We got back from our trip to Houston, and I was able to write and submit my paper for TAT2 with much less work that I first expected. I had been dreading that last Task, but it wasn’t too bad. I think I spent about 6 hours on that one, too. I can’t access the data now because the WGU website is down … again…. This is a super lame “perk” of being a WGU student: the website is constantly undergoing maintenance.
I think that it took me a sum total of 18-20 hours to do TAT2. It was four credit units, so that took me a good long while.
C224:Research Foundations is supposed to be the most difficult class in the entire course. It was actually a hard test, but I passed exemplary after 2.5 days of work (total about 11 hours), so it was no big whoop. I read about 15% of the material and spent most of my time correcting the study guide for the course. Someone had filled in the information you “need to know” on the form for that course. It was not well done in places, and it seemed that to avoid typing, the person had copied out a bunch of the images from the course. Unfortunately the images were straight up terrible and, in most cases, impeded learning by being inconsistent and badly designed. What’s more, in some cases the material on the images was NOT FOUND IN THE TEXT. This is horrifying. Definitely not ADA ready, even with the silly little image descriptions that were found in the text. You never, ever include information in an image that is not also found in text. The performance objectives on the study guide also used the “bad words” we have just been taught not to use like know and understand because these things are supposedly not measurable. This whole course has been an exercise in irregular application of taught material. I am learning things, sure, but it could be so much better.
As I had guessed, the practice test was a midterm for the course, and the material on it was not covered on the final. The final required careful reading and a lot of application that actually surprised me. I had not taken any of the checkpoint quizzes, so maybe that application stuff was covered in those tests. It turned out fine. I did even better on the final than the practice and passed exemplary.
I have three courses left and my capstone, so I am supposed to work with my instructor to develop a plan now that I can implement. I need to look over my initial study results and see what I might actually be able to do. Having now learned about Action Research (which I had heard of but didn’t know what it was), I think that is the type of research and plan I’ll be following. I think I need to have my mentor open all the last four classes so that I can be sure that what I’m doing now does not take significant alteration for my capstone submissions.
One particular paradigm Action Research can aim at is using existing strengths to improve an organization. I wonder if this might be the focus of my work…. can I help teachers identify and develop strengths they already have to become better teachers? Develop a self-assessment of some kind that helps teachers identify their existing talents and helps them use more of that in their lessons with sprinkles of new skills? How might that affect gospel teaching? Certainly we need new skill development, but I can’t think of any teacher training I’ve ever been to that talked about playing to your existing talents. Some teachers seem to do it naturally, and they also seem to be the most talented teachers. Some use music, some use visual aids, some use discussion, some use drama, some have pacing down pat…. It’s interesting to think about………….