Well, my first class ended up pretty good. Second class (JNT2): not so much. It was full of quizzes that didn’t relate to the readings, repeats from the previous course, nonsense organization…. I wasn’t happy. The paper I wrote was freaking amazing however.
I ended up making a survey about teacher training in the church. It was not a great survey, but it gave me some data on which to report. I didn’t love the course, but I did love the paper I turned out. My evaluator liked it, too:
A thorough description of the instructional problem focused on the lack of training on the lay ministry teachers in The Church of the Latter-day Saints and the discrepancy between the current condition (lack of training) and the desired condition (training in instructional design techniques) are provided. An excellently detailed discussion of the results of the analysis including numerous tables that display the results as well as an organized analysis of the needs exhibited by the data is included in the submission.
It seemed like it took forever to get this grade back, but in reality it was like 32 hours. I kept checking and checking and checking to see if it passed, like an impatient kid.
I way over did the work necessary for JNT2, but it was good practice for my capstone. The course instructor was responsive when I had a question, and she gave some good feedback on my goal statement, which helped me organize my paper. It ended up being about 25 pages. 8 or so were charts from my survey. I spent about a day and a half (so like about 13 hours) doing the readings and writing the paper. I submitted it about 1pm Friday. It came back with a 5% originality rating, which I am kind of proud of — I’m the first person to be writing academically on my topic, basically.
JOT2 was a better course, but only slightly better. It had me reread the paper on Behaviorism, Cognitivism, and Constructivism by Entmer and Newby, and this time I went crazy taking notes. I have learned tons, and I am collecting lots of information to apply to the training materials I’d like to build when the course is complete. I find I am very interested in the theory of learning and less interested in the theory of instructional design. None of the ID models seem to really work for the gospel classroom, except for Teaching for Understanding, which is probably my least favorite of the models we studied. Maybe I’ll invent an instructional model for gospel instruction and become famous, lol.
Actually, what’s needed is a way to assess progress in the gospel classroom….
Anyway, the first task was another paper. That went pretty well. I’ve already received it back, and I passed. I dialed back the parts of my previous paper that were really too big in scope for this class. The second paper was much easier to write since parts of it came straight from the work of the previous paper. Task 1 passed on the first try. I submitted that paper at 7:30 Friday night, so that project took me a total of 6.5 hours of work. I got the results T 7:30 this morning, so it took 36 hours to get graded. Here’s what the evaluator said:
Provided is a well-written discussion concerning the struggle instructors encounter with classroom management. A well-crafted goal statement is furnished in the submission, as well as an explanation of the prior teaching experience some instructors posses. Within the presentation, emphasizing interactive learning is one logical accommodation noted to address the unique characteristics of the learners. Applying the knowledge gained in classes of youth ages 11-18 is appropriately addressed in the essay.
The second task was a pain in the butt — power point is a super stupid way to present basically anything — but I think it was a useful assignment. I finished the last half of the course readings. Then I submitted Task 2 at 6pm yesterday and am still waiting to find out if I passed. The Task 2 readings and paper took about 10 hours, I suppose.
So, that’s where I am: waiting. I do feel a little less stressed however, since I passed the other exams and papers it seems like I may be putting out the kind of work that’s expected.
I do have to say that after the disappointment of JNT2, I am still feeling pretty good about the course. I am learning a lot, lot of stuff that I think I can bring to teachers to help improve teaching in the church.