Posted on May 17, 2019

Confessions of a SMECWID V: Leaving the Ivory Tower

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Painting of the Tower of Babel, Cropped Square

By Tom Armbrecht As regular readers of the “Confessions of SMECWID” series already know, I changed careers in 2016 when I stopped being a French professor and became an instructional designer. In the eyes of some my former university colleagues, my resignation meant that I effectively switched teams when...

Posted on Nov 19, 2018

Google Translate: Freund oder Feind (Friend or Enemy)?

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Google Translate Venn Diagram

Google Translate is an astonishing program. It converts words and even whole sentences back and forth from dozens of languages through multiple modalities; you can type, handwrite, scan, and even say whatever you want to communicate. Its accuracy—at least in French, German, and Spanish, the three languages that I...

Posted on Oct 10, 2018

Confessions of a SMECWID 3: Learning from the Other Side of the Podium

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Recently, I went back to school for the first time in 20 years. Although I was at the university every day teaching until about two years ago and have often taken adult-education courses, I hadn’t been a student in a class for credit since 1997. (In case you’re wondering,...

Posted on Jul 23, 2018

Bloom’s Taxonomy: Bottom-Up or Top-Down?

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Stepped Pyramid

Bloom’s Taxonomy is a well-known hierarchy of different levels of cognitive skills, often used in education to distinguish between higher-level cognitive skills and lower-level cognitive skills. (See this article for a history of the development and refinement of Bloom’s Taxonomy: Bloom’s Taxonomy by Patricia Armstrong.) A revised version of...

Posted on Jun 29, 2018

Rediscovering the Power of the Link

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No, not that Link! These links: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyperlink It’s been over 20 years since I obtained my first internet-capable computer, way back in 1997 (an IBM Aptiva running Windows 95, if you’re curious). With this being my first taste of the internet, I remember being amazed at the power of...

Posted on Apr 16, 2018

Are You Writing a Course or Creating a Learning Experience?

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Authors of online course materials are usually selected for a combination of their subject matter expertise, their pedagogical prowess, and their experience in the classroom. Course writers, however, sometimes struggle to translate what they do effectively in the classroom into the new medium of online course development. Pedagogically effective...