The Benefits of Online Office Hours

I recently read a post in a Facebook Group by a math instructor who described her office hours as "throwing an hour of my life away every week." This comment upset me much. I have an average of one student show up for my online office hours each semester. However, I never feel that holding office hours is a waste of my time. I feel that holding online office hours has helped to increase overall student satisfaction in my courses. From the student perspective, I believe there is something psychological about knowing an instructor is available to help, even if…
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Student Engagement In and Out of the Classroom

On November 7, 2014, I attended the ETOM Conference at St. Clair Community College in Port Huron, MI. One of the underlying themes of this year conference was student engagement in and out of the classroom. As an instructor who hasn’t taken classes in quite some time, sometimes I forget how difficult it is to be a student in the 21st century. Between the rising cost of college, the changing nature of technology, and the demands at home, it is often a struggle to engage students in the classroom. This conference helped give me a different perspective of how I…
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Grade Distributions for Fall 2013

Here are the grade distributions for my Fall 2013 classes: A A- B+ B B- C+ C D+ D D- E C or better Math 0070 2 3 4 2 2 4 2 9 60.7% Math 1100 11 3 10 1 1 1 5 84.4% Math 1280 3 2 3 5 100.0% Math 1340 1 6 8 11 5 1 100.0% Math 1760 1 7 5 4 4 2 3 2 82.1% Math 2000 4 3 9 4 4 3 3 3 1 88.2%
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A #hernia2013 Update

I wasn't sure if I wanted to write this post because I thought it might end up sounding bitter, but the fact of the matter is that I'm not bitter about anything.  I am just writing this to try to inspire those who might be struggling with issues in their life right now, especially around the Christmas season. For those of you who don't know, I started on a weight loss journey back in March 2013.  Since that time, I've lost around 60 lbs.  And since I had been on a diet before that, I've lost a total of about…
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SCORM Objects and Camtasia Quizzes in Instructure Canvas

So, what exactly is SCORM? Yeah, I don’t know, either.  I can tell you that SCORM stands for Shareable Content Object Reference Model, but other than that, I really have no idea. Why would someone want to use SCORM? Many textbooks these days have publisher-provided SCORM content.  So, if you want to import pre-made content into a Learning Management System, such as Instructure Canvas, SCORM is one way to go about doing that. However, the reason that I wanted to learn about SCORM is because I wanted to create quizzes in Camtasia and have grades read to the Instructure Canvas…
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The Problem with Math is English

There have been several separate occasions in my math classes this semester where a student has asked me a question about a vocabulary word and I simply just didn't know the answer.  I took 3 years of Latin in high school and I was an English teacher at one point, so I generally can guess the meaning of a word from the root word.  However, some words just have me stumped.   My new ‘go to’ tool in class is dictionary.com.  Let me give you a few examples of some words that I have looked up during class this semester. Linear Algebra In…
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Nevermind is a Very Rude Word

I would like to make the case that the word 'nevermind' is quite possibly one of the rudest words in the English language  In fact, if you check the dictionary, the definition of the word actually states that nevermind is a word that is usually used in negative contexts. So, why am I ranting and rambling on about this word? Well, last week I was in my office helping a student on a problem on a take home quiz. I know, I'm nicer than I should be, as I shouldn't have been helping the student on a take home quiz to…
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Diversity in Mathematics

Diversity in Mathematics Diversity is a topic that is near and dear to my heart.  As a Korean kid in a primarily white neighborhood and surrounded by primarily white family and friends, I was often bullied.  Although, I’m sure it didn’t help that I was overweight as a child, but that’s a different story.  I know my parents tried their best to make sure that I felt included and whatnot, but I always felt racism and racial undertones a lot as kid, in school, in church, and pretty much everywhere I went on a daily basis.  To me, that’s not…
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See you at #MichMATYC13

As part of MichMATYC's Fall 2013 Conference coming up on Friday, October 4 - Saturday, October 5, I was asked to create gift basket to be used as a raffle prize during the conference.  I gladly agreed to help out by making a donation!  A picture of the basket and a description of what's all inside it is below.  I hope to see you at the conference and good luck winning the raffle prize! Jon Oaks’ Favorite Things Basket This raffle prize is quite unique and includes the following items: Really Useful Boxes 16 Box Organizer Targus Back-Up Battery for…
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