Evaluation

The past months leading up to my portfolio assignment regarding my thesis were filled with confusion and apprehension. The initial topic I selected was unique and unfortunately too unique for the academic world. However, I changed topics to something that is more tangible and will help my career. Most importantly I feel my research will allow my students to achieve higher standards. After my topic was selected, I then divided by work into a clear timeline and held myself accountable for deadlines and quality.

Once the plan was in place, I felt as if I was propelled to the finish line. Organizing my literature review required countless hours of research but I now feel ready to tackle the review with quality. The annotated bibliography forced me to get serious about my project and sharpened my almost forgotten research skills. Evaluating sources was time consuming but the quality of my sources will translate into a thesis that is relevant and professional.

The final piece was the organization of the portfolio. Since my thesis deals with technology, I felt that it was only appropriate to organize my thesis documents into a website. The website will allow myself and peers a place to practice our multimedia interaction skills and provide resources to improve classroom presentation skills. The website is a work in progress and will be updated with the final thesis and results as they are completed.

The structure of the course was unique as compared to other Gwynedd-Mercy College courses. The classes were much more intimate and it seemed as if they carried more of a team approach to the process of learning. Peers provided valuable remarks in the evolution of the research questions. Class time was devoted to increasing the understanding of the expectations of the thesis and the course. However, I felt like the blackboard assignment mimicked a previous course entitled Educational Research.

As much as I enjoy peer interaction using multimedia applications, I feel that courses using blackboard discussions do not turn into a discussion. Rather they are way for students to post their information, provide feedback and then receive forced postings from other students. I feel that the true point of discussion boards is to have conversations and I am aware that hybrid courses do require certain time necessities that my translate into the necessity of them. However, the lack of discussion is evident on our blackboard pages.

Truthfully I did not enjoy, nor did I find useful the blackboard portion of the course. I found the class sections sufficient for answering questions and the instructor made herself available to individual needs. However, certain classes did present opportunities for individuals to turn the classes into private sessions. Many of the group private sessions did benefit the group but many were filled with individual specific problems that can easily be answered through email or private meetings.

In closing, the process of writing the thesis is daunting. I feel that this course specifically acted as a warm up and organizational session to prepare me for what is ahead. Prior to starting the course I did not know what or where I wanted to take my thesis. I can now see the end and have a clear plan to complete this study. Most importantly I can clearly see the relevance of the research. The driving force behind this research is at the core of my question: How can I implement effective interactive multimedia technology into my classroom?