Dr. J's blog

Announcing a New Weekly Blog Post: Career Development Weekly

The blogs posted on this website have often been focused on adult education and online learning because of the nature of my career. However, in addition to being an educator I have also been a professional resume writer since 2003. I started this business because of my work as a manager prior to becoming an educator. I remembered reading resumes that were poorly worded and formatted, often lacking clarity and focus. Since 2003 I have successfully helped hundreds of people by creating a resume that served as a marketing tool and helped them get noticed – even during challenging economic times.

Be Prepared for the Unique Challenges of Teaching Online

Teaching online may seem appealing because of the perception of convenience and the availability of jobs when compared to traditional colleges and universities. It may also seem easy to teach a class online when a course shell has already been developed and a syllabus provided for you. However, this is a unique learning environment that can either be flat and one-dimensional with minimal interactivity or it can be two-dimensional and highly interactive. The challenges associated with creating an atmosphere that is conducive to learning includes how you teach, what you teach, how you develop an active presence, and the skills needed to work in this technologically enhanced classroom environment.

Adapting to Technology

Learn Critical Thinking by Overcoming Challenges and Gaining Rewards

Critical Thinking

One of the most important skills that a student is expected to learn and demonstrate is the use of critical thinking. This is a skill that is emphasized in both primary and postsecondary or higher education as a necessary life skill. However, this is not a say and do process – it is a skill that must be learned through practice so that it becomes a productive habit. A challenge for educators is that teaching it requires more than providing a superficial explanation and issuing a directive to use it. For students, they must learn that the process of critical thinking involves more than the cliché of thinking outside of the box.

Cultivate Engaging Online Class Discussions With Guided Anchors

ANCHORS

Online class discussions can be very rewarding but also time-consuming for the online instructor. This is especially true when there is a large class-size, a complex course topic, the instructor is an adjunct and has many other responsibilities, or it is the first time the instructor has taught the course. There are two possible options available when an instructor is faced with the demands of an online discussion and the first is to go through the motions and meet the minimal requirements. The other option is to devote the time necessary to be actively involved in the discussions. Regardless of the option chosen, online discussions need the instructor's participation so that students remain focused on the topic and actively engaged in the class.

Develop a Mindset for Success with Your Next Job Interview

 

The process of preparing for a job interview may involve a time of stress, indecision, and self-doubt. A successful interview occurs as the result of meaningful interactions between you and the potential employer, which happens when you are prepared, confident, and self-assured. When you are communicating effectively during the interview you are clearly articulating who you are, what you offer, and what you are seeking for your career.

Developing Peak Performance for Optimal Results As an Online Student

Peak Performance

As an online student you know how much work is required every week to meet all of the requirements. Over time you develop routines that allow you to accomplish tasks quickly; however, that does not always mean you are performing at your full capacity. There are times when you may be willing to accept minimal performance, if it means getting everything required completed on time. Even when you are functioning at your maximum capacity it does not indicate that you are excelling because hard work does not equate to your personal best. If you want to demonstrate your ability to excel for class discussions and written assignments, you need a strategy that turns hard work into peak performance, one that yields optimal results.

Why Performance Matters

Developing Emotional Self-Control for Online Students


Emotional Control

At any given moment it is possible to experience a wide range of feelings, such as anticipation, fear, excitement, dread, or happiness. The resulting emotions have an ability to uplift us or bring us down. What we feel often determines how we react and then take action. In an academic environment there is an expectation of emotional control. For an online class the expectation applies to what is expressed in written communication. A problem arises if a student's emotions are not properly managed and there is a lack of composure when interacting with others in the class. It is possible to avoid inappropriate reactions by learning emotional self-control.

Daily Emotional Triggers

Educators: Become an Advocate for Your Online Students

Advocacy

An online educator has many roles to fulfill for each class. They must provide guided instruction and meaningful feedback, manage and control classroom conditions, and facilitate the learning process. The most important aspect of educating students is meeting their developmental needs. When as an educator most effective with that task? When they develop a mindset that is student centered. That means putting the student first and considering their needs and perspective with every learning activity and interaction. It is an instructional strategy that is both supportive and nurturing.

Willingness to Assist

2014: Improved Year Resolutions for Lasting Changes

 2014

It is January and a brand new year has begun. This is a time that often prompts reflection and for many an annual rite of passage known as New Year's resolutions begins. What happens to those resolutions in approximately 8 to 10 weeks? They often start to fade and when they are no longer prominent in our thoughts it is easy to go back to our usual routines and old habits. What causes this point of disengagement? When "new" resolutions don't provide immediate results or produce significant changes within a short period of time.