StellaPORTO eportfolio

E-learning academics and practice

Encounters with practice

Some courses directly promoted follow-up work in the workplace and in some cases generated publications as result of the reflection over the practice…

OMDE 607 (currently DETT 607): The theme that stood out from this course was not as much the ADDIE model and all its phases, the issues involved in managing the course development process. At UMUC, this is something that is done in different ways, covering a spectrum of more or less standardization versus craftsmanship. I decided to take OMDE 607 because I had the challenge of developing a course ahead of me, but in the end it opened my eyes to the understanding of the complex activities, and how the context might be crucial in defining how the course will be created, as much as the investment in this process. As a result of the practical aspects of the course, I developed a full course in the Data Structure and Algorithms (CSMN 614, which became the current BFIS 614), which I had done as a pilot within the course. Further, the reflections about management, generated two publications:

OMDE 604 (currently DEPM 604): The theme that resonates from this course is the one of Being a leader. In my trajectory within UMUC, I was exposed to several challenges in which leadership was one important trait. Understanding that leadership is not necessarily a given based on position or context, finding leadership qualities within my own personality, helped me form different groups within UMUC, which supported some of my innovative ideas, and believed that I could succeed. I would mention here several experimentation efforts, such as in-house development of learning objects, use of synchronous tools, extensive adoption of rubrics for assessment and more recently the adoption of web 2.0 tools. These were elements that started in many cases through small pilots, which I conduct and achieved greater visibility and further adoption within the institution. Later on, leadership would appear in my way through the means of higher positions in management, that required more management of people, planning, and decision making. Those were great experiences that have contributed to a better understanding of the distance education enterprise.

OMDE 631 (currently part of DETC 630): The encounter with synchronous technologies brought to my eyes to the major difference such environments have when compared to the usual asynchronous mode adopted throughout courses at UMC. Everything needs to work at the same time and right now… This represents an immense burden on the instructor. It was the first time I had to face situations of complete disruption, where technology actually stood in the way of learning as a solid and unmovable rock. The practical experience does give one the appreciation about how demanding it can be. Once again, the course served as an impulse to be one the first to experiment in institutional pilots using synchronous technology extensively within a course. This became presentations given to faculty, as well as further publications:

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