We asked past participants to share their experiences with LInC teams who are starting the course. Hopefully their advice will help you be more successful in the course. We asked them:
What advice would you give to a future LInC team starting the course to help them be most successful in the course. What advice would have been helpful to you?
"Go into this course with an open mind, a desire for change, and You should make room for all of the knowledge/self accomplishments you will receive."
"Just what you told us PARTICIPATE, PARTICIPATE, PARTICIPATE. Participate even more."
"Keep up and ask questions. Meet the people on your team and keep in touch with them throughout the project."
"Ask for help, be patient, and don't be afraid of the computer."
"The advice that would have helped me was to pay attention to all the great advice given. I knew this was going to be a demanding course but didn't fully appreciate that fact until I was in the middle of it."
"I would STRESS constantly the idea of brainstorming with their students about current problems and their opinions."
"Start early and involve your students."
"To have had a better idea about how my topic will be serving my students, it took me awhile to make my topic useful."
"Standards and connection to the lab are great, but pick a topic you are passionate about. Start a well planned project with a schematic of your page."
"[Working in] Teams is a good idea. Supply a lot of resources and materials."
"Get a team together, although, this way I could make most of the decisions." [from a participant who did a project individually]
"Teams should be more interdisiplnary to make activities more wide in acceptance."
"Gather resources and have them handy as you work."
"You really need to have a topic narrowed down early in the course."
"K.I.S.S. It takes longer than you think it will to complete the objectives."
"Get to work soon . . . check out the models that worked . . . articulate your goals."
"Look through the examples of completed projects ahead of time. These give a good idea of what will be expected in the course."
"Look at previous excellent projects and look at the final rubric. Begin with the end in mind."
"The project must be important to all members of the group. Be sure all members in the team can use the information and find it useful to them."
"Plan on meeting with your team regularly. The weekly chats are great, but personalized time where just your team meets would have been key. Also, if there is a way to do it, get that meeting time scheduled into your school day. Meeting in the evening is difficult!"
"My advise would be to work with someone whose level of commitment is as great as yours. If not, work alone. A partner whose primary interest is incessantly "chatting" does not help the effort be the best it can be."
"Try to meet all deadlines. Have one member assigned to keep the group looking ahead to what's next (someone to crack the whip!). Consider dividing some of the project responsibilities with each member becoming an "expert" in one area. If a holiday or spring break comes in the middle of the course, plan ahead and don't get behind!"
"If taking the course in a full online format, it is very beneficial to be a member of a local team that is comfortable working with each other. There is still an advantage of being face-to-face with your own team members -- spontaneity, support, encouragement, brainstorming, etc."
"Make sure you establish a meeting time and place for members of your group to get together. Coordinating face to face with the people that you work with will be very helpful. Share ideas. Make sure the others in your group understand your priorities and your workload, and not make unreasonable demands on your time."
"Ask your administrators for some free time together - if possible. We used our chats as much as anything just to talk to each other."
"Keep it simple, keep equipment running, keep projects and group members actively participating on their projects."
"I enjoyed forming a bond with the other participants. I will miss my weekly chats (and whispers) with them. This course was longer than most, which gave us more time to get to know one another. I would recommend that during the first weeks that everyone get to know one another during chats, not just posting to the web board."
"Use your time wisely. This course is time consuming beyond all your expectations. Be prepared to work long hours for a rewarding experience beyond your wildest dreams!"
"Keep up with the assignments and schedule time to work each week in order not to fall behind. We were faithful about this but fell behind at spring break and in waiting for our software to be installed."
"Don't let the paperwork overwhelm you. When they say 8-10 hours per week, they mean that much at least!! Be prepared for lots of work, but the facilitators will be there. Don't be afraid to contact them whenever needed."
"Keep up with the assignments, and check the assignment board for updates and changes."
"I would say try to stick with the schedule as it is published as much as possible."
"... as the course progresses you will need much more time, particularly group work time."
"Start right away. If possible try to stay ahead."
"The same we were given with even more stress. Stay on top of assignments."
"I was told up front that it would take alot of time, but well worth it. It was the truth."
"When in doubt, read the #$%@*& manual!!"
"Make sure they really have the technical skills needed to complete the course and be very clear on the time that it will take to a good job in creating a project."
"Do make sure your data services or information service department is willing to help if you need their assistance. Ours said they were willing but in practice were very slow to respond or, in some cases, never did allow us to download the chat software. We know we face some uphill battles yet to get them to allow us to do some of the things we need to do."
"My advice would be to plan on glitches, and not to get hyper when they occur. It all worked out."
"Expect tech problems. And even though it seems overwhelming at first . . . step by step it is manageable."
"It is most helpful to be able to work at home. Depending on school computers is a big mistake. They always fail when you need them most."
"1. Do not be too discouraged by the technology side of the course.
2. No matter how bad things start off, just remember that by the end there will be a finished product.
3. Whatever you have done at the end of the course can always be modified later on.
4. Remember to laugh!"