All entries for May 2008

May 20, 2008

First encounter with NVivo

"I should have attended this training during my first month of arrival. Anyhow, it's never too late to mend, I'll start using it right after this." This was what I thought during the NVivo training session. Although this software is meant for organising collected qualitative data, it could be use to organise the whole research project from the very beginning of research stage. By using this software, I gain more confidence to be able to complete my research on time.

As usual, the training was excellent. I normally evaluate a training like this: If I am going to teach another person afterward, how competence am I? Rank from 0 - 10.

As Confucious said: when you learn then you know how insufficient you are; when you teach then you know how difficult the subject matter you are dealing with. When you realise your insufficiency, you (could) think reflexively; when you realise the difficulty, you (could) improve yourself. (学然后知不足,教然后知困。 知不足,然后能自反也;知困,然后能自强也。)

As an instructor myself, I am very demanding when I try to learn a computer application via instructor-led training. She taught so well in this session, despite her illness--I gave her 10+. Bravo!


May 19, 2008

Spiritual intelligence

Follow-up to In search of spiritual needs: First Encounter with Sant Mat from Wee Hoe's blog

After due consideration, I changed my mind. I didn't attend the following talk on Sant Mat. Instead, I read books and articles on spiritual intelligence.

In a graduate skills training session, titled 'Managing Emotional Awareness' (attended on 16/5/08), the trainer presented spiritual intelligence as a type of multiple intelligences. After the session, I did further reading to know more about spiritual intelligence, and I encountered Tony Buzan's The Power of Spiritual Intelligence: 10 ways to tap into your spiritual genius. Coincidentally, I received a forwarded email from a Malaysian friend, stating 13 sentences of words of wisdom:

  1. I love you not because of who you are, but because of who I am when I am with you. 
  2. No man or woman is worth your tears, and the one who is, won't make you cry. 
  3. Just because someone doesn't love you the way you want them to, doesn't mean they don't love you with all they have. 
  4. A true friend is someone who reaches for your hand and touches
    your heart. 
  5. The worst way to miss someone is to be sitting right beside them knowing you can't have them. 
  6. Never frown, even when you are sad, because you never know who is falling in love with your smile. 
  7. To the world you may be one person, but to one person you may be the world. 
  8. Don't waste your time on a man/woman, who isn't willing to waste their time on you. 
  9. Maybe God wants us to meet a few wrong people before meeting the right one, so that when we finally meet the person, we will know how to be grateful. 
  10. Don't cry because it is over, smile because it happened. 
  11. There's always going to be people that hurt you so what you have to do is keep on trusting and just be more careful about who you trust next time around. 
  12. Make yourself a better person and know who you are before you try and know someone else and expect them to know you. 
  13. Don't try so hard, the best things come when you least expect them to.

    REMEMBER: WHATEVER HAPPENS, HAPPENS FOR A REASON.
    True friends: How many people actually have 8 true friends?
    Hardly anyone I know ! But some of us have all right friends and good friends!!!

In response to that, I wrote the following feedback:

I discover that most, if not all decisions we made or going to make, are based on our personal values and the cultural values in the society we stay or live.

Try to rank your personal values on various issues or aspects of life (like wisdom, moral, family, loveship, friendship, social status, health, wealth, career, hobbies, religion, justice, food, sex, power, freedom, etc). Then hold your ranked list of values and read the 13 sentences. You may see things differently.

I regard this as a way to know more about ourselves and others, including the one you love or live with.

The search for spiritual needs continues...


Serious Games?

As part of my research study, I am looking for reasons why some people regard game-based learning as core model that shapes the future structure of education while others insist that game is meant for leisure activities. If I integrate game and learning, then I might invade the leisure part of their living, imposing learning even when they merely want to have fun during their leisure time. They strongly oppose towards ‘serious’ game—when you make games serious, the so-called games are not games anymore.


May 18, 2008

Factorial Design: Overvoming the fear of dealing with quantitative approach

I really felt intellectually satisfied, after attended the last ARM session yesterday. The session was about Factorial Design.

When I did my Master study in Malaysia few years ago, my research project aimed to identify the effectiveness and efficiency factors of a learnining management system. The biggest problem I faced was the lack of knowledge and skills in conducting factor analysis. In the Research Methodologies class, no practice was given on questionnaire design, data collection, data entry, etc. Besides, at university level, no courses or training provided or told to be available to taught-Master students on research training.

What I gained after attending the course was merely theories. In Karate sparring, we call this as 'skin-touch'. It's more like acting. To survive, I looked for alternatives, and I chose qualitative approach. I really hoped to learn how to conduct statistical tests, particularly by using SPSS, but the environment disallowed me to do so. When I tried to justify the choice of research approach, I felt like cheating myself to convince others.

Now, I am very happy to be able to study in the University of Warwick. The supports provided by the university are so great which make me feel like registering to attend all training and seminars and lectures that I am interested in. For example, I am learning SPSS now from three instructors concurrently. Two from ARM courses and one from IT Service. All the instructors are highly qualified and skillful, but I personally like the instructor from ITS more because of her teaching approach. Her constant encouragement and "no one should left behind" spirit really impressed me. Being an instructor myself, who also provide training on computer applications, I believe that such spirit is the key of successful instructor-led training.

Of course, there are still rooms for improvement. For example, I am yet to see the availability of 3D modelling software for creating multimedia contents in this university.


May 14, 2008

In search of spiritual needs: First Encounter with Sant Mat

Writing about web page http://www.santmat.net/

I attended a talk on meditation in Warwick City Centre yesterday. Frankly speaking, the practice and the way of meditation really suit my taste:
- It won’t conflict with any religion or philosophical believes.
- It doesn’t rely no external objects or medium to practice
- It is solely based on one’s progress in the learning and practicing journey, no comparison on speed or degree or rank with others.

Anyhow, it can be practiced only after a three-month initiation period. During this initiation period, one should become a 100% vegetarian and consumes no alcohol, no drugs and no smoking.
The aim of the meditation, according to the facilitator, is to develop respect, trust, and love for all and our full potential as true human beings. To me, it is more like a lifestyle practice, as it involves a change in diet—to be a vegetarian.

I do not drink alcohol or smoke, but I do eat egg, meat and fish. Giving up those foods to become a 100% vegetarian isn’t difficult for me. So, I have nothing to lose to try. Perhaps, I should attend a following talk on this Sunday.


May 12, 2008

Haircut

Traditionally, Chinese regards hair as 'three thousand pieces of worrying silk  (三千烦恼丝)', I totally agree. 

Due to the social pressure (or self-generated pressure?), I dare not to keep long hair. When I was a kid, even until I was a teenager, I used to have very short hair. After I entred university as an undergrad student, I remained my short hair to avoid spending time on it. I did a rough calculation: if I spend roughly 5 minutes combing my hair daily, then in one year time, I spend 30.4 hours doing that. After I worked as an academics in Malaysia, the codes of conduct on male academics' hairstyle (yes, there is such thing in Malaysia), just suited my taste, short hair for another four years. I normally had haircut once a month. This worried me when I was about to leave for UK. 

Time flies and hair grows. After two months plus staying in UK, it's time to have haircut. Two ideas popped up: I could take this opportunity to keep long hair; or I have it really short (especially during Summer). Frankly speaking, the thing that annoys me most early in the morning is not receiving calls (in fact, it's perfectly ok for my to receive calls that wake me up), it's my untidy hair--when I look into the big mirror in my room. Thus, I abandoned the idea of keeping long hair. Next, I had another decision to make: where to have hair cut. I am not comfortable to go to salon or barber shop here. This is something that I rather not to do. So, I made a decision: I want to cut my hair myself!

Today, I bought a set of Haircut kit at Wilkinson in Cannon Park Shopping Complex, Then I set up a space for self-haircut and started my attempts. After several attempts, it became shorter and shorter. Finally, I decided to shave instead of cut. The outcome was not satisfying and cannot be reversed.

Tonight I'll probably have a good sleep, preparing myself to receive feedback from others tomorrow. Hopefully their comments won't be too harsh.    


The Key of Succeeding Marriage

"The key of succeeding marriage is not finding the right person; It's learning to love the person you found"

This is a "Shoutout" posted by a friend's friend in Friendster. Quite meaningful and once again, my self-reflexive thinking is ignited.


May 11, 2008

Salisbury & Stonehenge

I joined the tour to Salisbury and Stonehenge, organised by the International Office on 10 May 08.

Herewith some photos:

SalisburySalisbury - City HallSalisbury - Thai Restaurant (Pineapple Fried Rice)Salisbury - unique shopSalisbury Salisbury CathedralSalisbury CathedralSalisbury CathedralSalisbury CathedralSalisbury and Stonehenge 3StonehengeStonehengeStonehengeStonehengeStonehengeStonehengeStonehengeStonehenge


Writing strategy

  1. For defining terms, use a variety of scare quotes, indent quotes, citation, etc
  2. Get different definitions for a single or similar term, group them into at least two opposition views into a table.
  3. Use four to eight definitions for one term.


May 09, 2008

Booking space

According to Gagne (1985), learning is a change in human disposition or capability that persists over a period of time and is not simply ascribable to processes of growth. The change may be, and often is, an increased capability for some type of performance. It may also be an altered disposition of the sort called attitude or interest or value.

How about a change in human capability in love?

Are there any measurable behaviours, attitudes, interests or value which could indicate an increased capability for love performance?  


May 2008

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