Sunday, February 24, 2008

95-year-old's Advises

95-year-old advises, according to Marshall Goldsmith, is the best advise any one can get. Imaging that a 95-year-old YOU, come back to give the younger some hard, warm, make-me-proud type of advise. What would it be?

Have more discipline! You have the talent, the opportunity, you even have the motivation. But when actions need to be taken, do it and do not procrastinate!

Aim high! Take calculated, meaningfully risks!

Keep yourself healthy! Watch the eating habits!

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Critical thinking skills and capstone (Why all these presentation, discussion and feedbacks?)

One major goal of any higher-ed programs, especially graduate programs, is to cultivate student's critical thinking skills. The MBA program in Harvard business school, for example, dedicate the entire second year for this purpose, in the format of case studies. The case methods have become the mainstay of many business graduate program even till today. It is inefficient, bewildering and difficult. However, it is still perhaps the best pedagogy in teaching critical thinking and decision making.

In capstone classes, many times the faculty ask students to present their capstone idea and progress. We ask students to ask questions and provide feedbacks to one another both in class and online. What we are trying to achieve using students' capstones as case and conduct case studies. It is sometimes inefficient, bewildering and difficult. However, it is still, as least to me, the best way to enhance the critical thinking skills.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Learning Effectiveness

Participating the WASC Retreat on learning assessment in Irvine. Often the worry about things like this is that people spend enormous amount of time for fad that disappear in a couple of years. I believe the outcome/assessment/improvement process is here to stay. The fact that this process, if explained well, it is obvious and self evident. The OAI process is similar to many well-accepted and proven rule in business management. The teacher (or manager) should make the instructional process and goals clearly documented and communicated.

The challenge is how to A. convince all faculty to do it. B. do it effectively and efficiently. The major concern I have is that lack of quantitative research of the result. Or even more importantly, lack of culture in hard evidence.

I had a peculiar feeling coming back to Irvine, which I lived and enjoyed for many years. The weather is still perfect, the sky green. However, because of the stark difference between Carmel and Orange, I see all these well-manicured lawns, spotless high-rises, I feel out of place.

Living the dreams

I used to just nod politely saying "just fine", when people ask me "how are you doing?".  I decided to change that. ...