FM4 – James DeGrechie

Plectica link:


1. What did you think of the Syllabus? Was it helpful?

The syllabus has been helpful, especially now that I have been able to figure out how to navigate it effectively.

2. What did you think of the Textbook? Recommended Reading/Books? Were they helpful?

To be honest, I have only glanced at the recommended reading/books; if I had more time to devote to reading, I’m sure that they would expand my knowledge and understanding. Things being as they are, though, it is really not feasible to take time away from my other obligations.

3. What did you think of the How-To Videos? Were they helpful?

I find the videos quite helpful in not only understanding the assignments, but in finding my way around in Plectica and some of the other software applications.

4. What do you think of Plectica?

I found Plectica confusing and frustrating at first, but after having played with it for some time, it is relatively simple to use.  It’s also quite helpful to be able to jump from spot to spot in expressing ideas.

5. What are your expectations for Tableau?

I am certain Tableau is a fantastic product with a wide variety of applications, but I can see myself going down a proverbial rabbit hole with this software, and possibly getting lost or confused in the midst of a project.

6. What do you think of

I found Rationale to be very similar in  many respects to  Plectica, at least at first glance.  I can see how this could be a very effective tool in creating an argument basis for an essay or blog.

7. Did you use Thinkquiry? If so, was it helpful?

I tried it, but it was not something that I personally felt comfortable with for use in the tasks at hand.

8. What do you think of ST v2.0 (DSRP)?

I appreciate the fact that it makes me think by raising questions that might not have otherwise occurred to me.

9. What do you think of the new concepts introduced?

While there is a part of me that thinks that the new concepts may be tantamount to trying to reinvent the wheel, for the most part I am curious to see if any of the concepts can be applied in other areas of my learning.

10. What are your thoughts on Lean Six Sigma? Is it a career path you would be interested in pursuing?

Realistically, I do not see myself pursuing Lean Six Sigma. I think the principles and results are fantastic, and the increase in efficiency that comes of removing the waste is good for any business, healthcare included.  That notwithstanding,  I would think that Lean Six Sigma would be better suited to one more business-oriented – and younger – than me.

11. What did you think of the Pyramid Principle?

The Pyramid Principle is very helpful in organizing arguments and supporting  information points in inductive/deductive reasoning, then expressing them in a logical and visual fashion.

12. What do you think of Knowledge Transfer?

Sharing information,experience, and specific occupational knowledge between colleagues and/or between departments is absolutely vital to the success of any business. It can be challenging, though, to determine what knowledge needs to be transferred, how to accomplish the goal, when to do it, and why said information needs to be divulged.

13. What are your initial thoughts on Swarm Learning?

Swarm Learning is still an enigma to me.  I don’t think I have fully grasped the concept as yet, but what I have seen and learned so far, I like.

14. What did you think of the Barriers to Learning?

It makes sense that, in order to learn a new idea, one needs to let go of pre-formed notions and judgments.  Keeping an open mind is a fundamental requirement for learning.

15. What did you think of the Stable Datum?

Having a stable datum in the midst of chaos and confusion is like a boat having an anchor on a stormy sea.  Focusing on one thing at a time, rather than many things at once, simplifies any process and eliminates the “noise” that can cause one to become perplexed and disoriented.

16. What did you think of the first assignment (CM1)?

I tried as best I could to go in without any preconceived notions, to approach with an open mind.  Aside from having had to muddle through Plectica for the first time, the assignment itself was not at all difficult.  I found the format refreshing, quite a welcome change from the routine.

17. What did you think of CM2?

I found CM2 a bit more challenging than the first assignment, but again it was new and interesting.

18. What did you think of EM3? And do you plan on writing a blog? Why or why not? What else can I do to convince you to write a blog?

Quite frankly, I was overwhelmed by the complexity and by how different the lead-up was from anything I had previously done.  That, combined with my personal circumstances, made EM3 a no-go for me. Had I completed this assignment, I might have considered doing it in blog format.

19. Does it help knowing that students from this class (and others) have published blogs?

I mean no disrespect, but whether other students have blogged or not, realistically, is largely immaterial to me.  I really don’t compare myself to others.

20. What do you think of this assignment (FM4)? What are your thoughts on students providing feedback that can change progress? Have you ever been asked this from an instructor before (throughout the class, not just at the end)?

To my recall, this is the first time I have been asked for my opinions and feedback in the middle of a class, to the point where it might actually alter the direction of the course going forward. Most instructors have a syllabus that is set in stone; I appreciate the application of water logic.

21. What are your thoughts on the extra credit opportunities (e.g. blog, Facebook, and first to post)?

Speaking as someone who has a busy life beyond the realm of school, I have to say that I am not a fan of “first to post” bonuses.  However, the other opportunities for bonuses are an innovative way to increase engagement.

22. Are you a member of the Facebook group? If no, why not?

I am a part of the Facebook group, but I have yet to post anything.

23. Do you think the Facebook group is useful? Why or why not?

Is it useful?  I think so; it presents information in a platform with which people are intimately familiar.  It gives notifications and shares information where people will actually see it, rather than in an email that may or may not be opened. Also, it allows for broadcasting information using multiple available media, and can allow users to communicate virtually in real time.

24. What do you think of the WordPress Learning Community? Is it better than Blackboard? Why or why not?

I prefer the WordPress Learning Community to Blackboard for the most part.  The biggest challenge for me is getting used to something different from the norm.

25. Take me through your thoughts and emotions as you started this course… where are you now?

When I first started the class, I was optimistic; I had always fancied myself as an outside-of-the-box thinker, and saw this as an opportunity to see what my capabilities might be in a different type of atmosphere.  Unfortunately, the road of Life is a rather bumpy one sometimes, and is full of twists and turns. Now I find myself having gotten off course, and am racing to get to the proverbial finish line.

26. What are your thoughts of the instructor using Tableau to grade and sharing the Student Dashboard?

I think the Tableau format is cool; however, I have to say I’m not thrilled about having my grades and progress out there for everyone in the class to see.

27. What are your expectations moving forward?

I expect that I will get out of the class what I put into it.

28. What would you like to see change?

No changes are necessary from my perspective.

29. What is one thing you love?

I’m really liking the visual content, which makes for a much more enjoyable reading experience than the standard essay/textbook format

30. What is one thing you hate?

I hate that I have fallen so far behind that I no longer feel that I am contributing to the class.

31. What can the instructor do immediately to make the class better?

I can offer no suggestions in this regard.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *