One of my favorite things to do after a good conference is to collect the resources acquired in a blog and re-share it with others. It is also a great way for me to tag a resources to a specific event (in my blog) in case I want to go back to it in the future. Don’t ask me why, my brain just works that way. Any who, last week I attended OTESSA 2022 which was her virtually and is organized by the Open/Technology in Education, Society, and Scholarship Association (OTESSA).
Here are a few thoughts on the conference:
Really enjoyed the conference sessions, social events, and the schedule.
I was also really appreciative of the active efforts to promote all sessions via social media, at times it served as a reminder to a session I wanted to attend.
I was not sure how the sessions were going to relate to theme of the conference “Critical Change” but at least based on the sessions that I was able to attend, there were several critical conversations happening about “what is next” and “how we do it in a meaningful, critical way”.
Going back to the schedule, it was a bit more challenging to catch the evening talks but glad I can catch the recording until the beginning of June.
The conference organizers did a phenomenal effort running is smoothly (i.e., sharing updates daily, the pre-conference info to check login information, and just attending sessions to make sure everything was going as planned).
At the beginning of the week I made a post on Twitter stating that I would be sharing resources during the week but honestly it was too much for me to tweet out every day. Trying to attend sessions, tweet giving proper credit (important to me), and trying to keep up with what is going at home was too much. So, instead I bookmarked and hope to proper share in this blog post. I will include the session the resource was mentioned or shared.
There were some many words of wisdom and amazing poetry in the keynote by @edifiedlistener at #OTESSA22. One of my favorites words of wisdom was on her initial slides “my students are tireless teachers”
Outside-In: Openness as Subversion, Maha Bali, American University in Cairo
Embracing Feminist Pedagogies in Learning Design, Enilda Romero-Hall, The University of Tennessee Knoxville
Huge thanks to #OTESSA22@otessa_org for the opportunity to participate and contribute to the conversation on Critical Change. Here are the slides from my talk today on “Embracing Feminist Pedagogies in Learning Design”: https://bit.ly/38C25Q6
Exploring university teaching during a pandemic to derive recommendations for post-pandemic times (Research-Oriented), Joerdis Weilandt, Sandra Dixon, Richelle Marynowski, Lorraine Beaudin, Rumi Graham, Stavroula Malla, Angeliki Pantazi (University of Lethbridge)
Multi-Section Open Course Design: Design and Implications for Faculty, Sessional Instructors, and Learners (Practice-Oriented), Valerie Irvine, Michael Paskevicius, Colin Madland, Rich McCue, Verena Roberts (University of Victoria)
The social events were lots of fun! The Bhangra dance with @GurdeepPandher was a great workout and I definitely need more of it my life. I was a bit uncoordinated at first and too shy to turn my camera on but I finally got it and still too shy to turn my camera on. The DJ session so much fun too! I didn’t participate in the trivia challenge but I enjoyed all the beats. Thank you again to all involve with planning and organizing the conference (Valerie, Aras, and Terry!) .
I want to start by saying that I really dislike the “negotiating part” that comes with the academic job market. But you have to be prepare to do it because as Stephen Aguilar mentioned “You are, in fact, taking important steps to make sure that you are positioned to be successful and also guaranteeing that you will earn a salary that can support you.”
Getting multiple offers is a pretty awesome and humble place to be, but the reality is that it can also be stressful. First, there are not that many resources that will help you if you get multiple offers. Additionally, you are constantly wondering “what is the best decision?” because likely if you made it to the “offer” stage of a job search you are definitely considering the institutions, the programs, and those who would be your colleagues.
My recommendation is to reach out to trusted colleagues who have your best interest in mind. This include colleagues who you feel comfortable talking about the numbers included in the offers and/or who have experience transitioning between institutions.
A few items to keep in mind with the negotiation process with one or multiple institution(s) is to think about what is most important to you. Here are a list of items you want to keep in mind:
Initial trip to find a place to live
Moving your belongings
Yearly travel support
Graduate research assistant support
You may consider putting together a spreadsheet in which you can compare institutions side-by side. Once you get information on these factors. You will be better informed on how the institutions support new faculty. The next step is to consider other factors that are critical to you (and your love ones):
Cost of Living
Schools (for those who have children)
Overall quality of life
Something to keep in mind is that there is a search committee waiting to hear your decision, take your time to make the best decision for you but also be respectful of their timeline and the fact that if you do not take their offer they have to go with the next candidate. It is always good to ask the person making you the offer, how much time you have to make a decision.
For some institutions your start-up funds will include the cost of graduate research assistants for multiple years and other will negotiate graduate research assistants separately.
Start up funds vary widely depending on the institution, even among R1 institutions.
For most institutions you will be asked to itemize your start-up funds. However, some will just give you a specific amount of start-up funds and let you decide how to use them.
Some will have a specific amount of time for you to use your start-up funds. Others do not have a specific time frame.
It is wonderful to get a really good start-up funds but do not forget about your salary. Your salary should be at an amount that puts a smile on your face.
As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, negotiation is not my favorite activity. So in order to learn, engage, and communicate I looked for resources that provided advice for those in the academic job market. These three in particular were very helpful (two were recommended by trusted colleagues):
A few weeks ago, I attended the American Educational Research Association (AERA) 2022 Annual Meeting. I really had two-days of sessions that I could attend and I wanted to make the most out of it. This post is primarily for me to compile the list of resources collected as I attend the sessions and that are currently in my Notes application.
Critical Race Theory, White Supremacy, and the Ongoing Fight for Black Existence
Wednesday, April 20th was my last class at The University of Tampa.
I did not know how my graduate students would respond to my resignation. I was nervous but determined to have a good end of the semester session. As I turned the corner and entered the classroom I was greeted with a surprise farewell party. I honestly felt like in the Grinch when his “heart grew three sizes.”
Their gesture was genuine and sincere. I was speechless. It just feels so amazing to know that they have my back no matter what, when, or where I am.
A few days later I posted the photos from that day in the social media of the program and even though it was not a direct message stating my resignation, they knew. The outpour of unexpected text messages and emails of support just filled my heart with love.
“Thank you. To my dear students (current and former) I wish I could find better words but all I can say is thank you for letting me be part of your journey. You have made the last 9 years at The University of Tampa amazing! Cheers to New Beginnings – Dr. Enilda Romero-Hall”
This past week I attended my first in person conference since February 2020. It was the Annual Conference of the National Society for Experiential Education. Back in early Summer, when I received the email from the Center for Teaching and Learning about attending the conference I felt good with attending the conference. Florida at that time was doing better with the number of COVID-19 cases but that quickly changed and I was starting to become hesitant about attending the conference. Thankfully the numbers are starting to decline after a massive spike due to the Delta variant. Another encouraging aspect was that the conference had a mask mandate for all attendees. It was sent out via email several times prior to the conference. It was also nice that the conference was in Orlando so if I didn’t feel comfortable with the COVID-19 measures, I could drive home in 45 minutes. Thankfully after I walked into the keynote session I immediately noticed that everyone was wearing their masks and wearing them properly. The conference did include a lunch but I didn’t attend because I didn’t feel comfortable attending this event so I just ordered some UBER eats.
The conference this year had an overall theme focused on social justice in experiential education. My first session was the keynote by Dr. Raja Gopal Bhattar (they/them/theirs) on Tuesday morning. As stated in the website of the conference: “Dr. Bhattar is a nationally recognized higher education leader, advocate, consultant and author. Raja will address how effective experiential learning requires intentionality and clear understanding of outcomes for our communities. Through storytelling and reflections, this keynote will offer insights and strategies on how experiential education leaders can incorporate equity, inclusion and belonging in all aspects of our work.” I loved the keynote speaker! I like it when keynote speakers make me reflect and this was a perfect example of this. Some of the questions I had to think about white listening to keynote speaker:
How do we show up?
Identity versus perception?
What is our role in upholding/disruptive inequitable systems?
How our students receive us?
Whose perspective is not on the table?
How do societal systems enhance or inhibit student success on campus?
We also had to do an identity grid that helps us reflect on “how often do we think about who we are beyond our titles? ”
Other sessions that I really enjoyed were:
Social Justice and Antiracism in Career Education and Experiential Education: Session discussed a process for creating a Call to Action with accountability measures, equity-oriented course syllabi, and a 5-step model to consider in your own work. This is a wonderful resources shared during the session: https://tinyurl.com/4j2tmxaw. This resources were used to create the Social Justice and Career Education infographic. Please see image below.
Providing career readiness support to female students in male dominant industries: This was a nice round table session focused on different kind of events that staff and faculty can use to create opportunities for networking, grow , and support for female students and those who identify as woman.
Using immersive virtual reality in higher education to facilitate authentic learning experiences: This was a very introductory session into VR and how a university had employed VR experiences into the curriculum to provide learning experiences related to manufacturing at the start of the pandemic in lieu of in person field trips. We got an opportunity to brainstorm ideas for our own curriculum.
Learner-centric virtual exchanges: No travel, no problem: This session related to a virtual global challenge that an institution took at the beginning of the pandemic in lieu of study abroad programs. As soon someone who has coordinated a study abroad program in the past and who is considering one next Spring I want to think of alternatives in case the pandemic requires me to make a change in plans. This session helped me think about different approaches that I can take virtually.
Influencers abroad: Enhancing cross-cultural awareness through social media activities: This session explored leveraging strategically designed social media learning activities to enhance cross-cultural awareness. I thought it was a creative to consider alternative assignments during study abroad experiences. Some of this assignments included: Vlogs, Instagram stories (academic versus personal accounts) every day, Instagram food related posts, and end of a program presentation/reflection.
This is a collaboration with Weiwei Ji (Instructional Designer at Arkansas Tech University) and Pauline Salim Muljana (Doctoral Candidate at Old Dominion University). It is a design framework supported by research-based evidence and influenced by the instructional design practice of WeiWei (Will) and his experience as an instructional designer. Of course, it is also supported by the knowledge, skills, and experience of Pauline and myself. As we state in the abstract: “We propose a set of guidelines called the Three-Tier Design Process (TTDP), providing a pathway for faculty and other higher-education professionals who intend to design and develop a course in a Learning Management System and to promote learner-centered experiences. This paper includes detailed discussion about each tier of the TTDP, its subcomponents, and an example of its application. The TTDP borrows from existing theories, models, and literature in the instructional design field that focuses on key aspects that help create positive learning experiences. Tier 1 focuses on course design and serves as a foundation for the next two tiers; Tier 2 emphasizes course development; and Tier 3 concentrates on the user-experience considerations. Examples from a real course are additionally provided.” We were invited to write a blog post about the journal article for the Online Learning Research Center. Here is a link to the blog post: https://www.olrc.us/blog/designing-and-developing-courses-in-learning-management-systems-how-do-we-enhance-learners-experiences
I was excited to see this journal article finally published. This journal article is the result of a collaboration with University of Tampa undergraduate elementary education major, Caldeira Ripine. It is a research project supported by the Undergraduate Research and Inquiry Grant from the University of Tampa. The data was collected prior to the COVID-19 pandemic during Fall 2019. As the pandemic started and plans for continuity of instruction were shared by higher education institutions, I knew that the data Caldeira and I had collected needed to get publish as soon as possible. But, due to a number of factors (including lack of childcare) it took a while a to get this out into the review pipeline and of course, then it had to go through the peer review process. In any case, as stated in the abstract: “The aim of this investigation was to survey faculty members on their perceived level of preparedness to design and implement hybrid flexible (HyFlex) instruction. Participants included 121 full- and part-time faculty. Using an electronic survey, faculty members: a) rated their preparedness to engage on different HyFlex instruction competencies, b) shared which pedagogical strategies they felt prepared to use in this instructional modality, and c) listed the resources and support that they felt were needed to successfully implement their course.” The journal article is open access, you are welcome to download, read, and share.
How much fun was it to write manuscripts during “Stay at Home” orders without childcare? Well if you have not experience this during the last year and half of the COVID-19 pandemic then consider yourself lucky! It is not fun at all. I wrote the following in a reflection I was putting together on what April 2020 was like:
“Upon our return to the U.S. we were faced with the news that, due to the pandemic, our childcare center had closed indefinitely. My partner and I had to adjust to working from home while providing childcare for our 4-year-old son. I had to quickly realize that some of the projects that I was hoping to start before the end of my sabbatical were going to be delayed or canceled. The projects that I was planning to complete were going to require a massive amount of focus and dedication. In order to accomplish all our work requirements, my partner and I had to divide our days into three “shifts.” The morning shift (8 am to 1 pm) in which I worked and he would care for our son. The afternoon shift (1 pm – 6 pm) in which my partner worked and I would provide care for our son. The evening shift (6 pm until midnight) in which were are exhausted but aimed to spend time together as a family.”
In April 2020 during a three week period during my “morning shift” I wrote a manuscript for a special issue that was published in the Educational Technology Research and Development (ETR&D) journal. The realization that I was going to have less than the estimated amount of time to write this paper stressed me so much. But I had to channel that stress into getting the work done. During the process of writing the proposal I had gathered and read most of the literature and had put together an outline. Having this things done was a lifesaver! During the three weeks of writing I had to buckle down and eloquently put the literature and my ideas into a document.
I should give a little bit of context: I initially thought I was going to have a month of full-time work hours during a term in which I was on sabbatical. But because of the lack of childcare (due to COVID-19) I actually had three weeks with 4-hours per day (during week days) to write the paper. I do not know how fast others are at writing papers but gosh I am such a tortoise. To make it more interesting, this was a solo-authored publication.
Kind of funny, I can write without problem in a busy cafe with all sorts of background noise. I pretty much wrote all of my dissertation in a Panera a few blocks from my apartment when I lived in Norfolk, VA. But it was so hard to write this paper from home while having my family members’ voices in the background. I remember putting on my headphones and close the door and still every now and then I would still hear their voices and conversations in the background.
I think that been really passionate about the topic I was writing about made a huge difference on how I approached this writing project, despite the hardship endured in the process. I am grateful for Reviewer # 1 and the editors of the special issue for such wonderful and detailed feedback. I truly helped me improve the paper during the R&R submit process. The manuscript was published “online first” this January 2021 and is titled: Current initiatives, barriers, and opportunities for networked learning in Latin America .
This was the first of many experiences like this. Our son stayed home for 6 months while we worked from home without childcare. And, even after he went back to the childcare center, there were other instances in which he has stayed home and we had to maneuver the same dynamics of still completing our work. Having the deadline of special issue submission did add more pressure in this specific instance (shared in this post)! It made it hard for me commit to any special issue submissions for almost a year (hence why I missed out on so many opportunities to submit for COVID-19 related special issues in 2020, sadly)!
It feels like I have not blogged in a while, so I decided to take a break from other social media and give some love to my blog. In this post, I want to share some research that I have co-authored and published this year on the use of social media in education:
Earlier this year, my former student (Linlin Li) and I published this journal article. It was a really neat experience doing the syllabi analysis. It helped me understand some of the topics that are often overlooked when we teach about social media. It also allowed me to see what books and sources are used in the curriculum. The reality is that we have so much literature related to social media and it understandable because the experiences, the environment and the individual using them are constantly changing. This was an open access publication.
This was my first collaboration with colleague Lina Gomez-Vasquez, a fellow Latinx researcher. It was a high level analysis of the #AcademicTwitter hashtag and those who often post to this online community. Love that we can look at how faculty (and other academics use social media). As the abstract stated: “This paper examines participants and communication patterns in the #AcademicTwitter community. Using content analysis and social network analysis techniques, the researchers examined tweets including the #AcademicTwitter hashtag to discover the community’s network properties, roles of the participants, sentiment, and conversational themes.” We have other follow up projects related to the #AcademicTwitter hashtag, so stay tune.
In this paper, we surveyed 769 undergraduate students and asked them about their social media preference and participation. Snapchat and Instagram were their preferred social media. We also asked questions related tolurking. As we mentioned in the paper: “It is equally important that as part of the research focused on the use and participation of undergraduate students in social media, we also address lurking behaviors. In comparison to the large number of research efforts focused on active users of social media, very little research has focused on lurkers in online environments or even consider lurking an important form of online behavior (Edelman, 2013). The 90-9-1 rule states that amongst members of an online community there are ninety percent lurkers who never contribute, nine percent who contribute very little, and one percent who actively create new content (Sun, Rau, & Ma, 2014). There are multiple reasons why people lurk.”
A few weeks ago, I was invited to join Dr. Maria Xenidou as a guest in the podcast that she hosts called “Impact Learning.” I truly enjoyed our conversation. We covered so many different topics. We talked about my educational and professional background. Life as a faculty member and eventually transitions to discussing topics related to instructional design and technology (online learning, research methods, motivation, and others). If you have an hour to spare above is the podcast player and below are the notes from the episode.
Listen to this episode and explore: Enilda’s interest in various topics at a bilingual school in Panama City (3:03)
Moving to Canada and studying computer programming (7:56)
Getting a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration (9:54)
Why she chose to study Instructional Design for her Masters (10:32)
Enilda’s decision to pursue a PhD in Education and the impact of her mentors during this time (12:46)
How she combines teaching, mentoring and researching in her current role as Associate Professor and Graduate Program Coordinator at Tampa University (16:50)
Enilda’s thoughts on the biggest advancements in Instructional Design since she started working in the field (20:34)
Improving Instructional Design: learning how to apply the research findings to the practical field (23:18)
Enilda’s book: a collaborative project designed to bring theory to practice (25:49)
The trends that Enilda sees in the future of instructional design and technology (30:09)
Enilda’s work in online social communities (32:01)
How to use social media to advance higher education and career development (33:16)
How COVID has affected the digital learning experience (38:08)
What demotivates students in an online course (41:32)
How to make synchronous meetings attractive to students through active learning experiences and games (45:12)
How Enilda builds the courses she teaches (47:49)
Sharing her work openly to help others learn from it (50:22)
What keeps Enilda up at night or what she thinks of first thing in the morning (54:14)
What Enilda wants to leave her mark on during her lifetime (54:58)
How her 4-year-old son has influenced her creativity during the pandemic (57:24)
A few weeks ago, I checked my Twitter stream and found the hashtag #BlackInTheIvory trending. If you have not read the tweets shared by Black academics using #BlackInTheIvory, I strongly recommend that you take the time to read them. The tweets shared were raw, vulnerable, and the reality for many Black academics. Several tweets were a call to action to white colleagues and administrators to consider racial injustices and inequalities that are perpetuated in academic culture.