The Life of a Wannabe Academic

Detail of the life a new academic. The progress from graduate training to professor. Includes reflections on the job hunting process, research in technology and education, and what it is like to be a new college professor.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

I must love punishment.

Today I have been finalizing the schedule for a great experiment that I am trying in my Abnormal Psychology class. Now this is not a research study but rather an ambitious activity on both my part and my students and my TA.

I currently teach a 190 student Abnormal Pyschology class that has no small discussion/lab group. So all the time I have is as a large group to discuss abnormal psychology and disorders. I thought that this was not ideal. I would like to have labs so that the students could have more in depth time to dicuss the different disorders that we will cover. So in lieu of these small groups meeing in person, I have decided to try to do this virtually.

We use Blackbaord as a CMS and it has the capability to create groups that have their own discussion baords. I have done this creating 20 groups of 9-10 students each. I thought this brilliant, and since I have a TA, she could do the moderating and grading.

However, it turned out to be much more work so far (and we haven't even started the discussions yet) that I had anticipated...but isn't that usually the case. Merely managing the groups and adding the discussion forums takes a bit of time, let alone reading and grading them.

I just hope this works well and that the students benefit. I think they will because it will allow for further study into many of the disorders we will discuss. This must be better than me just talking at them! At least they will need to give their input and thoughts.

I will update you as to how this endeavor goes. I assume it will not go without problems, just how big the problems I'm not sure yet!


  • At 1:40 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Good luck and keep us posted.


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