Assessing Online Discussions

I recently re/developed the rubric I use to assess learner performance in the online discussion for my “Introduction to Computers” course; I wanted a more generic approach suitable for many of the discussions in the course – particularly with the course going through a Quality Matters review.  I developed a holistic rubric with two primary criteria supported with a number of descriptors at each level of proficiency. Read more

Proving a Learner’s Plagiarism

A two-week old post on the Texas Community College Teachers Association blog caught my attention this morning: Charge of Plagiarism Upheld in Court.  My initial reaction was that I do not understand how it’s “a good thing” that accusations of learner plagiarism not be supported by identification of a plagiarized document.  Reading the court opinion, however, adds critical information not mentioned by the TCCTA blog; considering the additional information, the issue is a great deal more complex. Read more

Problems with Bloom’s Taxonomy?

Last week or so, I came across an older article (December, 2002) from International Society for Performance Improvement that challenged the utility of Bloom’s Taxonomy on several levels.  In short, Dr. Brenda Sugrue argues that Bloom’s Taxonomy is not valid, reliable or practical.  Dr. Sugrue offers two alternatives which both suggest an emphasis on the application and use of knowledge.  I believe there’s a great deal of truth in Dr. Sugrue’s argument, and I have a few additional thoughts. Read more

Searching for a new camera . . .

After officially graduating yesterday, my days as a graduate student are O-V-E-R, thankfully.  I now have more time on my hands and am looking forward to spending my time on a few hobbies.  Photography will be one of them.  Task #1? Identify and buy a new camera. Of course, I’m looking for any and all advice on which camera to purchase.  If you have some, given my personal photography profile which I’ll describe below, I’d certainly appreciate the input via comments.

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Conference Twitter Backchannel’s Almost Useless

Over at EduGeek Journal, Matt Croslin posted several weeks ago about using Twitter as a conference backchannel.  That stirred up a frustration I’ve had with the last several times I’ve tried to engage colleagues at a conference via Twitter.  I posted a comment there that provides more explanation and context to my argument.

The long and short of it is that, for me, the twitter backchannel at conferences has become damn near useless.  It’s not because Twitter’s useless or irrelevant, and it’s not because of the conference; it’s a matter of how people at conferences are using… well… not using the Twitter backchannel effectively, in my opinion.  Rather than an engaging backchannel shared by colleagues and professionals engaging each other in meaningful discourse related to conference presentations, by and large, the Twitter conference backchannels have become nothing more than a “mindlessly-broadcast-whatever-the-speaker’s-saying-channel.”  Your thoughts?

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