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Showing posts from May, 2012

Motor learning

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I once wrote about the learning curve for learning to ride a RipStik and my own penchant for teaching whatever skills I have learned. About 18 months ago a five year old learned to ride a RipStik on our porch and then she left for another island. She had not seen a RipStik for 18 months.

Fresh off the airplane she did not seem to remember me nor the times we spent together a year and a half ago. Upon reaching the house she saw the RipStik and immediately took to trying to ride it. After a couple failed attempts, she was back up and riding.



Whatever the mechanism for this long term motor memory, it is rather amazing given that much of the rest of her world of 18 months earlier is for the most part forgotten. The old adage that once learned, one never forgets how to ride a bike comes to mind. The adage holds true too for the complex balance and motor skills required to ride a RipStik.

Articulation and Student Learning Workshop

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23 May During introductory remarks Dr. Sellmann introduced the attendees to the characteristics of a successful learner: self-aware, action oriented, and motivated. This phrase arises both in descriptions of the characteristics of leadership and of self-regulated contextual learning.

Ray Somera presented on the 2003 Pohnpei Accord for inter-institutional cooperation for transfer and articulation between College of the Marshall Islands, College of Micronesia-FSM, Guam Community College, Northern Marianas College, Palau Community College and the University of Guam. He also covered the Palau Protocol. The 2009 Palau protocol does not appear to be available on line, and the Pacific Post-Secondary Education Council web site was last updated in 2001, over 22 Internet years ago.

Ray noted that subsequently, in November 2010, there was a further Hawaii-Pacific Inter-Institutional cooperation agreement that has Pacific island institutions work on articulating with University of Hawaii at …

Present and interpret numeric information in graphic forms

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General education program student learning outcome 3.2 at the College of Micronesia-FSM expects that students will be able present and interpret numeric information in graphic forms. In SC 130 Physical Science the student present numeric information using xy scattergraphs in laboratory reports. 
Determining whether the students can interpret graphically presented information was measured by specific questions on the final examination. An item analysis was conducted for all 27 students who sat the final examination.

Given a table of data and a grid, at term end 85% of the students correctly plotted data points and put a line through the points. Of the five data points, only one plotted to a grid intersection. The most common error was not in plotting per se but that some students reversed the x and y axes when they plotted the data.
74% of the 27 students then calculated the slope correctly.
When presented with a graph that included a best fit line and the equation for that line where …

Student learning in MS 150 statistics

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That which students will be able to demonstrate and do in statistics usually centers on phrases such as "Calculate basic statistical measures of the middle, spread, and relative standing" or "Given a data set, calculate the 95% confidence interval for the mean." A student either can perform these calculations or they cannot. At the introductory level are sets of basic skills. For MS 150 Statistics at the College of Micronesia-FSM these skills are described on the course outline.

At the end of the course a student should be able to demonstrate the skill or not. The final examination, in conjunction with test three near the end of the term, are aligned with the outline. An item analysis of performance on these instruments provides information on performance against the specific student learning outcomes. The data derived from this analysis is of most direct use to the instructor.

The specific student learning outcomes are aggregated into course level student learning…

Ethnobotanical kava ceremony

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The spring 2012 ethnbotany class returned to Welianter "Oaulik" Samuel's nahs in Dien, Kitti to enact the Pohnpeian sakau ceremony.


Piper methysticum is brought in whole, replete with stems, and then the stems are cut.



The root stock is then cleaned using the outer portion of the coconut husk.



The students were arranged as in a formal ceremony.



Sean Michael serves as oarir to Thomas, Rico serves Mahoney.



Cindy serves Janice, sitting in as wife of the nahnmwarki.



Others in the class observe the ceremony, some having never been inside a nahs during a ceremony.



The moanindei (menindei) passes the ngarangar.



With the ceremonial cups completed, Rosalinda applies lei, coconut oil, to the students.

Lubuntu 12.04

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I always tell the Computer Information System majors that you are a CIS major if you look forward to Friday not because it is a chance to go out and socialize with friends but rather a chance to take new software for a spin that you could not get around to during the regular working week.

Lubuntu 11.04 and 11.10 on my home computer always heated temp1 to 42 degrees Celsius. I came to consider that "normal operating temperature" for my home system. Until Lubuntu 12.04.


Upgrades usually bring "new features" - a nice word for OS bloat. Newer means slower, more CPU cycles, and hotter. Not so apparently for Lubuntu 12.04. While 39 Celsius might not sound like much of a temperature drop, consider that my system at boot shows 36 Celsius. That is a new delta of three Celsius, half of the change in temperature of six Celsius under 11.10.

Note that on upgrade one is given the option of changing from the lxdm desktop man…