All posts by Derrick Baker

“Try Online!” Series: The Fundamentals of Nutrition

Don’t let them fool you: online classes can be some of the most engaging, rigorous, and interactive college courses out there. In this short series of posts, “Try Online!”, Parkland faculty briefly introduce you to some of the most popular online courses we teach, available now in our summer/fall 2016 lineup. Below, check out  BIO 120, The Fundamentals of Nutrition, taught by Associate Professor Toni Burkhalter, Parkland’s 2016 Teaching Excellence Award winner.

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Summer is an excellent time to learn something new at an accelerated pace that you can immediately put into practice with support from an online community. Whether your goal is to become healthier or merely to investigate foods in a new way, BIO 120, The Fundamentals of Nutrition, may be worth checking out.

I have a passion for teaching nutrition; very few classes impact a person on a daily basis in such a pronounced way.

As lead instructor for BIO 120, I choose experts in the field to partner and teach with me so we can share accurate information in the field of nutrition. Our students have been an eclectic group of eager learners from across the globe. They are often a mix of practicing nurses sharing their experiences in the field, college students earning a life science credit, high school students anxiously taking their first college course, or seasoned community members wanting to set up a solid foundation of nutrition for their own benefit. Although students enroll in the course for a variety of reasons, most walk away achieving their goals from it, with us by their side.

What to expect
Because students are able to learn BIO 120 course material in various ways, the course appeals to different learning styles. It features 10 modules, each focusing on a different aspect of nutrition. For example, one of the modules, titled “Carbohydrates,” touches on sugars, starch, fiber, glycogen, and the impact of carbohydrates on diabetes. Within this module, students are encouraged to read one chapter from the textbook, watch a short video created specifically for the course, and interact with the module’s PowerPoint.

I assess students’ knowledge of a module by having them complete a discussion, an application-based assignment, and a module quiz. In addition to module work, students have a midterm project in which they reflect on personal dietary choices, a capstone calculation quiz, and a comprehensive final exam. The capstone calculation quiz covers nutrition calculations that were covered throughout the semester; for example, students may be asked to calculate the percentage of calories from fat in a given meal.

All assessments are completed online.

About the instructor: Over the past 14 years, Toni Burkhalter has taught classes that focus on the effects of nutrition and exercise on the body. She continues to keep abreast of the subject by attending conferences, engaging in experiential learning through her sabbatical, and returning to school whenever possible. Often, Toni is taking additional graduate classes at the University of Illinois while teaching full time at Parkland. Toni loves academics and the topics she teaches.

***BIO 120: Offered June 13-Aug 4 and Aug 22-Dec 9. Register online today for either section.***

 

[Derrick Baker is director of the Professional Development and Instructional Technology unit at Parkland College.]

“Try Online!” Series: College Algebra

Don’t let them fool you: online classes can be some of the most engaging, rigorous, and interactive college courses out there. In this short series of posts, “Try Online!”, Parkland faculty briefly introduce you to some of the most popular online courses we teach, available now in our summer/fall 2016 lineup. Below, check out MAT 124 , College Algebra, taught by Erin Wilding-Martin. Erin was named the 2015 Outstanding Full-time Faculty Member by the Illinois Community College Trustees Association.

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Anyone planning to go on to take either Calculus or Business Calculus (so, lots of majors) needs to take MAT 124, College Algebra. These students have a lot of math ahead of them, so getting this course out of the way over the summer would really help them move forward on their path, and MAT 124 transfers easily to most schools.

What to Expect
The online format is convenient for summer learning. On-campus classes of MAT 124 meet 2 hours a day, 4 days a week, for 8 weeks. The online class only requires an in-person final exam, and the rest is online. Of course, this does require good time management to stay on top of things. But class sizes are small at Parkland, so you can easily get help from me, the instructor, by email.

MAT 124 is a pretty challenging course, but we use the ALEKS online system to personalize your learning experience. First,  we give you an assessment to see what you already know how to do. Then, you can skip topics you have mastered previously and spend more time on the ones you find challenging. ALEKS will guide you so you work on topics in an order that naturally builds on what you can currently do. You can’t jump to a topic you’re not ready for, so you will feel less overwhelmed as you learn.

About the instructor: Erin Wilding-Martin has taught at Parkland for 15 years. For 13 years she has been developing and teaching online courses in both mathematics, and in community college teaching and learning. Erin received an MS in Mathematics and a PhD in Educational Policy Studies, both from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She was also the 2015 recipient of the Association of Community College Trustees Faculty Member Award for the Central Region.

***MAT 124: Offered June 13 to August 4; August 22 to December 9; and September 12 to December 9. Register online today (these sections fill fast!).***

 

[Derrick Baker is director of the Professional Development and Instructional Technology unit at Parkland College.]

“Try Online!” Series: Introduction to Finance

Don’t let them fool you: online classes can be some of the most engaging, rigorous, and interactive college courses out there. In this short series of posts, “Try Online!”, Parkland faculty briefly introduce you to some of the most popular online courses we teach, available now in our summer/fall 2016 lineup. Below, check out  BUS 264 , Introduction to Finance, taught by instructor Bob Meyer.

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Introduction to Finance (BUS 264)
 transfers to the University of Illinois as FIN 221, Corporate Finance. I have worked for years to make sure that this course is equivalent to what is taught at most major universities.

But rather than sitting in a lecture hall with several hundred students, Parkland College students in BUS 264 enjoy much smaller class sizes, where they learn about investing, the time value of money, and how to evaluate whether a project is economically feasible.

What to Expect
This course is spread over 13 weeks to give you plenty of time to learn the material. You’ll have many assignments including an Aplia homework manager, but the course offers flexibility on due dates. Some of the work will be group or team work, and the groups typically interact over the Internet. Typically, half of the class comprises out-of-state students, and a tenth of the class lives out of the country.

BUS 264 includes two tests and a stock project. You may take your tests at Parkland or at approved proctor sites.

About the instructor: Bob Meyer has taught five sections of BUS 264 each year for the past 25 years. He has also taught at the University of Illinois’ Finance department, in both its undergraduate and graduate finance programs. He has owned a business and has been an insurance agent and a stock securities agent. He enjoys finance as well as teaching this course.

***BUS 264: Offered June 13–Aug 4 and Sep 12–Dec 9. Register online today for either section (but these sections fill fast!).***

 

[Derrick Baker is director of the Professional Development and Instructional Technology unit at Parkland College.]

“Try Online!” Series: Accounting Classes

Don’t let them fool you: online classes can be some of the most engaging, rigorous, and interactive college courses out there. In this short series of posts, “Try Online!”, Parkland faculty briefly introduce you to some of the most popular online courses we teach, available now in our summer/fall 2016 lineup. Below, check out  ACC 101/102 , Financial Accounting/Managerial Accounting, from instructor Judy Smith.

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 If Not Quite the Oldest Profession…

Did you know we may have the profession of accounting to thank for written language? This should come as no surprise, since commerce is nearly as old as civilization itself.

More than 5,000 years ago, accountants used marks to keep track of goods stored in warehouses. In ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, Greece, and Rome, accountants kept meticulous records of the inventory kept in royal storehouses. Often, their lives depended on the accuracy of their records. Over time, their marks grew more complex and became the basis for written language. In a way, many academic disciplines we now pursue can be traced back to the practice of accounting.

Accounting has changed significantly over the centuries. One welcome change is that accountants who make errors today can make an adjustment entry instead of paying with their lives! The advent of double-entry accounting in the 14th century is probably the greatest single development in the accounting profession and is still in practice. Today, accounting is organized around financial statements, audits, and government-imposed standards.

One thing the history of accounting has taught us is that the world will always need accountants and systems of accounting. Those systems may change and grow, but the need will always be present. As global commerce continues to grow and systems become more standardized, the world will continue to need well-trained and knowledgeable accountants.

What to Expect
This summer, you can begin your accounting training online at Parkland by taking ACC 101, Financial Accounting, and ACC 102, Managerial Accounting. ACC 101 starts May 16 and ACC 102 starts June 13. You’ll learn the basics of handling financial statements as related to investors, creditors, and managers, and then practice managerial procedures such as classification of costs, standard costs and variance analysis, capital budgeting, and cost allocation.

Let your advisor know if you want to take both classes this summer, from the comfort of your home.

About the instructor: Judy Smith has been at Parkland since 2001. She started teaching part time and has been teaching accounting full time since 2008. She received her undergraduate degree in accounting from University of Oklahoma and her Masters in Accounting from Southern Illinois University. Judy is a CPA and worked in a CPA firm for five years before launching her teaching career.

***ACC 101: Offered May 16–Jul 1 (online) and Jun 13–Aug 1 (hybrid);
ACC 102: Offered Jun 13–Aug 4 (online). Register online today.***

[Derrick Baker is director of the Professional Development and Instructional Technology unit at Parkland College.]

“Try Online!” Series: Intro to Summer, Fall Courses

Don’t let them fool you: online classes can be some of the most engaging, rigorous, and interactive college courses out there. In this short series of posts, “Try Online!”, Parkland faculty briefly introduce you to some of the most popular online courses we teach, available now in our summer/fall 2016 lineup. Below, check out MKT 101 , Introduction to Marketing, from instructor Bob Meyer.

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When people think of marketing, they often mistakenly think of advertising. After taking this class, you won’t be one of them.

Students taking Introduction to Marketing, or MKT 101, learn about the 4 P’s of the marketing endeavor: Product, Price, Place, and Promotion. Yet in many ways, this online class is a blend of entrepreneurship and marketing; you will actually write a marketing plan about a potential “new” business for Champaign County. Think that’s an exercise in futility? Actually, it’s just the opposite.

In fact, over 100 businesses in Champaign have been opened after a marketing plan was written in this class. Some were opened by my students. Other businesses were opened by people who used the student’s marketing plan. To name a few, Potbelly Sandwich Shop, a former Apple iStore, and Chipotle were among local businesses that opened 2–3 years after my students wrote marketing plans for them. Some of my former students have even presented their MKT 101 projects on a local business-related radio show.

What to Expect
Course work for MKT 101 includes five tests and five video reports. About 1/3 of the grade is writing a marketing plan and giving feedback to classmates on their marketing plans. So not only will you learn how to write a marketing plan, you will also learn how to evaluate the proposals of others. That makes this a great class for students, even if they do not pursue marketing professionally.

About the instructor. Bob Meyer was one of the first teachers at Parkland to teach online classes. He has taught over 100 online sections, including over 50 online classes of MKT 101.  He uses his background in investments and marketing to evaluate students’ marketing plans and give them suggestions on the feasibility of their plans.

***MKT 101: Offered June 13-Aug 4 and Aug 22-Dec 9. Register online today for either section (fall semester classes open to the public April 11).***

 

[Derrick Baker is director of Professional Development and Instructional Technology at Parkland College.]