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6. A competent scholar with a working knowledge of:
Dr. James Tucker facilitated a vigorous discussion on the book The Poisoned Apple by Betty Wallace. Email messages that were written by or to me were collected in The Poisoned Apple Online Discussion. For a long time in the discussion, I was resisting the confusion between the terms 'average' and 'mediocre'. Statistically speaking, half the marks awarded in a class will be above 'average', and half will be below, but that statistical observation makes no statement about the quality of any of the marks, in any absolute sense. But it is human nature to make comparisons, and even when excellent marks are awarded, if they are below the mean, then in a relative sense, they are considered to be below par. This dawned on me following an email from Shirley Freed (January 02, 1999 8:19 PM) where she related a couple of personal stories. Then Jim Tucker nailed it for me by quoting II Corinthians 10:12, "For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise."
The second part of the EDUC632 Issues in Education Foundations course was led by Dr. Shirley Freed. It consisted of a paced series of papers to read with discussion via the WebCT discussion board and chat rooms. Many of the papers are accessible here in my portfolio.
I learnt a lot about these words during this course, and will never think the same about them again. And we were witnesses to the range of meanings right in our own forums. Some participated actively, some did not make it at all for technical or other reasons, and others were in between.
While I was on holidays, I wrote a Visual Basic program to take the text files that I had saved and partially simulate the WebCT forums. This simulated discussion board is on my web at http://www.andrews.edu/LeaderPart/Portfolio/dlh/comps/index.htm under Competency 6(a). At the same time, I extracted data which I imported into a database that made the following participation analysis possible. [Note: An unknown number of postings were made before messages were archived, but after my last save prior to that being done.]
|FORUM: 2 Y's
| Forum ONE!
What I struggled most with here was the dilemma of a godless spirit in public education. While maintaining separation of church and state, how do you develop the spiritual part of human nature in public schools?
I liked this definition in the paper entitled "IS and the learning
"an entity that constantly gets better results based on improved performance made possible because it is growing smarter." This paper crystallized in my mind a number of initiatives that are already underway or are being planned at Andrews University:
The paper titled "Slicing the learning pie" slotted well into the "4th Wave" series of Senate meetings. We have been through the Agricultural Age, the Industrial Age, and we are now well into the Information Age. But higher education delivery is still geared largely for the Industrial Age. "The half-life of what a person learns is getting shorter and shorter... you must upgrade your education throughout your life cycle."
This means that in the higher education market, school leavers will represent a decreasing proportion of the total. To seek students only from academies means we will be targeting a shrinking segment of the potential higher education market.
The concept of lifelong learning was taken as the theme of this year's SCT Banner Summit. "Slicing the learning pie" and others in this section emphasized the importance on the personal level of remaining in school in order to stay employed in satisfying careers.
It seems both of these approaches carry potential problems, and that the best model of governance will use both, adopting whatever works best in a given situation. The difficulty is - best for whom? It seems to be difficult to keep political agendas out of the picture.
It would be good if the software would remember which Forum I was in last time, and open that by default next time.
The interactive discussion that was possible. This definitely prompted deeper digging into what I thought about some ideas than even the bulletin board.
Ability to save the session dialog - a must.
I had a problem with:
Even with only 2 people in the chat room, yourself and one other, responses were almost out of synch by at least one message. The nature of the kind of chat we are having (at least in my case) demands reasoned responses, and these take too long to think out and type in.
The course seemed to drag towards the end. I think the material could have been covered in a shorter period of time, with less fatigue. For the last couple of sections, I was reading the papers, underlining and preparing responses, taking several days to do so. Then I was effectively taking a week off until we got to the next topic. I would still check new postings, but these became fewer towards the end.
As in point 4, I felt the pace was a little slow. In the early stages, I did not notice this. I think that was partly because we were coming to grips with new technology then, but also because some of the initial energy began to wane later.
These definitely add value and need to be continued somehow. However, we need to learn more about the technology so a greater rate of success can be experienced by the participants. The software itself has limitations that need to be overcome, and these should be passed on to the vendor as enhancement requests. See under 2).
I think it would improve the experience to cover the second section of the course in two months rather than three. Although this might create scheduling difficulties for some participants, all of whom have busy lives. I have not heard how others in the course feel about this, so I could be the odd one out thinking this way.
> That's all - and thanks for "connecting"!
Shirley, I am beginning to get a clearer picture of what has to be done to earn this Ph.D. A lot of those realizations have "dawned" while taking this course, and there will be associations in my mind with this course for the remainder of this study program and beyond. I want to thank you for your investment in time in preparing material for this course, and especially for your time and your input as you interacted with us, leading us to find paths that took us where we needed to go.
From: David Heise [firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Tuesday, July 13, 1999 4:17 PM
To: Dan Applegate; Mario Ochoa; Theodore Brown; David Heise
Cc: Shirley Freed
Subject: Roundtable, Tuesday, 11:00 - Our WebCT Experiences
Hello Fellow Forum ONE! worthies,
Shirley has asked us to share some of our experiences with online communication via WebCT during the Roundtable Conference. The plan would be for us to present at 11:00 on Tuesday next week.
The kinds of things we could talk about include:
. how it worked (the threaded bulletin board, the chat)
. Mario's experience connecting from Thailand and other exotic places
. getting to know each other, how relationships formed
. the technology challenges
Is there any way we could get together before Tuesday? I am a local and can pretty much fit in with whenever suits all of you. Let me know when would be a good time for you to plan our thoughts.
Chief Information Officer
phone: (616) 471-6124
fax: (616) 471-6900
I am writing this four weeks after the attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon (11 September, 2001). People everywhere are questioning why anyone does anything. A lot of attention is being given to the meaning of life, and the value of anything we do, and this is true for me as much as it is for anyone else. What is the point of the work I do? What should be the point? Why do I even work at Andrews University? Well, I moved here from the other side of the world from the position of IT Director at Avondale College. Prior to that, I worked at Hewlett-Packard as a Senior Applications Engineer, and "the story of how God led us to return to church work at Avondale College still sends tingles up and down my spine". And now I am working at Andrews University because I believe God led me here. Because my worldview places me in a world created by a loving God but marred by sin, and a world with which we have been commissioned to share the Good News of a Savior who died to save us from sin, my personal mission is to serve God and His church wherever He leads me.
Both as an employee of Andrews University and as a student, I find my personal mission is fulfilled in the mission statement of the University:
|"Andrews University educates its students for generous service to the church and society in keeping with a faithful witness to Christ and to the worldwide mission of the Seventh-day Adventist church."|
I would like to conclude with George Knight's single sentence summary of the Christian worldview:
|"Central to Christian philosophy is the existence of the Creator-God, the great controversy between good and evil, the human predicament, the reliability of God's self-disclosure in the Bible, and God's loving character."|
 From section 2. Where am I?, third paragraph, in my IDP Vision Statement.
 Andrews University Mission Statement
 Knight, George
R. Philosophy & Education: An Introduction in Christian Perspective.
Third Edition, Berrien Springs, MI: Andrews University Press. 1998. ISBN: 1883925207. Page 241.
Created: Sunday, December 10, 1999 12:18 AM
Last Modified Sunday, November 23, 2008 1:15 PM -->