Week 7: 3

Reflections on ED526b

7-3
Write your “highlights and low points” reflection about the course.

The Good:
This course was fabulous for the resources I was introduced to, the interest groups on the internet like the math ning, the websites like the artofproblemsolving and the mathforum, the organization tools like diigo, and the technical resources like Geogebra.  I will use these resources as a teacher.  They have already helped me with organization and lesson planning.

I liked that the class had an hour of together time every week.  None of my other internet courses had this component, and I did feel that something was missing without it.  I felt this helped build a good working relationship between the students and between the students and the instructor.

Another thing I liked was having a (enthusiastic!) math person as a teacher.  This turned out to be the only education course I took that had a math-oriented teacher.  The benefits of a course are limited when the instructor is not familiar with the field and age group that the students will be working with.  It was really nice to be able to fully engage with the instructor.

The perhaps could have been better:
While I was happy to do the individual assignments, taken together they could become a problem.  I think there might have been an underestimation of how long some of these assignments would take, at least for some of us.  I would prefer to have four 2–3 hour assignments than do 10 one hour assignments halfway (and they often became 2–3 hours).  I did feel a little overworked some weeks.

Rather than eliminate assignments, I would like to suggest that students choose a subset of them to work on.  This way every student has the opportunity to choose assignments that are interesting to them.  For example, the instructor could post 6 possible assignments and the students would pick 4 to work on for that week.

The questionable:  Sometimes I felt uncomfortable posting on other people’s blogs (particularly in the larger math community), but getting practice doing this is not necessarily a bad thing.

All in all, I thought this was a very good course.  I particularly liked the instructor’s enthusiasm, knowledge, and awareness of resources.  I think Arcadia would be smart to hire Maria for the Technology course in addition to this one.

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