Month: October 2014 — Diploma in Web Design Achieved!

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On October 27th, 2014 I completed the Diploma in Web Design provided by

Alison_CoursewareIntro_256 — Diploma in Web Design Achieved!

This coursework was completed over several weeks. This course goes beyond knowing how to create a HTML page and add content, title, entities, anchor tags, encompassing inserting images, present tags, links, tables, lists and uploading web pages. Coursework included a strong understanding and demonstration of the meaning of inheritance, cascade, pseudoclasses, pseudoelements and selectors … the concepts that are commonly used in web pages.

This required the demonstrated familiarity with using font, background styles and style sheets. This course help you to use Dreamweaver to create a website with HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and Flash. It requires the understanding of naming conventions, index files, welcome screens, landing pages, GUI and many more settings that are extremely useful when creating a website successfully. This course also required an understanding of advanced features such as CSS structures, embedded style sheets and much more. Final requirements demand a knowledge of how a web page works as well as a deep knowledge of hosting, domain names and nameservers.

This coursework was originally based on Russell Stannard’s teaching and research experience – and the feedback of his many thousands of students.

GDA Lecture: Critiquing in Design: A how-to for success

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On October 9th, Tyler Dockery met with the GDA to lecture on Critiquing in Design.

papyrus-or-comic-sans- a comic by Toothpaste for Dinner
papyrus-or-comic-sans- a comic by Toothpaste for Dinner

GDA Lecture: Critiquing in Design: A how-to for success

With a small group in attendance, Tyler Dockery discussed the finer points of graphic design critique strategy, outlining standard ways of approaching works such as:

  • Appraising all pieces to gain a clear hierarchy
  • Getting an overall feel for a particular piece
  • Volunteering which piece is your favorite, and discussing your favorite points about that piece in a logical order
  • Discussing what a piece is doing right, and why it’s working
  • Discussing what a piece is doing wrong, and why it isn’t working
  • Defending your ideas and keeping your cool
  • Learning to take criticism
  • What you can learn from mistakes
  • How to nicely tell someone they made major errors
  • Learning you can be negative and still be nice
  • Telling people what they don’t want to hear

Together, Tyler Dockery, Marsha Mills (leader of the GDA) and students present talked about several pieces of design, and how it might be best to approach those pieces in the classroom.

The session ended with an open invitation for all students to meet with Tyler Dockery or Marsha Mills at any time to discuss their pieces.

Recognizing the Trends Transforming Education

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Presented by Simon Anderson of on October 3rd, 2014 at Wake Tech’s main campus.

Recognizing the Trends Transforming Education

Supercomputer Watson vs. All-time champions of jeopardy. Three years before Watson was built, he was a computer the size of a room. A Computer the size of a room can now be fit into the space of 3 pizza boxes. Watson is now connected to recipe making, smartphone connections, and things beyond.

Futurists look to the future, but are not soothsayers. We looked at some futurist fails. The best year for revenue in paper advertisers had best year in 2005, but fell off the cliff in 2007. In less than 10 years, a 1000 fold increase in capacity for phone chips. Self driving cars are available now, but ten years ago it was a dream. 1 year ago, the computer for a self-driving car took the entire trunk. Now its the size of a CD player.

Take a look at St. Peter’s square 2005 to 2013. Spot the difference? What will it look like in the future?

The concept to remember is UNLEARNING

“The illiterate of the 21st centurey will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.”
Alvin Toffler

Trends in learning, education, emerging trends. What’s driving these changes?

Old school had all people in same class learning same thing in the same pace. a 19th century prussian model- a uniform, industrial age worker being created. Some people wonder “why doesn’t this count for something?” The worst thinkig of the prussian model, is that the focus is to receive a 70%. The focus is on learning, but not understanding or retention.

Read the One World School House by Salman Khan

The problem of the future is that never ending growth is not sustainable. A 5-year approval model in 4-year schools puts materials directly out of date when first implemented. The biggest threat to working in colleges is that the school is adapted for an environment that no longer exists.

Community colleges can be dynamic and fast-changing. The approach that can count is hard-trend and soft-trend mapping. Rather than the slow-changing approach of a 4-year school, a 2-year school can affect quick and influencial change.

Hard Trends

  1. Technology will advance
  2. General trends will affect education
  3. Old models are not always the most effective
  4. Prices for education must stop rising
  5. Online education will continue to increase
  6. Shift to mobile
  7. Life-long learning necessary

Digital natives (born after 81-82) share many similarities- they have known digital, cell phone, tablet always and internet. Always have all information of the world at your fingertips. Technology is an option, not an obligation. They experience the internet through their mobile devices. They outnumber baby boomers today, so consider their lives.

Traditional American Dream can never exist for digital natives. They question life-long jobs, pensions, retirement. At this time 8% of debt in United States is student debt. Digital Natives value flexibility, they are value concious and not brand-happy. They think the government is so broken it cannot be fixed and they want real-time feedback. They began the idea of Collaborative Consumption. They don’t see the value of “owning” if they have “access”. If they don’t like the way things are done, they just make a new way to get it.

    Stats on education:
  • 538% increase since 1985
  • Average of 29k in student debt
  • 61% still get finance help from their family
  • 40% of 18-34 live with parents, highest in 70 years age range

    Take the perspective of a younger student. Classroom is increasingly disconnected- no phones, paper textbooks when electronic is available, used to short videos but there they have to experience1hr lectures, long delays in feedback, when they are used to instant feedback. Give students feedback and collaboration options, give options to work.

    By 2020, 50% of all students will be digital natives. By 2035, 70% will be digital natives. The vast majority of students going to school are going to get a better career, better job.


    BYOD (bring your own device). When are you at work, and when are you NOT at work? There is no such thing anymore as a 9-5 workday. There is an explosion of freelance and consulting. Why get hired when they can charge more and do less work? Most jobs are a bridge to the next job? Most will quit and move in with parents rather than do a job they hate. Automation in the workforce. Machines, computers and robots taking over the jobs of humans.

    What can BAXTER do? Baxter is a robotic machine. He’s $25,000 and work extended tasks, 24hours a day, seven days a week.

    What about software? how many jobs are removed when GPS in cars introduced? How many less jobs on atlas, gas, repair, out of the way food locations, etc. Turbotax is hurting/killing tax CPAs. Finance and wall street are hardly any humans, almost all machines these days. Software has been elected to the board of finance companies in the past. Most sports articles are written by software when given the specifics of points, players and venues.

    3D Printers weill be building car bodies, etc. in the future. Businesses are not the same as they used to be. Consider co-working space ( instead of owning a brick-and-mortar location.

    Degrees are over. You’ll need to learn, unlearn, and relearn as you move forward. Rather than learning a new trade, students should be able to learn what they are missing.

    University of Wisconsin has a Flexible option. As many tests as you desire – 3 months, $2250

    Trends in technology

    online, adaptive, and mobile

    MOOC 1.0

    1,000,000 smartphone shipped last year. MOOC for intro to artificial intelligence expected 2000 students, but received 167,000 students. Will it disrupt education? In 1800s, teachers would read textbooks to the class. When students were able to purchase the textbooks, teachers flipped out because they felt the students could read the textbooks themselves- with no need for the teacher. It didn’t change education.

    Knewton- improving learning outcomes with adaptability. individualized learning is now possible.

    Rise of Mobile. 60% see that in next 5 years have no computer. Average user checks mobile 100 times a day. iTunesU will allow everything to be built and used and interact 100% on ipad.

    What can we do to take advantage of this?
    Recognize the shift to mobile-first classes. Can you make your class to be usable ONLY on mobile. Check on Knewton and see what you like, and how you can create this.

    VR to AI
    Occulus rift in the classroom? VR has been ridiculous over the last 30 years, but this occulus is simply fantasy. his prototype won the top award in 2013, and second prototype won again in 2014. How might this be integrated. Prototype is $350. They would like to have for PS4 and mobile. Occulus Rift was purchased for $2 billion.

    Google Glass (meta other version). Has some interesting sets for the future.

    Cryptocurrency like bitcoin. Consider dropping the cost and offering the courses for fractional prices to another country.

    Brain interaction. Muse – brain sensing headband. Use this to train your brain for focus. will this rush into recording memories. Duke is transferring memories from one rat to another via wire. Although one had never seen the task, it was able to complete based on memories of another rat.

    learn how to UNLEARN. Put yourself in a position to embrace change and changes in culture. This is a phenominal way to show leadership. Stop building. Focus resources on reaching your audience. Consider putting your resources into online and mobile.

    audit your processes. So many things can be audited. open this to students. reduce beauraucracy. while expensive in the beginning, it will truly pay off as time goes on.

    Examine traditions. Why do things this way. is it be cause you always have.

    Individually, you can look at the perspective of a digital native? Ask them and try their ways. Go to

    Exploit the online content. find that free content and experiment with integration for your class.

    In Closing

    We cannot have a wait-and-see attitude. Recognize the trends. Consider visiting school of unlearning. A good example is yield signs- what color are they? They have been red and white for 4 years now.

  • Creating Quality Rubrics

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    epic_logo_sm1.fw_<p style="clear: both;"Alison Consol and Katherine Bennett presented at 10:45am in Pucher-LeMay at Wake Tech's Main Campus.

    Quality Matters is a national benchmark for online courses. The presenters took courses from Quality Matters to be certified as peer reviewers of online classes using QM Basic.

    Development of the Rubric

    Using the research and structure of other rubrics to create a standardized rubric. This has been amended 9 times based on feedback from experienced online faculty. This consistency is helpful for students as well as teachers.

    The purpose of this is to establish a college0-wide quality standard for online classes and a tool for course evaluation. To achieve a e-learning qualtiy seal from wake tech for your online course, all essential standards and 90% of recommended standards must be met. This may be easier for teachers than receiving the training.

    EPIC certification is roughly 30 hours, but many teachers have already taken. You might be able to take only 2/3rds of the training or you might put a course on the chopping block for meeting the standards of the course. This tool can also be used to gain insight into teacher needs and recommended remediation. Some courses may benefit from looking at the current rubric and adjusting their courses accordingly. Feedback will be heavily important in the establishment of success. Large courses with high enrollment will begin, and many will begin in Spring 2015.

    if you’re really interested, look at the materials at


    • course overview and introduction
      • intro to course?
      • how get started
      • expectations
      • syllabus include course materials
      • college and course policies
      • faculty bio and contact info
    • student support
      • campus / course resources (should be present and in development)
    • course nav and tech
      • nav is logical, clear, consistent, uncomplicated and efficient
      • cannot access materials
      • course free of errors typo grammar broken links
    • mesurement and assessment strategies
      • lesson/week/unit expectations are clearly stated with due dates
      • assessments are suitable for an online class and utilized to measure SLOs
      • rubrics are provided for all substantive graded assignments
      • rubrics are easy to understand
      • rubrics are available to students
      • can be excel or blackboard-integrated rubrics
      • rubrics are clearly explained, or given adequate feedback
    • gradebook is maintained in blackboard: weighted grades are incredibly important
  • Student Learning outcomes
    • SLOs listed at course and module/unit.week
    • accurate and clearly stated and measurable
    • slo written for a student perspective and suitable for course level
  • instructional materials
    • materials are sufficiently comprehensive to achieve SLOs for the course
    • copyright is adhered to
    • materials is current
  • Interaction and Engagement
    • Online course fosters meaningful interaction between students and faculty
    • faculty presence is evident in course
    • use of interactive tools
  • ADA Compliance
  • course meets accessibility standards

    Going over a 16,10,8-week courses isn’t a fast process. It will take time.Will a failure indicate the need for education? minor adjustments may be a pass with adjustments, large sections will include the optional recommendation for remediation. Most courses should have (would certainly benefit from) departmental review and oversite before submitted.

    Certified online instructor Program

    All teachers teaching online courses will need to be certified by 2017.

    Certification by Review

    • instructors submit past courses for review
    • coi-review/rubric team is developed.
    • Courses will be reviewed by a team of 3 expereienced online faculty acting as peer reviewer.
    • One member of the team to be an SME (subject matter development)

    2015-2016 cohort of faculty starts
    2016-2017 final cohorts run

    EPIC Effect

    Faculty outcomes: Organize to LMS template, design online courses to wake tech quality standards

    Download our current rubric for review

  • The EPIC Effect

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    Presented by Bryan Ryan, Alison Consol, Katherine Bennett and Dianne Albahrawy, 8am on 10/3/2014 at Wake Tech’s Main Campus.

    The EPIC Effect

    Bryan Ryan began the event by reminding us of the mission of Curriculum Services – “Transforming Lives”. While some of us considered it “Transforming Education”, he pointed out that curriculum services encompassed many things more than simply education and training – both in and out of the classroom. We are really interested in access and success of our students as your true goals. We are interested in creating quality and innovation within our system.

    Wake Tech is the highest provider of online classes in the state of North Carolina- 15,000 individuals took a single class (or more) last year, and 4,500 individuals this semester are taking ALL their classes online at this time.

    The important thing to consider here is that now that the student needs for online classes are being addressed, student success still needs to be pursued.

    EPIC increases Student Success Across the School

    Online classes are:

    • Flexible
    • adaptable
    • schedule-friendly
    • transportation-friendly
    • Allows you to have a job, family, social life

    Last year, Wake Tech had 33,000 online students. More than any school in the state. The demand for online content is larger than the demand for seated classes. Students need to have a certain skillset to be successful in an online class:

    • Time management
    • advocating for themselves
    • communication at distance
    • collaboration

    The First Time Challenge

    The challenge for us is to increase success. Grades of A-C for online classes sat at 68%. Similar grades for seated sat at 73%.

    The Struggle is Real: Interpreting Retention Data

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    The Struggle is Real: Interpreting Retention Data

    Presented by DeeDee Allen at 2:30p at Wake Tech’s Main Campus

    DeeDee began to notice because here Success rate was 61% and retention was only 70%.

    Misconceptions in the process

    • Who Cares?
    • only students who complete the course matter. W is also a failure.
    • Students love me, so retention must be high
    • Fall is worse than Spring due to new students.
    • Early and mid-career numbers might bebetter because of time and effort used

    DeeDee showed us her retention records by year, and she was able to analyze her classes (including a “substitution with pay” period 🙂 ) This might be a great thing for me to do.

    When broken down by class and delivery method lead to these observationss:
    One class improved without doing anything but not be available (tough love)
    surprised to find that the most difficult classes had lower retention.
    Extra obligations (wlrok or personal) seem to have deeper impacts on tougher class
    Schedule is more predictable with mainly one 1-2 course preps
    schedule less overloaded

    What to do?
    get organized and track data
    record notes about the semester to help explain data- who withdrew, why? family, job, what data might you need for the future
    what did you try that was new? faculty rank wants to know this as well.
    find additional resources ( madison area technical college – faculty tool kit )

    • learn names
    • two-way feedback
    • smiley faces =)
    • individual chats

    Things to try:

    • office interaction
    • celebrate success
    • learn the campus resources
    • student activities

    While this activity was really more of a “look at me and what I’ve done” talk, there was some good information here to try and emulate. It might be nice if there was a more “consider following these steps” setup that we could walk away with.

    Nutrition Myths

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    Nutrition Myths

    Presented by Linda Friend and Candice Roberts at 1:30p in Pucher-LeMay at Wake Tech’s Main Campus

    Myths:Eating Healthy is Expensive!
    Meta studies show that eating healthy is roughly $1.50 more per day. Diabetes, cancer, and health-related diseases.
    Truth: eating Healthy now saves money over the long term.

  • Plan ahead
  • don’t shop hungry
  • buy store brands
  • use coupons and discounts
  • frozen fruit and veg
  • dry foods
  • prepared meals are expensive
  • farmers market
  • buy whats in season
  • eggs and peanut butter
  • 44 healthy foods under $1

    Myth: Organic Foods – Totally more nutritious!
    Truth: Studies show no difference in normal vs organic nutrients. Pesticides still used, just not synthetic. Animal welfare is different though. Consider learning about the Dirty Dozen plants, and the Clean Fifteen.

    Myth: GMO Foods are Dangerous!
    Truth: Selective breeding is the earliest form of this. Recombinant DNA speeds this up and it can be used to great effect. Science and scientific research conducted so far has not detected any significant hazards directly connected with the use of genetically engineered crops. 29 years of health data on GMO feed and non-gmo feed from over 100,000,000,000 is essentially the same. No evidence to suggest any health effect on humans who eat those animals.

    Myth:Cardiovasular disease: Saturated fat & cholesterol are to blame
    Truth: data here were cherry picked from Ancel Keys original 22 countries, to only show 7 countries. There is no significant studies to show that dietary sturated fat is associated with an increased risk of heart disease.

    Myth: weight loss- low fat or low carb
    Truth: Twins took a low fat/low carb diet (one each). In the end, both lost the same amount. It amounts to counting calories, fitness, and behavior modification. Your genes are not your destiny. True weight loss comes from maintaining what goes in your body and how you move.

    We ended this session with open Q&A for teachers. There were a lot of good information about sugars, BGH, early puberty, and protein.

  • The Hunger Banquet

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    How much do you really know about how the world eats?

    In this presentation at Wake Tech’s Main Campus at Noon by Lesley Graybeal and Wendy Clinton as well as Jo Anne Clayton and Kimberly Breivogel, we were able to see the world in a microcosm of wealth and poverty and how it affects food. We were each given a color card at the entrance to the room to determine our position. The card I received, as provided to the team by Oxfam America noted that I was a Low Income individual.

    I live in the rift valley of Ethiopia. My husband died and I have seven children to care for. Because of the drought in this area it is very difficult to get water foand food. My children are constantly ill. Recently I sold my last three goars. I hope things get better because I have nothing left to sell.

    At first, individuals were moved from table to table as volunteers were asked for. Some went up, but others went down. One girl from the low table was given a half portion because of hardship in here area. Once we had settled down, we began talking about

    High income people earned $6,300 yearly or higher. Medium income people earned $1,000 yearly or more. Low income earned about $3 or less a day. High income was given a full italian meal with bread, salad, pasta, drinks and desert. Medium table received several pizzas to share, roughly 1 for each 2 people. Low income people like myself were given a plate of beans and rice the size of the palm of my hand.

    People in the high table said they were guilty feeling. People in the medium table said they wanted to give pizza to the low group. They didn’t. Low income people either felt unfulfilled or angry. I felt it was depressing and causing hunger, but not much new I could do about it.

    We discussed how hard it was when people were looking at them eat. Medium table said that when a low-income person brought their food to the table to show what they were eating. we noted that the food in the face or closeness to the lower groups. It fostered conversations on power, philanthropy, the power of power and the difference between currencies and location. We talked about laziness and “bad person” connotations in the world related to giving.

    In the end, we left filled with food, knowledge, or both.

    Cultivating Successful Grant Leaders

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    Grant writing for success

    Cultivating Successful Grant Leades

    Cultivating Successful Grant leaders was presented on Wake Tech’s Main campus in Raleigh NC. The presenters Kate Pattison and Kat Ngaruiya’s goals were clearly set at the beginning: Foster ideas, identify planners and help provide support, and encourage others to become grant leaders.

    From idea to planning to Primary investigator
    The team wanted us focus on the difference between an idea and a grantable, actionable idea.

    Three key areas: An overview of Grants, Leadership, Collaboration

    An Overview of Grants

    We had tomake small groups and define what we thought a “Grant” was. My groups definition: A grant is money set aside to sponsor/implement ideas or projects that are actionable and real with a tangible, final product within a schedule of activity (achievable within a specific timeframe). Their definition “A sum of money given by an organization, for a particular purpose.”
    A grant proposal is defined as “A response to a funders request for proposals”.

    So, what is it that funders like to see?
    INNOVATIVE SOLUTIONS. “IF necessitiy is the mother of invention, vision is the father of innovation”

    Funders like to see innovation and vision. They like to see long term goals, or a step on a long-term goal. To drive this home: THis is what you are doing, this is where you’re going, and this is what you’re going to do too get there.
    Solid Blueprints. Here are the courses we’ll teach, here’s the clarity of the outcome. Here’s what you’re “building” with the grant and the funds. It might be one shot, or it might be one shot, mutliple kills, and they want to know. This will help put you in course with others.
    Sustainable Ideas. They don’t want your idea to die once funding runs out. what is the future of the project? if the grant is a pilot project, how will this be grown, nurtured and sustained? Where do you see funding coming from? will you train employees or train the trainers once completed? As a press release shows that the grant was completed x years ago, but they have served xx students. They want to see the idea sustained over time.
    The budget. Show where the money will go, and how it will be used. What is the scope of the proposal and how will the monies be used? What does the grant specifically fund, and how can you show them what you’re using. If the funds are used for only equipment, Show equipment. If you’re making new roads in the school, show marketing, scholarships, tables and reception items relating to locations. You want if possible, the institution to take over the funding or the grant monies and foster the project.
    Finally, never underpromise and overask for money. Similarly, NEVER ever overpromise and overdelivery
    Evaluation: Measuring Success and Failure. Its a good idea to include the success and failure criteria. Will the evaluator be internal or external? Look in the RFP to see the evaluation criteria if it exists. Its a good idea to keep a log. Failure is not always a negative, because innovation might be so difficult to create. If you are evaluating your project, you can create lessons learned and self-evaluate. Track what you can do, and not do. Can you find new strategies? and solve differently? can you make adjustments or do you need to cut and return the unused portions of funding.

    Hands-on activities at this point included a grants checklist and revisiting a successful grant. Did it align? Mostly it did.


    • Leaders have goals.
    • They think about the big picture and the little details.
    • They have strong project management skills.
    • Check on specifics outlined.
    • Are amenable to following rules and regulations.
    • Are comfortable taking risks and okay with failure
      • cover the 3C’s

      • curious
      • collaborative
      • communicative


    Make sure that the college, key stakeholders, psychology, college mission, are covered and represented in the grant. It is important to have a collaborative spirit when working on grants. Grant development ultimately implementation is a team effort. Know the strengths and weaknesses of the team members.

    Having the right team members, and recruiting the right team members for the job is critical. Make sure you have informed them and gained consent prior to publishing your document. You don’t want to surprise them! You wouldn’t want to be surprised and committed to work on materials without your previous knowledge.

    Another hand-on activity here focused on who the individuals named in the project, or who should have been identified

    Grant resources can be found at the sponsored projects and federal relationships page of the Wake Tech Website

    The Seven C’s of Student Retention

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    student retention

    The Seven C’s of Student Retention

    This information was presented by Mariah Best and Geeta Shah

    This presentation spent time offering ideas on ways to increase student retention in online and seated classes, although not everything was able to be done for online students, which was a bit of a pain. 😦

    Tips were also given to identify “At-Risk Students”. Some of these identifiers required a great deal of self-identification on the part of the student or personal knowledge to be known though, so sometimes identifying them can be easy (late because they have no vehicle or English as a second language), and sometimes it can be quite difficult (first generation college student).

    Specifically this covered topcs such as:
    Do you understand the nature of the problem?
    Do you know why your student leaves?
    DO you know what your institution is already doing to ameliorate this process?
    DO you know how effective these programs are?
    Do you know what programs might be effective?
    Is there support for your efforts across the institution?
    Do you understand the change process?

    Caring Attitude – non-aloof. myth here: it is not the job of the teacher to “retain students” but to promote education
    Customized Packaging – All materials are not cookie-cutter, different modes of education should be used to keep students learning as they need
    Competence – myth: admitting low end students stunts class. Myth: Competent teachers were producing competent students, but poor teachers breed poor students. Encourage students and test often
    Cash – Myth: richer students would be better students. This is a big fallacy
    Contact – Always try reaching out to student. Students don’t all fail out, they stop out, drop out, or fail out medical issues, family issues, etc.
    Chracteristics – “Leavers” do not profile bad students. People leave for lots of reasons
    Campus – Myth here: The whole campus is already doing everything they can to keep students.

    A lot of this did not resonate with me as well as it could have. I don’t think I miss these pointers, but dropout rates are also high across the school by statistics. Speakers tried to be engaging, but were often difficult to follow.