I have awesome students.  It’s a simple truth.  I will admittedly get bogged down and discouraged along the road during a semester about what my students aren’t learning, aren’t accomplishing, or aren’t living up to, blah, blah, blah.  But there are times when I am poignantly reminded that my students are great and they are special and they are supportive of me and the work I do with their student colleagues.  (I know that sounds a little like the line from The Help: “You is good. You is kind…”) Yesterday was one of those times.

Last night as part of my capstone Masters project course, I invited a number of former students into our online class to offer up some perspectives and answer questions from the current students. Logan Caldwell, Dr. Joanne Gikas, Fair Josey, Jennifer Nelson, Dr. Suha Tamim, and Joey Weaver did an awesome job of sharing insights, experiences, and advice.  They highlighted the diversity in their experiences in the course, but there was also a real ‘shared experience.’ You could tell there was a camaraderie in their comments and how they related to one another.  I’m not sure if my current students picked up on it or not, but there was a tangible quality of we’ve-been-through-this-and-we-made-it-out-on-the-other-side-and-now-we-can-talk-about-it.

And I will admit that they did some things that I couldn’t do.  I could probably say the same things they did, but they wouldn’t mean as much. (In fact, I do think I say some of those same things.) But coming from these veterans, it has real street-cred.

So, a BIG THANK YOU to these folks.  You guys are awe-some!

And if you’re reading this and thinking, could I do that in one of my classes? I think you should try it.  Bringing back some former students and making time in class to have them offer some unique perspectives is a good thing to try.  Or if you’re already doing this, I’d love to hear more about it.  So, please share it in the comments.

Just a quick reminder that Project Showcase for IDT 7095/8095 students is on Thursday, April 19, 2012 at 6:00 pm in Room 320 of Ball Hall on the University of Memphis campus.  And that’s just 1 week away!!! If you are a current IDT student, I highly recommend attending the showcase so you can see the quality of work required and the type of presentations that are given (in addition to tasting the great food we offer).

The two projects we have this semester are described below. You can also see a gallery of their showcase program images below.




The purpose of Medication Safety is to develop an online instructional unit on how to prevent medical errors for all residents whose responsibilities include writing prescriptions.  All residents will be required to take and successfully pass the course. The unit was designed to provide hands-on, interactive training to reduce errors and resolve issues regarding medication and patient safety, abbreviations, route and routines, and look-alike and sound-alike drugs. A pretest and post-test will be administered for the unit.

Online Course Development Training for Faculty is being developed to meet the needs of University of Memphis faculty.  It will provide online training and resources for faculty who are developing or revising online courses.  The web-based instruction will demonstrate the appropriate configuration and development of an online course.  MP4 modules will be developed and hosted on the University’s PodCast Central repository.  Individualized modules will address the following aspects of building online courses:  course introduction, course organization, learner engagement, course communication, assessment and evaluation, and ethics.  Writing effective learning objectives and incorporating engaging learning strategies will be emphasized in the modules covering course organization and learner engagement respectively. The modules will be used to supplement the required face-to-face meetings between faculty and the online education coordinators.  For security and copyright purposes, access of the files will require a login and password.  To meet ADA compliance, closed caption will also be included.