Friday, March 30, 2007

Holy Moly! The end of Phase 2?

So, we are almost at the point of ending the second phase of our class. I can't believe it has passed so quickly! I have uploaded notes for what groups should be doing in Blackboard. For the 9:05 and 10:10 sections, these notes are in the Sunshine House folder. For the other two sections, the notes are the last thing in Course Docs.

Basically, you have several things to do to end Phase 2. You need to revise your proposals. I will give them back to you on Monday with my recommendations. Some of them are not going to require much work. =o) Then, you need to give the class a progress report on Monday about what your group has proposed and how you will finish the project in Phase 3. I will be giving you time in class today (Friday) for making this PPT.

Finally, you need to complete the portfolio for Phase 2. We'll be doing this on the Web instead of Blackboard. I will do a workshop on how to set your portfolio up online in class on Wednesday. I know a lot of you already know the basics for this because you've done it in your computer science and Engl 103 classes. But I will share some tips you may not know, just to make it worth your while. (Granted, I probably can't share anything that those of you who've made sites professionally don't already know. Maybe you can share some things with me that I don't know, lol?)

While I am in Chicago presenting at AERA, you guys should finish these things. Please plan on helping the other people in your group finish portfolios. Once again, AERA is April 9-12. I'll do my best to be available online. I haven't used AIM hardly at all this semester, but I'll be sure to while I'm in Chicago.

Your blog topic this week is to look for examples of dual coding theory in the media and write about them.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Kudos to the Little Miss Sunshines!!!

I just got the first completed proposal from the Little Miss Sunshines. I have glanced over it and believe it is concise, informative, and well-written. I belive Beth and Carolyn will be really pleased with the information that this group has planned to include in its site.

Not only did these girls write a very professional proposal, but they also have an EXCELLENT group blog. I highly recommend you check it out to see an example of solid A work on this particular assignment. (See link to the left.)

For this week's blog, think about how you've been blogging for awhile now. Imagine that you were working for a real company and someone at work discovered your personal blog. People have been fired for this on several occasions. For example, one airline stewardess was fired for having a lucrative photo in which she was wearing her uniform on her personal blog. People have been fired for a variety of blog-related reasons, but the majority involve complaints about the company on the blog. What do you think about this? There are no laws as of yet outlining how companies should handle this kind of thing? Moreover, the contracts that people sign do no generally spell out anything about public blogging. Do you think it's fair for someone to be fired for this reason? What if the person did not explicitly mention the name of the company OR even his/her personal name? What if he/she never blogged from a worked computer? Would it be okay then? Is blogging different from just complaining about your job in a bar on a Friday afternoon?

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

This week's blog

I've seen a couple of people doing the post on tricky interview that I did below. You don't HAVE to answer those interview questions in a blog, but you certainly may if you want. Cate B just requested my input on them, so that was the purpose of that blog.

In an email I just sent to you, I mention that you may also reflect on the project as Phase 1 comes to an end. What have you learned about planning a project like this? Group work in general? Having productive team meetings? Keeping records of meetings?

Please let me know if you have any questions.

Portfolio grades are coming along. My original goal would have been to have them to you by Monday, but I am behind since BB was down this past weekend. I have to work on the grant all day long each day this weekend b/c of hte visit from the team we work with from UConn. I will get as much as I possibly can done, but I estimate that it will takee until Monday, March 19 to have them all graded. I apologize for the delay. I'm one of those people works best in the middle of the night when BB was down. (It's the only time my hubby and kids are asleep, not needing me to do other things for them, you see.)

I mentioned to Cori that I would link to a reflection I did at the end of the interviews last semester on my most important interiew experience. So, here's the link. Read if you would like.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Requested topic: Tricky Interview Questions

I've been asked to comment on two particularly challenging interview questions, so this blog will hopefully answer that question. =o)

1) Describe a challenging occasion, which required your persuasive skills and ability to organize people in order to reach a successful outcome.

I think you could do a number of things here. If you have ever had a difficult group project, particularly one in which a group member was not motivated to do his/her share, you might talk about how you talked to that individual to get him or her to get going. You might also talk about something that happened in an extracurricular situation. For example, several of you talked in your interviews about having leadership roles within fraternities, sororities, etc. If you do something that invovles participation by lots of people, I bet you've all encountered someone who was not terribly eager to get invovled. This question is a great opportunity for you to highlight your leadership skills. It's also a good opportunity for you to talk about your people skills by convincing the interviewer that you can motivate/organize someone without offending or ostracizing that person. That kind of skill is really useful in the workplace.

I recommend thinking back on all the experiences that you've had, thinking about something that wasn't going well in the beginning. But somehow, people came together and made it happen later in the process. What was it that made things come together? Was it something that you did? If so, you've got an excellent answer to this question - one that will really build your ethos.

2) Give an example of when you worked as part of a team to overcome a difficult situation. What was your contribution and the final outcome?

Here you have another opportunity to show that you can overcome obstacles and be successful within a team. A good answer will show that you were able to work with others to overcome the obstacle. Saying that you did all the work yourself is probably not the best answer because people who do that have a tendency to burn out quickly... usually within the first five years of their careers. You want to talk about how you worked with others to deal with a problem. That's key.

If I had to answer this one, I think I would talk about dealing with a really unpleasant president in an honor society in which I was vice president. The other officers always had to work around his snappy demeanor to organize events. Even though it was difficult, we always managed to get what we needed to do done. We lost one team member along the way because she got frustrated with the way we were treated. The rest of us decided to band together and not let him get to us. If we were angry, we'd talk about it, rather that fuming over it. If someone did something for which he/she was not recognized by the president, another of us we make sure to bring who was responsible for whatever was done. We focused on the goals of our organization and not the day-to-day challenges. By doing that, we were able to reach the goals we set.