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A week of 2015 has passed. Already! Awwwks.
This was my Tweet-of-the-morning, this morning. (Will I ever get past micro blogging and onto more serious blogging? *sighs*)
Hubby took me on a lovely holiday-cum-sort-out-our-storage break in South Africa.
There was fun and laughter, family and friends. And tears for the emotional moments. Like finding this…
My dad…proud as punch with his grandson / our little lady in her Christening dress
Finding myself back in Doha on Christmas day took me into the pits of despair….”Nooooo! I don’t want to be here!”
But after a week of moping (couldn’t even walk the dog!)…I was reminded of a gorgeous teapot I once saw while window-shopping with my best friend…
…it said: “BLOOM WHERE YOU ARE PLANTED”. The moment stuck with me, since I was on my way back to Doha then too. Right, let’s do this! Get on with life in the Middle East!
2015 beckons with excitement…I don’t have to feel it in my bones, it’s a fact! 😀 We’ll be grandparents for the first time in 10 weeks from now *huge grin breaks out*; I’ll be graduating after passing my Bachelor’s degree (with distinction) *grins more widely*; joining a library association; volunteering (for practical experience); and finally, studying more on Indexing/Cataloguing. A busy year indeed! God willing!
I guess this blog will move on from recording Distance Learning experiences, to more day-to-day posts (or in my case, more month-to-month posts 😉 ), in my quest to chase my dream of finding that perfect “bookish” job.
clipart used with permission [© Copyright Showeet.com]
Sitting in the calmness of this Beaufort West garden, contemplating the stressful rush of adrenalin that was the last 9 months, it seems surreal. As if one life was lived adjacent to another.
It seems so unreal to know that my studies are over…I did it!! I have a degree…Bachelor of Information Science. So far, of 5 results, 3 are in…all distinctions. So pleased.
And here we are, in South Africa, enjoying a break before the next phase of our lives… I hope to volunteer in libraries for 6 months, we will become grandparents in March, I hope to be in Aus for the birth, and hoping that my graduation ceremony won’t be at the same time. Then I will look for a job in Doha, until such time that we are sure we need to settle elsewhere. Please God, guide us.
It’s that time of the year…I pick up a book to study and I get sleepy. Suddenly I remember the email I forgot to send, or that recipe waiting to be made. Oh, and look at the pile of washing, plus the garden needs weeding! Yep… Anything but studying! Got to get to it! It’s the final stretch…in two months all the hard work of DL can be over. Woohoo *claps with delight*
The practical portfolio is printed and ready for the courier. SUCH a relief! Hoping it gets a good grade.
One thing I realised from doing this portfolio is the strength of my passion about school libraries! After last week’s final visit to get pupil demographics, I felt SO sad to see a school full of kids being disadvantaged because adults, who are stuck in the past, don’t utilise and support the school library.
After exams, perhaps a study-no-more “honeymoon” break with hubby. Thanks to him that I have reached the end. Brandtie, I salute you!
It’s always daunting to see how fast time travels by. Since March I’ve not really known which way to turn, except for one week that we took for a ‘holiday’ in Cape Town after writing exams. Exams, I might add, that I passed well, considering what was going on in my life during the months prior to writing: Autism month…
a brother who passed away suddenly,
and a daughter far away ‘down under’, who suffered a miscarriage. Sad I wasn’t able to be there for her. 😦
Since this blog is mostly around my Distance Learning experiences and especially about building the practical portfolio this year, I’ve decided to enter my ‘Reflections’ from my portfolio task as blog entries. They will take the reader back a few months in time, but for me, it’s rewarding to see how my studies and abilities, develop and improve.
Research blues (April 2014)
Having completed one third of this portfolio I am feeling intimidated, wondering if I will actually make it through. Illness cost me a week’s worth of scheduled study time. I am tired and exams are approaching. Each time I think of a problem statement, I change my mind. This task feels like Mount Everest.
What I really want to research I have no clue how to approach…the correlation between the use of a library and school results…the attitude towards the library and how it affects school performance…the students’ attitudes towards the school library and how they reflect that of teachers and parents. I feel I know too little – about school libraries, about research, about anything, really. I feel discouraged and disoriented, probably because I am panicking right now. The School closes from mid-June until September. How will this task get done? I am totally overwhelmed with exams to study for, classification and cataloguing assignments to complete, a home to run with no domestic help, and son’s large puppy to cope with. Next step…email my lecturer!
Mid-year encouragement (May/June ’14)
Can one month make such a difference? Still overwhelmed, still snowed under with studies and work, but feeling a lot more positive about the Portfolio. Getting a reply e-mail from my lecturer was a relief, as I had misunderstood the brief. I thought that I have to conduct the research, not only plan it. Now, however, there is light at the end of the proverbial tunnel.
I am surprised at how intimidated I feel regarding research. I always thought I could be a research librarian, or a research assistant, because I love looking for information, finding it, evaluating it. I had no clue what research involved until we did the RSC2601 course at 2nd Level. Now that I have to actually plan a research project I feel very unsure of myself – insecure in what I think, in what I plan, in what I decide. At this point I don’t have that autonomous confidence a librarian should have. I realise that I need to start believing in myself.
The one thing I miss with Distance Learning is conversation with fellow students. UNISA forums are not popular – people obviously don’t like to ask questions, or air their opinions on a public forum. Subject discussion re assignment or topics of interest would really be helpful in using correct vocabulary, expressing ideas and hearing those of others. In our assignments we express ideas, quote others, discuss our understanding on the topic; we get a mark, most often with no comment at all. It is difficult to know where we went ‘wrong’. I look forward to future employment in a library environment, to be exposed to the practical experience.
Completing Task 2 – July ’14
I have recently returned from a 5-week visit in South Africa. After UNISA exams my husband and I enjoyed a week’s holiday in Cape Town.
I left for Pretoria, while hubby returned to Doha.
I stayed in a gorgeous B & B, “de Vygeboom“. WOW! Immensely thankful for a warm bed and a quiet place to work on my Subject Classification assignment.
and saw the library’s automatic sorting machine in action. The cataloguing and classification course was especially valuable.
Being at UNISA campus for 2 weeks gave me new perspective and drive.
Meeting fellow students and lecturers, and talking about subjects, problems and assignments was motivating. To hear that we all face the same issues, fears, joys, and anxieties was a huge relief. Isolation does negative things to one’s self-esteem. I remained in S.A. a further two weeks, to do assignment work without the normal interruptions of home.
Back in Doha, I tackled Portfolio Task 2 with renewed vigour. (Task 1 was given a good review, much to my relief.)
Other assignments were also waiting. Time was against me, and I was not able to read through the books and articles as I would have hoped. As I was completing this task, I was surprised how much clearer it became. Now, at the end, I still wonder if I have approached the research plan correctly; however, I am encouraged to perceive the positive difference in my approach, compared to 2 or 3 months ago.
Through all the work and pressure of deadlines approaching, I’ve just remembered that I have a blog which I have not posted to for a while. What to talk about? All I have is the mundane of life at the mo…
- Working through a module ‘Serving the User’. I giggle each time when I think of how much R David Lankes hates the term ‘user’, and how we’re required to use it. I must say I agree with him…I love the term ‘member’ instead (Expect more. Lankes 2012, p61). With this subject I’ve been challenged to think of how Outreach and Extension Services can be used in my community. That got me thinking about the huge numbers of computer illiterate labourers that are in this country, where much of everyday life takes place on the net – e-health, e-government, e-banking… A challenge indeed! I wonder if, and how, the fancy new National Library (due to open in 2015) will reach out to them.
- I’m also working through a module called the Political Economy of Information. Okay, whatever!! Can’t wait to see the end of it. In South Africa’s scenario I only see regression from 2000, after Pres. Mandela stood down from politics. South Africa’s ‘secrecy bill’ is a crying shame. This article from 2013 is still just as relevant.
- In between, I’m practicing classification – for two hours each morning, while my brain is working at its optimal best from the caffeine kick, I tackle the Dewey system with various topics. Let’s just say, out of every 5 I appear to get one and a half correct! Waaah. 😦 Well, I mean fully correct. (I do get at least the first three numbers correct, thankfully!) Hopefully that improves by the end of the year before the exam. I do love it though. It’s a challenge.
So, with two essays due by the end of February and by the end of March, I’m going to have some reading to do. That intimidating portfolio is pushed aside for now, except for a day or two, here and there.
Every now and then I treat myself to a Twitter session. Tonight, once supper was out of the way and the dishes were washed by my ever-supportive hubby, I sat in the bath and had the pleasure of following Buffy Hamilton’s real-time experience with library lessons. Sessions which she referred to as ‘Book Tasting’. Oh wow, wow, wow! I have to admit, that silent reading in the school library has become my pet-hate, but having the privilege of seeing this process (via Twitter, no less!!) has me realising that I know nothing at all! Well, I do know that the teens I’ve witnessed are bored silly, but that’s because it’s not being done in a way that will make it exciting for them. Thank you Buffy! I am learning. Looking forward to your Blog post. 🙂
Oh, and Woohoo! for Twitter! I get to have some PD at any random hour I choose! It’s just wonderful.
And so a very mundane DL evening, was turned into a fun PD experience.