Tuesday, August 19, 2008

On to Mentorship!

I just received an e-mail from my faculty trainer at Axia College of the University of Phoenix that I successfully completed the second round of training as an online facilitator (instructor). The next step is to move on to a mentorship or student-teaching phase where I will be teaching a course under the supervision of a mentor/evaluator and dealing with actual students. I was fairly confident I'd made it because all my previous feedback during this training session was very positive, but I didn't want to get cocky or say anything until it was official.

I can't adequately describe how pleased and relieved I am. After recent events in my life, I was beginning to wonder if I could ever find anything at which I'd be truly successful. I may be moving soon into better housing as well, but I'll hold off on saying anything more until I see how that situation plays out. God is Good!

Monday, August 04, 2008

Taking a Breather

In the immortal words of Sam Gamgee at the end of The Lord of the Rings:

"Well, I'm back."

Sorry for the relative radio silence over the past couple of weeks. I've been training as an online "facilitator" (they don't call them instructors) for Axia College of The University of Phoenix. There were about ten people in our training group to start with, and I suspect everyone was surprised at how intense the training experience turned out to be—I know I was. There were written assignments and "Discussion Questions" due almost every day, and in addition we were expected to contribute regularly and frequently to an online discussion forum where we thought and talked about the theory and practice of teaching online from just about every conceivable angle. We had some no-shows and several dropouts along the way, I suspect because they underestimated the time and effort it would take to complete the training and realized they couldn't keep it up when they considered what else was going on in their lives.

Overall, I feel fairly positive about how I did. I received an evaluation from the instructor (oops, facilitator) at the end of the first week, and the only specific thing she mentioned that needed improvement was my level of participation in the online forums. I made sure I ramped that up this week. My classmates reacted very positively to what I had to say, and they all struck me as intelligent and highly motivated people. I should get some official feedback on my performance later in the week, including word on whether I can advance to the next, more specialized round of facilitator training. (I told one of my classmates it feels a bit like being a contestant on "American Idol"). Stay tuned. We'll see what happens next. In the meantime, however, now that I can relax a bit, I've got some comic books to read. See you later.