Faculty Development

Reinventing the self. Not really. Maybe just the site. This site, in fact.

This is a long overdue blog post, so I’ll just go with “better late than never.”

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Back in January (did I mention this is long overdue?), I attended part of a workshop in our School of Nursing about e-portfolios. It got me thinking about this website and my general lack of what I would consider to be a formal e-portfolio of any kind. Deciding that perhaps I need some semblance of one, if I am to model these things, I suppose my next project will be a re-imagination of this website. So be on the lookout for changes, additions, and some reorganization in the near future. And thank you in advance for your patience if it looks a mess while it’s all going on. Your comments and suggestions are most welcome as I go through this process. First on my list is to get a CV up. Some people upload or embed a PDF file into their websites, some use the website itself and have pages reminiscent of a resume or CV. Others link to or embed a Google doc. I have not yet decided exactly what I will do but I have had a conversation or two with colleagues and poked around on their sites to see what they do. I’m leaning towards a combination of using the site itself and embedding a Google document.

Zoom zoom zoom?

As part of the Spring 2016 VCU Online Learning Experience (OLE), I participated in a synchronous video chat using Zoom. While it was the first time I used Zoom, it was not my first time using video chat for communication. I have used Google hangouts, appear.in, Facetime, and Skype at the very least. That being said, this post is about video chatting in general, not about Zoom itself.

I don’t really love the synchronous video chat, personally, but come to think of it, I don’t really like talking on the phone, either. Video adds the added “bonus” of seeing oneself on camera, which can be lovely for some, but not so much for others (myself included in that last group). Still, it can be a useful tool for varied situations.

The idea in the OLE here is to introduce possibilities. There are many. Some will resonate more than others with participants. Some will get excited and decide they want to USE EVERYTHING IN THE WORLD BECAUSE THIS IS ALL SO COOL!

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Yes, I might have been that person at one point. The neat thing is the different perspectives that show up. For example, the conversation that I had in my group talked about various uses of video chat, in small groups and in large groups. Some saw it as a useful tool for one-on-one or small group meetings with students but felt that with more than about 4 people, it becomes unruly. Another possible use was that of recording a chat between a few people and posting it. Another took that a step further and said that it was a good way to get a message out to a large group all at once, where maybe only one to three people were actually videoconferencing while the other hundred folks were engaged in back-channel conversation either within the video chat platform or via something like Twitter. The next thing I know, two of them have figured out how to embed Twitter into their Blackboard course sites to create the back-channel conversation within the LMS they’re required to use. A few minutes after we wrapped up our video chat, one of them tweeted a link with the how-to instructions. As my team leader would say, “Connected learning, FTW.”

Introduction for Fall 2015 VCU OLE

Yep, it’s a work-related post. An introduction of sorts…a short one, I promise.

Hi! I’m the Lisa that a few of you have heard about, probably from Jon Becker. I’m considered, at the moment, the “STEM-H Online Learning Innovation Liaison.”  WHAT? I love science, health related or not. My degrees reflect this. I’ve also spent a lot of time teaching, and have always had an interest in education, teaching, and learning. This has put me in the unique position to become the liaison to the medical campus and science departments on the Monroe Park campus here at VCU. I like to bounce ideas around with faculty who teach in basic and health sciences. We reimagine class sessions, topics, or entire courses, whether face-to-face or online. I wrote a short blog post about myself as a teacher, which may provide better insight.

My mascot is Figment, from Journey Into Imagination at Epcot in Walt Disney World (my happy place). He uses words like “imagine, dream, and create.” This morning, he is eyeing my lavender scone as I write this and bounce excitedly on the exercise ball I’m using as an office chair.FigmentandScone

I look forward to working with you all as you we go through this experience and beyond!