Along with the new semester getting under way, I have three other projects under way.

The first is a RA position with my advisor. We are working on a study comparing the online version of one of the classes in the program to the same course taught on-campus. The other RA is in the on-campus program. It’s actually really neat to be working on a project long-distance like this and it’s probably really good practice in collaborating. We all email back-and-forth a fair amount, we have a weekly teleconference and we’ll soon have an online way of sharing files. The position includes the regular RA jobs; brainstorming about the interview guide, doing interviews, and transcribing. It sounds like I’m going to do the telephone interviews. I think it will be interesting to do the phone interviews- I hear that they are much harder than in-person interviews.

The second project is still in the works, so details are to come later. I have a phone conference later today to discuss the project with people from the UNT anthro dept and the Center for Distributed Learning. The project is an idea that I had last semester and mentioned to one of my profs. She then got the ball rolling for me and it sounds like it is going to happen! I’ve been really impressed with the amount of collaboration and discussion that can still take place with the department despite the fact I’m in Florida. I’m getting used to teleconferences now because we did weekly ones last semester- although I have to admit after a month off from them, the last one I had was a little ackward… sometimes I forget that they can’t hear me nod 🙂

My third project is collaboration with some students at Wayne State. It’s the http://studentanthro.blogspot.com/ website. Since I’m very busy with my classes and my two other projects- this one only gets my attention when I have spare time. It’s definitely on its way though and I’ll be sure to announce its launch here. I’m such a geek for this being a hobby that I work on in my “spare” time. OH- I also made a joke about Bourdieu’s symbolic capital to an old USF prof I saw at a concert this weekend. I used to be so cool…

So, I’m going to get back to work now. I thought you’d like to hear about how an online student can still be actively involved in the department on-campus- I know I’m pretty excited about it.