A new semester at UNT started on the 16th. This semester’s line up includes Thought & Praxis II and Quantitative Methods in Anthropology. I must admit that I am a little more excited about the methods course than the theory course, but this is only because I don’t really think quantitative analysis is my strength. I hope that I can use quantitative methods in addition to quantitative methods in the future because I think the two can compliment each other in research and it gives you a wider range of data to present to the client. We’ll be learning analysis using SPSS, which will be a nice addition to our knowledge of Atlas.ti last semester. It’s neat to think that within two semesters we’ll all have a working knowledge of two programs that are widely used.
Getting back into the swing of school wasn’t too hard for me, I think in part because my winter break revolved around the computer still. Once webCT went up, I got back into my routine of checking the discussion boards a few times a day. I found this to be the easiest way to keep up with discussions last semester because each time I log in there are only five to ten new messages as oppose to twenty to fifty messages you’ll encounter at once if you log in every other day or so. I also made sure to have plenty of toner and paper on hand to start off the semester. I think one downfall to online programs is that you don’t have access to a computer lab where you can print for free 😦
This semester we have two different professors, which means that they are still learning how to teach online and us students kind of have the hang of the online thing already. It’s off to a good start though. Both classes started off with community building exercises- post a short bio and read others’ posts so that you can get to know each other. One of my favorite parts of the program is their focus on community-building. Sadly, my buddy from last semester left our program to attend an on-campus program. I think her decision to leave was based more on the fact that the other program had more of a focus on what she wanted to study and less to do with the on-campus experience.
We did have one bump last week and it’s actually kind of funny to think about now that it’s passed. For one of the courses, the syllabus was a little confusing and the readings were not up on e-reserve yet. The discussion boards were buzzing with questions and a lot of the students were emailing each other back and forth to try to get answers. The professor didn’t really log in to webCT and answer our questions until late in the week. There were ice storms in Denton and there was a family emergency that prevented it. I was a little concerned that we weren’t getting enough feed-back from the prof and I was a little worried how the semester was going to go in that course. But- the questions were answered and everything is fine now! I say it was funny because a few of us went into panic mode and also because you would think that the Profs would be the only ones concerned with little feedback from the students 🙂