July 13

OMG … i hate “learning styles”…

A friend shared this with me. This is a great video. He sounds like a great teacher and I agree with every single thing he said up until 7:13, when he mentioned learning styles… learner-centeredness – giving learners choices that match their preferences for engaging in a specific learning activity, or for demonstrating their learning is not “learning styles,” and is NOT evidence of the existence of “learning styles” – It is giving learners a choice.

Providing choices does not mean that there is a “theory” of learning styles on which this is based.

Providing learners with choices is an excellent learner-centered pedagogical approach.

Children and people will CHOOSE different ways to consume information and demonstrate learning and understanding depending on lots of things – how old they are, what the thing is that they are learning, etc. When they are 6 they will choose differently than when they are 16. When they learn French they will likely have different preferences than when they learn baseball.

The effectiveness of giving learners choices is not evidence of learning styles. It is a preference expressed at a given time under certain conditions.

“Learning styles” as a “theory” does not hold up. The conventional wisdom of noticing that people have learning preferences is not evidence of “learning styles.”

We all have different ways we “prefer” to consume content, information, and learn things at different times.

Learning styles as an idea chimes well with the individualist value system of our culture and fits its dominant, entity, model of human attributes but there is no credible evidence that it is a valid basis for pedagogical decision-making.


There is no credible research or evidence to support the notion of “learning styles” as an immutable inherent human characteristic regardless of what anyone believes.

Learning styles is not a theory, it is a model and a hypothesis for which there is no evidence.  And while absence of evidence does not prove a thing does not exist, it is currently flawed and inadequate.

July 8

The power of professional networking, or “How to network like Alex” :)

Building a professional network is a life-long process of being interested and being interesting.

For me that means it is about relationships and learning. I am better at my job and better as a person by being familiar with the academic, personal, and professional experiences and contexts outside myself, my unit, my organization, my state, my country.

All relationships take interaction and nurturing. And they have to come from a place of authentic genuine interest. Like with any friend, to maintain the friendship, you have to be intentional about reaching out and checking in. There is also an element of just-in-time... so, I try to post in my various social media outlets what I am doing, so that if someone in my network happens to see it, and happens to be interested or curious, they can reach out. I will also occasionally share some things directly with individual people that I know might have a specific interest in something I am doing, or something I have found that I know they need, or would be interested in it if they knew about it.

So, here are my suggestions for how to network like a boss:

1. Leverage social media: Twitter, FB, and Linkedin

  • Follow your rock stars, see who they follow and follow some of them.
  • Join groups/chats that interest you. Spend time daily cultivating, and learning and sharing.
  • Post stuff you are doing/learning/creating, share stuff to amplify what others are doing that you genuinely think is cool or interesting, ask and answer questions – if you can help someone solve a problem, you strengthen your relationship, reputation, and credibility.

2. Reach out to meet people you find genuinely interesting, creative, innovative, cool.

  • Take opportunities to meet people at in-person and virtual events, conferences, or webinars.
  • Be authentic.
  • When you meet someone interesting, connect with them in Linkedin and follow them in Twitter. And let them know you are interested in maintaining contact/connection, or learning more about something they do, or they said when you met them that you found interesting and want to follow up on.
  • Check with your supervisor to see if you can join LOOP https://www.iste.org/companies-and-partners/iste-loop – a networking service.

3. Share

  • Look for opportunities to document what you are doing, and share it.
    • Create a blog, podcast, video about what you are doing, and post it – and share it on your social media platforms.
    • Present at conferences, events, webinars, twitter chats, online groups.
  • If you come across something that would be of interest to someone you’ve met, send it to them. This could be a job, a tool, a resource, a project, an article, etc.
  • When possible/appropriate openly license what you create, so you can share it broadly, and so people can adapt/adopt it easily.
  • Represent yourself and SUNY well.
    • Understand where, what, and how you share.
    • Know your audiences, and manage your connections, followers, friends.
      • Twitter is public = followers. FB is friends = personal and professional. Linkedin is professional connections.
    • Filter.
      • Assume that your mom, the chancellor, Kim, your boss, or your professional rock star are reading what you write, and don’t say every random thing that comes into your head. ‘
      • Don’t be unkind. No matter how frustrated you may get with friends and colleagues, try not to be snarky or criticize people/things that happen at work. You never know what people are going through…
    •  Maintain a balance in the “noise” to “signal” ratio both in yourself, and in whom you follow.
      • Consider how you represent yourself: Personal (noise) vs. Professional (signal). A little of both makes you relatable and a “real” person. Seek a balance.
  • Amplify others. Use your platform to highlight, recognize, and appreciate the work of others.

Networking requires time, authentic engagement, and mutual interests, and cultivating personal relationships.

There is never sufficient time, energy, or resources to do everything one might like to do. One’s own work and organization are the priority, so anything else is extra, and can’t be done at the expense of oneself, or professional responsibilities.

I don’t actively pursue, or initiate collaborations or partnerships per se, I focus on relationships that are genuine, and where there is mutual (personal professional and organizational) benefit. Opportunities sometimes emerge from that. I also decline lots of stuff. I have interests in particular topics, areas of the world, and a keen desire to hang out with people that I like (that find cool or interesting in some way) – I cultivate those in ways that I can without too much difficulty or too much effort.

What do you do to cultivate, sustain, and grow your professional network?

Some networking opportunities I had this year and how they came about:
Social media links:


October 3

Open Pedagogy ≠ OER

Context: Open Pedagogy does not require the use/creation of open educational resources.

In a 2013 blog post David Wiley defined open pedagogy as being directly connected to the 4R permissions of Open Educational Resources (OER). He said, “Open pedagogy is that set of teaching and learning practices only possible in the context of the free access and 4R permissions characteristic of open educational resources.”

In 2014 Tom Woodward in a Campus Technology interview with Mary Grush defined open pedagogy as a broad and holistic set of values and approaches. “Looking at open pedagogy as a general philosophy of openness (and connection) in all elements of the pedagogical process, while messy, provides some interesting possibilities. Open is a purposeful path towards connection and community. Open pedagogy could be considered as a blend of strategies, technologies, and networked communities that make the process and products of education more transparent, understandable, and available to all the people involved.”

Tannis Morgan in 2016 blogged about the history of the term open pedagogy tracing it to a Canadian educator in 1979 named Claude Paquette who “…outlines 3 sets of foundational values of open pedagogy, namely:  autonomy and interdependence; freedom and responsibility; democracy and participation.” Morgan observed that “open pedagogy is currently a sort of proxy for the use and creation of open educational resources, as opposed to being tied to a broader pedagogical objective.”

In 2018, to address this problem of conflating open pedagogical practices with the use and creation of open educational resources, David Wiley has updated his thoughts on this and proposed the term “OER-enabled pedagogy” defined as “the set of teaching and learning practices that are only possible or practical in the context of the 5R permissions which are characteristic of OER.”

This context is important because for decades before the advent of OER, the term “open pedagogy” has been associated with learner-centered pedagogical practices. Online teaching and learning, and the advent of the social web and web 2.0 technologies, have inspired innovations in the use of freely available web tools for instructional purposes allowing educators and learners to rethink the role of content in instruction; to expand the concept of teaching presence beyond the role of the instructor to include the learners in the classroom; to focus on interaction and collaboration between learners in the social construction of knowledge; and to devise more effective/efficient ways to provide feedback and to assess learning. The power and public nature of the social web present endless opportunities, options, AND choices for how learners can make their thinking and learning visible in the online class environment.


Wiley, D. (2013, October 21), “What is Open Pedagogy.” iterating toward openness. Retrieved from https://opencontent.org/blog/archives/2975

Grush, M. (2014, November 12), “Open Pedagogy: Connection, Community, and Transparency Q&A with Tom Woodward.” Campus Technology. Retrieved from https://campustechnology.com/Articles/2014/11/12/Open-Pedagogy-Connection-Community-and-Transparency.aspx?Page=1

Morgan, T. (2016, December 21), “Open pedagogy and a very brief history of the concept.” Explorations in the Ed Tech World. Retrieved from https://homonym.ca/uncategorized/open-pedagogy-and-a-very-brief-history-of-the-concept/

Wiley, D., Hilton, III, J. (2018). Defining OER-Enabled Pedagogy. International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning, 19(4), 133-147. Retrieved from http://www.irrodl.org/index.php/irrodl/article/view/3601/4769

May 14

ETAP640 goes live today!

Every semester when the course goes live I am nervous and excited. I wonder, am I ready? Is the course ready? Have i forgotten to do anything? Have i anticipated everything? Have I addressed everything that I wanted to improve since the last time?

I also wonder who will my students be? Will I have enough time to devote to each of them? Will I have the right words to reach them?  What will I learn this time?

I can’t wait to meet you! Welcome summer 2013!

March 26

If you don’t want to bore your students … don’t be boring! : )

A very wise old online professor (Bill Pelz @wmpelz)  once told me that the lecture was the most efficient way to pass important concepts and theories from the professor’s notepad to the students ipad without going through either brain.

So, I am very curious… why do you think that your students fail to engage in your online discussions/interactions? Can you analyze what went wrong in the discussion activity for your students? Think about this from your students’ perspective.

What makes something boring? what makes something engaging? Can you cause someone to learn?

How might you apply the principles of andragogy to inform solutions for this situation?

I hear lots of faculty complain and tell horror stories about how impolite and distracted their students are with their devices in the classroom. You know what? i don’t buy it… I am completely against removing the internet or cell phones and other devises from any classroom. ridiculous. closed minded. reactionary. I don’t buy that the internet is worse than daydreaming, or doodling, or that it is a distraction. The internet simply IS. If you are distracted by it, then that is on you.

In the classroom or online you can’t MAKE people be polite any more than you can MAKE them learn, or make them want to learn for that matter. That you learn…what you learn …is entirely up to you – it is your responsibility.

Of course “netiquette” needs to be addressed and managed by the online instructor – its part of the role. But assuming everyone agrees on acceptable “behaviour” in the learning environment, and everyone is there -interested/willing/able/ to learn, if I am not able to engage you, then i consider it my failure, not yours. It is my job to design a learning experience in which you can engage.

The reality is that there are a lot of impolite people (students) out there and a lot of people (students) not seriously interested in doing much learning. There are also a lot of people (students) out there that are just not receptive to the possibility that they don’t already know it all – and use every opportunity to demonstrate how much they know, rather than acknowledging that one ANYONE always has something more that they can learn…there are dysfunctional people, people with political agendas, people with real life problems/tragedies and issues. (If you can’t allow for the possibility that there is something more you can learn, please drop my course.)

However, I think there are also a lot of boring professors out there who would much rather blame the internet for the lack of attention of their students, than turn a critical eye on themselves to ask “how  relevant am I to my students.?” How do I engage my students? How is what I   “teach”   relevant to the real life of my students? How relevant is a liberal arts education today to most youth? Will it get them a job? How much debt will this education incur? Are students well informed and advised well about their chosen degree programs, and the demand for jobs, or expected career paths and salaries? Will they learn things they can ever actually use in the “real world”? If I were a college student today, i would be pissed off.

If you are putting them to sleep in the classroom, how do you think that will play online? Do you want to sit there and watch talking head on video for 3 hours!?  Some faculty like to lecture. You may even be good at it.  REALLY good at it. You may exude passion, drama, enthusiasm and feel like you have captivated your audience. BUT – newsflash. it is NOT about your passion. It is about catalyzing that passion and learning in your students. So, here is a truth. If you are boring in the classroom, you will be boring online. Here is another truth. You CAN’T duplicate what you do in the classroom in an online environment (well you can try – but, it will not go well).  I get it. You are used to doing things the way they always have done…perhaps you use the same textbook, same lecture notes, same MC tests, same jokes, …etc. It is too much work to rethink how to present content, how to facilitate interaction and collaboration between your students, with you and with the content, and it is WAY too hard to come up with authentic ways of evaluating and assessing student learning. Nevertheless, if you want to be good online, – effective, successful, efficient – you will have to rethink how you achieve your learning objectives given the options and limitations of the online teaching and learning environment.

I think there is a HUGE disconnect with how things in higher education have always been, and how they need to change today to be relevant.

Students don’t want to be entertained, they want to be engaged… They need to experience flow. They need to be perplexed.

Here are 50 ways 2leave ur lecture: http://www.slideshare.net/alexandrapickett/50-alternatives-to-lecture

Here is how i engage my online students: http://prezi.com/yyzcr9_btox6/teaching-learning-in-the-cloud/

Join the conversation and share what you know, here: http://slnfacultyonline.ning.com/

This article was republished here: http://qz.com/68962/if-online-students-arent-engaged-its-the-teachers-fault/ on March 31, 2013 under a different title – If online students aren’t engaged, blame their teacher.

June 26

love letter to my students


please take the time to read and use the instructions that i took the time to create for you : )

please take the time to view/read/listen to the feedback that i took the time to provide to you : )
please look at the grades area and notice that i have left feedback for you there.

please let me know if you want me to look at some of your work again, so that i can consider adjusting your grade.

please let me know if i have overlooked something.

please help each other whenever you can.

please watch the due dates for the assignments.

please use the course manual to guide your course development.

please enroll in each others’ courses so that you can see how your classmates courses evolve and so you can learn from each other.

please check out the feedback that i give your classmates. you can learn from the feedback i give others.

please check out your classmates blogs. http://www.netvibes.com/alexandrapickett#ETAP640_-_summer_2013

please follow each other in twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/ETAP640/summer-2013/members

please view the courses for observation and the presentations and videos.

please look at your blogs with diigo installed. I provide feedback on your blogs using the diigo highlighter and sticky notes features and i want to be sure you see that too.

please don’t post all your discussion posts on the last day or even in the last 3 days of the module. Spread them out over the week/module. Please.

please be patient as i catch up and keep up with you.

please try not to be so stressed about grades. I know it is hard not to be.

please let me know if there is anything i can do to help you. if you have questions or concerns, please let me know. I can’t solve or respond to problems that i don’t know about : )

if you are frustrated or confused with something, or thinking there must be a better way, don’t just sit with it. Let me know. perhaps there is something i can do, or that you can do differently, so that you don’t have to struggle.

You can do this. I believe in you. I am here to help you.

me : )

June 26


I am overwhelmed… there, i said it. It is true.

I am struggling to keep up. I want you to know that even i have had thoughts of quitting!  Especially that first week : ) I get up almost every morning at 3am (seriously) to plow through assignments, posts, questions, and emails, and to solve problems, re-review work and provide individualized feedback. I spend ALL weekend, every weekend since the course opened, in the course. Even during my lunch time.

The problem is that this course was not designed for 20/30 students, it was designed for 8-10. More of a seminar. LOTS of assignments and LOTS of individualized custom feedback.

The enrollments in the program doubled or tripled and i didn’t know. I was taken completely by surprise by it.

I have had to modify things. I have reduced the number of required discussion posts. I have provided group feedback and need to do more of that.

Did i mention that google bought meebome and now i have to find another chat tool and there isn’t one.

Breathing….Module 3 just opened. The discussions are fantastic, the blogs are amazing, everything will be ok.

: ) me


May 14

What past students have to say about this course…

The one thing that hindered my learning was my misunderstanding of the forum posts in the first weeks of the course.  It was several weeks into the course before I realized that these were actually research based; this was new to me because I hadn’t ever been asked to research something so intensely for an online course before.  Once I realized that posts were like small research projects, I did much better. …It’s been a very intense course, but I learned a lot and I’m grateful for the opportunity to learn a new skill that I can hopefully build on in the future.

Donna Angley, summer 2011


Because I only read the top of the discussion rubric, I thought I was being “metaphorically killed” most of this course time. I believed my grade was 50% -failing – because I never saw the point spread rubric below the discussion rubric.

The process included  confusion, anxiety, frustration, despair, hope, satisfaction, and elation (when I did my first audio). My attempts were impaired by poor internet connections and an ongoing dilemma I often experience – if it can go wrong, it will

…confusion, disappointment, and frustration. However, I countered with determination and hopefulness. I spent hours learning to prepare for my posts. I lost time in the learning. The posts made me  organize my learning, in order to share my learning. I pushed through the negative thoughts and simply hung on for life. I hammered away at the different tools until somehow I figured it out…sometimes I actually forgot how I figured it out and had to do it all again.  Guess what hanging on works!!!

Diana Gusa, Summer 2011


Reflective Writing: I have to admit, at the beginning of the course I thought the blogging activities were just busy work.  I viewed the assignments as busy work, and treated my entries as such.  As time ticked on, I started getting into the blogs and realizing that it was my personal space in which I could reflect on my work on my course and my learning throughout the week/module.  So much of life and learning in school is sort of thrown at you, and if you don’t take the time to intentionally deconstruct the events and make sense of them, then you’ll never grow and improve.  I’d rather grow.

I think I have learned that most hindrances to learning and success are often all in your head.  If something’s in your way, it’s usually because you’re letting it be there.  So, you have to learn to change your frame of mind before you can change your life.  And lastly, in the spirit of hard work, if it’s worth doing at all, it’s worth doing right…which will require a lot of work.

I have learned that online teaching is a lot of work, and takes practice.  The hours poured into completing this class and building my online course have been numerous.  I will be walking away with this great skill now beginning, and something new to put on my resume.

Kim Barass, Summer 2011


I learned about myself, others, and the world. I learned about my emotions, my mental capabilties and strengths and weaknesses. I learned about others and how they learn. I learned about my students and students in general. I learned about the political, cultural, social and legal environment of the US and educational practices of other countries…and…and…and…

I feel empowered – that is how I know that learning has taken place.

I learned that building a course takes lots of time – to do it right!

I would have loved to have learned without having to balance work and personal life. However, I am grateful that I am working and was able to grab from my work experience and use it in this course.

The difficulty that I have had in the course is having the time to read and review ALL of the various (and great) resources that are out there for teachers. I am baffled by the sheer amount, but this course has disciplined me to focus on quality over quantity.

This course allows me to learn the theoretical underpinnings of learning and teaching online, but also allows me to apply what I have learned and “make the connection” to my professional life and to the greater world! And this…is a great thing?

I am thankful for this experience!

Kristen Dellasala, Summer, 2011


It’s been a very trying 12 weeks. The nature of the summer course is unforgiving. I started late because I had to register late to fulfill tuition requirements and it was catchup for the entire summer. However, I did learn an awful lot. I forced myself to think in new ways. I was exposed to new ideas from classmates, the beauty of social learning I guess and I challenged my assumptions.

Mike Lucatorto, Summer 2011


What students said in the summer of 2009.

What students said in the summer of 2008.

April 20

it is really hard to get an “A” in this course

I have really high expectations of my students. I find that students rise to them.

I hold myself to even higher expectations and I never ask them to do anything that i am not willing to do myself.

If students demonstrate that they are willing to try, I will do everything i can to support their success. Effort counts, however, it should be “hard” to get an A.

I get frustrated by a student that:

  • doesn’t read instructions (minimum participation gets you a C – NOT an A)  ¡duh!
  • is not willing to try (refuses to do activities, or thinks that discussion is just 20% of the grade, so he doesn’t have to do it -and he can still get a B)
  • feels entitled (i always get A’s, but this course is too hard – is too much work – takes too much time – the implication being that it is my fault she is not getting an A) srsly?!?
  • doesn’t seem to understand that she earns her own grades (wants an A, but is not willing to do what it take so get one)
  • compares course workload with other courses (“but, all i have to do in my other summer course is write a paper and do some discussion…”)

The unspoken contract that i make with students is that if you want to learn, i will help you.

If not, you are wasting my time and that pisses me off.

March 11

“why do i have to blog???”

I teach a fully online master’s level course “intro to online teaching” and have used blogging as a metacognitive journaling activity in the course for 5 years now. (Here is a prezi about my course fyi http://prezi.com/yyzcr9_btox6/teaching-learning-in-the-cloud/)

So far, none of my students have ever really blogged before. Most of them really don’t want to. Many hate this part of my course.

I LOVE their blogs.

Blogging is a required component of this course. Students are required to reflect on their learning and to provide me with descriptive feedback on their learning experiences in the course. they are given specific guiding questions for each blogging assignment (1 per week/2 per module) and they must self assess their own posts based on a rubric http://etap687.edublogs.org/2008/06/02/reflections-blog-post-grading-rubric/

I have  specific questions that I ask them to address in their blog posts that revolve around the content covered in each module of the course and where they “are” in their development as online instructors, and in addition, I ask them to provide feedback on the course design and learning activities because I am trying to evaluate the tools we are using, how they are being used and the activities they are being asked to do in the course. They have to do one blog post per week. I have used the feedback from these student reflections to improve the design of the course and it has improved my understanding of the student experience, which makes me better at it. I get a better sense of how the students perceive the activities in the course, so that I can understand student perspectives and use that insight to improve the activities. I want to improve my own practice, and to do that I need the student feedback of how they are actually experiencing the activities, interaction and learning in the course. To get that, I need to get students to talk about their learning.

Students have freedom to blog about whatever they like, but they do have to address (in some way the guiding questions and the course materials) in at least one of their posts. They read and respond to each others posts and i comment and give them feedback in blog comments and using diigo highlights, stickies, and traditional blog comments. I also grade them based on the rubric. The activity is 20% of their grade.

Metacognitive reflection helps them better digest and apply what they are learning in the course. They must articulate what they learned and how they perceive that they learned it. They must reflect on what was difficult in this particular activity and why? It is a bit like therapy really. So I can hear you say “wait a minute, I am a teacher… not a psychotherapist!!” I teach XX (insert what you teach here) I am not here to analyze them…I am teaching them XX.

I respectfully disagree. I equally respectfully ask you to consider this- how do you know your students are learning? Your feelings about your teaching have little to do with your students’ learning and everything to do with you. There is an insidious teacher-centered narcissism here that I want to expose, explore, and eradicate. It is fine to LOVE teaching, to feel good, satisfied, and productive about it… but teaching and your feelings about yourself and what you teach are not the point – learning is. So how do you know that your students are learning and why don’t you give a shit about their learning? You may say that their learning is reflected in the assessments … I don’t know that that is true, or not. It might mean that they are good test takers, or good cheaters… the assessments tell me nothing about what they learned. I want them to show me that they learned. I orchestrate learning activities. They engage in the activities and then must demonstrate to me that they learned. Their level of engagement, their learning, their experiences are their choice. I didn’t teach them anything. They chose to learn or not. This is fundamental and revolutionary about what it means to be learner-centered. If you really understand what it means to be learner-centered, it blows your mind because you have to come to grips with the reality that there is no such thing as “teaching.” There is only learning. You design activities, you plop a student into the activities, and then you see what happens… it is kind of magic…maybe it happens, maybe it doesn’t. Maybe you have to redesign the activity to get a different effect. But you don’t know unless the student can make their thinking and learning visible to you – and in order to that, they have to talk about it, so that you can observe that.

I feel very strongly about public blogging. If it is in the course and student access to it is removed at the end of the term, then it is NOT a BLOG. The very nature of a blog is that it is yours and public. You own it. You can customize it/personalize it. it is YOURS. “Blog” features in course management systems ARE NOT BLOGS. You can call it a journal, but NOT a BLOG! If we ask students to generate content and then we take away their access to it, how is that student-centered? I also want my students to have the experience of developing their public digital voice and to contribute to the living discourse on the social web.

The explicit purpose of the student blogs in my online course is to have students articulate and verbalize what they are learning, how they are learning, how they are applying what they are learning, and how they feel about what they are learning- and to do it publicly. Student blogged reflections are a completely different type of discourse than what happens within the course discussion. They have a completely different type of  voice when they are asked to reflect on their learning.

I have 3 main objectives for using metacognitive reflection as a component of the course:

  1. The process of self-reflection enhances student learning and deepens connections and understanding with and between students.
  2. I use it to get descriptive feedback from the students on the design of the course that I can use to improve my practice and the course itself.
  3. The process of writing publicly gives the student the opportunity to explore their online voice and digital identity and gives them exposure to and experience contributing their voice to the social web.

The value for them is:

  1. They get a blog that they can keep and continue to maintain beyond the end of the term.
  2. They get real-life experience blogging in a guided feedback-rich environment within a safe, yet public (class) community.
  3. They experience reflective (public) writing.
  4. They establish or add to their digital identity by exploring and contributing to social web for academic and professional purposes.

The value for me is that I learn from them. I can watch their progression from the first to the last day. I get a deeper understanding about how they learn, what they are learning, how they prefer to learn, and how they can improve what they are learning in the course. I have to filter, interpret, and diagnose where they are coming from and engage them in the process of productively reflecting on and demonstrating their learning so that they can move forward in their learning and the course. As the instructor, I read their reflections and sift through them for opportunities to diagnose misperceptions and provide corrective feedback, or to probe something to get the student to go further in their thinking, or to question something, or to prompt the student to question their own assumptions, assertions, opinions, or biases. You have to really listen to what they are saying. If a student says an activity sucks, I probe that and make them articulate exactly what, how, where, why they feel it sucks – perhaps they have other expectations, perhaps they fear something, perhaps they disagree ideologically with the approach – I try to get them to expose the roots of their feelings, so we can look at them and decide what to do with them… and we both have the opportunity to learn from that interaction. So, whether I learn something about myself, or about the student, it gives me the opportunity to make changes in my own understanding, or in the course, or I can confirm/affirm my perspective… and so can the student.

You can browse through my students blogs here http://etap640.edublogs.org/   Current live student blogs are links on my blog and a selection of blogs from 2011-2008 past semesters are also links.

The quality of their posts and their insights are astounding.

for example: