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Archive for the ‘Doctorate of Education (EdD)’ Category

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Doctoral Studies

Well another one down! Sunday (6/24) I conducted my last conference call and submitted my final paper, presentation, & my final journal entry. I was very pleased with course. While the bar wasn’t set very high after the last course, this course exceeded my expectations.

The instructor was outstanding, she gave me the flexibility to set my own direction in the course. I outlined what I want to learn and how did I want to go about it. I was a little surprised that I didn’t take the opportunity to take the easy road and do less. I went the opposite direction and use this as opportunity to really dive into the subject, expand my knowledge and escape my comfort zone.

The way I see it, my course classes are the foundation for my comprehensive exam and I want to be as prepared for that exam as possible.

Unfortunately, not a lot of breathing room. Access to my next two classes opened quickly and before I knew it, I was diving headlong into them. I downloaded the text books (4 books, 2 per class). Both classes are directed study. The one instructor I had last class, the other is new. So far it’s going well. Lots of reading, but I guess that is what happened when you have 4 books to get through. Work load, not to bad considering I’m not teaching. I’m keeping up.

More interviews, but awesome topics, Community College Leadership & Governance & Organization of community colleges. There is a fair share of overlap between these courses.

Teaching (Kinda)

On the course development front, I am working on a handful of things. 1st is CIS 225 – End User Support. I am converting this from an on campus course to an online course. While somewhat time consuming, overall the conversion is not a very difficult process. However, I am a little worried about capturing the essence of the course, the communication aspect of user support. I am not sure if it can be captured, but I’m going to give it a shot. Putting a fair share of emphasis on discussion. I expect the first time through to be…. Rough. I’ll get through it. This course should be off for review by distance education today (7/7).

Next up will be adding a lecture and assignment that supports the CIS department’s assessment process. The assignment is used to see if students are meeting the objectives of the class, the objectives of the CIS degree and ultimately the objectives of the college. I developed the assessment process and assignment for the CIS 140M class a few years ago, so I’m fairly familiar with the end goal.

There are a few odds and ends, but they will have to wait, my biggest challenge of the break, writing CIS 287M Microsoft Server Security for a campus course from scratch. I’ve got the book, always the best starting point. This is going to take some time to fully flesh out. Hopefully I come up with a vision/direction for the course early on. While I know security and the concepts, it can be a fairly challenging topic.

Officially on Break!

While I would like to believe that break means sitting around the house chilling watching cartoons & Jerry Springer….. That’s so not to case. Not to say that might not happen on occasion. :)

I will be taking advantage of the lack of office hours, lectures, grading and misc campus time to prepare for Fall & Winter term 2012-2013. I need to get one course converted from a classroom course to an online course, CIS 225 – End User Support. Which will be offered Winter Term 2013.

I’m developing CIS 287M – Microsoft Server Security from scratch. The original book is out of print and unavailable, so I had to select a new book. Security has never been my strongest topic, but not out of reach. I think it’ll be an opportunity for me to expand my technical knowledge which hasn’t happened in a while.  287M will be offered Fall Term 2012.

Beyond those MAJOR developments, just working on my updates to my other classes for the 2012 – 2013 school year: CIS 289M, CIS 288M, CIS 187I, & CIS 287I

Lets not forget my Dr. courses. I’m taking Community College  Leadership and Organization & Governance of Community Colleges at the end of June and they run into August. They are directed study, so just me and the instructor. My current class The Community College is almost done and I’ve really enjoyed it. Dr. Sanford allows for a lot of student directed learning. So I set my goals and direction and she facilitates it, provides insight and ideas. The biggest thing, she lets me set up the structure I require to be successful in a class.

So moving along…. Being on break maybe my updates will happen more frequently – it could happen!

Finals Week is Upon Me

Teaching

Wow, that didn’t take long….. Talk about a fast 11 weeks! Overall it was pretty low key on the teaching front. I started looking beyond spring term fairly early.  From my previous post:

  • I am co-SAC (Subject Area Committee Chair) for the 2012-21013 school year.
  • I am thinking about the transition from Server 2008 & Windows 7 to Server 2012 (or server 8 ) & Windows 8
  • I’ve got a fair share of course development for 2012-2013 that I will be working with over the break. To include: converting a course to online for Winter 2013, writing a server security course & adding to an existing course to accommodate for our program assessment

Before I get to any of that, I have a lot of grading to get through. One class ends Wednesday night and the other Thursday night. Hopefully I can get all the work graded from the ends Wednesday night on Thursday. Then I can hammer out the work from Thursday night on Friday.

In a perfect world, grades would be done before I head to graduation Friday night….. Saturday morning at the latest.

 

Doctoral Studies

The community college course is moving along. I am expanding my horizons that’s for sure.

Although, I submitted my journal entry which lacked an attention to detail  on the grammar front. The instructor did not slam me or anything like that, but it was enough of an issue to be pointed out. Which I a good thing. My end goal is passing that comprehensive exam and things like this need to be hammered out now. Of course that put me on high alert for the introduction to PCC paper I wrote. We’ll see how that goes. I need to find ways to keep writing and researching. Because breaks seem to reset the skills almost back to 0.

My current instructor is all about the learning process so I get to set the boundaries (aka as much confining structure as I want). I’m taking advantage of it. But the temptation was certainly there to slack off.  But I know nothing good will come from that.

So while I won’t be in the class room over my summer break, I will now lack for things to keep my mind engaged.

July I will start Community College Leadership and Organization & Governance of Community Colleges looking forward to both classes. I think these classes will have me hanging around campus over summer for interviews and such.

Time for an Update

Before I begin, let me say congrats to my wife completing her comprehensive exam. She has to wait for the results, but I am positive she nailed it. The comprehensive exam is a long test that saw 7 days of writing and proofing to span about 80 hours.

Doctoral Studies

Seeing my wife battle her way through the comprehensive exam was inspiring. I gained a lot of insight into what I will need to do over the next year to be ready for my week of fun and excitement. The exam is geared towards your major. So, as I move into my core classes I know I need to keep in mind the end goal of course work, which is the comprehensive exam. The exam is 3 questions that will spawn 30+ page paper and 7 days.

My current class is The Community College. I have to say I’m loving this class! I’m already getting more out of it than I did that STUPID class I took last semester. Due to issues with filling classes for my major, I’ll be taking all of my core classes directed study (one on one with the instructor). Three out of the five classes will be taught by the same instructor, my current instructor. Which also ensure the format will be the same.

At the start of the class, I developed a work plan. (I need structure). The instructor was willing to let me have as much structure as I require. I used the original materials from the course to develop the work plan, with deadlines, etc. All the stuff I need in order to say sane. We do conference calls on Friday to go over the materials and assignments from the week.

This course is giving me the opportunity to get out of my comfort zone and interact with people in other parts of the college.  I’ve completed one interview so far. And it was very enlightening.

I am back to trying to read daily. Last week I read a chapter a day. I have to keep that up.

In other amazing news!

I received an invite to lunch with the president of PCC, Dr. Preston Pulliams. The lunch is scheduled for after my community college leadership course starts so I should be able to get in some questions for the course. He is very successful, well respected at every level. This is an amazing opportunity.

In and out of the classroom

Things are very quite. That’s how Spring term is & I am not complaining! I’ve managed to get close to caught up on grading. All content has been released.

I am looking at beyond spring term already.

I’ll be converting my CIS 225 course to an distance learning format. I really want that finished by the end of June.  Not sure if that’ll happen.  I am teaching Windows Server Security (287M) in Fall. And that class will need to be developed from scratch. I had to track down a new book for the class, which wasn’t an easy task.  In teaching 289M this term, there are some updates that will need to be made to make things go….. Smoother. And finally, the admin work. There’s ALWAYS admin work.

Ah the summer “off” Gotta love it. But at least I’m not teaching and grading. It’ll be a nice change of pace.

Marching Into May

Doctoral Studies

It is only fitting that the worse class I have ever taken  in my academic career should end just as sub-par. I got an A-. I know a lot of people would be satisfied with an A-.  My issue with the final grade is how it must have been selected at random with no true foundation. Nothing in the class was graded, I never got any feedback on anything I did. I was one of the only people to do the work in the discussion boards. If I truly earned an A-, I can live with that. But it sucks to have a grade selected random.

I have come to understand the  “less structured” ways of doctoral studies. This is the second instructor I’ve had that has been pretty free form, but the first instructor had specific assignments for us to do and provided actual feedback and discussion.

I won’t say I walked away with nothing, but I can’t identify what I gained from 15 weeks of suffering.  I haven’t decided what to do. Nothing is the most likely course of action. I could call the instructor out, not sure what that will yield….. We shall see.

I’m really looking forward to my next series of classes. They are all directed study and core to my Community College Leadership Program. I’m hoping to walk away with significant insight. I’m also plotting my last 10 classes. 5 are laid out, The remaining 5 will take some work to plan out. That doesn’t include the intro stats class I plan to take at PCC. I need to sharpen my skillz or the quantitative  research class will  destroy me.

My dissertation study will most likely be a quantitative study, so I need to be on top of things.

American Association of Community Colleges Conference

I left for the conference on April 21st and got back on April 24th. I was back in the classroom on April 25th. Talk about beat. A little jet lag and being on a different time zone didn’t help. The conference was enlightening, motivating and terrifying all in the same breath.

Enlightening – I met a lot of interesting people. I sat through several presentations. The topics included leadership, distance learning, women in Science, Technology, Engineering & Math (STEM) fields, and people of color in education. There was so much information. I’m in the process of working on the recap of the trip. I took a lot of notes. I may contact some presenters for more information and track down the original presentations.

Terrifying – There was so information to had, so many people I didn’t talk to. While learning that there will be plenty of opportunities in the future for me to ascend to leadership, I also learned how much I need to accomplish to be ready. I learned how much I don’t know.

And finally…..

Motivating – The motivation aspect comes from figuring out what I need to know and picking a path to come by those skills and abilities. My focus will remain the completion of my EdD. However, beyond that I know I will need to look at leadership training and seminars, both internal and external to PCC. I will need to look for opportunities to lead and manage. Things I have already considered.

It also heightened my awareness of how I can help all students be successful, but also students of color.  My experiences and direction can be a positive influence on others. And it should be shared.

Teaching

Spring term is very quite, very laid back in comparison to Fall and Winter.  April was a very busy month for teaching/admin work & finishing up my class. So needless to say, I’m waaaaaay behind on grading. Made some strides. I knew if I didn’t grade every day, I’d end up behind.

My admin work list is still pretty long, I’m teaching 287M Microsoft Security and there’s a major issue with the book. It’s out of stock and Unavailable. No word on a new edition or reprints. I need to get that book squared away soon.

As a full time instructor I’m also responsible for helping with the dept.’s assessment of classes. For this round I’ll be working with 140M. That takes a fair amount of time and effort.

I’m sure I’m missing something on the teaching side.

 

Quick Update

Doctoral Studies

One assignment/presentation away from putting the Intro Research class behind me. It’s been the longest 15 weeks – EVA! The last assignment is a prospectus and presentation. I have to give the presentation in class. However, that nothing major. The biggest road block is putting the finishing touches on the paper. Converting it to a PowerPoint is a non-issue. I do that all the time. There is a two week break before my next class starts. Looking forward to that. The next class is directed study (one on one with the instructor). Cyn has had this instructor before and has really enjoyed directed study with this instructor. That will be a nice change.  And the topic is Community Colleges, my focus.

Overall, my topic remains distance learning in higher education. My research into the topic has been very interesting. I’ve read several studies which combine tons of other research into a single spot. Helps get a very good grasp on the topic.

Teaching – Spring Term

I must grade every day for at least an hour or it’s gonna get silly fast. Overall the term is off to a great start, online classes are pretty quite & I’m somewhat on top of things. I think most of my students have been in a previous class of mine or a class in a similar format and so they know what to expect.

I am behind on lab proofing, I’ll have to hit it pretty hard next week as I won’t have any doctorate class stuff hanging over my head. Next week is already week 3!

Administrative work

One of the things that comes with teaching full time is administrative work. I have a few admin type things on my plate right now. Writing the course assessment for our CIS140M class. It’s part of the college’s accreditation process. I’m sure I’m missing something…..

American Association of Community College Conference  – AACC

The last thing on the radar for April is The AACC Conference in Orlando, FL. I’ll be attending with a few people from PCC. Mostly administrative types, like the president of PCC. Feeling a bit outclassed. But I’m sure I’ll get over that quick like, I hope!

It’ll be a very nice break from everything and should expose me to community colleges on a national stage.

Spring Thaw

Well it’s almost spring anyway. I’ve thawed enough for a new blog post. It’s been a while since my last post, that’s for sure.

So where to begin:

I finished another class, comprehensive planning and implementation with an A. The instructor was good, responsive provided decent feedback. She certainly helped in improving my APA style. I like the structure of the online class, the assignment due dates are clearly laid out, you have a clear understanding of what will be required each week (discussion question, two replies, one to two papers). I like structure. I’m still in Intro to Research, not enjoying that class at all! Much less structure, different instructor, we’ll leave it at that. (This is the internet and this is open to the world……) The intro to research class is done in Mid-April.

A major breakthrough was getting all of my core classes worked out. There are 5 core classes for my program in Community College Executive Leadership and I was having a horrible time getting into the classes. They weren’t showing up on the schedule. Lucky they were able to get me directed study (me and an instructor) for all 5 classes. My path is laid out clear until Fall term. However, as I get closer to the end, I see some difficulties with wrapping up and getting all the dominos to line up properly. I’m still on track to be done with course work by summer of 2013.

Teaching has gone alright this term. I know the pace I keep can have a very negative impact on my attention to detail. Attention to detail issues KILL me inside. I hate things that can be avoided by taking a few extra seconds to review. Of my three classes this term, two of them required development. The Web Tech class, 187I required MAJOR development.  But its coming along. It’ll be much better the next time I teach it (I Hope!) Looking forward to Spring Term, I’m teaching two classes I’ve already updated this year. So there’s no development. I can tighten up some various aspects of the course etc.

I can say I’m out of damage control mode. That panicked mode where you are getting things done before the just before the deadline, as in minutes. Being down to one class in my studies helps.

And YES I’m looking forward to summer!

As you might imagine I’ve done almost 0 gaming or anything that hasn’t been school or work (which is STILL school).  I think I’ll hammer out a separate gaming update post.

Neck Deep in Winter Term 2011

First, the winter break was….. OUTSTANDING! I returned to the classroom recharged and energized. We shall see how long it lasts. Of course I did course prep and development over the break, But there was a fair share of chillin.

 

But now its back to work.

 

CIS-288M, CIS-187I & CIS-225 are the classes I’m teaching. My teaching and office hours schedule isn’t to bad. One of the joys of teaching at this level is flexibility. If my office hours aren’t working out, I can always change them around like I did last term.

 

288M & 187I are two classes that I’ve struggled with. I haven’t found the right content & level of depth. The flow isn’t there. I’m hoping this term I hit the mark with both classes. We shall see. I’m looking forward to 225. I’ve taught this class once before and should be more “fun”. The topic of user support allows for more discussion and interaction. Some role playing etc. Probably a guest speaker which I need to arrange…… (one more thing)

 

Classes I’m taking:  Introduction to Research Methods & Comprehensive Planning & Implementation.

 

Both classes are off to a decent start. Intro to Research is a blended class so it means trips to Seattle once a month.  I don’t mind the trips so much as it a break from the routine. I’m just hoping the class is worth the effort. I’m a big planner and need structure. A lot of the on campus classes are more….. Free form. I have a hard time adjusting to that.

 

The planning class is a standard online class. Very structured. I have to sit down and lay out the details of each assignment so I know what’s do when and what it’ll take to complete the assignments. If I have to conduct interviews for an assignment I have to start scheduling them NOW. People are busy, especially the people that I need to interview.

 

The initial outlook is good. We’ll see how well things are around next week.

 

There is no doubt that the doctoral endeavor is a one that requires commitment and dedication. There is no illusion to the amount of work that needs to be done throughout the process. The days of taking classes, getting grades and being done are behind me. But one of the biggest realizations for me was the amount of reading that I’d have to do! Reading a few chapters for class is the least of my issues.

 

I’m reading research that will pertain to my end dissertation. Lots of research & dissertations. My writing 7000 instructor pointed out that a standard dissertation will have at least 100 sources. To get those 100, you’ll need to 7 times that. My jaw dropped. 1 in 7 of the articles, dissertations and studies I read won’t make the cut. 6 items will be useless. WOW!

 

Realizing how much reading was necessary, I put aside my reading aversion and decided to make it part of the routine. So every day I read for about an hour. I rotate out topics from 5 categories:

 

Technical – Information Technology or Computer Information Systems related, cert study, etc.

Distance Learning – Topics related to distance learning, since this will be the focus of my dissertation

Community College Leadership –  What is going on with community colleges? What do I need to know to be in a leadership position. (My current aspiration)

Academic – This will be chapters for class, course materials etc.

Leisure – All work and no play……

 

So today’s topic: http://sloanconsortium.org/publications/survey/class_differences

 

This report is examines enrollment figures, how organizations see online learning fitting into their future strategy and perceptions on the outcomes face-to-face vs. online. Perceptions of online learning is the foundation for my dissertation so this study should be valuable in that regard.

Feels Strange…..

But I’ve been relaxing.  I have not been working since I started winter break. I’m a bit surprised (and impressed) with myself.

Lets wrap up fall term & then start talking about winter term.

In the end I was pleased with fall term 2011. It was a long  fast paced 4 months. I felt both of my courses (CIS 287I & CIS 289M) went pretty well. No catastrophes, I kept up on development, grading (with the help of a teacher’s assistant) & my own school work. My end of course evaluations for 289M were pretty good. I managed to forget to post the eval for 287I (silly rabbit!) I got an A in my writing 7000 course. There were a lot of little things in that course, attention to detail issues that costs me points, much like the Higher Education in the United States class. However, the feedback was outstanding, it was feedback not on my writing mechanics but on my writing depth and skills at the doctorial level. My mechanics appear to be dead on aside from the occasional attention to detail issues. In the depth and skill department, I have to improve my ability to turn a critical eye to things. I have to read, analyze what I read and THEN be able to draw conclusions using supported facts and concepts. It will take some work. Overall that, that sums up Fall term.

 

I learned that organization and planning are the key to survival. I have to develop and maintain and clear understanding of what is due and stay on top of it. Procrastination will not help the situation AT ALL! I need to break all those bad habits, quick. I have to watch out for those details. It really bothers me to loose ground because of attention to detail issues.

 

There’s no doubt that I’m busy, but there are a few things I have to squeeze into an already jam packed existence. My technical skills are slipping. I teach technology and I have to stay up on the new hotness. When I worked in the technology as my full time job there was incentive to research and look at new things. That incentive was because I had to. Now its considerably harder. I sat in on the classes of new instructors and it made me realize because I’m not active in network administration, I need to put in extra effort to know what is going on. The second thing is keeping up with the industry of community colleges, education and community college leadership. To make the transition to Dean or beyond I’m going to have to expand my knowledge and understanding of the system.

 

Part of the organization and planning is my daily routine, which includes working out every morning using P90X (I have to take care of the body as well as the mind) is reading every day. I suspect the reading will have to go from 30 minutes to at least an hour real soon if I want to expand my knowledge. I fall I read mostly academic stuff related to my classes. That will change for winter term.  Where to begin is going to be the biggest challenge, but nothing I can’t handle.

 

So that’s last term, what does winter term hold, more of the same. I’m teaching CIS 187I, CIS 225 & CIS 288M. I had 3 months to get fall term’s courses ready and one of them got cancelled. This time I’ve got 3 weeks and all three courses have enough students to run. So this week I have to hit the ground running. Getting my prep going. 187I & 288M are course I’ve never found my stride with.  I always feel like something is missing or the courses don’t flow. Here’s to hoping that changes this time around. Of my list of courses, 240M was my strongest. With all the part-timers in our dept I don’t teach that much any more. I hit my stride with 289M this term. Here’s to hoping 288M & 187I arrive in the zone this term. 225 is a fun class, not a lot of pressure. Having a solid text book helps with that.

 

I’m taking two courses in the next Dr Semester. Comprehensive Planning and Implementation & Introduction to Research Methods.

I am Looking Forward to Winter Break

However, getting there won’t be easy! There’s 2 weeks left in the EdD term and 3 weeks left in the teaching term.

For the EdD semester I have a few assignments left. Of course none of those assignments are easy. A dissertation critique, rounding out an annotated bibliography, writing a prospectus for my own dissertation and PowerPoint presentation for that prospectus. See just a few assignments left.

I started preparing for the annotate bibliography & dissertation critique last week. I found several dissertations that fell into the realm of my research topic. One dissertation covers the exact topic I plan to do my study on. This is the dissertation I will use for my dissertation critique. The topic is distance learning & this study was performed in Texas, while I plan to focus on Oregon community colleges.

The challenge, this dissertation is a 100 pages! I’ve been working on improving my reading, speed, comprehension and frequency. I read just about every day, some leisure, some academic. I’d like to mix in some professional/technical in there. But leisure and academic are already kicking my tail. Once I’ve finished this dissertation I’ll have to write up the critique.

The greatest feedback I’ve gotten so far on my writing skill is technically I am sound proficient writer. I can provide a detailed summary of what I have read. That is OK, in research you have to be able to “synthesize” what your read. You have to analyze and draw conclusions on the reading. You have to dig deeper than what is presented on the surface. THIS is proving more challenging that the reading aspect. Reading more dissertations and research studies should help me improve. It is a skill will have to work hard to develop.

I have signed up for my next two classes:

E7134 – Comprehensive Planning and Implementation

R7001-A – Introduction to Research Methods

 

They will run from January to April.

Onto the teaching term.

Things have gone rather well this term. I have a TA helping keep things moving along. As always course development is an issue. I can not seem to keep it under control! I have things I want to change, things I want to improve, it’s a never ending battle, which is not a bad thing. There are times where I wouldn’t mind being caught up. Maybe next term will be different – ha!

My students have been pretty good this term. No difficult or challenging students.