Recognizing The Importance of Education

One of the first assumptions in economics is that people behave rationally. The principle of rationality means we take all available information and make decisions that aim to maximize our best interest. I have always realized that is a pretty bold assumption because interacting with anybody for at least 5 minutes will disprove it rather quickly. If we were truly rational, would our decisions change? One area I think that would be greatly affected is our personal educational pursuits and our view on education in general. Continue reading

Peer Critique #1

Yesterday I had the opportunity to look at Emily’s project and the progress she has made. I love the idea behind it and thought it looked great (realizing the focus is on functionality for now and not so much on formatting). Not having been a music major myself I cannot fully speak to relevance of it, but based on her motivation for building it and her explanation of its purpose, I believe music students will benefit greatly from a tool like this. While she has made a lot of progress and has great ideas, there were little things I noticed that could help create a more fluid experience. Continue reading

Topic Statement & Audience Analysis

The number of faculty members who adopt and implement open educational resources (OER) in their courses has been growing over the last several years. One of the most important factors cited by faculty for choosing to adopt OER is the cost savings students experience by not having to purchase a textbook (Petrides, Jimes, Middleton-Detzner, Walling, & Weiss, 2011). Students who save this money can then, among many other possibilities, reinvest in their education to take more classes, reallocate it toward other expenses, or work less and dedicate more time to coursework. In order to understand how, and if, students benefit from foregoing the cost of a textbook, students at Reynolds Community College (RCC) were surveyed to see what they did with the money they saved by using an open textbook in their courses. Researchers were also interested in the students’ perception of the OER materials compared to traditional textbooks. Students were asked three questions:

  1. On a scale of 1 (poor) to 5 (Excellent), how would you rate the quality of OER material vs. a textbook?
  2. On a scale of 1 (Not Engaging) to 5 (Very Engaging), how would you rate your level of engagement with the OER material vs. a textbook?
  3. What did you do with the money you saved by not buying textbooks?

My target audience will be readers of the International Review of Research on Open and Distributed Learning (IRRODL). The majority of IRRODL readers are affiliated with institutions of higher education as professors or other supporting roles. Because this journal is aimed primarily at open and distance learning, I would expect the readers to have a basic to intermediate knowledge of OER. This means assuming they know the definition of OER, the potential of OER in education, and are somewhat familiar with the climate of OER in recent years. The article I am writing will be relatively straightforward as its main purpose is to present results; little to no jargon will be used. I will include sections for an introduction, lit review focusing on other perception and cost studies, methodology, results, and conclusions. The expected length of the manuscript will be between 3,500-5,000 words.

Thanks for the memories, Fall 2015

It’s hard to believe my first semester in the IP&T program is done. Starting the program three and a half months ago, I could never have imagined how perfectly this program would align with all of my interests. To be surrounded by faculty members and peers who have the same passion for teaching & learning and the sincere desire to help others has been such a blessing. I am so grateful for the growth I have experienced personally and academically in this short time.

I wanted to highlight some of the key concepts I took from this semester Continue reading

Field trips in grad school?

This week we had the opportunity to go to Thanksgiving Point in Lehi, UT, and learn more about informal learning. Along the way we made sure to have some fun 🙂 Here are some reflections about the experience and the Museum of Natural Curiosity…

Learning is motivated, social, situated, and active. These are the four hallmarks of learning as shared with us by Lorie Millward, curator of curiosity and director of education at Thanksgiving Point’s Museum of Natural Curiosity. With these four ideas in mind, I was anxious to explore the museum for myself and observe others interacting with the exhibits. Continue reading

Hey, mom, this is what I’m studying!

To friends & family who still have no idea what I am studying in grad school, here is an explanation (albeit a little wordy) about the field I am currently in…

Many people hear the name Instructional Psychology & Technology (IP&T) and only focus on the word psychology. Immediately they believe the degree I am pursuing will qualify me to do clinical research or provide counseling to those in need. In reality, the field I am entering is applicable in any setting where instruction takes place; this includes education, business, government, military, church, etc. At its core this area is for those who are passionate about helping others learn more effectively by utilizing technology in conjunction with the principles of instructional design. Continue reading