Tuesday, January 29, 2019

DR C's Academic Online Cruise: Week Two—Testing Trainees and Argumentation Topics

To read the initial post about DR C's Academic Online Cruise, go HERE.  


Day One 

Well, my plan to write in this blog at the end of each week has not come to fruition. I find that the first week of paper checking and other responsibilities as a captain have made it difficult to do. However, here I am, now, reporting “fer duty.”

I do my best to return graded papers as soon as possible. Generally, I have papers graded and returned by the next class session. Knowing that this first set may need me to make several detailed comments on the content presentation and marking of grammatical and mechanics errors, I am glad I have had the whole weekend to check these papers.

Experience has taught me that, most of the time, the first paper is not the most stellar. And checking these papers takes time. At least for me, even the best paper takes me about thirty (30) minutes. 

For me, just writing a few phrases of praise or pointing out an issue is not sufficient. I use a rubric and use it as a guide for my trainees to follow in addition to my comments and markings. One of the ways that I show my commitment to this marriage is my thorough effort in the checking of my trainees’ papers.

Also, as shared earlier, I am extremely committed to working on retention. Besides the use of a metaphor that works to develop some kind of unity among the trainees, research can be valuable. 

Testing the Trainees

I use two testing instruments that I used during my doctoral studies. One of the instruments addresses the issue of academic motivation. The other deals with the issue of one’s perception of how much a student feels a responsibility for outcomes.

Sunday, January 27, 2019

DR C's Academic Online Cruise: Week One—Instructing the Crew

To read the initial post about DR C's Academic Online Cruise, go HERE.



Day One

After the first week, instead of having 20 onboard trainees (students), there are twenty-five (25). Nice! There are eleven (11) males and fifteen (14) females. 

Preview book HERE
On the first day, I review the basics of college theme writing. Recently, some have had training on a 101 ship; for others, it has been a little while. So that no one will be at a disadvantage, this is the purpose of the review. I encourage they read Chapter 6 of the handbook, Bare Essentials, 18th ed. This will insure everyone has the opportunity to review the same material, not just via lecture but via written material, too. I recognize that some trainees need to depend on more than their notes; thus, actually reading what has been presented at a training session should help.

Then, to prepare my trainees for the Thursday writing assignment, which will be done in class, I discuss the topic and ways they may want to approach the topic. 

This assignment will be based on Chapters 1, 4, and 5 of the other text for this cruise, Linguistics for College Freshmen and Sophomores: Non Majors, Welcome! These chapters discuss the impact of language, the different registers, the manner in which people code switch to accommodate the requirements of their linguistic environment, and manners in which language is acquired. 

Preview book HERE
They are to write a five-paragraph theme on the following: Indicate the main message about language is conveyed in Chapter 1, Chapter 4, and Chapter 5 of Linguistics for College Freshmen and Sophomores.

They can bring any notes they may have placed in their texts or written in their notebooks that they feel may help them in the writing of the paper. They are not, however, supposed to have the paper written before coming to this do this assignment.

Also, in this first session, I distribute the regular “stuff”: syllabus and class policies. The third page of the policies has a section where each trainee has to print and sign his or her name acknowledging they understand and agree with the policies for this cruise.

I make it clear if anyone does not agree with the policies that she or he should not choose to continue on the cruise. Thus, I do not accept the signed policies until the second day that each person attends a session. I want to make sure they understand what they are signing. This class policies sheet serves as the “marriage certificate.” 

Sunday, January 13, 2019

DR. C's Academic Online Cruise Ship: The SS FORAGER, Has Set Sail!


So, Here I Am, Again

Some of you have sailed with me in previous cruises, the Creative Writing Cruise and/or the Blog Online 102 Cruise. For those of you new to this blog cruise, you will see that I see teaching as a cruise and my students are trainees preparing to become future captains. 

I function as the Captain. You may call me, "Captain C." I have fifteen weeks to get these rookies ready to transfer or pass out of this advanced training of English 102 (Advanced English Composition). I am looking forward to the challenge and experience. 

So, here I am, again, using an established metaphor and launching a new one. I am looking forward to this cruise. My schedules (syllabi) are ready. And the SS Forager is poised to go. 

And why is this academic line called the “Forager”? A forager is one that hunts and gathers. And as Captain C, I shall work to lead trainees to hunt for information and gather this information to help them learn and put to use the knowledge to help not only themselves personally but to serve others whom they touch professionally.

Our "Onboard" and "Online" Meeting Times

I refer to the students who come to my English 102 class as my "onboard trainees." I refer to students who are taking my English 102 online as my "online trainees." The onboard trainees meet twice a week. The online trainees have one three-hour session per week. 

As you can presume, the onboard trainees and I have different meeting times than the online trainees. My onboard trainees meet for a total of three (3) hours during a week on a Tuesday and Thursday. My online trainees have no particular day and time to meet. However, there are specific times when these trainees must complete reading and writing assignments as well as tasks.

My current records state I shall be responsible to train twenty (20) captains-in-trainee on board of this academic cruise line and twenty-five (25) captains-in-trainee online. Having years of experience as a full captain teaching both on ship and online, I have recognized the challenges when teaching to trainees on board and online. 

Different metaphors must be used; still, the content will be the same. It is the approach that must differ and serve as a motivating factor for each group of trainees.