Author Archives for mprest13

About mprest13

I am a professional at the University of Central Florida who likes entertainment, politics and sports.

Want to Make it in This World? Better Learn to Collaborate

Is there any greater struggle between instructor and student than the dreaded “group assignment”?

From the day it is assigned, students begin the process of passive-aggressive resistance and instructors have the difficult task of grading an assignment they know was basically completed by one overachiever. However, we keep giving these assignments to our students because we realize the value of working together in a collaborative environment.

Virtually everything we know about group dynamics tells us as educators that the wisdom of crowds almost always gets a better result than the lone-wolf approach. The reason is simple: When people are working together on the same project they all tend to see the same problem with a different lens – and that results in added perspective.

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Monday Musing – A More Ethical Campus

What does it take to make a more ethical campus? What does it mean to have a more ethical campus? What elements must we have, what culture must we extend to have a more ethical campus? The answer may be in the work of Architect and Zoo Director Dr. David Hancocks. In his 2002 book; A Different Nature, Dr. Hancocks explores the paradox of the modern zoo. The idea that, as humans, we take animals that were meant to life and thrive in the wild and place them on display at zoos for the purpose of study and our own entertainment. We take these animals that are meant to roam free in wide geographical expanses and place them in a controlled environment. Of course this can go tragically wrong as we were made aware in early 2016 when a male gorilla was killed after a 3 year old boy fell into his enclosure. The incident sparked a spirited debate on the part of both animal and child welfare activists. However, one of the central arguments was not really pursued. That argument is what is the place of zoos in modern society?  Continue reading

Time to Settle the Storm(ing) of the Court?

Tuesday morning I was striding on the treadmill watching Sportscenter when the highlight of the day came on the tube. It was of the previous night’s Kansas State / Kansas game. Both teams battled but in the end the 14 and 15 Kansas State Wildcats bested their in state rival; the 8th ranked Kansas Jayhawks 70-63. While a victory over Kansas is not a monumental win, it was no Navy over Notre Dame in football or Clemson finally besting North Carolina after losing in Chapel Hill for 57 straight years (has not happened yet). But since they began playing each other in 1907 Kansas has been the victor nearly 70% of the time including a 31 game winning streak in the 1990s. Bottom line, Kansas generally owns K-State. Continue reading

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