LDT SEMINAR RUBRIC
Misses two or more seminars. Comes late or leaves early. Does not inform instructor of absence in advance.
Attends all of seminar, or misses one, with very good excuse (e-mailed to instructor ahead of time). Always on time.
Organizes extra learning opportunities for other learners.
Assignments are late, incomplete, or poorly executed.
Assignments are turned in on time. All outside work is turned in on time (or ahead of time). Assignments address the assignment components, but appear rushed or have errors.
In-class and out-of-class assignments are completed thoughtfully and thoroughly. In out-of-class work, attention is paid to content, spelling, grammar, and flow.
Rarely speaks, or rarely listens. Carries on side conversations or other off- topic activities (for example on the computer).
Mostly listens, but speaks sometimes. Or mostly speaks, but listens sometimes.
Speaks and listens actively in class. Builds on the ideas of others. Challenges own thinking and that of others. Seeks to make connections between concepts in class and to outside experiences.
Could have contributed more with the organization of the activities of seminar but was always present.
Up to the point where I was doing LXD as my Master’s project, my assignments were on time. I then switched to Slingshot and ended up not submitting some of the project deliverables, yet managed to present to the cohort the main ideas of the project. Since I changed my mind again, I am now working on the current project write up for this Friday.
I feel that I’ve always contributed with questions and feedback for my cohort. I also always tried to bring in material I’ve read in other classes and references to related projects.
This quarter was quite different that the first two quarters. I was taking a significantly lighter course load than the other quarters, which freed up quite a bit of my time to think about the future. In addition, the internship reminded me of what it is like to be in production mode again, as opposed to being in the study / exploratory / absorption mode I was in the previous quarters. It felt good and triggered the start of my job search, which did not feel that good to begin with.
One has the impression that there are so many opportunities and job posting out there that it should be easy to find a job. The problem starts when you have to decide upon which area you want to go into. LDT prepared me for a few new areas that I probably would not have been apt to go into previously. It opened my options quite a bit, but also left me with the process of understanding which area I would want to work in. Should I go for straight up teaching? Should I go for an Instructional Designer role? Should I go work in an EdTech company as a Product Manager? Should I start my own company? How will my Master’s project affect my career moving forward? What doors will it open? What doors will it close? So many questions to answer and decisions to make. But I’d rather have this problem than not having options to choose from.
The job search and the inevitable “thank you for your application, but we are not going to move forward with it”, taxes one emotionally and undermines our confidence momentarily. You have to then remind yourself that it is all about timing and a good fit as well. Paulo Blikstein consoled me saying that the recruiter is actually doing me a favor when rejecting my application since they know the position, and that it would not be something good for me. So the “no thank you” is actually a blessing in disguise since I’d be miserable at the job if I took it. In any case, it is always a little disheartening to hear a no, even if it was not your dream job.
Thinking back at the academic side of this quarter, I felt that I was less engaged overall because of these external / future preoccupations. I definitely put less effort into the assignments as they seemed less relevant towards my future. That was the case with Lytics Seminar, where we talked extensively about Machine Learning and Learning Sciences in very broad terms. Although the topics were interesting, there were no projects or assignments in the class - therefore less engaging.
On the other hand, the Engineering Education & Online Learning covered material that was very relevant to me and had a pretty hefty project load. Yet I also felt some degree of disengagement as some of the content was not new to me, thanks to my internship, and the course was poorly managed in my opinion. The Game Design portion was inserted into the course when it should have been a course on its own with its own projects and deliverables. Although valuable, I felt that it took the focus away from the original content and left little time to engage with the Game Design content itself. The use of technology was also poorly managed - we used Canvas for submitting some assignments, LOFT to read very extensive content in a confusing and ever changing interface, AND OpenEdX to learn about other topics. For me in particular, this confusing experience was actually a learning experience in terms of what not to do and how important it is to ensure a scaffolded and linear experience to the students to reduce extraneous cognitive loads. I felt that I spent the same amount of time figuring out what to do next on what platform than I did engaging with the actual content.
That being said, I wonder if there is someway to better structure the LDT experience for future cohorts. One complicating factor is that I feel that many of the required courses are only offered during the Fall and Winter. With that in mind, I think I overloaded my first two quarters with all the requirements and when I got to the 3rd quarter I was burnt out and wanted to do the least possible. I would suggest to have more talks about balancing out the course selection, and try to convey that one can distribute the workload a little better to avoid being overworked in one or two particular quarters. Also important to note that the internship is a very time consuming activity and that the job search can be emotionally draining.
It is a tough job you (Karin) have trying to figure out how to tweak the course for every single, widely different, student and program path choices. :)