Hi everyone!

My name is Jack Liu. I am currently in my fourth year and hopefully my last, studying computer science. I was made in Taiwan and assembled in Vancouver. My family recently moved to Seattle so I am really excited and can’t wait to explore the city. In my spare time, I enjoy playing basketball or cooking meals for my family. This is my first time taking an online course through Uvic and I am looking forward to learn about design and its application to interactive learning environments. This will be a totally new learning experience for me since there isn’t any lecture to attend.

The First Starbucks Coffee Shop, Seattle WA

Favourite learning experiences

One of my favourite learning experiences is when I learned how to fish from my grandfather back in Taiwan. He not only taught me how to secure the line, float, and hook with all kinds of complicated knots but also the fundamental of fishing; patience. He said patience is the key to fishing and I can’t agree more. It was a fun and helpful active learning experience with my grandfather, it taught me the basic knowledge of fishing and planted this hobby in me.

Rainbow Trout

Peer Reviews on Group 2

Mindset: A resource for teaching students to cultivate a growth mindset

Link to the learning resources: https://onlineacademiccommunity.uvic.ca/edci335julia/wp-content/uploads/sites/4179/2019/06/Ed.-CI-335-group-project-powerpoint.pdf

First thing I see is the learning outcome, it is well structured, organized, and clear. It is showing learners what they are about to learn from this learning resources. A goal from this learning resources is also clearly stated, “after completing this learning resource, you will have an improved understanding of mindset and will be equipped to answer the questions above.” It is similar to most textbook structures that students are used to, so it will be very familiar for students.

What is a mindset?

You got me with failed quiz link! A clever way to interact with the learners. The quiz is a good resource for the learners to stay active and engage with the slides since they will want to find out more about what is difference between a fixed and growth mindset. According to the quiz, I am on the middle high end of the mindset continuum. The slides well explain the difference with clear point form, and the definition is not confusing nor filled with complicated acronyms. Study and research are also provided on the slides for the learners to get a better understanding on the topic and reflect it on themselves. Another example of keeping the learners active and engage with the learning material with the scenario pictures, and also asking for students’ feedback/answer for it. Another brilliant way of showing the difference of fluidity of mindsets by presenting images for learners to see.

Overall, the structure of resources is well organized and coherent making the learners want to keep on reading with it. Resources are well linked, used references are clearly cited as well on the end of the slides. The quizlet quiz, scenario pictures and research results are definitely interactive as they make the learners think and question about their own mindsets. Tips are also provided for learners to improve on their 4 core features in a growth mindset which is very cool and new for me. Contents are explained clearly, straightforward from the help of pdf presentation and it has appropriate outcome as promised on the learning outcomes slide.

Well done! It is time for me to improve on my mindset!

Thanks for reading!

Blog Post #5

Hi, last but not least, welcome back to week 5.

In this final post, I want to share with you guys the six dishes I have made over the past two weeks and a summary of my experience during my personal learning challenge, what went well, and what I struggled with. Let’s get right into it!

First two dishes I made was something that you guys are all familiar with, something that starts with s! STEAK! I know you guys are not surprised. During week 2, I have set myself a goal to master the art of cooking steak and that is also the reason why I have been practicing a lot with steak. First dish, I made steak sandwich with jalapeno tomato sauce on some sourdough bread. Second dish, I made pan-seared steak with tomato sauce on some rice. These two dishes are pretty similar. They both have a lot of cutting and temperature handling to deal with. Looking at the results from these two dishes, I am confident to say that I can impress others by cooking and feeding them steaks. But I cannot say that I have mastered it since I believe there is always something you can improve on, same for everything else. From cooking all that steaks, I have learned that I can determine the cooking time by just looking at the thickness of the steak. I have also learned that how fine to cut the tomato and jalapeno in order to get maximum surface area for maximum favour. Overall, cooking steaks helped me to increase my cooking skills in temperature handling and knife cutting. Experience really matters! For the final time, the “steaks” are high on the successful end!

People say smoking will give you diseases. What they don’t know is that it cures salmon. This is my first time cooking salmon and it was not only refreshing but also interesting for me to taste a different kind to protein other than steak. First dish, the salmon was pan-seared with onion, green onion, and broccoli. Second dish, the salmon was oven-baked after marinating with only salt for two days. Both dishes tasted really good with some rice, but the oven-baked method was more juicy than the pan-seared one. I think it is because the salt locked all the moisture of the fish inside and it was also cooked in the oven, a less intense heat. One challenge I faced was the cooking time. I assumed that the time will be the same as cooking the steak but it was a lot quicker! That challenge affected my pan-seared method more since the meat was a little bit dry and burnt. I am highly confident in my ability of making salmon alone next time because I have learned that the cooking time is a lot shorter, and it is really similar to cooking a steak. My roommates encouraged me to try out new proteins such as the salmon. It was good decision since the taste was really good and it was easy and quick to complete. These two dishes are on the middle of the successful rating and I will definitely be cooking salmon again!

Want to hear a joke about pizza? Never mind, it’s too cheesy. I have always wanted to make pizza by myself, I just want to throw the pizza dough high up in the air! Therefore, I made two pizzas, a classic one with tomato sauce and another one with alfredo sauce. All kind of ingredients was put on it such as pepperoni, onion, mushroom, olive, jalapeno, and most importantly, CHEESE! From the practicing of combining different ingredients to achieve a matching favour during week 3, I was able to use it on when making these pizzas. I found that mushroom goes really well with pepperoni which I had it on my tomato sauce pizza. And cheese goes well with alfredo sauce. Both pizzas turned out pretty well according to my roommates. Some challenges I faced was having too much ingredients on the pizza dough and making the slices too heavy which resulted in leaving the bottom part of ingredients a bit under cooked. I tried throwing the store-brought pizza dough up in the air, although it was easy to throw up in the air but it was difficult to catch it back again and spin it. Some holes were made from that for better “airflow”. To overcome those challenges, I decreased the amount of ingredients to put on and not to play with the pizza dough. Making pizza involved 3 components of cooking skills that I have been practicing: cutting, temperature handling, and combining different ingredients. Overall, since it was my first time making pizza, I would say the pizzas turned out pretty well, it is on the medium high end.

I spent about 10 hours in the past two weeks on cooking. The highlight was definitely accomplishing my goal for cooking steak and exploring new recipes such as the salmon and pizza. I have lived up to my words in week 4, “I have realized that I need to explore and try more ingredients in order to add them to my taste buds database.”

As human beings, everyone has to eat. So, it is really important to have a good cook skill because not everyone can have a chef or eat out for every meal. One thing that went really well from this personal learning challenge is the fact that I am putting the time into practicing for the experience, good and bad, that I have been accumulating. I enjoy cooking and see it as a hobby that I can do during my break from studying. What went bad from this personal learning challenge then? Time. Cooking is very time consuming, it includes preparation, cooking, and cleaning. Sometimes, I am very lazy and just don’t want to cook or just don’t have the time. So it is important to have a good time awareness as you have to give a big time slot for cooking. Overall, this personal learning was a success and a great opportunity for me to improve my cooking skills.

Like I said in last week, learner’s output is more important than the input. No matter how good the input material is, it is based on the learner and their output in order to learn. I truly believe in the 10,000 hours rule as “Gladwell repeatedly mentions the “10,000-Hour Rule”, claiming that the key to achieving world-class expertise in any skill, is, to a large extent, a matter of practicing the correct way, for a total of around 10,000 hours.”(1) This rule also relates to my saying in week 2, “perfect practice makes perfect” since the practice cannot just be any kind of practice, it needs to be perfect and correct. As the technology booms, I believe that the education system will change gradually from the lecturing type back in 1350. In “Teaching In A Digital Age”, Bates mentions how lectures have many limitations for students to get and learn new information from. There will be more options and suitable “input” material for learner to choose from. The learner’s attitude towards learning is also very important since you cannot force one to learn, it is one’s responsibility if one wants to learn or not. It is the leaner’s job to find a suitable input material for them and actually putting in the time of studying and outputting.

I find Scott Goddard’s final post (2) very helpful as he talks about the challenges he faces while making pork tenderloin for his family. From the post, I can use his feedback as a guide when I try to make some pork tenderloin!

Once again, thanks for reading!

Blog Post #4

Hi, welcome back to week 4.

This week, I have practiced dishes that will sharpen my taste buds, by trying different combinations of ingredient. I made one dish that I am very familiar and confident with and two other dishes that I have never made before. First dish I made was something that I have been making for a while which is steak with mushrooms again. The reason I kept making this recipe is because it is really simple and fast to make. But this time in order to practice the sharpness of my taste buds, I added some onions when sauteing the mushrooms and I also created a side to go with the steak which is garlic avocado with soy sauce and some green onions. I wanted to practice my taste buds with mixing different ingredients and creating something edible from it. Overall, the avocado and onion mushrooms went really well with the steak. I am really surprised that it worked! The “steak” is high on the successful end because I have been practicing this recipe for a long time. My goal is to master the art of cooking steak by the end of this school term!

Second dish I made was a Japanese rice bowl dish, Oyakodon. This recipe was hard for me because it was my first time making it. But it turned out really good with the rice! This recipe was also a test for evaluating my skill on knife cutting and temperature handling because chicken, egg, sliced scallion, and onions are all simmered together in a kind of soup which is made with soy sauce and stock. Many tricky part I expected about this dish is that there were a lot of ingredients to be handled and cut but thanks to practicing, I was prepared for that. Some challenges I faced was testing whether the chicken was cooked or not, added too much water to the soup, and when do I STOP cooking? I overcame those challenges by checking if the middle of the chicken was white,  dumped out some water and cooked it till the water level was just 1 cm above all the ingredients. I am very confident in my ability of making this dish alone next time because I know what challenge is going to come up and I am prepared for it. The reason that I chose this dish is because my sister introduced it to me and I was looking for new recipe to try in order to sharpen my taste buds.

Finally, the pressure is on! Third dish I made was saucy sausage pasta.

The reason why the pressure is on is because I made this dish for my family and it was my first time cooking for them! Overall, this recipe was simple to cook since it needed only three ingredients which are onion, pasta, and sausage. I chose not to follow the recipe instruction for this dish since I wanted to practice my taste buds and see what favor each ingredient would bring to the dish. It was also my first time not following a recipe which I am still very surprised that the dish was edible and tasty. Well, at least it was tasty according to my parents. I think?! The dish had difficult cutting, temperature handling involved which put me into a test again. Overall, it was a fun “experiment” for me to try on my lab rats, my family, by creating a dish from mixing and exploring different ingredients.

I spent about 6 hours this week on practicing to prepare 3 different kinds of meal. This week’s highlight was definitely cooking for my family! It was really rewarding to see my family’s approval of my pasta. From this week, I have realized that I need to explore and try more ingredients in order to add them to my taste buds database. A rich, flavorful taste buds database will make one more creative in cooking.

More and more learning technologies are now available to help learners learn. For me, I am learning my skill by reading recipe books, watching cooking videos, and reading recipes online. In my opinion, I can not agree more on, “We tend to overestimate the effect of a technology in the short run and underestimate the effect in the long run.” (1) All the learning technologies might helps us learn in a short and efficient way in a short run, but we do not really know what these technologies will do to us? Will it make us lazy, or not curious to learn? “This is not good because learning is more complicated than mere attention” (2) Just like I said in week 3, learning is not always about learners’ input, the output is more important. Learning is definitely more complicated than just having students’ attention, it involves students’ output, feedback, struggle, and many more. Online learning companies should lower their hype about their new products and stick to the basic of “fundamental learning” which involves more with students’ output.

Thanks for reading!

Roy Amara 1925–2007 American futurologist (1)


Blog Post #3

Hi, welcome back to week 3.

This week, I have practiced more dishes that will improve my knife cutting skill and temperature controlling. I made two dishes that I am sort of familiar with and one dish that I have never made before. First dish I made was something that I have been making for a while and trying to master it which is steak with mushrooms. This recipe is very simple but also its ingredients, all you need is steak, garlic, mushroom, and a “touch” of butter. My familiarity for this dish is like the egg noodle that I made during week 2. The tricky part about this dish is the cutting of mushroom and garlic and temperature controlling of the cast iron pan. The ratio is high on the successful end for this dish because I have made this dish multiple times and I am confident in my ability of making this dish alone because I have already spent a lot of time on practicing of it. Although this dish is quite simple, it is still a difficult dish for me to practice and improve my cutting and temperature handling.

Second dish I made was egg omelette with tomato, cilantro, mushroom, and garlic. This recipe was a bit harder for me because I do not make it as often as the steak dish. The tricky part about this dish is there are more ingredients to be handled and cut. Many challenges I faced while making this dish was the water that came out of the tomato and made the omelette soggy, overcooked it, and also had some hard time flipping it over. The ratio is medium on the successful bar, since it did not taste bad. It was a tasty and filling breakfast! For next time, I can first throw away most of the tomato juice before cooking it and cooking the omelette on a low medium heat instead of high heat. But I am very confident in my ability of making this dish alone again because I know what went wrong and I can learn from those mistakes. The reason that I chose this dish is because this dish is also a great opportunity for me to practice and improve my cutting and temperature handling.

Finally, the final boss! Third dish I made was beef burger. Only the beef patty is made from scratch, maybe in future I will tackle the art of bread making! The dish had difficult cutting, temperature and beef handling involved which made this dish tricky and hard for me to cook. First, the beef patty needed to be seasoned and smashed in order to break the fiber of it. Second, onion, lettuce, and mushroom  needed to be cut in thin slices in order to not fall apart when bit into it. Third, tiny holes needed to be poked through the beef patty since it is really hard to cooked through the middle of the patty. Fourth, the beef patty needed to be seared with high heat for the first two minutes on both sides and then four more minutes on both sides with medium heat. Only improvement I think I need for this dish is that the meat was still a little raw in the very middle, so I had to throw back into the microwave for some more minutes. Overall, this dish was a fun and interesting dish for me to practice and improve my skill. Would definitely make it again!

I spent about 7 hours this week on practicing my cutting and temperature handling in order to prepare 3 different kinds of meal. This week was a different experience for me with the egg omelette since I do not usually eat breakfast in the morning. This week, the egg omelette recipe was the easiest dish to cook because it was pretty simple to make. The beef burger was definitely the hardest dish since it took me awhile to prepare all the ingredients and temperature handling was tricky as well. Once again, there was definitely a “breakthrough” moment when everything came together!

In my opinion, learners should decide what is the best and effective way for them to absorb the material! As you can see videos and pictures in the “Designing Learning”, the way of lecturing and teaching in universities right now is the same as the way a lecturing back in 1350! The education system has not changed much since 1350! But on the other hand, since the technology boom students can now have access to many different learning material such as online course, videos, VR technology and many more. From various of “input” methods that learners can choose from, student can now choose the best method for them learn and most importantly to make an “output” from it. Just like the textbook suggests, with constructive and better learning design, “students’ output is more important than their input” (1).

Thanks for reading!

  • Psychology by David G., PhD Myers (Author), C. Nathan Dewall (Author) (1)

Blog Post #2

Hi, welcome back to week 2.

At the start of this week, I have started practicing my new skill, cooking. I made one dish that I am very familiar with and two others that I have never made before. First dish I made was something my brother taught me which is homemade peanut butter sauce with egg noodles. Not only this recipe is very simple but also its ingredients, all you need is peanut butter, soy sauce, egg noodle, and some chopped green onions. The ratio is high on the successful end for this dish because I have made this dish multiple times. I am confident in my ability of making this dish because I have already spent a lot of time on practicing of it. Since this dish is quite simple, so I think it is better for me to practice alone without someone else’s help.

Second dish I made was Japanese curry with rice. This recipe was harder for me since there were more steps to follow, more ingredients to be handled and cut, and most importantly it was my first time making it. Some challenges I faced while making this dish was my poor cutting skills, added too much water, and I was not sure if the chicken was cooked or not. For my poor cutting skills, I am going to give it some more time to practice. The more I practice it, I think I will get better at it and faster chopping. Due to the power of Google and YouTube, I have learned that when added too much water with the curry paste, I can just take some out or let the water boil for longer so it will be evaporated. I have also learned how to test if chicken meat is cooked or not, you can cut or poke the thickest part of the meat to see if it is still pink. I have a rice cooker for cooking rice. Overall, I think this dish was pretty successful as a first-timer.

Third dish I made was carbonara. This recipe is quite similar with my first dish, it is just noddles and sauce. What was tricky about this dish was temperature handling. First, when cooking the bacon and garlic, I made sure the pan was cold before tossing the bacon and garlic in with medium high heat below it. According to Jamie Oliver, you want the pan to be cold because you want to render the fat out of the bacon. Second, when mixing the raw eggs with the pasta, I made sure the fire was off because you do not want the eggs to be like scrambled eggs. Lastly, I have also learned that it is really important to add a large amount of salt when boiling pasta and then add that salted pasta water into the sauce while mixing. Thanks to Jamie Oliver, I was able to study off him before making this dish so there was not any challenge. This dish is so simple, yet so tasty!

To conclude, I spent about 6 hours this week on practicing my skill in order to prepare 3 different kinds of dinner. Dinner hours are typically the best time of the day for me to practice since I do not have to worry about attending lectures and rushing like during the day. I pick the Japanese curry recipe as the hardest dish to cook for this week because of the complexity of ingredients’ cooking and handling and my poor knife skills. There was definitely a “breakthrough” moment when everything came together and most importantly it is cooked!

Practice makes perfect has been always something I follow, but later I found out a better version of this saying. “Perfect practice makes perfect (habit (2))”. It is not just any practice, you need do the “perfect practice” in order to master a skill. According to Claire Tueller (1), there are 3 steps in perfect practice and I strongly agree with it. First, consistency (sitting power). To practice my cooking skills with consistency, I need to practice and work on it more often. I have to “sit down and put in the work and put in the time” (1) into practicing or in my case, standing up. Second, evaluation. While practicing I need to have myself or someone else to evaluate what is wrong and right about the dish. If something is right, I will ask myself: was that easy? If I and others think I am good and confident about my “right” then it is no longer necessary for me to practice on my “right”. Third, repetition. Practice the “wrong” from step 2 until it turns “right”.

When I learn new recipes by watching cooking videos, I sometime disagree with the chef’s method of cooking or about the best time to add a particular ingredient. This action of my can be explained through this week’s reading, “why is learning difficult”. In my mind, strong misconceptions of cooking has “become thoroughly embedded in very strong connections in [my brain], and they are extremely persistent.” With the confirmation bias’ backup, I agree with my misconception and disagree with the professional chef’s. In my opinion, following a cooking videos has one downside as it give me an illusion that I know about the dish after completing it only once. But I am just following the chef’s instructions step-by-step and not learning anything new! This type of learning of my can be seen as “competency-based learning” (3) in “Teaching in a Digital Age”. Since I learn individually from the cooking videos online and if I can demonstrate (which I need in order to complete the dish) that I already have finished a step of the recipe then I am allowed to move to the next step in order to complete the dish.

Thanks for reading!

Blog Post #1

In the beginning of second week of this course, I will challenge myself to learning more about cooking as a skill. Cooking has been one of my favourite hobbies to spend my time doing because it relaxes me when I am completely focused on completing a recipe. It is also really rewarding to see when my family and friends like what I cook.

I believe there is always something new to learn! Therefore, I will challenge myself to more complicated and harder recipes and it will be recipes that I have not done before. I will also challenge myself to break the habit of eating out and try to cook at home more. Let’s hope my food is going to be edible!

From week 1’s readings, I am learning how to learn. The readings provide me a game plan on how I should tackle the challenges that I will face while learning more about cooking. In “Teaching In A Digital Age”, Bates mentions how lectures have many limitations for students to get and learn new information from. When students learn from a professor in a lecture is called passive learning, the students are just paying attention to the professor and maybe taking down notes. I prefer and going to use active learning over passive in my personal learning challenge. One of my go-to way when cooking is to follow a video recipe with a real chef cooking with me. I can experience active learning by engaging in the comment to discuss the recipe with others, practicing and doing the recipe, and maybe I can teach my roommates how to cook this recipe.

As a teacher to myself, I am going to take an ‘objectivist’ and ‘constructivists’ approach to teaching. I am going to be “very much in control of what and how [I] learn, choosing what is important to learn” (1). Furthermore, I also should construct and learn new knowledge of cooking from my experiences rather than just memorializing the recipe or cooking method. This constructive approach of learning can really come in handy in the future when I am trying similar dishes a second time. For example, from previous experience of me adding too much salt, so this time I learn to add fewer tablespoon of salt than last time.

“Constructivists argue that individuals consciously strive for meaning to make sense of their environment in terms of past experience and their present state.”(2)

I hope my learning of cooking can be the same as the neuroscience definition, that learned information can be applied to new situations. It is really important to have a share taste of what each ingredient tastes like so you know which ingredient goes well with what other ingredient. I look forward to practice my sharp tasting of ingredient. I am not too worry about the three, inter-related memory-forming processes when learning my skill since cooking is like doing art, you have to be creative and implement on the spot.

Since the ‘Myth of Three’ is incorrect, I can now learn new stuff without stress!

Thanks for reading!