Educational Journey

August 1, 2011

Texting in class

Filed under: General,Personal challenges — Cyndy @ 7:24 pm

As a teacher and a student, I can certainly see both sides of this dilemma. As a student it is difficult to pay attention for long periods of time when a professor drones on about something. In these situations, I begin to look for ways to distract my mind. A handy cell phone is a quick and easy fix for my need to check out.

On the other hand, as a professor there is constant struggle to keep student’s attention.  In this age of massive information, attention spans are weakening. Students are used to taking small pieces of information from various sources, but not necessarily used to staying on topic and discovering something in depth. It may be difficult to pay attention for long periods of time, but it is a skill that can be developed and is beneficial to the student.

 In order to better facilitate the learning of this skill among my students, I plan to incorporate some “spot quizzes” into my lectures. Breaking up my lectures with time for the students to reflect on he material and re-frame it into their own words may help them focus. It will also hold them accountable for paying attention and maybe they will put down the cell phones without my constant nagging.



April 26, 2010

One Step Closer

Another course is over, and I am one step closer. At this point, I am unofficially pursuing a dissertation study in the policies and procedures that suppport academic honesty. From what I have learned so far, academic dishonesty is prevelant at all levels of education and colleges deal with it in dramatically different yet equally ineffective ways. would like to better understand the problem so that colleges can implement better systems. In light of the growing online academic trend, this is an important topic.

March 21, 2010

Asynchronous communication

Filed under: Dissertation Topic Exploration,Personal challenges — Cyndy @ 4:00 pm

Asynchronous communication in an online environment has valuable potential as a conversational tool especially for students that might otherwise be too shy to speak up in a traditional classroom. However, the challenges are many. As I experience the online environment in my own class, I am frustrated by the lack of depth to the topics. Each discussion question requires students to write a post followed by response to two other student posts. Classmates often post information that is irrelevant, blatantly off topic or simply subject to further inquiry.  Inquiries are not addressed once students have met the two response requirement. Conversations are therefore prematurely halted. It is especially disheartening when an instructor ends a conversation with a “good boy, Johnny.”

There must be a solution to this problem. Distance learning is here to stay, but it must provide an equally stimulating educational experience. I feel a dissertation topic lies somewhere amidst this frustration.

August 22, 2009

I’m back …

Filed under: Personal challenges — Cyndy @ 2:36 pm

I know it’s been awhile. My mother passed on July 13, and it has been difficult to deal with life. I was 3 weeks into my curriculum and development class when it happened. I managed to finish the class, but I’m not sure how. I certainly did not gain the knowledge from the class that I had originally hoped.  I’m taking a session off from classes now in order to get caught up with life and sanity. As a result of what has happened, I am no closer to a dissertation topic, but hope to use this time to pull some other dissertations to read.

June 23, 2009


Filed under: General,Personal challenges — Cyndy @ 2:58 pm

Much earned vacation begins NOW!

June 14, 2009


Filed under: Personal challenges — Cyndy @ 11:45 am

4:44 am on a Sunday morning and I am awake thinking about how I am going to get everything done. Yeah!

June 6, 2009

Organization, balance, & horse races

Filed under: Personal challenges,What I learned today! — Cyndy @ 11:45 pm

I learned three things today!

Most doctoral researchers advise that organization is important when writing a dissertation. That seems logical. Today I actually learned some methodology regarding that organization. It’s easy, simply color code papers by topics, subtopics and agree or refute position. Then you can use highlighters to note the important elements.

I also learned that balance is important even while trying to obtain a doctoral degree. School administration may push to get you to the finish line quickly, but most teachers agree that only you know the pace you need to keep and how much you can sacrifice at any one time. One of the Doctors mentioned that in the group of 10 students that he studied with, only 2 were still married at the end of their program. I am not willing to sacrifice my marriage. It’s not worth it.

Lastly, I learned not to get in the way of wedding ditchers that are hell-bent on watching a horse race.

June 1, 2009


Filed under: Personal challenges — Cyndy @ 12:10 am

This class is truly kicking my butt. I didn’t expect it to be easy — but, I also didn’t expect it to be this insane. I’m trying to get caught up on all my homework for the week plus do all my class planning for this week and next week, and get my clothes ready, just so that I can go to this stupid residency in DC and meet all these lovely people that I don’t even know. This is just NOT my thing.

Most of all, I am not ready to write a research question for a dissertation topic. I was completely taken by surprise at the beginning of week 2 with the assignment and now for the duration of this class I am stuck trying to make a topic work that is stupid. 



May 26, 2009


Filed under: Personal challenges — Cyndy @ 12:59 pm

Trying to write a paper yesterday and all was going smoothly. It looked like I would be finished and still have time to soak up some sunshine. Then it happened. My MacBook Pro, that never locks up, decided it would crash everytime I tried to do something in a Word file. I did everything I could. Luckily it’s still under warranty, but I really don’t have time to take it in. So, when all else fails just stop stressing and go shopping. When I got home, my genius husband suggested that it might be just one file in Word that’s causing the problem. Sure enough, I had copied some text off of eCompanion website into my file and it was the culprit. No problems since. Love living with a techie!

May 20, 2009

Speaking in third person

Filed under: Personal challenges — Cyndy @ 6:12 am

Oh what a challenge it is for this author to learn to write in the third person. APA style requires Roberts to write in a non-personal manner. It is quite difficult. In fact this author has given up trying to eliminate passive voice as she is too busy trying to eliminate personal reference pronouns such as I, me or my even while writing about personal preferences and such.

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