Posts by Christina Moore

Pretty big ups and downs. The (super expensive) thermometer arrived and it doesn’t work. They won’t let me return it either. Why people would hoard thermometers is beyond my comprehension.

The weather was nice this weekend. The trees are budding, and spring flowers are popping up. I suppose it’s for the best that the playgrounds are roped off for use. You see all kinds of people walking the neighborhood these days.

I made two cloth masks, but I have to hand stitch the pleats because my machine won’t go over the thick material. I found a couple of easier videos on how to make masks from household items. This one is simply cutting out from a t-shirt. This one is folding a t-shirt with shoelaces. It did occur to me that it might be easiest for people to just use a dish towel. That requires zero measuring or cutting. If the towel isn’t long enough to tie in the back, you could secure it with a rubber band or hair tie.

Yesterday was a good day for me. Costco had paper towels, and the grocery store had eggs and chicken. I didn’t need any of those things, but it felt comforting that they were there for those who were looking for them. A huge positive: CoorsTek was in the news partnering with Ford to build respirators. I feel so proud to be working at such a wonderful company.

If you’re looking for an inexpensive way to brighten your day I’ve got three great resources:

  • 5 Minute Journal is a gratitude app that I use to start and end each day.
  • Calm is a wonderful app I use for meditation and sleep. You can try it for free for a month.
  • Daily Stoic is a terrific free daily email that helps put things into perspective.

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Week 3 of our “new normal” and it’s hitting me harder this week. Trying to keep my spirits up. I rarely go on social media anymore, and limit the news.

This week I attempted to sew masks to donate to police families. They’re out of elastic online and in the stores, so my mom is mailing me some. I also made raspberry jam last night.

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This was my first week back from vacation. Constantly worrying about being exposed to the virus at the airport, being in shock how people were acting at the grocery store, anxiety over job stability. You name it, I was worried about it. It took us a while to finally find a thermometer, and it didn’t work. So we had no way to tell if we had a fever. It was a rotten week emotionally.

I started gratitude journaling again, appreciated the ability and skill to work from home, and focused on my family.

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We were vacationing in Mexico when all this started blowing up in the US. Most of the time there was relaxing and restorative. The last few days were increasingly stressful, as we scoured the news from afar. We were concerned we wouldn’t be able to fly home, that we would miss the connecting flight, and that our empty refrigerator would remain so, as people hoarded. It turned out to be the opposite of that. We made our connection, and fresh produce was in abundance.

A little more than a week ago I gave my friend’s kids a photo assignment. Take a photo a day for 14 days and write about it. I was under the assumption we would be back to normal after a couple weeks at that point. Now I’m finding myself feeling so isolated. Reaching out for support on social media has backfired, I have to limit my news intake, retail therapy no longer exists. Last night I thought maybe I need a creative assignment as well. So here’s photos from that time.

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I did it! I just turned in my last assignment for my Masters degree. What an amazing experience it has been. I am feeling such a deep sense of accomplishment. The last two years have been a whirlwind of deadlines and projects. I’m so grateful that I had the opportunity to go back to school, to make so many new wonderful friends, and to have grown so much professionally and personally. Now onto the graduation ceremony!

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A great way to assess learning, when you can’t perform a formal assessment, is to demonstrate learner improvement via a pre- and post- Likert Scale strategy. You just take the objectives of the course, and have the student self-report their own knowledge in a quick survey. It takes very little time to design (since it’s based off of the course objectives), very little time to participate in (3-7 questions with no wrong answers), and if you have the student fill it out in class, you will have 100% participation.

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Ideally, you would be able to perform a formal assessment of the learner’s knowledge. When you are unable to, at the very least you should perform a Likert pre- and post- assessment to demonstrate to the learner their personal development.

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I recently had a conversation with a huge corporation about their needs assessment and course development process. I was happily surprised to hear that they perform a formal needs assessment which includes onsite assessment, and a focus group process. I’ve spent the last few weeks pondering why that came as a surprise to me. It’s such an important part of the instructional design process, and is one that I’ve been taught should be the basis for all course development efforts.

I realize we are often given very little time to do our work, but the power behind the feedback you can get from a focus group is just that…it’s powerful. In addition to critiquing several courses, I’ve had the pleasure to facilitate a couple of focus groups now: one especially comes to mind. We had been giving the same basic course for years, and just as a checkin, we decided to hold a quick focus group after the last day. We asked for volunteers, and had three students offer to stay a bit later the last day, bribing them with pastries.

Overview of Our Questions for the Group

  • What was their overall view of the course?
  • Was it of value to them?
  • How did they feel about the instructor’s teaching style?
  • What activity had the most impact?
  • Would they remove an activity?
  • Did they find anything lacking, or glossed over?
  • How could we add to the course to make it more meaningful?

The suggestions we walked away with helped to support the learners in that recent class, as well as future students. The number one thing the participants were asking for was procedural knowledge; enabling them to act and do things, or perform tasks. The general leadership course was too high level, and not detailed enough on actual steps for how to perform in their new roles. The result was we developed a new course on performance management for the new leaders to take in conjunction with the more general course.

We all know that post-course surveys are very seldom filled out. That’s one of the things that was so great about doing the in-person focus group right after class. The course was fresh in their minds, and was on a volunteer basis. We actually had more people participate in that focus group than we were getting via the online likert scales.

 

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