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How has my thinking been changed or deepened?

  • More comfortable in thinking critically about a given theory; identifying validity concerns; variables
  • Interest in social research – actually integrating this in my general thought processes and work reflections
  • Strong interest in the actual ‘process’ of inquiry, and observing / participating in this, within the Jazz session (particularly as laid out in FieldKit #21)

How will I use the learning I’ve gained this term?

  • In my personal life – today at lunch, I had a conversation with a friend regarding the degree to which government officials are considered “nice” by Canadians and new immigrants to Canada. In the past where I might have just let it go, I was able to go in deeper into the conversation, and look at a range of variables which might have an impact on whether a person considered someone else “nice”. It was a deeper, richer and more thought- provoking discussion.
  • In my worklife — ability to critically access success factors – what constitutes success on a given project and why. I can also use the materials from program evaluation and feel more confident and comfortable.
  • In the Jazz sessions — As a direct result of my learning, learning experiences and learning materials, I will be able to adequately prepare for the Jazz sessions, and attend in a grounded, centered way – so that I am able to both give and receive…

What was most personally relevant and useful? What wasn’t?

Relevant & Useful

  • Introduction and activity pertaining to academic discourse
  • Breward & Millward book #1; and The Babbie Book #2 – both very useful
  • Opportunity to engage in critical thinking and peer dialogue.

Not Relevant & Useful

  • I think there could have been better ‘guidance’ in terms of deepening the peer dialogue – perhaps some followup questions, digging into the peer dialogue by the Teacher / Facilitator

What were you most surprised by or pleased by?

  • My own growth and comfort with the online environment, and academic discourse
  • No ‘group’ paper – this was very much appreciated ~ it’s often tough to pull this together in the online environment
  • No kaibosh on communication outside of the course (Yahoo IM, Skype) – even though I did not use this very much in this course.
  • The “break” in the reading / lead posts – this was a very useful ‘breather’ for pause and reflection, and further critical inquiry

What do you wish had been different?

  • More guidance by the teacher / facilitator in the dialogues
  • Recommendation for weekly chats within tables (using Yahoo IM, Skype)
  • The ‘break’ / breather could have been supplemented by weekly chats – where we in the tables could discuss specific issues – I found that things went off the rails a bit here….there could have been a bit more cohesion in the 2nd part of the course.
  • There’s a bit too much emphasis here on the Master’s Project for my liking – I would like there to be more engaged dialogue on some of the theory or approaches — action research, needs assessment, program evaluation, AI, and other analyses — particularly as they apply to workplace situations / case studies.

How would you improve this course for your needs?

Upfront Guidelines

  1. For when and how the teacher / facilitator will intervene / guide
  2. For regular meetings with peers
  • Continuation of ‘breather’ / break, but reorganize group into Discussion Circles – with a focus on key questions / case studies that go deeper into the theory yet are applied to real-world situations
  • Some connection to “OD” practice – but this might be premature, for this ‘introductory’ course.