June 17th, 2010
I thought I’d devote a little time to an online class that’s being offered at IU East for Summer II semester starting July 6th. MUS Z393: History of Jazz is an online class open to non-music majors that covers the history and influence of jazz on many other forms of popular music today.
Last Saturday night, my wife and I saw Harry Connick Jr and his Jazz orchestra perform in Cincinnati. Ever since I took a history of jazz course to satisfy an elective requirement almost 20 years ago, jazz has become one of my favorite types of music and watching it performed live is a special experience just watching the musicians play off of one another and interact with each other. It’s a genre of music I never appreciated or realized it’s influence on American music until taking that class. Looking back on it, the class probably had as profound an impact on me as any class I took during my undergrad years.
There is still time to register for this class. You never know, like me, it could be one of the most unexpected influences from your time with IU East.
May 19th, 2010
Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is one of my favorite books and I find myself coming back time and time again to it despite the fact that it was first published over 20 years ago. My favorite of the 7 habits just happens to be the 7th one; Sharpen the Saw. Just what does this mean? Covey defines it this way:
“Sharpen the Saw means preserving and enhancing the greatest asset you have–you. It means having a balanced program for self-renewal in the four areas of your life: physical, social/emotional, mental, and spiritual.”
I think this habit should hold special meaning to college students in general and especially online college students. One of the reasons that people take online classes is because they are juggling multiple responsibilities including work and family in addition to their education. Being so busy with so many different things people sometimes forget to take care of themselves and their needs. Covey would say their saw is becoming dull and in time this dullness will make them less effective in all the other areas of their lives. Summer is the perfect time to possibly take a step back and assess just how sharp your saw is and think about ways to sharpen it. Maybe it means taking a vacation or volunteering in a Summer youth program. Maybe it means taking that class that you’ve always wanted to take but never had the time or just making time for a walk each day. For me, Summer weather allows me to do the physical outdoor activities of biking and running that Indiana weather often prevents the rest of the year.
There’s really no limit to the possible saw sharpening activities. There’s as many activities as there are individuals doing them. The really important thing is choosing the activities that you love; those that rejuvenate and ground you, and then making time for them and going out and doing them
May 10th, 2010
I just got the latest issue of What’s Up! the student email newsletter for IU East students and saw two items that should be of interest to all of you.
One, our Department of Information Technology is having a used computer surplus sale this week. This could be an excellent opportunity to purchase a PC for your home; especially if you need one for online learning.
Two, beginning in the Fall semester our bookstore will begin renting textbooks at a substantial savings over purchasing new books. While many people look to save money by purchasing used books, this will allow you to have a new book for your class.
For more details please click on the What’s Up! link above.
Until next time,
Good Luck in All You Do!
April 16th, 2010
I had the opportunity and privilege to spend last weekend in Chicago at the Higher Learning Commission meeting. While there I got to listen to colleagues share what their schools are doing to better serve their students and increase student learning. A consistent theme that came from all the presentations I attended is that a very large amount of student learning comes outside of the classroom. For example, students who participate in campus organizations such as clubs and student government develop problem solving and interpersonal skills, student workers develop customer service skills, and students who do internships and co-ops develop and apply skills that are needed in their careers. At IU East the Office of Campus Life, Career Services, and Office of Internship and Co-op all work with students to help provide these out of classroom learning opportunities.
I realize that as an online learner, you likely have many other life responsibilities and it’s possible that you live a distance away from our campus, but I strongly encourage you to think about ways that you can develop and apply the skills you are learning in your classes to real life situations. This real life learning will beef up your resume and provides a way to show prospective employers that you can actually do what they need you to do. Please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 765-973-8312 if you have any questions about experiential learning or if you need ideas for ways to actively apply your learning. I look forward to hearing from you!
March 29th, 2010
Just a reminder that early registration for continuing students begins today, Monday March 29th, for both Summer and Fall semesters. Open registration for all students begins Friday April 2nd. Please remember to register early; especially for online classes as they tend to fill quickly. If you have any questions please contact your advisor or me.
February 25th, 2010
I just finished putting the schedule of online classes for Summer and Fall 2010 on the IU Everywhere page! You can view the schedule at the link below:
There are a couple brand new online courses for Summer that sound very interesting and I wanted to draw your attention to them. They are both Nursing classes that are open to all IU East students; not just nursing students.
One is NURS Z492 (11209): Women’s Health: Celebrating Wisdom and Power that will be offered during the first six week session of Summer semester.
The second is NURS Z492 (13726): Food: An American Indulgence that is being offered during the second six week session. This course will examine food consumption and the food industry in the United States in the 21st Century and will employ a variety of online activities such as gaming, web surfing, and discussions to give students the ability to critically analyze the food industry and why Americans eat like they do.
As I am fan of nutrition, physical fitness, and wellness; both of these classes sound extremely interesting to me. Our health and wellbeing is something that I believe we all need to take responsibility for.
Those are just two of the courses being offered online during the Summer. We are offering almost 90 others! During Fall we are offering over 100! There are several other new courses on the schedule and many, many very interesting ones we’ve offered before. I’d encourage each of you to take a look at the schedule and contact either myself or you academic advisor if you have any questions.
Until next time, Good Luck in all you do!
January 29th, 2010
I hope each and every one of you is excited about beginning a new semester at Indiana University East. I know that I am! The first few weeks of classes can be overwhelming with getting used to a new class schedule, buying books, and meeting new instructors. This is true both for in person and online classes.
If you have read my updates in the past, you will know that having good time management and being self-disciplined are essential qualities of successful distance learners. The first weeks of class will be when you lay the foundation of these qualities for the rest of the semester. During the first week of class, you should have received the syllabus and schedule for the course. These may be the most important documents you will ever receive in an online course because they contain the due dates for all of your assignments and the dates for quizzes and tests. They will be your roadmap for the class. Since you will not be meeting weekly in a classroom, you not have someone constantly reminding you of these dates. The responsibility is yours!
In the online classes that I have taken in the past, a simple strategy has allowed me to manage the schedule of the class and also be proactive about due dates. I purchased an inexpensive weekly planner (one that you can lay open and see an entire week on the two pages that are open). When I got the schedule for the course that I was taking, I immediately wrote in all the assignments, and the quizzes and tests, in red ink on the dates that they were due. I then went through the planner and made a note one week prior to the due date about assignment or test. For example, if there was an exam scheduled for February 27, I noted that on February 20. This I wrote in blue ink and then highlighted to make sure it got my attention. I kept this planner, open to the current week, next to my computer for the duration of the class. In this way, every time that I got on my computer I had a visual reminder of the important dates for that week and also reminded of the assignments that were approaching for the following week.
You may choose to use my system of scheduling for the course, or come up with one of your own, but the important thing is to have a system in place for keeping yourself on schedule in the class. If you do this the first week of class, as soon as you have you syllabus and schedule, you will have laid a solid foundation for managing your course for the rest of the semester.
December 15th, 2009
I’m wishing everyone good luck on their final exams for Fall semester. I don’t know about you but it seems like this semester has flown by! I also wish everyone a joyous, restful, and safe Holiday season.
Just a reminder that there is still plenty of time to register for classes for the Spring. Please let me or your academic advisor know if you have any questions or need assistance in choosing or registering for classes. The Spring schedule of online classes is available here.
As always, Good Luck in everything you do!
November 3rd, 2009
Good afternoon everyone!
For those of you currently enrolled for the Fall semester, I hope your classes are going well and that you’ve successfully completed your midterm exams. Please remember that if you are having any difficulties there is still time to discuss these with your instructor and finish your semester on a strong note.
Priority registration for the Spring 2010 semester began yesterday (November 2) for current students. Open registration for all students will begin on November 6 and will run through the first week of classes in January. Please see the following link http://www.iue.edu/everywhere/courses.php for a listing of online offerings. As a note, online courses typically fill up quicker than traditional on campus classes so be sure to register for online classes as soon as possible.
If you have any questions about online classes your are considering taking, please discuss these with your academic advisor or feel free to contact me. Have a great day!
September 17th, 2009
I thought I would take some time today to address an issue that both students and instructors often raise when talking about online classes; communication. Specifically, written communication. Since most communication in an online class occurs through the written word (email, chat, discussion forums) it is very important that your writing is clear, concise, and professional. Following the simple suggestions below will help to make your online class more enjoyable for you, your instructor, and your classmates.
In a traditional on campus class, if you answer a question posed in class, there is chance for immediate follow-up and additional questioning so that you can better express the points you wish to make so that all in class understand. This is not quite as easy in an online class. However an advantage that online classes offer is the ability to think about and refine your response to a question before submitting it. Always take the time to consider your responses before posting them and even have someone read over what you intend to post so that your meaning is clear. Also, be sure you are offering an original point of view and not simply repeating someone else’s.
Students in online classes also need to be considerate of other particiapants in the class. Often times their classmates and instructors will need to read everyone else’s responses in addition to their own. They will appreciate your ability to make your point in a concise manner. Remember: quality over quantity. Finally, online students must be sure that their writing follows the rules of civility that you would expect to be followed in the classroom. Online communication provides a certain amount of anonymity that sometimes emboldens people to say things they wouldn’t normally say to a person’s face. Instructors and your classmates will not look kindly to name calling and personal attacks. If you think there’s a chance someone will be offended then reconsider making the comment. Also, remember that once you put something in writing there’s a record of what you said for better or worse.