Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Survivor Cagayan Prediction

After years of not watching Survivor, I finally returned to watching the show this past season, Survivor Cagayan. Even though I do not subscribe to cable, I can still watch the show on Amazon's Instant Video service. Nevertheless, this past season has been a treat, to say the least, for watching because of all the new players, twists, and location. Since tonight is the finale, I will attempt to predict who will be voted out and of course, the eventual winner.

Analyzing the final four, I predict the next player to go will be Kass since she is considerably weak at physical challenges. With the final three consisting of Tony, Spencer, and Woo, the next to be voted out after losing the final immunity challenge will be Tony leaving Spencer and Woo for the final tribal council. After answering the jury's questions and debating their reasons why they each should win the million dollars, my final prediction is for Spencer to be named sole Survivor.

All in all, it has been a great season to watch as a fan, a social science researcher, and a Lord of the Flies true adorer. I look forward to watching the next season with the hope of no returning players and all brand new players similar to Cagayan.


Quality Assurance in Blended Learning

Focusing on this week's readings from my blended learning course, many questions need to be not only investigated, but also answered regarding my upcoming development and delivery of blended instructional courses. First, the question of following standardized rules and procedures for creating and instructing blended learning courses exist due to its location within the early stages of a product's life cycle. Second, instructional effectiveness was also questioned and must be addressed. The need for learners to transfer newly gained knowledge to real world applications is a critical issue for developing credibility of blended learning. Finally, a conclusion is offered for perhaps providing insight on how I may resolve issues and questions pertaining to standards and instructional effectiveness for blended learning courses.

In the reading, the lack of a formalized, authoritative body to oversee standards of blended learning was declared and discussed which translates into that the blended learning discipline is in the infantile stage and still evolving. This point was an important concern for me since I have previous experience in researching authority bodies such as the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), Internet Corporation for Names and Numbers (ICANN), and Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) regarding the standardization of internet protocols, web development, and cyber infrastructure. The commonality between all three of these organizations mentioned is that they are formed as nonprofits, but more importantly, tax exempt public charities for the purpose of serving the general public. With this in mind, the formation of a nonprofit organization may be a possible solution for moving forward and developing standardized blended learning course development, best practices, and open source tools which also do not exist, but were mentioned as a major problem within the discipline. Furthermore, the question of efficiency and collaboration may also be resolved if a consortium of organizations networked together to share information and strategies under the helpful hand of a neutral and public serving nonprofit organization for advancing blended learning.

Besides the need for standards and a governing body, instructional effectiveness was a a major point realized from the week's reading. In my attempt to provide effective blended learning courses in real estate science and other disciplines, I plan to develop Google Docs forms for students to submit their feedback. Both formative and summative, student feedback during and after course delivery will be a key component for my instructional development because of their alternative perspectives will render new information outside of my instructional role. The other key component for my continued growth in delivering effective blended courses will be the requesting and collecting of peer review feedback. Peer review feedback may also provide ideal and timely information for improving blended learning course delivery since others may have already encountered the same issues within their courses.

In sum, my approach for developing and delivering blended learning courses covering real estate science will be a consistent, researched approach for helping students build new knowledge. Nevertheless, it is important as an instructor and researcher to stay abreast of the latest scientific research findings concerning blended learning by reading peer reviewed articles found in academic journals. Moreover, I will also pay close attention to other academic instructors' views and methods by perhaps subscribing to mailing lists, joining forums, and attending workshops involving blended learning best practices. Lastly, the academic community within the University of Central Florida will continue to be a main resource for me to lean on as I continue to develop and deliver blended online courses.


Tuesday, May 20, 2014

A New Blog Home

For awhile now, I have been contemplating whether or not to move this blog from wordpress to blogger for a couple of reasons. The first reason why to move the blog is because the DNS records for are resolved by wordpress rather than with my personal hosting company. Since I have extensive DNS experience, I always prefer to resolve my own domains for controlling resolution, redirection, and for maintenance purposes.

The second reason why is because it seems wordpress levies unnecessary fees to host a blog. Case in point, I incurred a fee for not only redirecting my primary domain,, but also for eliminating ads situated within my posts for wordpress to make additional money. Then, there is a premium fee for packaging more of there services which seems to me exorbitant for me and the average wordpress user, in my opinion.

Lastly, my current research involves e-learning and developing courses for delivering online courses in the near future. Moreover, one area of course content covers Google Apps which includes GMail, Google Drive and Docs, Sites, Chrome, and Calendar. Since all of these products are Google products, it only makes sense to investigate Blogger which is also another Google product. Thus, the final reason why I am moving from wordpress to blogger is for integration purposes with Google+, Google Analytics, YouTube, and all other Google products.

The new address for my blog is hosted by Google’s blogger while the old address,, will be a new site with a new direction in the future.


Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Blended Content and Assignments

After reading this past week's reading assignment, key points of blended learning activities were realized from a holistic perspective. Using my current course development of CYC2001 Introduction to Cybercrime, I will attempt to apply the key points gained from the reading for adapting to the upcoming modules. Next, I will offer ideas on technology-integration within CYC2001, as learning activity types were discussed within the reading. Finally, a conclusion is offered for resolving my thoughts and perspectives with the coupling of technology and learning activities.

In designing effective modules for online and face-to-face interactions, focusing on learning activities was emphasized using three different approaches: direct, indirect, and online. Applying a direct learning method to CYC2001, students may gain new knowledge by witnessing hack attacks in real-time via a security emergency center or antivirus third party vendor. If a real-time experience is not available, simulating events of cyber hacking and attacks within an internal network may offer links between course concepts and observational experiences. Furthermore, role playing may also add beneficial knowledge linkages for students during in class simulations.

For considering an indirect approach for learning activities, the delivery of case studies within the classroom would be an ideal method due to the connecting of current events and learning objectives within the course. Another indirect approach related to case studies would be the offering of personal or third party stories of examples of cybecrime for students to engage other students from others' experiences. Even though online gaming was listed under indirect approaches in the reading assignment, one online integration possibility is the delivery of an online game for students to experience. From last semester's course on instructional game development, I developed a prototype cybersecurity game involving a simple network topology, a user, and a virus which infects computers on the network. With this type of learning tool, an online game may enhance the learning experiences of students because of its adaptive nature and the enticement for learners to play for fun. No matter which learning activity is implemented, all students will be asked to reflect upon their learning experience after each module's interaction within discussion forums representing a communicative method. In addition, learners may develop mindmap diagrams of the their newly acquired knowledge for producing or remixing their knowledge signifying a productive learning approach to blended learning activities.

In sum, integrating technology and learning activities is a core requirement for not only my upcoming course in cybercrime, but also all future courses. Offering learners the opportunities to engage in multiple interactive ways during a course is a high priority for this instructor for enhancing overall course delivery and increasing the level of engagement. From the reading assignment, indirect, direct, and online were three approaches which were realized for developing face-to-face interaction and online interaction within blended courses. Furthermore, three types of learning activities were discovered for implementing in my immediate course delivery: adaptive, communicative, and productive.


Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Blended Assessments of Learning

In an effort to develop a blended course involving online and face-to-face interactions, formal and informal assessments will be implemented within my upcoming course, introduction to cybercrime. For formal assessments, three student quizzes are planned for my introductory course covering topics on cybercrime. Each quiz will assess students' understandings of the concepts within the first three modules on the first quiz, modules four through six on the second quiz, and the final three modules, seven through nine, on the final examination. A time limit will be set for each formal assessment along with the opportunity to retake the assessment a second time, if the student so chooses. Online essays in the form of discussion postings will also be utilized each week for allowing student-to-student interactions. In addition, I will also provide feedback to students' to build upon their critical thinking by posing alternative questions according to their posted reasonings. A quantitative assessment will be used for assessing discussion points as follows: one point for minimal effort, two points for below average effort, three points for an average effort, four points for an above average effort, and finally, five points for a superior effort and response.

For informal assessments two methods will be utilized during the cybercrime course, one-sentence summary and student-generated test questions. However, these two assessments will be implemented during face-to-face interactions rather than online which is in contrast to the suggested method from this week's reading assignment. During classroom sessions, time will be allotted for students to think about the current topic and synthesize a one-sentence summary. I will then randomly read these out loud in class for the students' to comment on the statements for drawing on alternative perspectives regarding the current topic in class. The other method of informal assessment will challenge students to develop three to five ideal test question for the final exam. From this method, students will not only benefit from the direct interaction of the subject matter, but will also gain valuable insight into the final exam which should remove an effort to memorize content for the sake of regurgitating it later on the final exam.

In sum, from this week's assigned reading I identified assessment strategies, formal and informal, for implementing withing my upcoming blended course on cybercrime. First, formal assessments involving quizzes and essays posting in online discussion forums will be assigned to students for evaluating using a quantitative grading rubric. Second, informal assessments, one-sentence summary and student-generated test questions, will be implemented within the classroom for building face-to-face interactions and higher levels of engagements with students. By implementing these two types of blended assessments, the hope for new opportunities of interactions between instructor and students should be a positive reinforcement during course delivery while enhancing the potential for students to build their knowledge of cybercrime topics and issues.


Thursday, May 1, 2014

Blended Interactions

After reading this week's Blendkit2014 reading assignment, several thoughts came to mind regarding methods of interactions between an instructor and students during a blended course, specifically for a course I am currently developing, CYC2001 Introduction to Cybercrime. From my past instructional experiences, adult learners in real estate education generally require additional guidance with concepts and principles since most are new to the industry. Furthermore, the majority, if not all, real estate learners are merely present to receive their licensure for moving onto residential or commercial brokerage work. Because real estate educational requirements are minimally set by state commissions, learners' knowledge of real estate concept may vary greatly, in addition to their technical competence. With this in mind, identifying learners' experiences within a specific knowledge domain may play an important role in the decision making process for selecting a blended interaction model as discussed in this week's reading assignment.

Three specific interactions models were found most relevant from the reading for implementation purposes. First, the atelier learning model was presented as a method for instructors to observe and interact with learners similar to how art instructors observe and interact within their art studio classrooms. This interaction method could potentially work for observing posted discussion question and answers within an online forum discussing issues and topics on cybercrime. Second, fisher's interaction method for continuously establishing connections between concepts draws similar patterns to network administrators who connect new devices within an organization's network. Fisher's model of forming connections was received as an ideal method for integrating with my upcoming course, especially for connecting issues in cyberattacks to methods in preventing future attacks. The third method that may offer beneficial learning experiences was the concierge learning, a method for directing learners to resources previously unknown. This interaction method would seem the most ideal since real estate learners may not have been exposed to prevention measures in cyberattacks, but also unaware of other cybercrime topics such as phishing, viruses, and physical asset attacks.

In sum, all three interaction models will at some point be implemented within my upcoming cybercrime course. For online instruction, the atelier and fisher models seem most likely to be implemented online since discussions can be easily monitored online while offering URL links to additional resources for learners so that they are able to create new learning associations. In contrast, the concierge interaction would best play a role within the classroom during presentations for creating new in class discussions, covering case studies, and possibly for integrating within role playing situations for enhancing learning experiences. After implementing, evaluating how successful these three interaction methods is also a key element for revising or eliminating altogether from future blended courses.