Category Archives: GRAD5104: Preparing the Future Professoriate

Future of the University-GRAD5014

I think the future university will be more technology oriented, more online course will become available and innovative strategies of engaging students will be created. As the students become millennial,  a generational gap exists between millennial undergraduates’ expectations for education and courses courses and previous undergraduates enrolled in classroom-only courses.

Siegal (2012) identifies three key aspects for these differences: the structure of the modern educational landscape, millennial communication patterns, and disparity between the technology backgrounds of students and their instructors. As a result of generational differences, traditional educational strategies designed for use in classroom instruction, such as didactic lecture or small-group discussion, are unlikely to stimulate desired educational outcomes for millennial students. So innovative teaching strategies will be created to engage the students in the learning process.

The traditional course structure or classroom set will be changed, as new teaching strategies are launched. Specially designed classrooms and course outlines will be available. For instance, traditional lectures will disappear, and instead, interactive type of teaching methods will emerge, so the students will enjoy more about the courses and the learning process.

As more and more classes will be available online, so the semester system will be changed as well. Students can complete classes based on their own learning pace, and available time and resources, so the the students will feel less stressful during the who education process.

References:

Siegal, B., & Kagan, S. H. (2012). Teaching psychological and social gerontology to millennial undergraduates. Educational gerontology, 38(1-3), 20-29. doi:10.1080/03601277.2010.515896

Technology and Innovation in Higher Education-GRAD5104

Due to the development of technology and increased resources on the internet, technology are being used as an vital option for teaching in today’s universities and colleges.  However, the effect of the use of technology are not clearly studied in previous research.

I found one article by Bowman (2009), that  explored if posting  PPT notes on a web-based course management system was related to enhanced performance or increased absences by analyzing grade earned and class attendance records. The findings of this study is really interesting.  The researcher indicated that there were no differences in either grades or absences between classes that had notes posted and those that did not. However, results indicated grades were positively related to attendance. 148 students (109 women, 39 men) who had access to lecture outlines online performed more poorly on exams than students who did not have access to online materials.

In addition, online courses are also becoming popular. Even though faculty play a major role in teaching an online course,  many faculty are not aware of the need of online learning courses as a viable alternative to traditional in-classroom courses based upon the needs of students and the ever increasing demand on the university and related resources. Many faculty are resistant to new approaches and technology, have prejudice and fear about teaching online courses. In addition, many educators who are highly skilled in teaching traditional classes have discovered that teaching online classes can be a significantly different experience. Some faculty may feel a loss of autonomy when they can no longer have complete control of their course. In many respects, faculty may need more training than students in acquiring the skills necessary to utilize online courses (Carrillo, & Renold, 2000). Faculty who are well-trained and motivated to utilize online education techniques are needed.

References:

Bowman, L. L. (2009). Does posting PowerPoint presentations on WebCT affect class performance or attendance? Journal of Instructional Psychology, 36(2), 104.

Carrillo, F. R., & Renold, C. (2000). Distance education: Understanding faculty and students. Gerontology and Geriatrics Education, 20(4), 55-61. Retrieved from http://ezproxy.lib.vt.edu:8080/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=gnh&AN=82360&scope=site

Qualitative Study and International Student

For the last two weeks, we talked about higher education internationally, and I really find it interesting. I am happy that I have a chance to introduce the higher education in China, and I am also grateful that I have the opportunity to learn about both culture and education around the world.

There is one thing that really confuses me since the beginning of this semester. I am taking the qualitative research methods this semester, and we have a group project in this class. The professor asked us to identify group members by ourselves, so I just grouped with two other students in my department, as we thought it would be convenient for us to meet and work on the group project. After we submitted the names of group members to the professor, he said he wanted to meet with us. During the meeting, he said three of us should better not to be in one group because we are all international students, and it would be difficult for us to do qualitative study as we were not familiar with the U.S. culture.

One of our group member volunteered to join the other group where there were two American students, and the only student in our class who didn’t have a group was also an international student. It turned out that we still have three international students in our group, while we think there is not difference before and after we regroup, but the professor said it would be beneficial for the other student’s learning process by joining the other group. I have to admit that this really hurt our feelings and confidence in doing qualitative study now and in the future.

I think the professor is right in some way, but I just can’t accept the assumption that international students won’t do a good job in qualitative research as the native students. Do you have any ideas or thoughts on this?

 

Open Access Journal-Implementation Science

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The open access article I find in the field of aging is implementing evidence-based interventions in health care: application of the replicating effective programs framework. The article is published in an open access journal Implementation Science.

Implementation Science is from United Kingdom and it is an open access, peer-reviewed online journal, its impact factor is 3.47. The aims of this journal is to publish research relevant to the scientific study of methods to promote the  research findings into routine healthcare in clinical, organisational or policy contexts.

Implementation science is an  interdisciplinary research area, and the journal is not constrained by any particular research method. Articles of high scientific  using the most appropriate methods to produce valid answers to research questions are published in this journal.  In addition, the journal also publish articles describing intervention development, evaluations of the process by which effects are achieved, economic evaluations of implementation, and the role of theory relevant to implementation research and articles that present novel methods for studying implementation processes and interventions.

I think this journal is a good model of open access. All articles published by Implementation Science are free and permanently accessible online immediately after publication. There is no subscription charges or registration barriers. Authors of articles published in Implementation Science are the copyright holders of their articles and have granted to any third party, in advance, the right to use, reproduce or disseminate the article, according to the BioMed Central copyright and license agreement.

 

GRAD5104: Being Faculty Statement

Being Faculty Statement

It is my belief that being a faculty member should be competent in both teaching and research. Creating a safe, respectful, and welcoming learning environment is critical for teaching and being a faculty member. A safe learning environment allows students to present various ideas and opinions. A respectful learning environment should be equal to every student and without bias. A welcoming learning environment is encouraging and can promote critical thinking. I believe a faculty member should seek to accommodate and fully incorporate the unique needs and experiences of the students whenever possible and maintain open communication with students. A faculty member should engage in constructive criticism with students to let them know that the faculty member care about the students’ learning process.

In order to create a respectful learning environment, the faculty member should treat all the students equally, be non-judgmental, and encourage students to ask questions and avoid using any assumption based on their outlook, behavior, gender, race, or cultural background when communicating with students. A faculty member should answer students’ questions with honesty and do research to the best of his or her ability and get back to the students when he or she does not know the answer. Student suggestions should be implemented to improve the faculty member’s teaching strategy and their learning outcomes. Assignments should be created to improve students’ problem-solving and critical thinking skills.

A faculty member should adapt teaching strategies according to students’ various learning styles and encourage students to give feedback throughout the learning process. Enough resources should be provided for students who want to learn more about certain topics. In order to best facilitate the learning process of the students, I believe that these strategies help students apply their knowledge in their studies and in their future employment. When I become a faculty, I will try my best to help students achieve their academic goals and pursue their dreams.

Research is also a vital responsibility for faculty members. I believe that research should be cross-cultural and multi-discipline. I think the research goal of a faculty member is to build knowledge in the field of his or her research, and then apply the research into the society. For instance, my goal is to build the knowledge in aging, and raise society’s awareness of and concern for older adults living in difficult conditions and to help create a new system that can improve their quality of life.

Last but not least, being a faculty should also serve the community. As I believe that the order of responsibilities of a faculty should be teaching, research and service, I discussed most about my beliefs in teaching in this being faculty statement.

 

Week 11: Ethics and Personal Ethos

 We learned about ethics and personal ethos this week, and I find it very helpful as the class I am TA for (Principles of Human Services) also talks about professional ethics this week.

Our own personal ethics often come from religion, family traditions, education and social environment. Different people have different personal ethics and values. I never thought about or summarize my own beliefs or values before this week’s class, but after reading the articles for this week, I summarized some of my beliefs and values and my personal code of conducts and I find the article in Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy is very helpful .

In terms of personal benefit and social benefit, I believe that whether a person has made contributions to the society is a way of measuring the values of an individuals’ deeds and social benefit is more important than personal benefit.  I am sure that many people will not agree with me in this belief, but I think this comes from my early education in China, where we were taught to value county and the whole society more than our personal gains. 

For principle of benevolence, I believe that we should always help those in need and help others in pursuing their best interests when they cannot do so themselves. I think this value or believe that I hold really impact my decisions in life, and it is the reason why I transfer from public administration to study social work and gerontology. I want to help those in need, and improve the quality of life of older adults, especially older adults with dementia. I also believe that we should be honest and never harm others,  do not violate the law and acknowledge a person’s freedom and a person’s rights. These believes come from both of my education and also my personal experiences from my family. As I am in the field of aging, and do research work with the older adults with dementia, I really value their right to maintain self-autonomy and abilities to make decisions. 

I also learned that personal ethics differs from professional ethics, we are free to make choices for our own based on our personal ethics, but in the professional field, we should always follow the professional ethics and when it contradicts with our own ethics, we should always follow the professional codes.  Each major human services profession has it’s own code of ethics, and these codes are usually adapted into law by the states, with legal sanctions and penalties for violating them. Professional codes usually cover client rights, client protections, professional behavior, and professional relationships.  We should always treat clients with respect and dignity to build on client strength, and we should never have discrimination against anybody.

 

 

Week 10-The State of Higher Education Today

I really like the videos I watched this week. I have watched “a vision of student today” when I was in my undergraduate school while I was in Beijing, China. The instructor was from Chicago, and he showed us this video, and I was surprised by the education in U.S., as it was so different from what I thought the higher education in U.S. was.  After watching this video again today, I was not as surprised as the first time I saw it, on the other hand, I was kinda of agree with some of their statements.

The film “Declining by Degree: Higher Education at risk” is really eye-opening to me, I am so surprised to know how difficult it could be for many American students to go through undergraduate study, some of them have to work more than 40 hours per week in order to pay for tuition. Besides feeling surprised, I also feel lucky as well as a little guilty about myself, especially after seeing those young students who work very hard to pay for their own tuition. My parents paid all the cost for my undergraduate study in Beijing, and graduate study in WU, St. Louis, and I took it for granted that it’s their responsibility to support me, while I learned that it’s not the case in American culture, I don’t have any student loan or any financial stress during my education, but now I feel I should be grateful for my parents’ support, and the opportunity to pursue PhD degree.

I also learned about the differences between private school and public school in U.S. from the film, and also from my own experiences in Washington University in St. Louis and Virginia Tech. I find that what is reflected in the film is so true. The students in private school have smaller classes, and more resources, however, the education in private school tend to be commercialized.  The students are like the customers, and universities are like selling the degrees as products, so to make profit. While in public universities, due to limited funding and resources, and huge number of students, each student have limited access to communicate with the instructor, and get advices from the advisors.  As almost all the universities in China are public universities, so the disadvantages of public universities are similar there in China.  In addition, I think it’s also true in China that the teachers are evaluated more by research than by teaching, which really need to be improved.
I think the higher education in U.S. and in China all need improvement, and it need the joint effort from the students and their parents, the instructors, and the policy makers, and I have confidence that the situation can be improved if more people are willing to make efforts to change the current situation.

 

GRAD5104: Discovery and Learn–Discussion about Open Access

This week is the Open Access Week, I attended the Keynote event tonight and it was eye-opening. I learned that Open Access is “a movement to provide public access to scholarship such as peer reviewed journal articles and enable its reuse through alternative licensing”. It is a process of article archiving and publishing in open access journals.

The keynote speaker, professor Brian Nosek from University of Virginia talked about improving the openness and reproducibility of research through their organization.  I think they have very high and ideal goals and missions to achieve. However, I think it will be a great way to encourage scholars to improve openness and efficiency of their research.

I also watched the video “Everything is a Remix”, and I think it’s a great video, and I learned lots of history, music and movies, and also I learned about some famous singers and movie stars in the past. However, I can’t totally agree with the term “remix”, and I don’t really agree that everything is a remix. I remember one of the famous quotes said by Issac Newton is that “if I have seen further than others, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants”, and I think that’s should be the real way of creating new knowledge or other intellectual works. We learn and summarize the knowledge and experiences from previous scholars and then we create new knowledge based on what we have known, it’s not just superficially remixing previous works. It should be original intellectual contribution. For instance, in the social science field, before we conduct research on any topic, we will do a comprehensive literature review first, so that we could build on the knowledge based on previous researchers, and I think this process must be true in other field of study as well.

 

Week 9: Disciplinary Codes of Conduct

code-of-ethics

I am in the field of Human Development, and major in Adult Development and Aging. As I got my Master in Social Work,  and I plan to get the license in social work, so I would like to talk about the codes of conduct in this field. I learned about  code of conduct or statements of professional ethics for social workers when I was in my first year of master’s program,  as it was a while ago, I searched the Code of Ethics of the National Association of Social Workers again from the NASW website.  The Code of Ethics was approved by the 1996 NASW Delegate Assembly and revised in the 2008.

The core values of social work profession include: service, social justice, dignity and worth of the person, importance of human relationships, integrity and competence.  I have better understanding of these core values through my practicums and field study experiences in the National Multiple Sclerosis Society in St. Louis and also while I work as a social work student in an assisted living facility for older adults with dementia. The values that I have a deeper understandings are social justice and dignity and worth of the person.

While I work with MS Society, I learned that social workers pursue social change, and challenge social injustice. Social workers are on behalf of vulnerable and oppressed individuals and groups of people, like people with Multiple Sclerosis, which is a neuron disease that affect people’s auto, language and other functions. Social workers’ social change efforts are focused on issues of poverty, unemployment, discrimination, and other forms of social injustice and we provide  access to needed information, services, and resources for people with MS and their families.

As I am in the research field in aging, and I focus on older adults with dementia, I understand and respect the value of dignity and worth of the person. When people have dementia, they will have memory loss and they might be treated differently, but social workers treat each person in a caring and respectful way, and mindful of individual differences and diversity. Social workers advocate for person centered care instead of medical centered care, and we believe that older adults with dementia still have their dignity and we should respect their willings and help them function to the highest possibility.

Mission Statement for PFP-Fall2014

Mission Statements

The first mission statement I find is from Washington University in St. Louis (WUSTL), as it’s my alma mater. WUSTL is a medium-sized university located in St. Louis, Missouri.

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WUSTL’s mission is to discover and disseminate knowledge, and protect the freedom of inquiry through research, teaching, and learning.

Who We Are

The goals of Washington University in St .Louis are: 

  • To welcome students, faculty, and staff from all backgrounds to create an inclusive community that is welcoming, nurturing, and intellectually rigorous;
  • to foster excellence in our teaching, research, scholarship, and service;
  • to prepare students with attitudes, skills, and habits of lifelong learning and leadership thereby enabling them to be productive members of a global society; and
  • to be an institution that excels by its accomplishments in our home community, St. Louis, as well as in the nation and the world.

The other mission statement I find is from Stanford University as it is one of my favorite universities.

Stanford_Oval_May_2011_panorama

The mission is “Nature, Object, and Purposes of the Institution” founded by Leland Stanford and Jane Lathrop Stanford in these terms:

Its nature, that of a university with such seminaries of learning as shall make it of the highest grade, including mechanical institutes, museums, galleries of art, laboratories, and conservatories, together with all things necessary for the study of agriculture in all its branches, and for mechanical training, and the studies and exercises directed to the cultivation and enlargement of the mind;

Its object, to qualify its students for personal success, and direct usefulness in life;

And its purposes, to promote the public welfare by exercising an influence in behalf of humanity and civilization, teaching the blessings of liberty regulated by law, and inculcating love and reverence for the great principles of government as derived from the inalienable rights of man to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Comparing to WUSTL’s mission statement, Stanford University’s mission statement is longer and more detailed.  What stood out to me is that both the two mission statements emphasized on freedom and liberty, and I think it is a privilege and at the same time the human right.

The Stanford’s mission statement also mentioned usefulness in life and pursuit of happiness for individual student,  and I think it sounds more practical and close to the students.