Windsor I: Teaching and Research

It’s been about three months since I started working as an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Education at the University of Windsor. In that time, I set up shop both on campus and at home, and am only now getting to blogging about it.

I teach six sections (4 primary/junior, 2 junior/intermediate) of an undergraduate (B.Ed.) educational technology course called 80-312 and 80-322 Learning with Technologies. With some help and guidance from colleagues including Richard Reeve, Don Philip, and Kim MacKinnon, I adapted a syllabus that Zuochen Zhang has been teaching junior/intermediate and senior sections in the consecutive B.Ed. program.

It’s going pretty well. I have just over 200 students, and they are impressing me with their technology demonstrations of OSAPAC software and other software like Scratch and Alice that are free. They’ve been presenting their demos using a Smartboard in a computer lab. The students are a good bunch. Most recently, I was thrilled to have some students exceed my expectations by collecting original, relevant data to use in their demonstrations of Tinkerplots, a dynamic data visualization software. Pretty neat!

In terms of teaching graduate students, I’m in the process of designing an online graduate course on designing e-learning environments. I’ll blog more about that shortly, but I’m excited to be thinking about design and selecting readings on what is design, design-based research, design patterns, design thinking, designerly ways of knowing, etc.

On the research front, I’ve gotten research ethics board approval for collecting data in my classes for an online formative assessment project using Facebook. It’s an extension of the repertory grid work that I was doing with Chris in Copenhagen on FARGO. Whereas one does not need to obtain ethics clearance at the Copenhagen Business School to collect data, it is required in Canada, and it took a little longer to obtain approval at University of Windsor than I have been used to at University of Toronto. It took just one revision, as per usual, but I think it was a timing issue–the university is pretty quiet in the summer as faculty take vacations, so there was likely a backlog for the review board. Hence, I couldn’t start collecting data at the beginning of the year as I had hoped. I’m hoping that I’ll be able to get this project started once students return from their first practicum in a couple of weeks.

I’m also working on a SSHRC Insight Development grant application. While I’ve worked on lots of grant applications as a graduate student or a postdoc, it’s the first one that I’m preparing as a faculty member. I’m feeling much more confident about grant writing after recent successful experiences. I attended a workshop in October by Jo Van Every, which was useful. I’ve been busy putting publications in the pipeline so that some of them will be published or at least accepted by the time the grant is due on Feb 1, 2012. So far, I’ve signed off on two ACM proceedings and a journal article, so things are looking pretty good. I hope to complete drafts of a couple of chapters that I owe some editors, too. Now I just have to keep the momentum going during cold & flu season and with the holidays coming up! Yikes!


One response to “Windsor I: Teaching and Research”

  1. […] expert/collaborator also happens to be my partner and is very helpful. Still, re-deployment of FARGO last week hit a snag as students couldn’t login due to “server error.” This week, […]

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