Online learning: What Students Say

Thank you!  

All your help made possible a great discussion at the the 2016 Ann Ferren Conference. You can watch the panel here, or see the What are Students Saying powerpoint.  More from the Ann Ferren Conference is here.  Thanks again for all your help. 



Help!  In preparation for a conference on teaching and learning, a couple of us are asking students:  online courses are popular with students, but what do they like and not like about those courses?

metro-cIf you’ve taken an online course (esp. from a college/university), please take a few minutes to share your thoughts about any or all of these questions.   Please post (anonymously, if you like) at the bottom of this page.  And please share with a friend!  Thanks very much–
JQ

Why did you choose to take an online course?  Convenience (“location”)? Asynchronous (any time)? Course topic? Requirement (graduate early, etc.)?  or a combination of these, or something else?

Did you expect the course to be easier or more difficult than a regular course? Was it?

What was the best surprise of the online-aspects of the course?  Not “the book was good,” but something about the course’s “online-ness.”

What was most disappointing about the course?  Not “the book was bad,” but something about the course’s “online-ness.”

Material was presented in a variety of ways: assigned books in hard-copy, online readings, instructor’s videos (on Blackboard, YouTube, etc.), third-party videos (C-SPAN, Disney, YouTube, etc.), instructor’s online PowerPoints or other written notes, etc. Which of these was most helpful/effective? Which of these was least helpful/effective?

How was the “classroom community”? What efforts were made to facilitate discussion among students? What worked, what didn’t?

You have an audience of online instructors – mostly regular university professors who sometimes teach online, or who are about to teach online for the first time. What is the most important thing for them to know?

Thank you so much – please share with a friend or friends – and thanks again!

(Your comments may not appear right away – thanks)

Dayton Accords at 20

Presidents Milosevic, Tudjman, and Izetbegovic formalize in Paris the Dayton Accords initialed November 21, 1995. Wikimedia, bit.ly/1NZD6TG

The 20th anniversary of the Dayton Accords (November 21, 1995) is much in the news.  Continuing trouble in divided societies like Iraq, Syria, Ukraine and elsewhere illustrates how significant was the Dayton agreement that ended the war in Yugoslavia. But many questions remain.

The task for the EU, for Bosnia’s benefit and for its own, is to help Bosnia find a new path forward.

Read more: http://foreignpolicyblogs.com/2015/11/18/dayton-accords-at-20/

Martin O’Malley on Wall Street reforms

“Should not be underestimated”

Democratic presidential candidate Martin O’Malley spoke yesterday in Washington about his proposed reforms for Wall Street.

The former Maryland governor had three talking points: advocating a 21st century Glass Steagall Act, additional regulatory reforms, and an increase in prosecution of leaders at “mega big banks” he called “too big to fail, too big to jail.”

Continue reading Martin O’Malley on Wall Street reforms

Angell and Mahan: Lessons for Today

med qtly cover 26-2Norman Angell and Alfred Thayer Mahan argued more than a century ago that globalization and new technologies were challenging economic and security interests.  Mahan’s warnings seemed to be born out by WWI, WWII, and the Cold War. Angell’s optimism was reflected by the emergence of the ECSC/EC/EU, and the surge of democracies and trade by the 1990s.  In this century, though, Mahan seems resurgent, in Russia and China’s naval expansions and in cyberspace.

Preview:

26.2.quirk - med qtly page 80

Muhammad Depictions on D.C. Metro?

FPB logonewsweek logoThe current debate over political advertising in the Washington, D.C.-area transit system moves the issue from “free speech” to “public safety,” and probably toward the Supreme Court.

In Schenck v. United States (1919). Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. wrote in the unanimous opinion, “The most stringent protection of free speech would not protect a man in falsely shouting fire in a theatre….”   Does posting insulting (or any) depictions of the Prophet Muhammad on city buses and trains create a “clear and present danger”?

Read more…

 

Could another ISIS surge hasten a Kurdish exit from Iraq?

FPB logonewsweek logo

 

After a perilous roller coaster ride in 2014, the question of independence for the Kurdistan Region moves back to the front burner.

With the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria’s (ISIS) latest victory in Ramadi, contentions its rapid advances had stalled must be revisited. In the wake of the visit to Washington by Kurdistan Regional Government’s (KRG) president, Masoud Barzani, the question of KRG priorities and strategies might once again be changing.

wh4-b
From left front: Falah Mustafa Bakir, Qubad Talabani, and President Masoud Barzani meet with President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden (third and fourth from right front) in the White House, May 5, 2015.  Photo: WhiteHouse.gov, https://www.flickr.com/photos/whitehouse/17384259745/

“Right now,” said Barzani, “the priority for all of us is fighting ISIS, to continue to push them out and away from our areas. But the process for the referendum to take place for the people of Kurdistan to determine their future and for the people of Kurdistan to exercise the right to self-determination is a process that has happened.  It will not stop and we will not step back on that process.”

A resurgence of the Islamic State, though, might force the KRG to reprioritize its “defeat Daesh, then vote on independence” strategy. Erbil may rely on good relations with the current Iraqi prime minister, but can it rely on the next one? Will Baghdad be able to coordinate support from Shiite militias, Sunni tribes, the Iraqi Army, and Western air strikes? Will Baghdad devote more resources to protecting Karbala and Najaf, at the expense of Sunni or Kurdish areas?  If Baghdad cannot protect major cities like Mosul and Ramadi from ISIS – will the Kurds decide they are better off alone?

Read more at the Foreign Policy Association’s ForeignPolicyBlogs.com