully consider how each new clothing item will interact with your name tag before you make a purchase?
The first day of classes, wearing a light shirt jacket and a remarkably stable name tag, I left my office in building 4 and well, left building 4, and well, a few steps later, reentered building 4 to head upstairs for my class. It wasn’t until weeks later that, by chance, I discovered it is possible to get upstairs without leaving the building.
I have to admit that despite her eccentricities CFCC is the most wonderful place I’ve ever worked. Perhaps because the little things that you might find irritating if you weren’t happy with your job in general, become warm memories of shared laughter here at CFCC where highly qualified colleagues are spirited and dedicated, where effective and capable administrators are hardworking and caring, and where students struggle and succeed against incredible odds to transcend their current situations and build a better life for themselves.
As I remember, I smile, and my heart softens with joy. It’s been a beautiful first year, CFCC, a beautiful year.
Very soon, the course management system (CMS) we are currently using for many of our distance learning and hybrid courses, WebCT, will no longer be available. A CMS Task Force was put together this past summer by Joanne Bellovin, which includes faculty members Michael Jamieson, Debbie Towns, Lori Kielty and Joe Zimmerman. This task force is charged with reviewing potential course management system to replace WebCT. The three CMS products we are looking at are Desire2Learn, Angel, and JICS (Jenzabar). If you have any input or questions please contact Joanne Bellovin (1347) or Josh Strigle (1317).
Below is the timeline, issued by Dr. Cooper, for the conversion:
Summer B, 2007
- Task force members practice with new course management systems (CMS).
- Each task force member converts one class to a trial CMS for delivery in Fall 2007 (Mike is using Angel, Joe is using Desire 2 Learn, and Debbie and Lori are using JICS).
- Pilot two classes in the potential CMS formats.
- Task force compares the functionality of the new CMS to WebCT
- Task Force makes a recommendation as to which CMS is most effective and user friendly (for students and faculty).
- Selection of new CMS is finalized.
- Task Force invites other faculty to join the pilot for spring and assists them with converting a class into the new CMS.
- Pilot is expanded in the selected CMS.
- Training for faculty in the selected CMS will be offered at the T/LI.
- More courses are converted for summer delivery.
Summer A, 2008
- Further expansion of the pilot
Summer B, 2008
- Full migration to the new CMS
An Interview with Bob DuMond, Horticulture
by Joe Zimmerman, T/LI Coordinator
Hello Bob. Congratulations on winning the Gabor award last May. That’s a big honor.
Winning the Gabor Award was just wonderful. To think that there are so many great, outstanding faculty on this campus, and I was… well I was really flabbergasted, you know, to get it. You always have hope… Everybody is equally important and we all work very, very hard. And we all think we’re deserving… Sometimes what other people think… well, we don’t know what they think. We just do our job. It was exciting; it really was.
By the reaction of the audience, you were very deserving. Were you surprised?
Oh yes. My sister coming from California, that was awesome, and having all my daughters there. That was nice. Even when Julie was standing up there I thought, “No, that can’t be her.” And then she lowered the sign, and I just couldn’t believe it.
OK. So, what kind of students do you get in your horticulture program?
It’s a diverse group... Younger kids, older students, second careers… I have a student form Japan right now; his Dad has a nursery in Tokyo.
Is that what your students go into after they leave? The nursery business?
Not only the nursery business. Some of them become landscape designers or greenhouse operators. One of my former students went into irrigation and is now with John Deere—he’s one of the top sales people in the state of Florida. Some start their own lawn and landscape businesses.
Aren’t you working on a new program?
Yes. Golf course management. There’s a need for this and we’re going to fill it.
So who are these students?
Well, let’s see. They’re all highly motivated; some are kids who aren’t sure what they want, but I do reach them. I get them excited…
How do you do that? How do you get your students excited and motivated?
It’s just…I’m not sure… I love teaching. This is what I do. I love horticulture. They sense that. It’s contagious.
And with the type of program you have, you can see first hand when you’ve made a difference in a student’s life.
Definitely. I had a student come up to me, a very good student—she was only here a half a semester, and she told me “You’re going to hate me…I’m going up to the University of Florida. You got me going with what I want...taking this class opened all the doors for me.” She just graduated last semester. I think that’s exciting. I get to know all my students; and I remember them. They all give you something; of course I don’t have the numbers that you guys do on the other side of the campus.
I imagine working in the field together helps your students bond.
How much time do you allocate to classroom and then working in the field?
I try to make it 50-50.
So what happens in your classroom?
Well I lecture… say about insects or a particular way to grow something. But then we go out in the greenhouse and we actually see the insect, and then it totally becomes relatable. And you know, when you study plant material—once they know their plants—they’re ready to design, so you gotta have the hands on work in this area to put it all together. Just academia—just the lectures and book material—doesn’t cut it. Some students can sit in a classroom and learn everything—they would never even have to go out in the field; and then for others, its all field… the classroom is hard for them. They may get a little out of it, but it’s the hands on that really makes it for them.
So you have different learners, with different learning styles.
I’ve been in your classroom…
Yeah, that was about five years ago during classroom visitation week…Yes. I remember. I was talking about fertilizer, and how it’s labeled.
I think of that class whenever I go to Home Depot to buy fertilizer for my lawn. I remember you brought lots of different empty fertilizer bags to class.
Well after the classroom lecture, we take it from there and then we go out to the greenhouse and mix it up, and then they check it, and they see all the nutrients...we actually do tissue tests where you can actually look at the nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium in the leaves—you can see all that. It’s amazing.
You’re pretty much a one person department back here, Bob. I imagine that has its challenges.
Oh yeah, finding time for everything. It’s a balancing act around here. I have my classes with the students, and I also put a lot of time into the facilities. And then like today, I drove out to Apopka to pick up about $500 worth of topsoil that a company donated. It stays busy.
Your new greenhouse is really something. How did that building come about?
Well when we moved back here, it really was difficult going back and forth to the old greenhouse (beside the tennis courts, now being renovated to hold spinning classes). Tommy Morelock and Larry Cooper [Dr. Sharon Cooper’s husband] really did a great job. It means everything to the program, it really does. It’s awesome.
Tell me about your famous maze garden. That’s part of the balancing act as well, isn’t it? What gave you the idea to start it?
Well, a lot of the field work my students did involved landscaping the college. But the college has grown so much, with new buildings and revamping of old buildings that it just got to be too much. So I needed a place where my students could see specimens of plants and get some hands on experience. Everything is out there. We’ve got ten species of turf; five varieties of St. Augustine, three varieties of Bermuda, two varieties of Zoycia …Centipede. It really helps the students to see the difference in the grass—before the maze garden I would have had to go, well, all over to show them the varieties.
And you’ve got lots more out there besides turfs…
Oh yeah…You name it…. we have Hollies, Magnolias, Ligustrums, Pittisporums, Viburnums (both native and exotic), Crape myrtles, Angelonia, Pentas, Marigolds, Zinnia, Salvia, Phlox, Hibiscus, Peppers… lots and lots of varieties.
Do you ever get visitors from the community out there?
Oh yeah, all the time. Especially when we get publicity like the article Amy [Mangan] did in Connections.
I’m guessing you get a lot of calls from people in the area about their plants, when to prune, what flowers to grow in a shady area…
I’d like to have more community activities. Again, it’s a balancing act. I really think we should have more programs where I do a half hour talk about pruning, and then demonstrate it out in the maze garden. But the problem is getting the time to schedule it, advertise it…
Can community members access anything online? I remember a few years back you helping to get our distance learning program off the ground.
Right now the only thing I have up there is “The 50 Most Popular Plants in Marion County.” I should do more things like that… maybe on perennials or different turfs. It’s time to apply for another “Super Saturday!”
Bob, you always seem so energized. You have so much enthusiasm for what you teach.
What can I say? I really love my job. It’s not even like a job to me… And this is a great place to work. But, I think the secret to staying vibrant in your teaching is to keep changing. It’s more work, but it keeps you active. It keeps you out of a boring routine. It keeps you interested. I mean technology came around, and then the new greenhouse, the maze garden, my contacts with local companies and seed companies… There’s always something new to explore. I just went to a greenhouse conference this summer and learned a lot, made some new contacts. I can’t tell you how much going to that conference has benefited my program.
So what should we be doing to our lawns now, in September and October?
Well, the last day to fertilize lawns in central Florida is mid September. You should be applying one pound of nitrogen per 1,000 square feet. Now, in late October or early November you should apply pre-emergence herbicide for the control of winter weeds. You need to be mowing higher, too—about 3-4 inches. This helps build a stronger root system.
Thanks for your time, Bob.
I really appreciate your interest.
To see Bob’s “50 Most Popular Plants of Marion County” go to the CFCC Home page and type “plants” in the search box.
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Building and Sustaining the Florida Orange Grove
by Joe Zimmerman, T/LI Coordinator
In mid June this past summer, CFCC and Polk Community College hosted a two day workshop on what the Florida Distance Learning Consortium (FDLC) calls the “Orange Grove,” a repository of teaching aids created for online teachers and built by online teachers across the state. The meetings were arranged by Joanne Bellovin, Dean of Learning Resources, and were held in the LRC. They were attended by folks not only from CFCC and Polk, but also Valencia, and Daytona Beach. Cathy Alfona, who is the Orange Grove Project Manager, was there from the FDLC.
In the first presentation Charles Fox and Jim Rhodes, involved with instructional technology at Polk, spent some time discussing the goals and history of the project, and then began a discussion of the “learning objects.” Their point was that although simple, common things like images or links or audio snippets might at first seem to fall into this category, a true learning object must have digital components. Their definition: “a learning object is a small, reusable digital component that can be selectively applied—alone or in combination—by computer software to meet individual needs for learning.”
Cathy Alfono continued in her portion of the workshop to inspire us and update the project. Quite honestly, she said, the project is in its infancy. A problem right now is the Grove is unbalanced: certain disciplines have almost no learning objects while others have many to choose from. The project clearly needs more contributors. But she was confident the Orange Grove would continue to grow across the state. She then demonstrated how to get in to the Orange Grove and how to navigate around it with the different types of searches.
The official goal of the Orange Grove project: “to exploit the power of cross-institutional collaboration to enable the creation of distributed materials in a way that is both effective pedagogically and demonstrable to the Florida Legislature.”
Several faculty members from Valencia and Daytona Beach then demonstrated the learning objects they created for their online courses and contributed to the Orange Grove. One was a practice test for a nursing class; the other was a learning object that helped demonstrate an algebra problem.
Cross institutional collaboration on a project like this sounds like a great idea.
If a teacher spends hours and hours creating something for their online class, it makes sense that that teacher should share it with other online teachers in Florida (or around the U.S for that matter).
By the way, the material deposited in the Orange Grove can only be seen by other teachers. There is a standardized sort of review of the material. And copyright is a concern. A big question will always be if these learning objects fit in with the learning management system (like WebCT) of a particular school
Although I had to constantly translate the educational jargon of several of the presenters (one spent forty five minutes defining a “learning object”), I did learn a lot. My fear is that there will be more people who want to pick the oranges than to help grow them. To get access to the Orange Grove, contact Joanne Bellovin at email@example.com or Cathy Alfono at firstname.lastname@example.org .
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CATF and ATHE
Acronyms no one needs except the Theatre guy
by Dave Hartley, Fine Arts
In the world of academia, whatever the field, one gets “rusty” and out of date quickly without that wonderful intellectual power drink—the conference. Fortunately for those of us in theatre (at CFCC that’s me), our conference is both stimulating and perhaps a bit more fun than standard academic fare.
There are two types of theatre activities: play festivals, and academic conferences. Thanks to CFCC and particularly SPD funds, I was able to attend one of each during the summer, separated only by the important fiction of the fiscal year.
The Contemporary American Theatre Festival, held of all places in Shepardstown, West Virginia from July 6-29, is a showcase of new American plays, which has now been happening for more than 20 years. Professional actors from the Washington area man the stage and present new and provocative work from some very prominent playwrights. This year I managed to see two of the new works and attend a “Meet the Authors” session in the one day I was there. One of the plays was 1001 by Jason Grote, a fascinating take on the Arabian Nights, which flashed back and forth from the traditional tale, to modern day Iraq, with fantasy between. The other was the second in Richard Dresser’s trilogy, The Pursuit of Happiness , which pursues the idea that no one is really happy in American society at any level. This play would fit very well into CF’s learning theme, for it explores the kinds of societal frustration that Affluenza and Take Back Your Time expose.
I also had the opportunity to meet and chat with one of my favorite playwrights, Lee Blessing. I enjoyed the opportunity to tell Blessing how much I enjoyed directing and reading his work. Many of you may remember Fortinbras or Eleemosynary , both of which were very successful here at CFCC.
The Big Conference academically for theatre folks is American Theatre in Higher Education, or ATHE. This huge affair was held July 26-29 with 1000 people, dozens of overlapping sessions, etc. Here I attended several pedagogy workshops like “The Director as Master Storyteller: Three Classroom Exercises in Progression,” or “Comic Acting: Using a Series of Exercises to Explore Principles and Techniques of Comedy in the Classroom and in Rehearsal,” or “Revitalizing the Theatre History Survey Course: Using Theatre to Teach Theatre History.” These workshops got all participants on their feet to actually “do” the exercises that they were teaching. In each case (particularly the Comic workshop, run by a delightfully loony Bulgarian professor of theatre) the sessions provided activities instantly useable in the classroom or rehearsal room this fall.
Other sessions were more performances…a Religion in Theatre session with three staged readings of new work, a session specifically for the Two Year College people on some great projects in New York and Alabama, staged readings of two more award-winning plays, a session on New Orleans destruction and theatre, a cabaret performance with all New Orleans actors and performers.
If all this wasn’t enough, and many of these sessions extended well into the night (theatre folks are creatures of the night, so some play readings go until midnight or later), there was the keynote speaker, an internationally known Nobel Peace Prize nominee, Helen Prejean, who was introduced by a special video from Tim Robbins, the well known film star. These two have collaborated on a play version of Dead Man Walking , which is touring the country, stimulating discussion of the death penalty.
While ATHE is always held in some large and culturally interesting city, the location of the conference in New Orleans was especially meaningful, and was done to bring attention and support to the beleaguered city. Many of us took the Katrina Tour and viewed some of the worst destruction any of us had seen. Interestingly, TIME , National Geographic , and AARP are all featuring the situation in Louisiana in current issues this month. Many of the sessions and the themes revolved around this, as the theme of the conference was “Regenerations.”
Despite the somber tone of the conference, the French Quarter and the great food, great music and European charm of the downtown manages to survive, and added to a splendid and memorable experience.
Microsoft Office 2007 and Vista
by Lori Kielty, Business & Technology
On June 3-7, 2007 I attended a four-day workshop in Daytona Beach hosted by the Information Technology Education Center (iTEC). The workshop consisted of overview sessions on Microsoft Office 2007 and Vista. The workshop provided me with an introduction to the new software, as well as the opportunity to network with computer faculty at other community colleges in Florida.
Florida Historical Society
by Ron Cooper, Humanities
The 151 st annual conference of the Florida Historical Society held in Clearwater on May 24-26, 2007 featured mostly historians from Florida along with some from other states but who research primarily Florida history as well as a few participants from other disciplines, such as sociology, literature, women’s studies, and philosophy. Among the topics presented were the early contact period, the Seminole Wars, local histories of a number of Florida communities, industrial and economic trends, historiography and memoir, and extended sessions on meteorology. A highlight of the conference was the keynote address by Charles Joyner, whose numerous works include Down By the Riverside , perhaps the most important book about slavery in America. Participants also enjoyed local excursions to Heritage Village and Tarpon Springs.
I had the honor of being invited to deliver this year’s Jillian Prescott Memorial Lecture. My plenary address was entitled “The Burden of Southern Literature: Can Florida Bear It?” The lecture will soon be published in the Florida Historical Quarterly .
Teaching Online in the
21 st Century: I’ve Heard of Wiki, but
Moodle? Tag? Skype?
by Cassandra Robison, Communications
I had heard of Wiki—and I teach online courses, so I consider myself relatively 21 st century—but who has heard of Moodle? Tag? Skype? This is the latest web talk, and I didn’t recognize any of those terms until I attended the ISTE sponsored National Education Computing Conference in Atlanta, June 23 – 27. The conference was held at the Georgia World Congress Center, which includes the office building of CNN and the Georgia Aquarium, in downtown Atlanta. In addition to learning the definitions of those tech terms, my four days were packed with workshops, panels, presentations, lectures, and the sharing of research about distance learning and web-based instruction. Of the ten formal sessions I attended, the best included presentations about teaching and designing online courses, reading on computers, and the need for more creativity in education.
Dr. Sue Stoddart of Marion College in Wisconsin offered an interactive power point presentation about effective discussion in online courses. She stressed the importance of using the Discussion Forum (as we have it in WebCT) as an integral part of courses online in which students learn the art of scholarly dialogue and argumentation, develop critical thinking skills, and learn about academic language and netiquette. She recommended online instructors do the following:
- clarify goals for discussion and set ground rules
- purposefully lead discussion and respond in ways that both model and challenge students to in depth discussion
- offer weekly scores for all students and debriefing journals
- draw connections/build towards final projects
- start with what students understand before asking for more of them
This useful session offered information and suggestions that I can immediately put to use as an online instructor. I was prompted to consider these questions: How might introvert students profit from online discussion in comparison to traditional classroom discussion? What higher order thinking skills can be enriched by online discussion? How might online discussion groups (as hybrid) add to traditional classes? Such questions need to be asked and answered through research. Dr. Stoddart said “It’s time to reinvent education!”
Another presentation about creating the ideal learning environment in online courses was presented by Christine Greenhow of the University of Minnesota who has experience as a both a tech specialist and a professor. She shared her recent research about how faculty might work more effectively in a team approach with technology specialists. Frequently, she argued, faculty have little contact, input, or feedback with technology staff when designing, implementing, and teaching online courses. To solve the problem, she recommended faculty and technology staff see themselves as part of a team that produces an online course. Like Dr. Stoddart, Dr. Greenhow advocated quality discussion forums wherein students and faculty have authentic dialogue. She recommended that faculty always create a rubric for students to use as they learn how to dialogue online. I think the team approach is a fine idea, one that needs support from faculty and from technology staff. I plan to download a copy of Greenhow’s online discussion rubric and use it as a model for creating more effective discussion in my online courses.
Three professors from East Carolina State University (Abbie Brown, Heidi Blair, Ken Luterbach) presented a workshop called “ Reading in the 21 st Century: The Challenge of Modern Media.” According to the professors, the art of reading poses more of a challenge now than ever before in American education due to web reading, which includes distracting elements we are not accustomed to
such as links, moving objects, blinking lights and objects, and varied colors on the page. Web page text has few textual clues, so web designers need to offer navigation clues, and students need to learn how to determine the validity of various websites. The professors offered research-based information about the most readable hypertexts (blue with yellow font, black on white; use 14 and 16 fonts for online text; make use of white space; use Geneva or NY fonts), about navigation on WebPages (keep it simple! Help readers know where to go and where to click), and about eye strain called Nearwork Induced Transient Myopia. The researchers recommended using the 20-20-20 rule to avoid NITM: 20 minutes of computer work followed by 20 second breaks of looking 20 feet away. I can immediately put to use the information about distance learning I learned at this workshop.
Dr. Mitchell Resnick of MIT presented “Sowing the Seeds for a More Creative Society” in which he discussed “the rise of the creative class” and how schools across the nation, including higher education, might offer strategies to increase creativity and fun in student learning. He used a metaphor of kindergarten play as his organizing principle— a natural spiral of how children interact: Imagine, Create, Share, Play, and Reflect. Dr. Resnick argued that in order to engage a wide audience, we must develop technologies that suit varied learning styles and encouraged a merging of art and technology. He told us about his visits to the Far East where Asian children and adolescents are creating interesting and brilliant projects when left to their own creative devices. Education should be playful and fun, he said. We should let students “tinker” more; in fact, tinkering is and should be part of the learning experience. Learning needs to be both collaborative and individual, encouraging a balance of dialogue with reflection, action with silence. Dr. Resnick seems to posit an antithetical position to the current public education policy, and his wisdom and insight is much needed to rescue our schools from their current disarray. This was my favorite session of the conference. Resnick was an inspiration. Clearly Dr. Resnick agreed with Dr. Stoddart that it’s time to reinvent education.
Many of the sessions at the conference focused around using alternate assessment tools and digital portfolios. I intend to implement these creative suggestions to increase student interest and participation this fall. Other sessions discussed how American classrooms can connect to classrooms and students around the world in an interactive and collaborative way. I came away from the conference feeling invigorated and excited about the uses of technology to create more student-centered, constructivist, and active learning environments for our students. Oh, yes, Moodle = One of the many free software programs available in the new “open classroom” environment of the worldwide web (go to download.moodle.org); Tag = labels or terms we can create to connect to blogs, information, and websites that might be of interest to us. And Skype? Skype is another free web tool, which allows us to “use your computer and internet connection to communicate with anyone, anywhere in the world,” according to Skype’s website.
Much of this was new to me, and I realize that as a teacher for more than 20 years, I am always learning new tools and new ways to update and polish my skills. Sometimes this new technology can seem futuristic and intimidating, but in reality, it offers amazing and user-friendly tools to make us all better teachers and make our classrooms the rich, interesting places they should be.
FYI Chemistry Conference
by Ken Capps, Science
I attended the 2nd Biennial First Year International (FYI) Chemistry conference at the University of Colorado at Boulder May 30-June 2. This conference was sponsored by the International Center for First-Year Undergraduate Chemistry Education (ICUC), whose purpose is to focus attention on entry-level chemistry education and provide information and expertise for educators throughout the world. The theme of the conference was “Global Communication for a Sustainable World.” This is among the most vital topics relating to the world’s scientific, economic and political condition.
This three-day conference gave participants an opportunity to share ideas and experiences with first-year chemistry teaching colleagues from many countries. Topics included integrating chemistry and pedagogy; engaging first-year chemistry students in current global issues; partnerships between community colleges and universities; chemical education research for 21st century global communication; and chemistry education technology. Overall, this was a very informative conference about advances in the field of chemical education.
Florida ’s Summit on
by Barbara Anderson, Health Occupations
This 2nd annual Summit held May 16-18 in Orlando focused on the needs of nursing faculty in meeting the challenges of preparing highly qualified nurses for the state of Florida. The president-elect of the National League for Nursing, Elaine Tagliareni, presented an eye-opening keynote address, entitled “REFOCUS our Teaching Practices to Include More Realistic Preparation for the COMPLEX and MULTI-FACETED Healthcare Environment Through Practical Problem-Solving Application Using Scenario-Based Simulation and Other Learner-Focused Strategies.” According to this educator, the aging of both the general population and the current nursing faculty in Florida presents “The Perfect Storm.” The presenter summarized the dismal statistics related to the current nursing shortage, but challenged faculty to discover and develop new ways to help nurses work “smarter” with a strong knowledge-base gained from “knowing HOW to respond” rather than just gaining “facts and content.”
For me, these concepts were thoroughly reinforced throughout the remainder of the conference. The break-out sessions focused on innovations from a variety of schools. Valencia Community College presented a “Lab Simulation” program in which students are totally immersed in the hospital-like environment. The lab mannequins all have names, charts, personal health histories and actual vital signs with heart rhythms. Many of them “talk” via sound systems based in a computer center behind a one-way mirror. I was gently “coerced” into a simulation of my own: a patient chart was placed in my hand, then the mannequin started breathing heavily and called out “help me.” I had to organize a multi-disciplinary team to meet my patient’s needs. The simulation instructor said I passed... but I felt the pressure, challenge and ultimately the satisfaction of applying my knowledge. I would think the student will also feel a wide variety of emotions to “cement” learning during this student focused experience!
Although many of the schools reported having difficulty finding enough clinical sites for actual patient contact, we at CFCC have been fortunate to have very supportive hospitals and other agencies for patient interactions. Our nursing faculty at CFCC has continued to enhance the student lab experience with the use of simulation and application to nursing practice throughout the educational process. We have begun the process of using more well-planned (and structured) simulation. I plan to share with other nursing program faculty some ideas and proposals that were introduced during this highly practical and very enlightening conference.
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Hurray for the Learning Themes!
by Syd Corbett, Citrus Communications
“If you ain’t cheating, you ain’t trying,” quipped a NY Knicks player in a recent interview. Add Dan Rather’s “I think you can be an honest person and lie about any number of things” to the mix and we see a serious integrity quandary facing our students. Though we might cavalierly dismiss a basketball player’s claim, our students don’t. Dan Rather was the news anchor for CBS News, indicating that mainstream America is ambivalent about honesty . I don’t want that kind of ambivalence in my students’ minds.
CFCC has stepped into the fray admirably with the Learning Themes of Integrity and Responsibility. Using the college-wide Learning Theme along with a variety of quotations from greats like Einstein, St. Augustine, Confucius, Dante, and Paine allows me to move the standard “Don’t cheat; it’s bad” admonition to a higher level of (dare I say it?) of critical thinking and application. Compare the ideas presented by the mental giants of the past with the quotations from our modern spokesmen in my introduction.
- “ The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don’t do anything about it.” ~Albert Einstein~
- “When regard for the Truth breaks down or is even slightly weakened, all things become doubtful.” ~ St. Augustine~
- “To know the right thing and not to do it is the worst cowardice.” ~Confucius~
- “The hottest places in Hell are reserved for those who, in a time of great moral crisis, maintain their neutrality.” ~Dante~
- “A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right.” ~Thomas Paine~
Now there’s some serious food for thought to tantalize our students, eh?
As I teach the mechanics of good grammar, proper punctuation (death to the comma splice!), and essay coherence in ENC1101 and 1102, I also try to evoke analysis and application in real life. The definition essay in 1101 is an obvious vehicle for provoking thought on abstract values: What is integrity? How does it differ from honesty? Examining the importance of integrity or the ramifications of its lack is also a natural part of character study and conflict in 1102: How did the character’s integrity or lack thereof add to the conflict? Is Amanda’s shading of memories (called nuancing in modern political campaigning) the same as blatant dishonesty?
Call me a “cock-eyed optimist” if you will, but I think CFCC’s Learning Themes (Integrity, Responsibility, Service, and Dignity) can lead to a stronger future. They certainly correlate to Ruskin’s idea of education: “Education is the leading of human souls to what is best and making what is best out of them.” I am heartened as I think of professors and instructors across the campus relating these immutable “bests” to their academic content.
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By Zinnia Callueng, Science
A few years after I graduated from medicine, I taught Human Anatomy & Biochemistry to medical students. Then, I took the opportunity to train in the United States, after which I practiced medicine. After more than thirty years I retired from my practice and pursued a teaching job at CFCC.
Here I took the challenge of teaching Anatomy and Physiology in the Science Department. That was something I got excited about. However, this time, I am not teaching medical students so I had to rethink my philosophy of teaching.
Since most of the students are pre-nursing, I felt I had to draw on my past experiences as a medical doctor in private practice and public health for the responsibility of making them ready for nursing . They would have to be able to think & move fast . I started to emphasize this at the beginning of each term: nurses are usually with the patients a lot longer than the doctor (usual doctor visits are up to fifteen minutes or shorter). Therefore , they should be able to make correct judgments when called for (not necessarily diagnose and treat). I emphasize that some of my exam questions (if not the majority) would help them develop this quality. They would have to develop critical thinking on top of memorization. My teaching would also benefit those who will not become nurses, since it will increase their knowledge and self-confidence.
I realized that I was not teaching just pre-nursing students but individuals. They may be single parents who are working between school and family responsibilities long after high school and just decided to continue with their education, or they may be 17- year olds who have barely enjoyed their teens. Some of them are not taking up A & P for a pre-nursing course but as a science subject to satisfy their requirements for an A.A. in Business Administration or such!
How much, then, have I changed in my principles of teaching since I started to discover who I was teaching? I've gone back to my studies in Community Health Education while I was doing my Masters in Public Health at the University of South Florida. We had an emphasis in andragogy versus pedagogy. I also remember the Biblical quotation, “When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I felt as a child, I thought as a child ...” With this in mind, I want to make certain I reach all of my students.
Adults learn differently than young people. Their reasons for learning are also different, so they do not have to be motivated like the young. Since I always have a mixture of ages among learners, I’ve had to apply the principles of andragogy and pedagogy that are both emphasized in my field of certified health education specialty and endorsed by other education specialists also. Therefore, besides giving facts, I try to give a lot of practical examples that apply to the facts I present. By giving them clinical cases and logic-provoking questions, I hope to stimulate the left side of their brains, as well. For adult learners, they can apply most of the facts to their life experiences and find them readily usable. In either case, both young and old would have to use the right side of the brain to process information and the left side to rationalize.
There was a study called “Anatomical Changes in the Emerging Adult Brain” that appeared in the journal, Human Brain Mapping in November 29, 2005. This was a single study done by Abigail Baird and Craig Bennett on the brains of nineteen 18-year old Dartmouth students in contrast to the ones of seventeen older (from 25 to 35 years old) students, funded by the National Institute of Child Health and Development. Their study showed that the brain of an 18-year old is “far from resembling the brain of someone in their mid-twenties.” Although this is just one new study, I cannot help but recall other studies and personal experiences that seem to show the same conclusion. Pedagogical philosophy emphasizes that young learners often see no reason for taking a particular course. They just know they have to learn the information to build a knowledge base. Since learning is compulsory, some educators think it tends to disappear after instruction.
I am often faced with the question of just which strategy I should use in my case where I have this mix of dual enrollment, newly-graduated high school students, single, working mothers or individuals who have gone back to school after twenty years. I think they all deserve the best that I can share. Just like the shrinking of the motionless legs of a wheelchair-bound paralytic, young and old brains need stimulation or their brain cells will slowly shrink to uselessness. Of course, there are still those who want to be nurses and one day, they will be. They will be taking care of human lives. Despite all of their complaints that they have to struggle to learn the subject of the human body, hopefully they will remember to appreciate the complexity and beauty of that body. With that, they should be able to show respect and compassion for their patients, their fellow human beings.
Every semester, on the first day my classes meet, I project a picture of the brain to them. This brain has labeled parts and I show them how learning can be enhanced. Since the brain has different centers for vision, hearing, movement, and association areas for each of these centers to store memories . I show them that when they use more than one center, there is a greater area of the brain that is stimulated. During the lecture, I encourage them to use their hands to write or highlight. Reading alone would engage only one center (visual) and if the memory for that area is short-lived, then there is no backup. Using more centers is like memorizing more than one time.
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This past summer Adam Hayashi, as part of his Endowed Chair, took a group of students to the Galápagos Islands for a week of scientific study.
What surprised you the most about the trip?
Having taught the course in the classroom (“ Darwin, Evolution and the Galápagos Islands”) prior to the trip, I was aware of the unique wildlife in the Galápagos Islands, but what really amazed me were the stars and the sunsets and sunrises. The stars were just brilliant and the sunsets looked like paintings.
How did the students react to living together on a small boat?
The cabin assignments were a little awkward at first, but everyone got along very well.
What was the biggest difficulty once you were there?
For some of the people on the boat, motion sickness was a problem, but the weather was great and the crew was terrific. We got a lot done; I was proud of the students. Probably the hardest thing about the whole trip was coming back. It was like leaving paradise.
What kind of student feedback did you get once you got back?
They were excited. Some students asked if we were offering the course again this summer. We met as a group after we got back. I think the reaction was good. Actually my wife, Alicia, came along too. That was special—sharing the experience with her.
Why do you think there is so much fascination about the Blue-footed Booby?
They have a very unusual courtship dance in which they seem to be showing off their blue webbed feet in exaggerated steps. Most people think they’re very cute.
How will your experience impact your classroom teaching?
Well it was an experience that just energized me. I have already shown my classes a lot of the pictures I have taken. I also plan to visit Steve MacKenzie’s class and talk to them. If any instructors would like me to come to their class and talk about the Galá pagos, I’d be more than happy to do that.