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Good to be Home

I'm sitting outside the Velvet Cloak Inn in Raleigh waiting for the taxi. It's a beautiful day to be travelling home.

My talk yesterday seemed to go quite well. When I realized that the guy before me was going to be talking about large course redesign in Chemistry, I worried that my talk would seem repetitive or redundant. I needn't have worried. The themes of what we said were consistent, but we talked about stuff from completely different perspectives: he talked more about the process from an organizational standpoint. His primary issues were the forces that gave rise to the redesign and the organizational difficulties in getting the different stakeholders aligned. It was a very interesting talk, but he didn't really talk much about pedagogy at all. I felt like the audience got a good overview of the issues.

Afterwards, he met with the chemistry faculty and I met with the biologists. That meeting was intense, but good. There was a dean and the director of one of the technology units, plus several faculty, technologists, and course design people. They grilled me on the rationales behind various choices we'd made. They were very focused, because they're just starting a redesign here and are beginning to pilot the use of "clickers". I hope I was able to be helpful.

The chemistry guy said that his meeting was tougher: the group seemed divided and weren't clear on the pedagogy. "They should have attended your talk," he said. I thought that was nice.