Tuesday, December 23, 2014

My holiday agenda: Student Persistence. Student Attrition. Student Retention.

Because my masteral major is really on student learning and experiences, what I learned while working in the office of admissions and scholarships is something that goes beyond recruiting students and giving students free access to education. What goes beyond this step is making sure students stay in school, persist in enrollment and successfully graduate in their respective chosen fields.

Holiday Break 2014

Finally it's holiday break! 

Not going to school a.k.a. Office for two weeks. 

Two weeks of no disturbance.

Two weeks of peace.

It feels like time just stopped because I'm rarely getting emails (a few inquiries from students). 

Although this doesn't mean two weeks of not working because this "stay-cation" was already fully-booked for a lot of things to do. I just need to find the momentum. 

It's been somewhat eleven months since I started working in my Univ. How time flies and I've learned quite a lot but it has also been time consuming and physically draining. Being in the admissions office is really tough work. Non-stop work actually. I have no idea how I'm going to keep my sanity handling 20% of our student population and almost every individual wants to talk to me about their status as a student. Sometimes I wonder how it probably feels if I move into a "small pond". 

Oh I celebrated my birthday this month. Didn't even get to celebrate it as much. But my students surprised me with a cake! Then my officemates also prepared food for December celebrants. But seriously though, I barely felt my birthday. 

Time is of the essence. I am 27.

Two weeks. 

I have already attended two board meetings of the professional organization I joined. It feels so mentally stimulating to be surrounded with smart people doing things without any monetary exchange in return. As what my professor told me, it is service for the country. 

Two weeks. 

1) Thesis. 

2) Research paper.

3) Study plan.

Things I need to accomplish in two weeks. 

I have to avoid checking admissions related work for now and focus on other aspects of my life. 

Balance is the key. 

Happy Holidays to everybody! 

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Fundamental Techniques in Handling People. Principle #1

Don't criticize, condemn or complain.

I've read this book before for about a couple of times already. But it's a must to read again and again until the point of memorization. 

I had an e-book but hard copy is still different. 

Principle #1 "Don't criticize, condemn or complain" supports the First Agreement by Don Miguel Ruiz "Be impeccable with your word" (From the Four Agreements, another must read book).

I'm going to blog every time I read a chapter of Dale Carnegie's book so it can help me internalize each principle. And eventually practice it by heart. 

A few quotes from the chapter:

“The resentment that criticism engenders can demoralize employees, family members and friends, and still not correct the situation that has been condemned.”

“Let's realize that the person we are going to correct and condemn will probably justify himself or herself, and condemn us in return; or, like the gentle Taft, will say: "I don't see how I could have done any differently from what I have.”

“Don't criticize them; they are just what we would be under similar circumstances.”

“Do you know someone you would like to change and regulate and improve? Good! That is fine. I am all in favor of it, But why not begin on yourself? From a purely selfish standpoint, that is a lot more profitable than trying to improve others - yes, and a lot less dangerous.” 

Don't complain about the snow on your neighbor's roof," said Confucius, "when your own doorstep is unclean.”

“A great man shows his greatness," said Carlyle, "by the way he treats little men.”

“"What is it you want?" I snapped. You said nothing, but ran across in one tempestuous plunge, and threw your arms around my neck and kissed me, and your small arms tightened with an affection that God had set blooming in your heart and which even neglect could not wither. And then you were gone, pattering up the stairs.”

“Instead of condemning people, let's try to understand them. Let's try to figure out why they do what they do. That's a lot more profitable and intriguing than criticism; and it breeds sympathy, tolerance and kindness. "To know all is to forgive all.”

Excerpts From: Carnegie, Dale. “How to Win Friends and Influence People.” 

Thursday, October 9, 2014


On being an academic, ideas are gold mine.

Long story short. 

When I was an undergrad, I had a research proposal before and my professors did not want me to pursue it. (2007)

So i ended up doing a different thesis.

Couple of years after, my mentor told me to update my literature so we can have my thesis published. (2012)

Along the way, as I searched our library again, I came across this dissertation that was exactly the same proposal I had in 2007. The idea was the same. The variables and even the usage of the grounded theory! 

I was so confused. I wondered how this happened. Why? Where did he get he exact idea? Is it that "amazing" that people can actually think of the same thing? Exactly the same thing? Then it is amazing. But I had a feeling he got the idea from my department as well because the odds that students were doing a thesis/dissertation on procrastination was very low. There were only 5 in our archives that did procrastination. 

So I didn't work on it anymore.

I tried to move and forget the idea of publishing my undegraduate thesis.

Last night, I had dinner with my professor and I found out it was him who told the PhD student to do the proposal I had years back.

Loss for words. 



I'll just focus on my masteral thesis... 

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

There's a rainbow after the rain...

Today was a tough day for me. After waking up realizing I am going through burnout, I felt like a salmon swimming against the current today. Fighting against the odds. And I remembered my political org when I was an undergraduate student. 

Be like a salmon. Never fearing to face the odds.
Brave and strong. We stand by our principles and we never compromise them. 

Those are bits and pieces of our creed. 

On another note, there were a lot of opportunities that opened for me today. 

Opportunities that I know that would have to wait and I know will still be waiting for me. If not, I know better opportunities will come anyway.

I know I have thesis to worry about, but I'm also excited with other things. 

I'm planning to cross enroll in an industrial psychology subject. I need a course on this because my friend told me that there is already a psychometrician licensure exam here in the Philippines. And because my course is "educational psychology" I am actually qualified/eligible to take the board exam except I do not have an industrial psychology in my curriculum. The other batches of our program eventually had industrial psychology. 

Once I get this. I will both have,  teaching license AND psychometrician license.

My friend asked me "what is it you really want to do?"

I told her.. I want to get all the type of licenses I am eligible for. 

Jack of all trades. 

Nothing to lose anyway, right? Just study while we have time.

I have so many plans next year... 

Okay it's already 2am in the morning and I'm still so wide awake. 

What...a... Day.... 

Tomorrow, I'm going to ask about the possibility of enrolling in an industrial psychology class. If not undergrad level, okay fine... Maybe masteral level... I guess I can handle one subject more, right?

Desk job is already a routine. So I need to do something new. 

Thesis.... work .... Prof org.... Board exam .... 

Monday, October 6, 2014


*disclaimer: these are messages from 3 different people and not sequential.

I haven't been feeling great recently and I couldn't source out the cause of my anxiety, worries and problems. 

I actually thought it was a problem on love life! But then I know that's the least of my priorities right now. Lol 

I told my friends I have been feeling empty and they said I need a boyfriend and I told them do I? But I don't want any commitments right now. I also know I don't want to depend on somebody to make me feel "complete"... I don't want to depend on somebody for my happiness... And yet my complaints seem to sound like I badly need romance. But no wonder I was confusing... 

I realized it's not love life but BURNOUT. 

I woke up today and I was feeling anxious of going to work. So I googled "work-life" balance to find an article that might soothe me and give me some tips. 

Wikipedia came first in the search list and according to Wikipedia...

Who ever wants more - on the job, from the partner, from the children, from themselves - will one day be burned out and empty inside. 

EMPTY. Those were my exact words to my friends! "I feel so productive, yet empty."

He is then faced with the realization that perfection does not exist. 

My biggest problem. I do exhibit perfectionism. 

Who is nowadays empty inside and burned out, is in the common language a Burnout. But due to the definitional problems Burnout is till this date not a recognized illness. 

Last night, I messaged one of my close guy friends and told him "I feel broken."

He was surprised. He said he just saw my posts and said "I thought you were so passionate with your work and school?" 

I said, "I am.."

On another hand, I also messaged one of my girl friends last night.. And just told her the words, "I'm tired."

So this morning I messaged them again, quoting the description that Wikipedia said about burnout.

An attempt to define this concept more closely, can be: a condition that gets only the passionate, that is certainly not a mental illness but only a grave exhaustion (but can lead to numerous sick days). 

I told them, "Now I know what's wrong, it's just burnout"

It can benefit the term that it is a disease model which is socially acceptable and also, to some extent, the individual self-esteem stabilizing. This finding in turn facilitates many undetected depressed people, the way to a qualified treatment. According to experts in the field are, in addition to the ultra hard-working and the idealists mainly the perfectionist, the loner, the grim and the thin-skinned, especially endangered of a burnout. All together they usually have a lack of a healthy distance to work.

It's probably not "JUST" burnout but a condition that people should take seriously and not pass. 

I am just relieved that I know what the cause of my anxiety is. 

At least if you know the diagnosis, you'll know the cure. 

Thank goodness it's just burnout. Because if my problems happen to be heart ache and love life ❤️.. Who knows what the real cure for that is! 😁. 

Sunday, October 5, 2014

How to make work-life balance work.

It's a holiday today and for the past months since February of this year I have been working full-time in my university as compared to my life last year when I was a full-time Mooc-er. 

I am supposed to start writing my M.A. thesis today but I put it off by jumping back to my old life and checking up on my academic twitter, academic blog, academic facebook, mooc-friends, and also browsing Ted Talks. 

Ever since I started working full-time in my university you would obviously observe the frequency drop of my online activity. Oh how I miss learning random but meaningful things... Now that I have a full-time job, the only learning that happens are things that are actually related on how to perform my "job task" correctly. When I tweet to my online friend from Australia, Tanya Lau (she is also taking MA and doing her thesis) the only update I have on my thesis is telling her that... "Life got in the way..."

Now that I have full-time job... I can totally relate to this Ted Talk of Nigel Marsh about Work-Life Balance.

"I found it quite easy to balance work and life, when I didn't have work" - Nigel Marsh

Nigel Marsh:  Work Life Balance is an Ongoing Battle

"If you don't design your life, someone else will design it for you, and you may just not like their idea of balance."

The art and skill of work-life balance is difficult to master, but I have been in my job for about only 8 months... So I think I'm picking up very quick with the balance. 

On other news, my university is holding a Ted Talk convention on January 2015!!

Definitely coming... 

Friday, October 3, 2014

Notes from the Academic Writing Workshop

Anything that comes in your mind, write it... 

Start with the first thought in your mind.

Don't worry about the structure, structure will come along.

Edit.. Edit... Edit... Edit... And if you think you've done enough, edit some more. 

Assume that the audience don't know anything and tell them with logic.

Write simply.

Write directly. 

No need to use those big words.

Per paragraph is one idea. 

Write long paragraphs and write short sentences. 

A thesis is about developing an argument.

There are no "facts" but claims of facts.

Integrate ideas... - not a collection of "so and so said so and so" because it sounds like a collection of facts. 

My idea: "Motivation contributes to learning" (source of the idea)

Structure your time. Do not allow distraction.

Give some things up. Decide your priorities. 

When. Where. How. 

Choose a research area. And then write research questions. 

Read a general area and then decide a specific thing to do. 

Is it doable?

Is it useful?

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Cheers to Professional Growth!

Just a week ago I panicked due to the information of a friend that as academic service faculties we were required to join professional organizations.

This, put me into a shock because I was not a member of one. 

The organizations I always put in my resume are my student organizations.

Although it is not against my heart and will that I am "required" to join professional organizations. 

I actually have always wanted to join one but I'm just not exposed to these kind of things so opportunities and reasons were hard to find. The interest was there... But life got in the way.

So thanks for the mandatory requirement of my University.... Hehe... I went efforts to look for organizations. I asked my professor how to join this professional organization and he discouraged me to join that org and recruited my in the organization he was currently in.

Long story short...

I paid my membership fee yesterday.

And today...

I got appointed to be a semi-board memberπŸ˜‚.

I'm so excited!!!!!!!

Just when I thought I have too many things in my plate... I accepted a task without question. I've been complaining recently how I lack in the socialization department. But I guess I really don't lack psychological needs.. But rather I want a variety of things happening in my life. 

It is an honor to be chosen! 

Grad school... Work... Professional Organization...

I guess my romantic life has to wait. lol I'll worry about that after grad school! 

Thesis first... I'm almost there.

I'm now the assistant to the secretariat of the Philippine Educational Measurement & Evaluation Assessment. 

πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ excited for my first board meeting.

πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ excited to expand my network of both friends and professionals.

Cheers to more good things happening in my life.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Jack of all trades, master of none.

This is what best describes me. I should put this in my resume.

It's not actually derogatory for me because nowadays it's actually a 21st century skill. 

To be flexible and to know how to adapt and to be versatile.

I found out last week I need to join a professional organization as part of my work. 

I've always wanted to join conferences and seminars.

Luckily, I have connections now since one of my close professors just recently became the president of a professional org. And now, I'm more than excited to join seminars and conferences :)

But either way even if I'm not going to be with him I have decided that I'm now in a pursuit to expand my network.

I've been lacking in the socialization department lately and it's driving me crazyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy! 

Having a complete desk job really doesn't suite me well I have to find the time to improve my professional growth aside from doing those routinely done desk job tasks. Although bonding with my scholars is very enjoyable. 

I can't wait to attend my first conference and get to see my professor again.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

My Pride :)

I admit.

Working full-time did end up eating my time of doing online classes, catching up on education news and even doing my thesis.

But whenever I see the picture below, it symbolizes the beneficiaries of my efforts for the past months.

So proud of them. :)


Thesis Concept Paper (Part 2)

And so..

Four (4) months after...

I still don't have an approved concept paper -__-

But there is still light at the end of the thesis.

Tomorrow I will submit my 4th concept paper and I am confident on this one!

I also realized I should be changing my gmail emails now to a non-dlsu account because our dlsu.ph e-mail will be deleted soon and I will be in deep trouble because I think I used my blog and twitter with dlsu.ph

Sigh.. where did the time go?


I miss my academic virtual life... BUT I'M BACK and I'm seriously back.

Won't let life get in the way again.. balance is the key.

On a side note... I am sadly not working on MOOC research as my thesis now. Lol the irony... about 11 months ago I got the light bulb idea on using Mooc as my thesis... My new thesis will be working on students benefiting from student financial aid... since.. well.. that is my calling right now due to the nature of my work as a scholarships coordinator.

But I will do research on moocs one day... after my M.A. :)

So yeah, I will still keep my twitter account and blog account.

Besides, I've made so many great academic virtual international friends on here.

One step at a time... the light at the end of the Thesis.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Thesis Concept Paper

May 14, 2014. Ha!!

I'm ready to submit my concept paper.

I woke up at 2am today and realized I fell asleep the night before trying to wrap up my concept paper.

Being a working graduate student is soooo tiring! 

So I didn't go back to sleep anymore and at 3am I started to make the final touches.

And now I'm ready to put it on PDF file so that I won't be tempted to look over it and edit it again.

It's ready for printing and submission!!!!

Just need to wait for about 2 weeks so that it can be evaluated and approved and then I'm ready for enrollment.

Thesis Writing 1 

Here I go. 

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Work-Life Balance, what's that?


April is almost over and my last blog post was February 2014.

What happened to my march?

I didn't even post my comprehensive exam grade yet.

And it's one of my greatest accomplishments that I should be proud of.

3.91 out of 4.00!!!!

When I saw it I thought life can be over...

Okay exaggeration because after comprehensive exam I was occupied with my new job as the coordinator for internally-funded scholarships of my University.

Work has been so far awesome. Actually, life has been.

But I should not forget my masters.

So here I am ..

Blogging again..

Because I have to go back to my main priority in life.

My Masters.


Let's get back to the wagon.

Let's do this, Toni!

Friday, February 14, 2014

Was it Learner-Centered? justify

This post is my practice exercise in preparation to my comprehensive exam

Cognitive & Metacognitive Factors.

LCP#1: Nature of The Learning Process.
The learning of a complex subject matter is most effective when it is an intentional process of constructing meaning from information and experience.

*The activities provided in the class, such as in-class worksheets, student presentations, critique of a curriculum, analysis of classroom observations and creating of a curriculum model, reflect LCP#1 because these are tasks that let students to intentionally construct meaning from information and their experiences. The students are required to extract their interpretations from the scenarios provided in the worksheet. In student presentations, students are expected to construct meaning from the assigned topics. The critique of the curriculum also intentionally allows students to construct meaning as they assess the content and design of the curriculum. In analysis of classrooms observations, students construct meaning by comparing and contrasting the observed instructional practice and curriculum with learner-centered education. In addition to these activities, the classroom discussions in class was facilitated in such a way that students reflect on their own experiences and interpret them with learner-centered practices and principles. A teacher centered class would primarily focus on memorizing the various curriculum models and focusing on memorizing the descriptions of each without giving allowance for students to create their deep understanding of the models.

LCP#2: Goal of the Learning Process.
The successful learner, overtime and with support and instructional guidance, can create meaningful, coherent representations of knowledge.

There was appropriate support given by the instructor in guiding the students towards understanding various curriculum practices and how they are aligned to learner centered education. The class discussions helped in facilitating the understanding and creation of meaning by the learners because the source of the knowledge did not come from the teacher alone, but through contributions and comments of everybody. The worksheets, student presentations, critique paper & curriculum model are tangible representations of their knowledge and understanding.

LCP#3: Construction of Knowledge.
The successful learner can link new information with existing knowledge in meaningful ways.

The class discussions explicitly showed evidence on how students link their prior knowledge to new knowledge through sharing and expressing their own ideas and thoughts with the whole class. The various class activities also facilitated the linking of prior knowledge to new knowledge because answering the activities would mean application of their current teaching practices, experiences, and knowledge in the field.

LCP#4: Strategic Thinking.
The successful learner can create and use a repertoire of thinking and reasoning strategies to achieve complex learning goals.

The class activities and class discussions became also a way of exercising complex thinking and reasoning strategies. Thus, giving the experience for learners to enhance and develop these skills.

LCP#5: Thinking about Thinking.
Higher order strategies for selecting and monitoring mental operations facilitate creative and critical thinking.

LCP#6 Context of Learning.
Learning is influenced by environmental factors including culture, technology and instructional practices.

The classroom discussions followed a circle arrangement of chairs where the teacher is also part of the circle which makes the environment more casual and gives the students a clear view of everybody. This kind of arrangement gives a welcoming feeling that would encourage anybody to speak out and also gives the speaker the feeling of respect to see the rest of the class listening and paying attention to what he is saying. This is in comparison to an environment where the teacher is at the front and it becomes a discussion between one student and the teacher. Technology was also conveniently available for class times where technology is needed. The context of leaner also gave student control over the class I.e. through student presentations. This kind of instructional practice, by giving students choice and control, influences the learner's motivation to learn (LCP#8).

Motivational & Affective Factors.

LCP#7 Motivational and Emotional Influences on Learning.
What and how much is learned is influenced by the motivation. Motivation to learn, in turn, is influenced by individual's emotional states, beliefs, interests and goals, and habits of thinking.

Again, the classroom discussions allowed room and gave respect to individual's beliefs. Interests, goals, way of thinking and emotional states. This kind of context influenced the learning experiences of the students (LCP#6), in a positive way which in turn motivated students to learn more during class discussions.

LCP#8 Intrinsic Motivation to Learn.
The learner's creativity, higher order thinking and natural curiosity all contribute to the motivation to learn. Intrinsic motivation is stimulated by tasks of optimal novelty and difficulty, relevant to personal interests and providing for personal choice and control.

Personal choice and control was very evident in the opportunity to choose which classrooms to observe and proposing a curriculum model. 

LCP#9 Effects of Motivation on Effort.
Acquisition of complex knowledge and skills requires extended learner effort and guided practice. Without the learners' motivation to learn, the willingness to exert this effort is unlikely without coercion. 

Because the activities provided students choice and control and freedom of expressing their own thoughts, this motivated students to participate and in return give effort in class activities and discussions.

Developmental and Social Factors.

LCP#10 Developmental Influences on Learning.
As individuals develop, there are different opportunities and constraints for learning. Learning is most effective when differential development within and across physical, intellectual, emotional and social domains is taken into account. 

The class discussions always took into account the various learning experiences and perspective of the students regardless where they are coming from. This implies that students coming from different developmental level is being respected and recognized and is welcome to contribute to the learning process so that others may also learn from the other students.

LCP#11 Social Influences on Learning.
Learning is influenced by social interactions, interpersonal relations and communications with others.

Social interactions were evident not only in the circular class discussion but also in pair or triad group work. Sometimes student sa would group themselves in 2 or 3's to work on the worksheet provided every now and then. The group presentation is also a pair work which would allow team work. Everytime there is a worksheet or a presentation, the class would discuss and share concerns and other feedback regarding the current worksheet or presentation topic. More learning is happening with the exchange of ideas within partners and across the class. 

More about social influences was the classroom observation requirements which gave opportunity to observe teachers and learn from the practices that they are already applying. Interviewing these teachers also contributed to student learner. 

Individual Differences

LCP#12 Individual Differences on Learning.
Learners have different strategies, approaches and capabilities for learning that are a function of prior experience and heredity

The activities, group presentations and requirements in class, provide enough room for learners to be able to approach the task according to their learning style. Group presentations and discussions had enough freedom and flexibility for the students to participate according to how they would learn best in the class.

LCP#13 Learning and Diversity.
Learning is most effective when differences in learners' linguistic, cultural and social backgrounds are taken into account. 

Class discussions in the class, allowed opportunities for the students to express their own experiences which reflected recognitions of students coming from various backgrounds.

LCP#14 Standards and Assessment.
Setting appropriately high and challenging standards and assessing the learner as well as the learning progress - including diagnostic, process and outcome assessment - are integral parts of the learning process.

Since the syllabus is intended for graduate students, the expected requirements for the students are appropriate in terms of developmental level. The structured exercises that are given every now and then serve as a process assessment to know how well are students progressing through out the course and which parts about curriculum do they still need to work on. The creation of a curriculum model serves as the outcome in reflection of the over-all learning of the student in relation to designing a learner-centered curriculum. There are no evidences that reflect diagnostic assessment. 

Note: compare with 
**9 principles of assessment *****
**wiemer's 5 key changes to practics, 
**Social constructivism learning theory
***bloom's taxonomy

Note: to create a blog post and include suggestions on how to improve the class.

Create a UbD. 

  1. Weimer. 
  2. Theories.
  4. UBD. 
  5. 14principles. 
  6.  9principles. 
  7.  21st century. 

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

On being an Academic (Part 3) ... and stealing ideas.

This is my 3rd Post about the Academic Career path I've chosen to follow.

I do not know how come I've been recently coming across discussions about:
Cheating, Remix & Stealing.

They all say the same thing. That there is a good thing about all these things.

yeah yeah.. I believe it already okay? ...

I think this is one of the signs that life wants to teach me something.

I could think of 2 things. Two lessons I can pick up from these "coincidences".

#1 I have to move on with my denied undergraduate thesis proposal and embrace the thesis I ended up coming up with. I have to move on the fact that a future PhD student would have thought of the same idea I had 4 years before him. I also have to accept that yeah, he had done it better than how I would have done it anyway. He was a PhD student, and I was an undergrad. Thus, he had made a better "remix".

Now that acceptance is there, I now have to embrace the instrument I ended up developing as my undergraduate thesis. Our methods was well established and implemented. It was a different challenge and I accepted the challenge. And as people kept bringing up my undergraduate thesis (even up to now 6 years after), I am starting to believe that it was actually better that we were able to develop an instrument instead. Because now, I can decide to validate it further. Build on what I have created and make it even better.

#2 The second lesson that I think life is trying to teach me is that, on the moment I decided to be an "academic", I have to start preparing myself that my ideas are not alone. That there are also other great minds thinking about the same thoughts that I have. Patents and copyrights kill the creativity and the remix culture. Now that I have chosen an "academic" career path, I have to take it as a compliment or as a good thing if my ideas have been "stolen". It is a new form of flattery and we have to let it go.. move on... and think of how to make one idea get better.

Because everything happens for a reason.

We work towards exchanging ideas and coming up with things how to make it better.

That's how society should work right?

Making things better?

I read this comment from my Rhizo14 facebook group.

"Don't ask what you want to be. Ask what problem do you want to solve?"

"Solve the problem that annoys you the most."

I guess with those statements, we'll hear less complaints and more solutions.

Indeed, a better world.

I know what problem I want to solve, and it lies among filling in the gaps of education.

Post inspired by article "Why I want you to steal my ideas"  by Seth Godin

9 Principles of Good Practice for Assessing Student Learning (AAHE)

Taken from American Association for Higher Education 
(this blog post is for personal review for my upcoming comprehensive exam)

Principle 1: The assessment of student learning begins with educational values

  • Assessment is a vehicle for educational improvement.
  • Assessment enacts a vision of the kinds of learning we most value for students 
  • Educational values should not only drive what we choose to assess but also how to do so
  • Assessment is a process of improving what we really care about

Principle 2: Assessment is most effective when it reflects an understanding of learning as multidimensional, integrated, and revealed in performance over time.

  • Assessment not only show what students know but what they can do with what they know
  • Assessment not only involves knowledge and abilities but values, attitudes, and habits of mind that affect both academic success and performance beyond the classroom
  • Assessment should reflect these understandings by employing a diverse array of methods. including those that call for actual performance

Principle 3: Assessment works best when the programs it seeks to improve have clear, explicitly stated purposes.

  • Assessment is a goal-oriented process. 
  • Assessment entails comparing educational performance and educational purposes and expectations
  • Assessment as a process pushes to clarify program purposes and prompts attention to where and how program goals will be taught and learned
  • Clear, shared, implementable goals are the cornerstone for assessment that is focused and useful

Principle 4: Assessment requires attention to outcomes but also and equally to the experiences that lead to those outcomes

  • Information about outcomes is highly important but to improve outcomes we need to know about student experiences
  • Assessment can help understand which students learn and best under what conditions
Principle 5: Assessment works best when it is ongoing not episodic
  • Assessment is a process whose power is cumulative
  • Improvement is fostered when assessment entails a linked series of activities undertaken over time.
  • The point is to monitor progress toward intended goals in a spirit of continuous improvement
  • Assessment process itself should be evaluated and refined in light of emerging insights
Principle 6: Assessment fosters wider improvement when representatives from across the educational community are involved
  • Student learning is a campus-wide responsibility
  • Assessment is not a task for small groups of experts but a collaborative activity
  • It's aim is wider, better-informed attention to student learning
Principle 7: Assessment makes a difference when it begins with issues of use and illuminates questions that people really care about
  • Assessment recognizes the value of information in the process of improvement but information must be connected to issues or questions that people really care about.
  • It means thinking in advance how the information will be used and by whom
  • The point of assessment is not to gather data and return results; it is a process that starts with the questions of decision-makers, that involves them in the gathering and interpreting of data and that informs and helps guide continuous improvement
Principle 8: Assessment is most likely to lead to improvement when it is part of larger set of conditions that promote change
  • Assessment along changes little but it's greatest contribution comes on campuses where the quality of teaching and learning is visibly valued and worked at
  • Information about learning outcomes is seen as an integral part of decision making, and avidly sought
Principle 9: Through assessment, educators meet responsibilities to students and to the public
  • As educators, we have a responsibility to the public that support or depend on us to provide information about the ways in which our students meet goals and expectations. 
  • But that responsibility goes beyond reporting of such information; our deeper obligation is to improve

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Academic Procrastination: An Irony

I revisited the paper I was working on last November 2012, regarding my thesis back in 2008. 

Something happened while I was working on that paper... And I just stopped working on it completely.

used to want to specialize in Academic Procrastination. 

As an academic, that is... And not the procrastinator.

It's now 2014.

If I would go back to working on this paper...

The irony that it would reveal. 

Academic Procrastination at it's finest indeed. 

I could officially call myself an expert on academic procrastination, literally the expert on delaying things that are academically related... 

But as they always say, better late than never?

Saturday, February 1, 2014

The 14 Learner-Centered Psychological Principles (APA, 1997)

In ALL my classes in my masteral program... We keep on going back to the 14 Learner-Centered Psychological Principles. At some point I began to tell myself, Learner-Centered Psychological Principles, again?!?

In everything! Assessment class, technology class, curriculum class, research class... EVERYTHING.

My masteral program is Master of Arts in Learning and Teaching.

I haven't taught in a classroom setting. Thus, I have never actually practiced anything that I learned in my masteral classes (only on paper, and when I'm tutoring and training tutors). My bachelor degree was Educational Psychology. I did not see myself teaching K-12 subjects, so I was merely an observer of all things happening in education. 

As a mere observer of things happening around me, I realized that it is no wonder my masteral program focused so much on the 14 Learner-Centered Psychological Principles. 

There is so much to change. So many practices violating the principles. So many misconceptions of what it really means to be "learner-centered". 

Thus, I realized THAT's the whole point why all my graduate school classes revolved around the 14 Learner-Centered Psychological Principles. 

The 14 Learner-Centered Psychological Principles becomes our own constitution. Same goes with lawyers (even if I hate memorizing), I have to memorize my constitution! Dang it... I hate memorizing. I always defended myself in class that memorizing was lower-order thinking skills.. Hehe... But this is the only way to go. Like in multiplication, no way out but to memorize the multiplication table.

Then from short-term memory we push it to long-term. *sigh* 

But I should eat, breath and live the Learner-Centered Psychological Principles with all my heart.

Cognitive & Metacognitive Factors
LCP#1: Nature of The Learning Process. 
The learning of a complex subject matter is most effective when it is an intentional process of constructing meaning from information and experience. 

LCP#2: Goal of the Learning Process.
The successful learner, overtime and with support and instructional guidance, can create meaningful, coherent representations of knowledge. 

LCP#3: Construction of Knowledge.
The successful learner can link new information with existing knowledge in meaningful ways.

LCP#4: Strategic Thinking.
The successful learner can create and use a repertoire of thinking and reasoning strategies to achieve complex learning goals. 

LCP#5: Thinking about Thinking.
Higher order strategies for selecting and monitoring mental operations facilitate creative and critical thinking.

LCP#6 Context of Learning.
Learning is influenced by environmental factors including culture, technology and instructional practices.

Motivational & Affective Factors.
LCP#7 Motivational and Emotional Influences on Learning.
What and how much is learned is influenced by the motivation. Motivation to learn, in turn, is influenced by individual's emotional states, beliefs, interests and goals, and habits of thinking. 

LCP#8 Intrinsic Motivation to Learn.
The learner's creativity, higher order thinking and natural curiosity all contribute to the motivation to learn. Intrinsic motivation is stimulated by tasks of optimal novelty and difficulty, relevant to personal interests and providing for personal choice and control.

LCP#9 Effects of Motivation on Effort.
Acquisition of complex knowledge and skills requires extended learner effort and guided practice. Without the learners' motivation to learn, the willingness to exert this effort is unlikely without coercion. 

Developmental and Social Factors
LCP#10 Developmental Influences on Learning.
As individuals develop, there are different opportunities and constraints for learning. Learning is most effective when differential development within and across physical, intellectual, emotional and social domains is taken into account.

LCP#11 Social Influences on Learning.
Learning is influenced by social interactions, interpersonal relations and communications with others.

Individual Differences
LCP#12 Individual Differences on Learning.
Learners have different strategies, approaches and capabilities for learning that are a function of prior experience and heredity

LCP#13 Learning and Diversity.
Learning is most effective when differences in learners' linguistic, cultural and social backgrounds are taken into account. 

LCP#14 Standards and Assessment.
Setting appropriately high and challenging standards and assessing the learner as well as the learning progress - including diagnostic, process and outcome assessment - are integral parts of the learning process.

This is why I love Educational Psychology. The LCP's has summed it all. Being a Learner-centered teacher can't be done overnight. That's why teachers should also be reflective teachers. Keep on reflecting and improving and learning and yada yada yada. Need to end this now. I don't want to make a speech!! :P Need to memorize the LCP's & their numbers. 

Friday, January 31, 2014

Embracing the remix.

The Remix Culture

I'm just posting one of those TED Talks that I like.

Kirby Ferguson: Embracing The Remix

Saw this video because of this article: How Remix Culture Fuels Creativity & Invention

Good artists copy. Great artists steal. - Picasso

But what if it is YOU who was stolen from? 

 Great artists steal. But not from Steve Jobs. - Kirby Ferguson

This reminds me of my undergrad thesis proposal story that I want to bury forever. Although it still haunts me every now and then. I could narrate the story here (I actually did, then decided to delete it), but narrating it would lose the whole point of "burying" it. I'm just going to do really really good on my masteral thesis so it can overlap the memory of my 'stolen' undergraduate thesis idea. 

I just feel so sad because there are international psychologists whom I've talked to and are interested but I am not proud of it anymore because somebody already did it.

Everything happens for a reason (or so I tell myself).

I want to bury the topic on academic procrastination and start a new direction, which is on MOOCs, Online Learning & E-learning.

It's definitely a bigger ocean than mere academic procrastination behavior...

Educational Psychology: The Basics

Reading a book on educational psychology I got from saylor.org as my attempt to do a crash course refresher of my bachelor degree because - I love my bachelor degree - and I know it can help me in my masteral comprehensive exam (somehow). The book is a Global Text Project and Licensed by Creative Commons Attribution.

The things below are just my notes taken from reading the book. Some definitions of terms are verbatim.. 

I decided to post my notes here for personal future reference.

Learning Theories

"Learning is permanent changes in behavior, skills, knowledge or attitude. A key feature is permanence: learning does not account if it is temporary."

Behaviorism: learning as changes in overt behavior

Classical conditioning (Stimuli & responses) Ivan Pavlov
Extinction - removing of conditioning over time
Generalization - Similar Stimuli activate conditioning
Discrimination - conditioning to specific stimuli

Positive conditioning to the school can elicit intrinsic motivation.

Operant conditioning (reinforcement & operant) B.F. Skinner
Intrinsic and extrinsic motivation
Rewards and punishment
Extinction - lack of reinforcement 
Generalization - similar operants, reinforce the behavior
Discrimination - reinforcement on specific operant
Cue - comes before operant, clue to receive reinforcement

Constructivism: learning as changes in thinking

Psychological constructivism: changes in thinking as result of individual experiences

John Dewey: linking prior knowledge and relevance to real world
Jean Piaget: Cognitive Theory 
Assimilation - interpretation of new information in terms of pre-existing concepts and information or ideas
Accommodation - revision or modification of existing information in terms of new information or experience.

I.e. Child learns what a bird is and associates flying objects to birds (assimilation); child learns that not all flying objects are birds (accommodation)

Cognitive equilibrium -balance between reliance on prior knowledge and openness to new information 
Schema - mental representations of objects and experiences

Social constructivism: changes in thinking due to assistance from others
Jerome Bruner: instructional scaffolding - students can learn more given the appropriate guidance and resources
Lev Vygotsky: Zone of proximal development - the distance between novice and expert in the area where change in learning happens

Bloom's taxonomy as a guide to scaffold students

Meta cognition - ability to think and regulate ones thinking (thinking about thinking, self reflections)

Student development

Jean Piaget's Cognitive Development: 
Sensorimotor stage: object permanence the ability to know that an object exists even without sight 
Preoperational stage: make-believe, dramatic play of children
Concrete operational stage: reversibility the ability to think of a process in any order

Decenter - the ability to focus on more than one feature of the problem at the same time
Conservation - the belief that an amount or quantify stays the same even if it changes in apparent size or shape.

Formal operational stage: hypothetical reasoning the ability to manipulate ideas that vary in several ways and do so in their minds. 

Self-concept and relationship development: Erik Erikson's eight psychosocial crises of development

Development of personal development: Abraham Maslow's hierarchy of motivation and needs

Development of knowledge and ethical belief: Lawrence Kohlberg's Morality of Justice

Student diversity

Build on existing student styles but do not lock students into just a particular type of style. 

Learning styles

Cognitive styles
Field dependence - individuals focus on patterns as a whole instead of focusing on the parts of the pattern separately
Field independence - individuals analyze overall patterns into their parts
Impulsivity - reacting too quickly resulting to more errors
Reflectivity - reacting slowly and committing less errors

Howard Gardner's Multiple Intelligences

Group differences:
Gender roles
Differences in cultural expectations and styles; attitudes and beliefs

Student motivation

Motives as behaviors
Operant conditioning can be used as a way in motivation

Motives as goals
Goals that contribute to motivation
Mastery goal - intrinsic motivation
Performance goal - extrinsic motivation 
Performance-avoidance goal - motivation is avoiding to fail, self-handicapping 

Motives as interests
Interest = intrinsic motivation
Personal interest 
Situational interest

Motives related to attribution
Attribution are perceptions of the cause of success and failure
Locus of attribution - internal locus or external locus
Stability of an attribution - stable-source of success/failure if permanent; unstable-source of success/failure is not permanent 
Controllability - extent to which the individual can influence the success, controllable or uncontrollable 

Motivation as self-efficacy
Self-efficacy - the belief that you are capable of carrying our a specific task or of reaching a specific goal
Low self-efficacy can result to learned helplessness
Self-concept - beliefs about general personal identity
Self-esteem - evaluation of identity

Motivation as self-determination
Maslow's hierarchal of needs 
Autonomy - the need to feel free of external constraints on behavior
Competence - the need to feel capable or skilled
Relatedness - the need to feel connected or involved with others

Expectancy X Value: effects on student's motivations
Expectancy-value model of motivation
student's expectation of success and the value that students place on a goal
Expectancy x Value = motivation

TARGET: a model for integrating ideas on motivation
Task - the value of the task; perceptions on difficulty; authenticity/relevance
Autonomy - degree of responsibility; autonomy strenghtens self-efficacy and self-determination
Recognition - recognizing student's achievements appropriately; praise is for qualities which a student can control (effort instead of intelligence); don't use it too loosely
Grouping - how students are grouped; cooperative, competitive or individualistic; cooperative supports the student's need for belonging
Evaluating - grouping affects how are student's efforts evaluated;
Time - amount of time needed to learn a material or do a task task
(Will update this soon... Need to jump to assessment!)

Bottomline about motivation is to sustain focus on learning.

Teacher-made assessments

Assessment - gaining information about student's learning and making value judgments about their progress
Measurement - answers the question "how much"; information about learning is often assign to specific numbers of grades and involves measurement
Evaluation - process of making judgments about the assessment information

Assessment for learning - formative - priority is designing and using assessment strategies to enhance student learning and development; ex. teachers can use to improve teaching or students can use to improve their learning, informal (observations) and formal (systematic gather of data) assessment

Assessment of learning - summative - assessing students in order to certify their competence and fulfill accountability; provide info how well student has mastered material

Assessment as learning - metacognitive - using assessment as a strategy for learning

High quality assessments
Validity - appropriateness of the interpretations and uses of assessments; involves overall judgment of the degree to which the interpretations and uses of assessment results are justified
Content Validity - How well does the assessment include the content or tasks it is supposed to have?; degree that assessment tasks are relevant and representative of the tasks judged by the teacher to represent their goals and objectives
Construct Validity - more complex than content validity and focuses on making judgments about student's specific skills; construct validation is the process of determining the extent to which performance on an assessment can be interpreted in terms of intended constructs and is not influenced by factors irrelevant to the construct
Criterion-related validity - how well the tests predict another variable

Reliability - consistency of the measurement; How similar would the scores be?
Absence of Bias - bias occurs in assessment when method distorts performance because of personal characteristics

Two types of assessment bias:
1) offensiveness - when items are offensive and may distract test taker from performing well i.e. questions are offensive in some gender or ethnic group
2) unfair penalization - when items disadvantage one group because of differential backgroun experience i.e. items are for people who are knowledgable in sports

Types of teacher-made assessments
Observation - observing student's behavior to gain information about students
Questioning - as questions to keep student's attention, highlighting important details, promoting critical thinking, allowing students to learn from each other and providing information about student's learning
Record Keeping - keeping record of observations; keeping anecdotal records about students provide important information than relying on one's memory

Selected Response Items
True or false - two choices
Multiple Choice - more than 3 choices (do not put too many choices)
Matching - two parallel columns

Constructed response items
Completion and short answer - fill in the blank
Extended response - open ended questions; essay

Scoring Rubrics
Holistic scoring rubric - general descriptions of performance and a single overall score is obtained
Analytical scoring rubric - provides descriptions of levels of student performance on a variety of characteristics

Performance Assessments
- students complete a specific task while teachers observe process or procedure as well as the product
Alternative Assessment - tasks that are not pencil-and-paper
Authentic Assessment - task that students do that are simular to those in the "real world"

Portfolio - meaningful collection of student work that tells the story of student achievement or growth; purposeful collection of student work

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

The Academic Career Part 2

I really love going to work/school.

My heart thickens and grow all the time. <3

Most especially whenever I see undergrads (and they're everywhere!)

In college, the world revolves around our social life.

Whenever I see the undergrads, my thoughts would be like... "heh.. I used to be one of them."

My world focused on my social circle without minding how other people would perceive us.

But now, I'm an outsider. I'm the one observing them.

And my heart grows every single time.

I attribute it to the positive emotions I've created during my college life. It wasn't always good emotions of course... but they were all good memories. It's the kind of stress that I enjoyed.

Heh... Undergrads <3 <3 <3

This is one of the reason why I know being an academic is the career I want to pursue.

I like the school environment. I like being surrounded by young ones.
It makes me remember my younger days (and makes me feel young like them too! :P)

And I love my school! #AnimoLaSalle

Comprehensive Exams

I had my compre orientation last Wednesday, January 29 and my teacher said we should start practicing writing essays. I told myself good thing I have a blog. I should definitely continue my attempts to linking my studies in the things that I post here. I am so scared. My exam is on February 15, 2014. The innate part that gives me anxiety is because I am a performance oriented individual. I have anxiety when it comes to being evaluated. Comprehensive exams show off how well you know about whatever it is you're studying about. I have confidence, no doubt about that. And I'm a self-directed learner. Thus despite my performance goal orientation, I am too mastery oriented. I both value achieving good evaluation and focusing on the learning experience. 

But hey, what am I fussing all about? This IS a master's program. I have to prove that I deserve to get a degree to be a master in learning and teaching. And that goes with all the theories and concepts that I should naturally be aware of and know, plus adding more to that. It's just there's too many things in my head right now so I need to dig deep into the pile of knowledge and organize the file cabinets in my head. 

Anyway, the four core subjects that my exam will cover are.
Principles of Learner-Centered Teaching
Principles of Learning
Learner Centered Assessment
Curriculum Development for Learner-Centered Education

Need to start posting blog posts on these, with citations. 

CREATE. Highest level on Revised Bloom's taxonomy. 
So I will create blog posts :) 

It's my strategy for studying so that my learning will stay in long term memory.

Learning-Centered Principle #4. The successful learner should create and use a repertoire of thinking and reasoning strategies to achieve complex learning.

Cool. Awesome. See. I know my stuff. 

Just need to start organizing!! 

Monday, January 27, 2014

Don't you worry, don't you worry child. #RHIZO14

Rhizo14 Week 3 Topic: Embracing Uncertainty

"Up on the hill across the blue lake,
That's where I had my first heart break
I still remember how it all changed
My father said
Don't you worry, don't you worry child
See heaven's got a plan for you
Don't you worry, don't you worry now"

I'm a worrywart. Or so I used to be.

I'm an over thinker. As my friends would always tell me.

I think too much, they say.

"You need to relax", Oh I've heard it oh so many times.

I always response with "I know."

It's probably one of the reasons that I blog. I like to literally "transfer" my thoughts from my mind to paper. Sometimes, when my mind is so chaotic that I don't know what to do next... I write.. and I keep on writing.. letting the fingers type my thoughts away... and after putting it all on paper, I close my notebook (or my tablet) and let the thoughts stay there so I could go on with my day. It works for me. And when I'm on the right state of mind, I can look back on what I wrote and see it on a much saner perspective.

You can see in my blog's side bar, a photo. The Four Agreements. Reading the book changed my life. I have less worries now (can't say I've removed it all). But I'm happier. I am embracing uncertainty.

You can see in my About Me description (I just recently had the courage to fill that up), that I mentioned I was in a "quarter-life crisis" during my early 20's. This kind of crisis that I don't want to expound about right here in my academic blog (you can just google about it to know more what I'm saying).

But much of the quarter-life crisis revolves around uncertainties. Am I supposed to be where I currently am? Am I in the right career path? Where am I going to be years from now?  Is this what I really want to do? For the many years ever since I decided to take my masters program in learning and teaching, I was in limbo. What do I really want to do? I want education... I want to work in a school... but I don't want to teach... what will I teach?... I probably will teach eventually... I don't want to teach in a traditional sense... I don't know what to teach.. my major is educational psychology, unlike others who are more specialized with English, Math, Science, among others. All this "searching of self" so I stopped studying.

I came back to school when I figured out my life plan. It was carefully planned out with a timeline and all. Had estimated my year of graduation and planned out other things I will be doing in life. But early 2013 drastic changes in my personal life had happened. My plans in life had to change. And there I was back in a limbo again. The song "Don't you worry child" helped soothe me.

I kept telling myself, "Everything will fall into place".

I have a quote posted in my room "We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us."

All through these years, I have been mastering embracing uncertainty. I should probably get a degree on that now.

Every time a person asks me what my future plans are, I tell them what I would like to do as of the moment and then also say, "but you know... plans change".

We have to be prepared for these changes.

I always tell my friends "the world is round".

This is a metaphor saying, that today you may be on top... but tomorrow, you may be at the bottom.

We have to prepare ourselves.

We need to equip ourselves with "survival skills" just in case things don't go on as the way we initially planned or expected. We have to learn to expect the unexpected.

My friends always say, I am a strong person.. that they can't believe I could handle such things and that I haven't broken down... that I am a tough cookie. But deep inside, they don't know that the warrior is a child.

I wasn't born to be a tough cookie... I earned it... or in better words, I learned it.

Shaped by my experiences. My biography. My life.

I learned to embrace uncertainty. More so, I welcome it with open arms.

It is in the unknown we discover things that we never would have thought about.

This is part 1 of my Week 3 MOOC Assignment for Rhizo14. I haven't really answered Dave's question about learning because I want to ponder first on what I think about the phrase "embracing uncertainty".

I am a fan of this practice as I have explained in my own personal experiences.

I will end this post with the song my dad always sang when I was a kid.

Que Sera Sera ( Whatever will be, will be)

When I was just a little girl,
I asked my mother, "What will I be?
Will I be pretty?
Will I be rich?"
Here's what she said to me:

"Que sera, sera,
Whatever will be, will be;
The future's not ours to see.
Que sera, sera,
What will be, will be."

*RHIZO14 is the hashtag for the "Rhizomatic Learning" MOOC provided by Dave Cormier via P2PU (Peer 2 Peer University)