Mari Borrs, North Dakota State University Professor

Welcome back to Connect FCS Ed, I’m your host, Barbara Scully. Today I have an amazing guest with me, Mari Borrs, who is Professor at North Dakota State University, NDSU, and she teaches Family Consumer Science at the University, both Masters and Undergraduate. She has also partnered with the Great Plains Idea Program University, the Interactive Distance Education Alliance, and she is here to talk about what she does and how she does things remotely virtually and promoting online classes.


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•      Usually, we have somewhere between 60 to 10 people who student teach per year. I think right now, our numbers are a little bit smaller, so we need to start working on that recruitment again. A lot of times we get more people who change their majors, an actual freshman who comes in majoring in the program, but yeah, around six to 10 a year is pretty much our average, and that might be a little bit more than that too, if you include our students who are in the Great Plains Idea Program, who are working on getting their license through that. (4:35)

•       And I love teaching that class too, and of course we had to take it to a whole new level this year, not knowing what types of technology the teachers would be needing during this upcoming school year, if there would be any. We talked a lot more about teaching online than I have in previous years, just because in previous years, it wasn’t really thought of this being necessary, or even possible. (9:53)

•     Some of the things that I find help students the most are being as organized as possible, as far as having on, whatever learning management system they use, having assignments in the same place, so students can go and find them easily. Having the assignments submitted in the same way, each time. If you post something weekly and haven’t had the same format or like a checklist type of format or something like that, if it changes a lot, the students are going to get a lot more confused. So make the technology part of that very, very organized and easy to follow. (12:09)

•     I really enjoyed teaching them how to sew. Because you got to work with them more one-on-one and watch them struggle through things and watch them get frustrated, but then watch them be successful at the same time. And  it was just a little bit more of a relaxed time. It was relaxed but at the same time, they were very engaged because they could all be doing something with their hands, which they don’t always get to do in all classes. (15:26)

•    I’m guessing that maybe in their countries, sometimes economics doesn’t have some of the same stereotypes, connotations that it did here in the United States. And so, that’s why they were more comfortable keeping their name, just more communication globally within the groups, with no International Home Economics Association. We just need to keep working globally, no matter what they call it, it’s still the same thing, it’s helping people to live their lives in more productive, more satisfying ways. (22:00)

October 14, 2020

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